Who is Lord Jagannath ?
Jagannatha means " Lord of the Universe ". Many vedic books mention that " Jagannatha " is " Lord Sri Krishna ", " Lord Baladeva " is his Brother and " Mata Subhadra " is his Sister. Although " Lord Sri Krishna " is absolute and transcendental to material nature to accept the loving service of his devotees. He appears before us as the diety in the temple, in the form of stone, metal, wood or paint. " Lord Jagannatha " is a wooden form of " Lord Sri Krishna ".
Significance of Jagannath Puri Temple:
The temple is one of the holiest Char Dham(four divine abodes)pilgrimage sites, with the other three being Rameshwaram, Dwarka and Badrinath. All the renowned Acharyas or Saints have visited this holy site. ’Saint Adi Shankara’ established his Govardhana matha (monastery) here. There is also evidence for the visits of ‘Guru Nanak’, ’Kabir’, ‘Tulsidas’, ‘Ramanujacharya’, and ‘Nimbarkacharya’, ‘Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’ of Gaudiya Vaishnavism stayed here for 24 years and spread the love of God by reciting the Hare Krishna mantra.
Benefits of Visiting Jagannath Puri Temple:
‘Jagannath Puri Temple’ is one of the Char Dham (4 Holy Abodes of the Supreme God) and is considered as the most sacred pilgrimage site highly revered by Vishnu devotees. Jagannath is believed to be a special manifestation of Lord Krishna and the temple is visited by countless devotee every year. Visiting this relishing the gaze of the Lord, gifts the devotees with miraculous benefits, fulfills their wishes and blesses them with a blissful life.
8 wonders of Puri Jagannath Dham:
Flag always flaps in opposite direction of air.
From any place in Puri you, will always find the Sudarshan Charka (Charka at top of Temple) facing you.
Normally during day-time, air comes from sea to land and during evening, the vice-versa occurs. But in Puri it’s totally opposite.
Birds do not fly above the Temple.
The shadow of the main dome is invisible at any time of the day.
The quantity of cooked food inside the Temple remains same for the entire year. But the same quantity of prasadam can feed thousand people and 20 lac people also. Still it won’t get wasted or never lag.
The Temple Kitchen, 7 pots are kept on each other and cooked on firewood. In this process the contents in the top pot get cooked first and then the bottom one.
After entering from Singhadwara’s first step (from inside of the Temple), you can’t hear any sound produced by the ocean. But when you cross the same step (from outside from Temple) you can hear it. This can be noticed clearly during evening.
Ratha Yatra and significance: The Jagannath Ratha Yatra (cart festival of Lord Jagannath) is a centuries-old festival which takes place in Jagannath Puri, India. It celebrates the return of Krishna (Jagannath) along with His brother and sister (Balarama and Subhadra) to Vrindavan, the place of the pastimes of his youth.
It is mentioned in the scriptures by ‘Lord Krishna’ to ‘Shri Narada’ that “you will find me wherever my devotees come together to remember me and chant my name and glories”. In Rath Yatra thousands of devotees come together for the purpose of remembering God. In this day and age where there is so much conflict, hatred ,greed and ego even in the name of religion, people come together to honor ‘Lord Jagannath’, ’Jagannath’ means the Lord of the universe, the father, the mother of all living beings. Vedanta Sutra states “Janmady asya yatah”, that the absolute truth is one from whom everything and everyone emanates”.
“Real religion is that which awakens unconditional, unmotivated love for the Lord from within our hearts. The love for God, which is dormant in the heart of all living beings, can be awakened by chanting of holy names of the lord”.
‘Srila Prabhupada’ very simply explained the meaning of Rath Yatra. He said that “Rath Yatra is the meditation on bringing Krishna back into our hearts. Krishna resides within the heart of all living beings, but we have forgotten Him. The real purpose of spiritual life is to make our heart a suitable home for God to reveal Himself to us. If we are inviting God to reveal himself in our hearts it must be clean. But if our hearts have accumulated the dirt of lust, envy, arrogance, greed, anger and illusion then He will not be happy to reveal His home within our heart .The purpose of every great spiritual path in this world is to help one another to honestly and sincerely clean our hearts, to cultivate the character of humility, charity,love for God and compassion to all beings”.
By arranging the Rath Yatra on June 14th 2018 in Madison, Mandir of Madison is giving us that opportunity to come together to chant the holy name of ‘The Supreme Lord” and surrender ourselves to the ‘Lotus Feet’ of the almighty. We request you to join us with your family and friends on June 14th 2018 for the Rath Yatra and help us make our small initiative a grand success.