Lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra installation at the Parashakthi temple - 2002 Aug 30 on Janmashtami day
Lord Balabhadra Gayatri:
Om Baladevaya Vidhmahe
Tanno Halee Prachothayat
Lord Jagannath Gayatri:
Puri pradesaya dheemahi
Thanno jagannatha prachodayath.
Devi Subhadra Gayatri:
Om Narayannyo Vidhmahe
Tanno Devi Prachothayat
Lord Jagannath is an abstract deity of Lord Krishna.”Jagat” means universe/ world and “natha” means Lord, hence Jagannnatha is Lord of the Universe, the lord of every one and therefore worshipped by all. The form of Lord Jagannath is identical with the eternal, blissful and youth form of Lord Krishna, the supreme absolute Truth. He is “darubrahma” and he is formless form of God made of wood. He sits on the Ratna Singhasan with his older brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Subhadra and the mighty Sudarshan Chakra.
In 2002 Parashakthi devi appeared in kundalini meditation to dr kumar and asked for Her baby Krishna aspect to be installed at the Parashakthi temple.Dr kumar was starting to think on the wish of the divine mother when mr hari patnaik met him at the local business meeting and mr patnaik told dr kumar that he wanted to have jaganath ji installed in MI and had already brought the deities to USA. Dr kumar confirmed this as divine mother’s wish. Auspicious time was chosen for the installation of the lord Jagannatha and on the janamashtami day the installation took place amidst chanting by the devotees.Mr Manoj panda gave a talk to the devotees regarding siginificance of the shakthi and Jagannatha.
JAGANNATHA and SHAKTHI
Vakratunda mahaakaaya sooryakoti samaprabhaa
Nirvighnam kuru mae daeva sarva karyeshu sarvadaa
O Lord with curved trunk, immense body and whose brilliance matches that of a million Suns, please make all my endeavor free of obstacles all the time.
namo devyai mahaadevyai sivaayai satatam namah, namah prakrtyai bhadraayai niyatah pranatah sma tam
We bow to Shree Devi, Mahaa Devi always with devotion. We bow lovingly also to Prakriti (mother nature) who is auspicious all the time.
Today is a very sacred day. We have installed the images of Lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra in the temple of Divine Mother. First of all we have to understand why we need an image to worship, then what is the need of installation ceremony and then how these activities impact our daily life.
Human mind is very agitated. It needs to be focused. A calm, pointed mind can do much better work. To do this it needs a support. Image of the chosen deity helps in doing that. Mind can easily concentrate on an object. That is the reason we have so many forms of Gods and Goddesses. All cater to the different needs of mind which are connected with some philosophical ideal to contemplate upon.
There are three things. They are Yantra, Mantra and Tantra. Yantra is a pictorial mystical symbolic representation of eternal Energy. Mantra consists of man + tra, means that which protects the mind from distraction. It is the utterance of certain syllables in certain ways which can transmit power in very subtle ways.. Hence Yantra can be energized by Mantra. Similarly image of a deity is just a symbolic representation of an aspect of eternal Truth which can be energized by mantra. As we know that if electricity is conducted through an ordinary iron bar, then it can turn that to a magnet. Similarly a mantra or chanting of mystic syllables in proper manner can wake-up the vibratory power that is very conducive materially as well as spiritually. This process is called image installation ceremony or prANa pratishThA or infusing power to the deity. Regular worship and proper recitation of the mantram can sustain the invoked power in the image. The environment in which the image is there that is also affected greatly by this. This subtle vibration helps one’s agitated mind to calm down quickly. The word Tantra has its root in “tanyatae” means to expand. That which helps in expanding the consciousness is Tantra. By regular worship and yogic sAdhanA or practice, one can expand one’s consciousness so that he/she gets the divine qualities and God realization at the end.
Now let us discuss about the uniqueness of deities. Everywhere Hindu Gods are worshipped either in individual form or as that of couples. But in this case they are worshipped as brothers and sister. It helps spreading the maxim of universal brotherhood. The color of the deities Jagannatha (black), Balabhadra (white) and Subhadra (yellow) along with Sudarshana (red) represents possible skin color combinations of all the people of the world. If we look at the forms closely we find that they have shapes and also they don’t have shapes. For example they have hands, but they don’t look like hands. They have eyes but they don’t look like eyes. And they have other limbs, but those fit into ordinary descriptions of limbs. This is the representation of Brahman as close as possible. It is said in Swetaswtara Upanishad:
ApANipAdo yabano grahitA
Pashyatyachakshuh sa shruNotyakarNah
Sa baetti baedyam na cha tasyAsti baettA
TamAhuragryam purusham mahAntam.
This means that without hands and feet He moves fast; without eyes He sees; without ears He hears. He knows whatever is to be known, yet there is none who knows Him. It is said that He is the foremost, the great infinite Being.
It is also said in Bhagavad GeetA:
Sarbatah pANipAdam tat sarbatokhsishiromukham
Sarbatah shritimallokae sarbamAbrutya tishThati
It means that everywhere are His hands and legs; everywhere are His eyes, heads and mouths. Everywhere are His ears and He envelopes everything.
The Holy Triad is representation of the holy “AUM”. The seed mantra of Lord Jagannatha is “A”, that of Lord Balabhadra is “M” and that of mother Subhadra is “U”. That is the holy Pranava. It is said in PatanjaLi Yoga sutra in samAdhi pAda:
Tasya bAchaka praNavah
It means AUM is the identification of Parambrahma.
It is said is Bhagavad GeetA: Baedyam pabitram AUM kAram
It means that it is only worth to know the sacred AUM kAra. Also AUMiti aekAksharam brahma. It means that AUM is one akshara or unchanging Brahman.
Even though they are three, they are ONE.
The Lord has taken up the forms of images to uncover the Self-knowledge in devotees. The idols of Lord Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra are made of special Neem wood. This is called “dAru”. Before the real building of the images start, the location of the tree is indicated to a special priest in dream. On this tree no birds have made nests; it has the symbols of shankha (conch), chakra (discuss), gadA (mace), padma (lotus); it is protected by a cobra and there are several other special features of this special tree. The whole building process is known as “naba kaLaebara” or “new body”. This happens on special “tithis”, every twelve years.
Now let’s understand the etymological meaning of the words Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra. The word Jagannatha consists of two words. Jagat + natha = Jagannatha. Jagat means world and natha means controller of the same. It is said that there are fourteen worlds and each world has there own limitations and freedom. Upper seven worlds are Bhurloka, Bhubarloka, Swarloka, Maharloka, Janarloka, Taparloka and Satyarloka. Nether seven lokas are ataLa, vitaLa, sutaLa, paataaLa, talaataLa, mahaataLa, and ultimately rasaataLa. All these fourteen worlds are considered as Jagat. Jagannatha, the Lord of all Jagat controls all these and power by which He does that is Shakti. Just like fire and its burning power can never be set apart, similarly Jagannatha and Shakti are inseparable.
If we consider from yogic point of view the entire Jagat is miniaturized inside the human body. Spine is the highway where spiritual energy works through. There are seven energy centers which are known as Chakras or spinal centers. Actually these are located in the subtle body. Each of the lower five charkas denote a mahAbhUta and also a specific activity is associated with it. They are Mulaadhaara or coccygeal plexus (earth element, material wealth earning activity), swAdhisThAna or sacral plexus(water element, family generating activity), maNipura or lumbar plexus (fire element, food digestion activity), anAhata or dorsal plexus(air element, seat of emotional activities like love, hate etc.), bishuddha or cervical plexus(space center, religious activities). The serpent power or kundalini energy is staying inactively at the lowest center that is Mulaadhaara. When it is activated, it flows through a very fine nerve known as “SushumnA nADi” inside the spine. As it rises higher and higher the consciousness expands. The sixth center is known as AjnA chakra or medullary center or the command center. This is also known as kUtastha. Here one’s chosen deity’s form is seen. Beyond this is the seventh center which is known as sahasrAra. This is formless stage. This is the place of parA shakti. When kundalini energy rises from mulaadhaara and reaches sahasrAra, then a person becomes Self-realized. That is the state of universal consciousness. This is the purushottama stage. As it is said in Bhagavad GitA:
DwAvimou purushou lokae khsharaschAkshara aeba cha, Khsharah sarbANi bhUtAni, kUtasthahokshra ucchyatae YasmAt kshramatItoham aksharAdapi chottama Atoshmi lokae badae cha, prathitah purushottama
Lower five spinal centers are khshara i.e. changeable. Sixth center or AjnA chakra is represented by akshara tattwa. And beyond these two is sahashrAra chakra which is purushottama state. This what is described in Purusha sUktam as “sa bhUmi bishwatobruttwA atyatishThad dasAnguLam..”. The seat of parA shakti. The place of highest realization. The state of universal consciousness. The Nirbikalpa samAdhi state. The state of being Jagannatha.
The name Balabhadra consists of two words namely Bala and bhadra. Bala means strength and bhadra means auspiciousness, goodness. When strength is used to become auspicious, good and divine, then the state achieved as a result of that process is Balabhadra. It is said in chapter 13 of Bhagavad Gita:
Idam sharIram kauntaeya, khsetram iti abhidhIyatae, Aetat yo baetti tam prAhuh, khsetragna iti tad bidah
This human body is the field. One who knows it is known as the knower of the field. The real knower reaches the state by “cultivating” it with strength so that the essence of it, the driver of it is revealed. The cultivation is done by following yama, niyama, Asana, prANAyAma, pratyAhAra, dhAraNA, dhyAna or other methods prescribed by different paths by which samAdhi stage is reached.
The name SubhadrA means by which auspiciousness can be achieved easily. That is the power of divine Mother which is moving the whole Jagat. By Her grace the divinity can be achieved easily. It is said in Bhagavad Gita:
Ishwarah sarba bhUtAnAm hruddaeshaerjuna tisThati, BhrAmayan sarba bhUtAni yantrAruDhAni mAyayA
Lord Krishna says that is the power which being within everybody, driving the world. That shakti or energy is Subhadra. By Her grace one can realize the essence of everything, the One immutable, Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent.
Shakti Peethas in India are very important places for Shakti worship and related practices. There are 51 Shakti Peethas. Puri, the seat of Jagannatha temple is one of them. Lord Jagannatha is worshipped as the Bhairaba and Mother Vimala as the BhairabI. The food offering has to be offered to Mother Vimala after Lord Jagannatha, so that it can be accepted as MahAprasAda.
The temple of Lord Jagannatha is called “Shree Mandira”. Puri is called “Shree Kshetra”. Shree itself is an epithet of Shakti. From the above discussion we know about Jagannatha and Shakti. By our sincere devotion we can realize in us the essence of life by which one can bath in the perennial fountain of bliss.
Among much fanfare and devotional chanting each year devotees celeberate the ratha yatra at the Parashakthi temple grounds.