Lord Sri Baalabhadhra Gayathri Manthra
Om Baladevaya Vidhmahe
Tanno Halee Prachodhayaath
Lord Sri Jagannath Gayathri Manthra
Puri pradesaya dheemahi
Thanno Jagannatha prachodhayaath
Devi Sri Subhadhra Gayathri Manthra
Om Narayannyo Vidhmahe
Tanno Devi Prachodhayaath
Lord Sri Jagannatha is an abstract form of Lord Sri Krishna.”Jagath” means universe/ world and “Natha” means Lord, hence Jagannatha is the Lord of the Universe, the Lord of everyone and therefore worshipped by all. The form of Lord Sri Jagannath is identical with the eternal, blissful and youth form of Lord Sri Krishna, the supreme absolute Truth. He is “Dhaaru Brahma” and He is the formless form of God made of wood. He sits on the Ratna Simhasanam with His older brother Lord Sri Baalabhadhra and sister Sri Subhadhra and the mighty Sudarsana Chakra.
In 2002 Sri Parasakthi Devi appeared in kundalini meditation to Dr. Kumar and asked for Her baby Krishna aspect to be installed at the Parasakthi 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 told Dr. Kumar that he wanted to have Lord Sri Jaganatha installed in MI and had already brought the deities to USA. Dr. Kumar confirmed this as the Divine Mother’s wish. An auspicious time was chosen for the installation of Lord Sri 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 the significance of the Sakthi and Sri Jagannatha.
SRI JAGANNATHA and SAKTHI
Vakrathunda mahaakaaya sooryakoti samaprabhaa
Nirvighnam kuru mae daeva sarva karyeshu sarvadhaa
O Lord with a 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 dhevyai mahaadevyai sivaayai satatam namah
namah prakrtyai bhadraayai niyatah pranatah sma tam
We bow to Sri Devi, Mahaa Devi always with devotion
We bow lovingly also to Prakrithi (Mother Nature) who is auspicious all the time
Today is a very sacred day. We have installed the images of Lord Sri Jagannatha, Baalabhadhra and Goddess Subhadhra in the temple of the Divine Mother. First of all, we have to understand why we need an image to worship, what is the need for an installation ceremony, and how these activities impact our daily life.
The human mind is very agitated and needs to be focused. A calm, pointed mind can do much better work. To do this it needs support. An image of a chosen deity helps in doing that. The mind can easily concentrate on an object. That is the reason we have so many forms of Gods and Goddesses all catering to the different needs of the mind which are connected with some philosophical ideals to contemplate upon.
There are three things. 1) Yanthra 2) Manthra 3) Tanthra. The yanthra is a pictorial, mystical, and symbolic representation of the eternal Energy. The manthra consists of "man" + "thra" meaning that which protects the mind from distraction. By the utterance of certain syllables in certain ways, power can be transmitted in very subtle ways. Hence yanthra can be energized by manthra. Similarly, the image of a deity is just a symbolic representation of an aspect of eternal Truth which can be energized by the manthra. As we know that if electricity is conducted through an ordinary iron bar, the iron bar is turned into a magnet. Similarly, a manthra (or the chanting of mystic syllables in a 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 Praana Pratishta or infusing power into the deity. Regular worship and proper recitation of the manthram 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 tanthra has its root in “tanyathae” meaning to expand; that which helps in expanding the consciousness is tanthra. By regular worship and yogic saadhana or practice, one can expand one’s consciousness so that he/she ultimately gets the divine qualities and God realization.
Now let us discuss the uniqueness of deities. Everywhere Hindu Gods are worshipped either in an individual form or as that of couples. But in this case, they are worshipped as brothers and sister. It helps in spreading the maxim of universal brotherhood. The color of the deities of Lord Sri Jagannatha (black), Sri Baalabhadhra (white) and Sri Subhadhra (yellow) along with Sri Sudarsana (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 mahAntham
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 GeethA:
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 the representation of the holy “AUM.” The seed manthra of Lord Sri Jagannatha is “A,” that of Lord Baalabhadhra is “M,” and that of Mother Sri Subhadhra is “U.” That is the holy Pranavaa. It is said in Patanjali Yoga suthras in the samaadhi paadha:
Tasya bAchaka praNavah
It means AUM is the identification of Parambrahma
It is said is Bhagavad GeethA:
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 Sri Jagannatha, Sri Baalabhadhra and Sri Subhadhra are made of a special Neem wood. This is called “dAru.” Before the building of the images starts, the location of the tree is indicated to a special priest in a dream. On this tree no birds have made nests; it has the symbols of sankha (conch), chakra (discuss), gadhA (mace), and padhma (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 Lord Sri Jagannatha, Sri Baalabhadhra and Sri Subhadhra. The word Sri Jagannatha consists of two words. Jagath + Natha = Jagannatha. Jagath means world and Natha means controller of the same. It is said that there are fourteen worlds and each world has its own limitations and freedom. Upper seven worlds are Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka, Suvarloka, Maharloka, Janarloka, Taparloka and Sathyarloka. Nether seven worlds are Ataala, Vitaala, Sutaala, Paataala, Talaatala, Mahaatala, and ultimately Rasaatala. Together these fourteen worlds are considered as Jagath. Lord Sri Jagannatha, the Lord of the entire Jagaths controls all the powers through His Sakthi. Just like fire and its burning power can never be set apart, similarly, Lord Sri Jagannatha and Sakthi are inseparable.
If we consider from a yogic point of view the entire Jagath is miniaturized inside the human body. The spine is the highway on which the spiritual energy works through. There are seven energy centers which are known as the Chakras or spinal centers which are located in the subtle body. Each of the lower five charkas denotes a Mahaa Bhuthaa (5 elements) and is also associated with a specific activity. The lower five chakras are:
1) Mulaadhaara or Coccygeal plexus (earth element, material wealth earning activity)
2) Svaadhishtaana or Sacral plexus (water element, family generating activity)
3) Manipura or Lumbar plexus (fire element, food digestion activity)
4) Anaahatha or Dorsal plexus (air element, the seat of emotional activities like love, hate, etc.)
5) Vishuddha or Cervical plexus (space center, religious activities)
The serpent power or kundalini energy is inactively resting at the Mulaadhaara (the lowest chakra/center). When it is activated, it flows through a very fine nerve known as “Sushumna Naadi” inside the spine. As kundalini rises higher, the higher the consciousness expands. The sixth center is known as Ajnaa chakra or Medullary center or the command center. This is also known as Kutastha Chaithanya. Here one is able to see the chosen deity’s form is seen. Beyond this is the seventh center which is known as Sahasraara. This is the formless stage. This is the place of Para Sakthi. When kundalini energy rises from Mulaadhaara and reaches Sahasraara, then a person becomes Self-Realized. That is the state of Universal Consciousness. This is the Purushottham stage.
The Bhagavad Geetha says:
DwAvimou purushou lokae khsharaschAkshara aeba cha, Khsharah sarbANi bhUthaAni, kUtasthahokshra ucchyathae YasmAt kshramatItoham aksharAdapi chotthama Atoshmi lokae badae cha, prathitah purushotthama
Lower five spinal centers are khshara i.e. changeable. The sixth center or Ajnaa chakra is represented by Akshara Tatthva. And beyond these two is Sahasraara chakra which is Purushottham state. This what is described in Purusha sUktam as “sa bhUmi bishwatobruttwA atyatishThad dasAnguLam.” The seat of Parasakthi. The place of the highest realization. The state of Universal Consciousness. The Nirvikalpa samaadhi state. The state of being Lord Sri Jagannatha.
The name Baalabhadhra consists of two words namely "Baala" and "Bhadhra." Baala means strength and Bhadra means auspiciousness and goodness. When strength is used to become auspicious, good and divine, then the state achieved as a result of that process is Sri Baalabhadhra. It is said in chapter 13 of Bhagavad Geetha:
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, Aasana, Pranayaama, Prathyaahaara, Dhaarana, Dhyaana or other methods prescribed by different paths through which Samaadhi stage is reached.
The name Sri Subhadhra means by which auspiciousness can be achieved easily. That is the power of the Divine Mother which is moving the whole Jagath. By Her grace, the divinity can be achieved easily says the Bhagavad Geetha:
Ishwarah sarba bhUtAnAm hruddaeshaerjuna tisThati, BhrAmayan sarba bhUtAni yanthrAruDhAni mAyayA
Lord Sri Krishna says that this is the power which is within everybody and is driving the world. That Sakthi or energy is Sri Subhadhra. Through Her grace, one can realize the essence of everything, the One immutable, Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent.
Sakti Peetas in India are very important places for Sakthi worship and related practices. There are 51 Sakthi Peetas. Puri, the seat of Sri Jagannatha temple, is one of them. Lord Sri Jagannatha is worshipped as the Bhairava and Mother Sri Vimala as the BhairavI. The food offering has to be offered to Mother Sri Vimala after Lord Sri Jagannatha, so that it can be accepted as Mahaprasadha.
The temple of Lord Jagannatha is called “Sri Mandhira.” Puri is called “Sri Kshethra.” Sri itself is an epithet of Sakthi. From the above discussion, we have learned about Lord Sri Jagannatha and His Sakthi. Through sincere devotion, we can realize the essence of life by which one can bathe in the perennial fountains of bliss.
Among much fanfare and devotional chantings, each year devotees celebrate the Ratha Yaathra at the Parasakthi Temple grounds.