Past times of Lord Jagnnath
Place: New Jersey, USA
Date: 21 June’2020
Jai Jagnnath and Hare Krsna to you all and we welcome all assembled devotees, assembled everywhere or assembled on zoom conference and I expect that there are lot of devotees from New Jersey today, as this is their festival and they have invited me to talk and I am sure that others also are joining the talk Jagnnath Rath Yatra Talk. Although Rath Yatra Festival is in two days to come. However I think conveniently devotees in the west, devotees in New Jersey they are celebrating Rath Yatra, of course on this weekend. Yesterday was Rath Yatra and today is a Jagnnath Rath Yatra Katha.
Now such Rath Yatra’s are being held all over the planet, there was a time, Rath Yatra mostly was held in Jagnnath Puri and there may be few more towns in India, Ahmadabad and few other places, but now Lord Jagnnath kindly is making his appearance everywhere, to begin with I was just remembering, Jagnnath appeared in San Francisco in 1967 and there is little story I think some of you have I am confident, you have heard this. Our Malati mata ji goes for shopping and there she founds, or she found one doll, looked very strange but was attracting here attention. So as she did here shopping, she also managed to get that doll. I don’t think she purchased it , she must have just grabbed it and upon returning to the temple, she presented that doll to Srila Prabhupad and Srila Prabhupad knew this was not a, just another doll but, this is Jagnnath( haribol) and Srila Prabhupad said oh, where did you find this.
Oh of course I found this in a shop, then Srila Prabhupad said there must be two more dolls, go back and try to find the remaining two dolls and so Malati mata ji that is what she did and to her surprise, there were two more dolls and she was very happy to find then and then she rush back and offered those two dolls to Srila Prabhupad and now he was holding, keeping those three dolls in front of him and Srila Prabhupad was offering prayers to those dolls and he was in different mood, well devotional mood. Srila Prabhupad devotion aroused and he was meditating on those dolls, of course to Srila Prabhupad they were not doll they were deities, small deities of Jagnnath, Baladev and Subhadra and then Srila Prabhupad revealed the fact, that these dolls are Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is Krsna, and this one is Baladev and this is their sister Subhadra. For first time Srila Prabhupad introduced Jagnnath, Baladev, Subhadra to the devotees, they were just now becoming devotees in San Francisco and then Srila Prabhupad had idea of holding Jagnnath Rath Yatra. He know Malati mata ji’s husband, Shyam Sundar, he knew carpentry. So Srila Prabhupad gave that task, take these three dolls, deities, keep them in front of you and make bigger size deities replica just like they should be looking just like this three deities or dolls.
So that’s what Shyam Sunder Prabhu did and once the, those deities were carved, so Shyam Sunder became like Vishwakarma and whole plan of organising first ever Rath Yatra of Iskcon in western world. Western world or Eastern world there was no eastern world that time. Iskcon was only in the western world. So lorry they have ordered, Lorry flat bed truck the sides hand down two sides, back side, the flat platform. So deities were placed there and in Golden Gate park America’s or California’s most famous park are called Golden Gate park. Rath Yatra was held and this lorry was the Rath. Lorry was the chariot and the big surprise of the , of Srila Prabhupad and all well as all the devotees, there was a large gathering. Srila Prabhupad and his followers had never ever seen such big crowds turning up for Hare Krsna Festival. Here Jagnnath Rath Yatra Festival. 10,000 American ladies and gentlemen participated in Rath Yatra and it was a amazing event, Kirtan throughout and Srila Prabhupad was dancing in the Kirtan, the famous photographs of Srila Prabhupad in San Francisco rath yatra and towards the end there was a big prasadam distribution, Jagnnath Prasad distribution and Srila Prabhupad was so much pleased, over whelmed in fact and he said, we should rename this town and from today onwards San Francisco will be known as “New Jagnnath Puri” and that is what it has become now known as “New Jagnnath Puri”. So that’s was Iskcon’s first ever Jagnnath Rath yatra, and then in some more towns in America, Canada, Rath yatra’s were held and in London, then here, then there then everywhere and now over 700 cities Jagnnath Rath yatra is being held and what do you think in future probably every town, every village, wherever the holy name goes, preaches, Jagnnath is gone to follow and Rath yatras would be held everywhere.
So this Jagnnath Rath Yatra festival is a favourite festival of the Gaudiaya Vaishnav’s and that is obviously for the reason that Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu took keen interest in Jagnnath and Jagnnath Rath Yatra Festival. Of course, Caitanya Mahaprabhu choose to reside in Jagnnath Puri for 18 years. He could have stayed in any other holy dham. He could have stayed in Hardwar or Panderpur or here there, but no he choose to spend 18 years in Jagnnath Puri. As a result Jagnnath Puri has become most famous dham and there were times that two Purroshotam were residing in Jagnnath Puri, at the same time lila Purroshotam Jagnnath and Prem Purroshotam Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu stayed for 18 years together. This has enhanced the glory of Jagnnath Puri Dham. So as Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu had just now returned from South India tour on time, to participate in Snan Yatra, that was first snan yatra that Caitanya Mahaprabhu was attending and his joy know no bounds. Jagnnath was not well, he was sick, bed rest, and no visitors, means no darshan and Caitanya Mahaprabhu was more disappointed, more than he was satisfied the day before during Snan Yarta. So what to do, where to find Jagnnath, where to see Jagnnath, where to see Jagnnath, so kindly there is arrangement in Jagnnath Puri, Jagnnath give darshan in “Alarnath”, So Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu literally he ran to Alarnath, for darshan of Alarnath, who gave darshan of Alarnath, who give darshan as Jagnnath and then, he was, there was no point of his returning to Jagnnath Puri, why return to Jagnnath Puri, Jagnnath is not giving darshan, there is no darshan of Jagnnath. So Mahaprabhu stayed on in “Alarnath”, but then Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and Nityanand prabhu they have come to Alarnath to inform Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu that so many from Navadvipa have arrived in Jagnnath Puri and my dear Lord, they would like to see you because they also couldn’t see Jagnnath. So they could at least see you, so please return. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu returns to Jagnnath Puri and devotees from Navadvipa also from Shantipur, also from Khanda, also from gram, which gram “Kulin gram”very good from Kulin gram. So devotees were of course fully satisfied seeing Caitanya Mahaprabhu and they met, they met and they saw and have darshan of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. They didn’t miss Jagnnath, because Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Jagnnath. So then that day, two weeks past after Snan Yatra and then day before Jagnnath Rath Yatra, it is a “Netroutsav day “ and also it is Gundicha Marjan day. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu had once again a feast, feast for eyes, it is called netro- utsav, feast for eyes, feast for tongue that everyone knows,
Maha prasade gonvinde….
But eyes alos enjoys the feast, seeing, taking darshan of Jagnnath. So Mahaprabhu who was missing Jagnnath so much , ya Caitanya Mahaprabhu for 18 years, he kept missing Jagnnath, feeling separation from Jagnnath and then missing and them meeting, miss and meet, he would miss Jagnnath, then they would, he would go for darshan and meet, had darshan of Jagnnath and Jagnnath also was missing, who else Jagnnath missing, ya he was missing Caitanya Mahaprabhu, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not only, well he is “Sri Krsna Caitanya, Radha Krsna nahi anya”
Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Radha and Krsna combined, so who is Jagnnath missing, who is he missing Radha Rani. He is missing Radha Rani, Jagnnath is missing Radha Rani and Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is missing Sri Krsna, ya that is why technically in technical terms, it is said, “Radhe Virah Vidur Jagnnath”, Radha Virah Vidur Jagnnath” and “Krsna virah vidur Caitanya” and of course Jagnnath is Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu is also Krsna, but Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Radha and Krsna, so one is missing Krsna, one is missing Radha and in Jagnnath Puri, they find each other. So Jagnnath Puri is the place, this is the place, most appropriate Dham for Caitanya Mahaprabhu to reside in Jagnnath Puri and find missing Krsna, in the form of Jagnnath.
So during Rath yatra festival time, ok first of all we should briefly mention that Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is having darshan of Jagnnath, Krsna, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is taking darshan means who is taking darshan of Krsna, Krsna is Jagnnath, Radha Rani is taking darshan of Krsna, Krsna is Jagnnath and Jagnnath is Krsna, he is taking darshan, he is meeting Radha Rani. So that happen say on “Netro- utsav” day and on the same day Caitanya Mahaprabhu does the Gundicha Marjan, cleansing of Gundicha temple in as a devotee as of course. Here Radha Rani is best of all the devotees, she is leader of the devotees, so she is leading this cleansing Gundicha Temple, cleansing Gundicha temple service and with this so much devotion Caitanya Mahaprabhu was sweeping and moping and, the temple with the tears, he was using his tears as a water for cleansing, there was also, water was available but then another source, natural source of water was his tears coming down. Not äshru bindu but ashru dhara” you know that when Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu would shed tears not just drops would lie down the cheeks but like a hose pipe, when you are watering the plants in the garden, so like that, they would reach like a 100 metres and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is doing Kirtan and then he is making round and what would happen, all those devotees around him would get drainage, soaking wet in the tears or there is abhishek, all the devotees abhishek happening , Snan yatra would take place as Caitanya Mahaprabhu would chant and dance and go round and round like that Maharaj prabhu makes round and round, like Caitanya Mahaprabhu making rounds and then we haven’t seen the tears yet at least we can see the rounds. So this Gundicha Marjan is quite a festival, Gundicha Marjan in Vrindavan and next day Krsna, Jagnnath, Baldev, Subhadra they are gone to be arriving in Gundicha temple, and they are gone to stay there for about week, nine days.
This is like Jagnnath is coming, Jagnnath is coming, my Jagnnath is coming like for us during Srila Prabhupad days, there is to be Prabhupad is coming, Prabhupad is coming. Then we make ready Hare Krsna Land and Prabhupad quarter’s and we do thoroughly Maha clean up and this and that, everyone is thinking, on everyone’s mind Prabhupad is coming, Prabhupad is coming. So certainly for Jagnnath is coming. Jagnnath is gone to be in Gundicha Mandir tomorrow. Is everything ready? So main thing to be done is cleansing before, all year long temple is not used. Visitors come take darshan of tourists coming, but Jagnnath is not there, Krsna is not there, after one year he is arriving, so there is a great excitement getting Gundicha temple ready to welcome, Grand reception of Jagnnath next day. So then the next day arrives, the day of rath yatra and then the carts are ready. Jagnnath, Baladev and Subhadra carts, and you know they, Jagnnath Puri they make cart every year new cart, they don’t use Maha Cart, Maha meant the used before and use it again and again and again, as we do in Iskcon. Even one temple’s cart goes to another and to another temple, another temple, maha, maha, maha rath, In Jagnnath Puri, rath the chariot is only used only one time, then it is abandoned, next year, new cart, the new cart, new canopy, new, new, everything new and Jagnnath is alos kind of new, after snan yatra, he recuperates, he regains his health and he is looking fresh and healthy, they also paint his body, his form and he becomes known as “Nav-yovna”.
In fact on “Netro-utsav” day, day before rath yatra, when devotees take darshan, they take darshan of Nav-yovna Jagnnath. So Jagnnath is kind of new Jagnnath and of course every 12 years there is “Nav Kalevra”, Nav is new and Kalevra is form, New deity, that also we are not doing in Iskcon, we have some deities there, they are 40 years old, of course they are new, Lord is ever new, Lord never becomes old, that understanding is also there. In Jagnnath Puri there is different tradition and every 12 years there is a new deity and there is a whole ritual they follow to find the right tree and whole thing and transporting of that tree to Jagnnath Puri and then lots of things, lots of whole science and process and mantra’s and tantra involved in identifying the right tree and in carving deities from that wood. So on the day of rath yatra, there is a “Pahandi festival”. A Pahandi, that is bringing Lord from his signhasan, rattan vedi, the alter in the temple to the chariot and that is a festival in itself. I have witnessed that festival several times and few years ago there was “Nav Kalevra” and I was in Jagnnath Puri that day and not only in Jagnnath Puri but I along with some other devotees. I don’t know who else, Dharamraj, you were there.
We managed to get inside the temple and when the Panda’s were, during that “ Pahandi Festival, the rope’s around his waist and lift again and place him on some kind of cushion and lift again and so they have brought Jagnnath from the alter through the Darshan man dap and Jagnnath was about to come outside through the front entrance and I was appropriately situated or stationed, when they are bringing Jagnnath and as Jagnnath looked outside, I was the first one to look at Jagnnath, I felt like that ah! Jagnnath looked at me, Jagnnath looked at me. I was very strategically located Lord’s glance fell upon me and as Panda’s have brought him few steps forward , Jagnnath outside the entrance, the some devotees manage to bring me forward and Panda’s also, well I think, he was helping out and I was pushed near Jagnnath and I, they managed to, so much struggle, push and pull, so finally I touched my head to Jagnnath’s Nav-Kalevra, the new form. so some memory to relish forever. So then finally as Jagnnath, Baladev Subhadra they are seated on their respective chariots. This is 500 years ago Caitanya Mahaprabhu use to come and offering his dandavat pranams to all the three deities, as he would come in front of Jagnnath falling flat in front of Jagnnath falling flat in front of Jagnnath then he would stand with folded hands and pray offer prayers and praise to Jagnnath and one of the prayer/praise is
Jayati jayati devo Devaki nandano sau
Jayati jayati ko vrsni vamsa pradipah
Jayati jayati megha syamalah komalango
Jayati jayati prthvi bhara naso mukundah
(CC Madhya lila 13.78)
So jai ho, jai ho , Jai Jagnnath, Jai Jagnnath, Jai Jagnnath. You are vrsni vamsai, and then syamalah komalango, your form is syamalah, bluish black form and Komal, very soft to touch and you are Devaki Nandan, You are son of Devaki and Prithvi bhara naso mukundah, thank you lord Jagnnath for giving relief to Prithavi Bharo, mother earth was burdened by the sin of the sinners, but you appeared and you relieved the earth burden, oh Mukundah, oh giver of the liberation and then the rath yatra would/procession would begin and Caitanya Mahaprabhu, so the first the king has to be there and he use to be there. King Pratap Rudra, cleaning of Gundicha Marjan has happened but now, In front of Jagnnath chariot, the street cleaning. “Swach Bharat”. So King was personally sweeping the streets specially that street, that road, grand trunk road ya rath yatra marg, with his own hand and big kind big authority. Everyone is at his disposal, he could order, hey sweepers come, thousands of sweepers could line up but he would prefer to sweep himself. So Mahaprabhu had taken note of this the humility, this is “trnad api sunicena, taror api sahisnuna” this trnad api sunicena, and as soon as soon as there is humility then what happens. Lord is pleased, if that person could do his devotional service with no interruption and that candidate deserves association and darshan of the Lord.
Vinyane yati patrata
From humility comes eligibility, you become eligible to serve Krsna or eventually seen Krsna, if there is humility among other things, humility has to be there. So when Caitanya Mahaprabhu noted that humbleness, humility of Raja Pratap Rudra, immediately Caitanya Mahaprabhu, why not I must see, I must meet this person. So anyway this is a long story, we have no time. So Caitanya Mahaprabhu was not willing to meet this king thinking he is a kind, he is attached to power.
Kissa kursi ka
And other things, So but when he saw that he is very humble king, his humility, Mahaprabhu changed his mind. I would like to see him and during that Rath Yatra then Lord’s, Lord just desired when they saw he has to do and then everything else is done by other shakti’s other energies, lila Shakti, this Shakti that Shakti. So that day, first of all when there was a, so as Rath yatra started, pulling the chariot and there was four kirtan parties in front of Jagnnath chariot, two parties on either side of Jagnnath chariot and one party behind the chariot, so that’s total seven parties and Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing simultaneously in all those seven kirtan parties.
This is nothing for him, when there is a dance with, Rasa dance with three crore gopies, then Krsna become three crore Krsna’s here he is becoming only seven Krsna’s. So big deal as they say ad then lord arranged, I think it was only, King Pratap Rudra was able to realise what was happening, otherwise each party was thinking that oh he is dancing only with us. Hey, our party ki jai, our party is special party, just see he is dancing with our party, or other party Murdabad or our party Jindabad, but that was not the case, Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing in all seven parties simultaneously and by Lord’s arrangement, Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always in full control, he arrange only king Pratap Rudra to visualise or realise or have a vision, darshan of Caitanya Mahaprabhu dancing in all the parties at the same time. No one else was understanding, not realising but by Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s special benediction upon this very humble soul. King Pratap Rudra, he had the special darshan and then
The procession, they are all heading towards Gundicha temple and Gundicha is Vrindavan, Jagnnath Puri temple is Dwarika and those who are pulling the chariot, bringing Jagnnath, Baladev, Subhadra they are all devotees from Vrindavan headed by Radha Rani. Radha Rani is in the fore front or in the centre and so during the procession there is a whole lila, dealings, reciprocation going on between Krsna in the chariot and Radha Rani in the front of the chariot and that Radha Rani is Caitanya Mahaprabhu and that Krsna is Jagnnath. So pulling the chariot, they are six times a day, so it’s time for honouring prasadam. Today you ate only one time and you are not Jagnnath, so it’s okay and only Jagnnath could manage eating six times, we will die if we ate six times and what to speak of amount of Bhoga that he relishes. So during Uppal bhoaga Caitanya Mahaprabhu goes into the garden adjoining garden called Jagnnath Vallabh garden and while he was resting, it was recommended by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and others. This is the time king, put on you vaishnav clothes so he was given dhoti and Kurta and then king goes forward, obsciences and he begins massaging transcendental form, Sac-Cid-Ananda vigraha of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and while massaging, he is chanting, he is reciting Gopi Geet.
jayati te dhikam janmana vrajah
Like that, so reciting and reciting , he comes to the line/ stanza
tava kathamrtam tapta jivnam
kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham
sravana mangalam Srimad atatam
bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri da janah
(gopi geet satanza 9)
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu heard this “bhuri da janah” which gopies and Radha Rani also had uttered or recited that prayer and that prayer, “bhuri da janah” the Caitanya Mahaprabhu started, you are that bhuri da janah, bhuri da means charitable, magnanimous because you are sharing this gopi geet with me, you are so kind to me, so because you had shared this gift, I am very grateful to you and Lord is still lying down, his eyes are closed, he has no clue who this person, who is massaging and reciting Gopi Geet, but Mahaprabhu is talking, Bhuri da, you are that bhuri da and you did so much for me, what could I, I must do something in return for you but what could I do, I am just tri-dandi not tri dandi, ek dandi, bhikshuk, sannyasi. I have nothing, I am empty pocket, I have no pocket, not even pocket. So saying, so Mahaprabhu was now getting up, and he says okay, I mean I have nothing to really offer to you in return but if you don’t mind, may you accept my embrace and Mahaprabhu hold King Pratap Rudra in his long arms and hold him tight and then, so did then King Pratap Rudra, so they were embracing each other and that was the perfection of king Pratap Rudra and that is also perfect timing for us to stop our Katha. So then the chariot proceeds and soon they arrive at Gundicha temple, which is Vrindavan dham ki Jai..
On the way Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in the mood of Radha Rani, he keep saying, “mor maan Vrindavan, Mor maan Vrindavan, my mind is Vrindavan, my mind is Vrindavan. Oh Lord please reside in Vrindavan. My mind is Vrindavan, stay in my mind, on my mind in my heart and then Lord down from the chariot and another Pahandi Mahaotsav, bringing deities from chariot to the alter in Gundicha temple. So Pahandi festival is two times, before the chariot and after the chariot yatra gets over and now Caitanya is gone to spent, Jagnnath is gone to spent/Jagnnath is gone to spending time with Baladev and Subhadra at Gundicha temple and they are very happy feeling at home. When Jagnnath Krsna is in Vrindavan, he is at home. Your home is where your heart is, he says your home is where your heart is. So Krsna’s heart is in Vrindavan. So that is his home and that is perfect location, situation.
Jagnnath Baladev Subhadra ki Jai………….
Jagnnath Rath Yatra Mahaotsav ki jai …………
Jagnnath Puri Dham ki Jai………
Iskcon New Jersey ki Jai….
Iskcon New Jersey Bhakta Vrind Ki jai…..
Nitai Gaur premanande Hari hari bol