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Lord Jagannath: Deity Appearance

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
17 July 2013


Kind Indradyumna built the Jagannath temple and thought, "Where is the Lord?! The Lord said, 'I will come,' but He is not coming!"

The Lord then told him, "Do not come to me like this—with soldiers, elephants, etc. I will come on My own. I will come to Chakratirtha, the shore of the ocean and there you will find three solas, Indian cork trees. You can make Me from those trees, but only three people will go there: you (King Indradyumna), my previous servitor (Visvavasu), and your chief minister (Vidyapati) who has found me."

Following the Lord's order, they came to the shore of the ocean and found the three logs. When they tried to lift them, the logs suddenly became light and they carried it easily to the temple.

The King ordered his carpenters to make the Deities, but all carpenters' tools broke once they tried to carve the wood. The king invited other carpenters, but their tools broke too. "What is this?! What is going on?!" the king thought. Then again the Lord came to Indradyumna and said, "You will never get anywhere in this way. Listen, an old man will come to you, his name is Visvakarma. Appoint him and follow what he says."

Shortly after that, Visvakarma came to the king, paid obeisance and said,

"I am a carpenter and I can make your Deities."

"Can you?"

"I can, but I have some conditions..."

"What conditions?"

"You must leave me for twenty-one days locked inside the temple and do not open the door until the twenty-one days expire. After that you can see me."

The king and the queen agreed and were happy.

The old carpenter was locked inside the temple, and every morning the king and the queen came to the door and heard some sound coming from inside, "Tuck, tuck!" One day passed, two days, three days, four days... After fifteen days had passed there was no sound. (To this day, you know that before the Ratha Yatra festival the Jagannath temple doors are closed for these same fifteen days.) The queen said to the king, "What happened? What if the man has died! The temple room will be inauspicious... What will people say?" Six days were still left, but they decided to open the door.

They opened the door, but the man was not there and the Deities of Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra were there, incomplete. The Deities did not have proper hands and legs, and the Lord said, "In this Age of Kali, I will give mercy in this way. Without hands, I can take more, I can eat more! Later you can make some gold hands or some other hands for Me, but My original hand will stay like this. I also have three conditions. First, you must offer Me bhog 56 times a day. Second, it is My temple, and your sons, grandsons or any other heirs cannot claim this temple. Finally, the third condition is that My temple will be open for twenty-one hours, and will be closed only for three hours."

This is the Pastime of Lord Jagannath... The Lord came in this way. বিগ্রহ নহ, সাক্ষাৎ ব্রজেন্দ্রনন্দন, vigraha naha, saksat Vrajendra-nandan: "You are not an idol, You are Vrajendra-nandan Himself." (Cc, 2.5.96)


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