Lord Jagannath is a revered deity in Hinduism, particularly in the state of Odisha, where he is considered the presiding deity of the Jagannath Temple in Puri. Lord Jagannath, along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, is worshipped as a symbol of the unity of the universe and the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Here’s everything you need to know about Lord Jagannath.
Origin and Legend:
The origin of Lord Jagannath can be traced back to ancient Hindu mythology. According to legend, Lord Jagannath was once worshipped as Lord Krishna, who appeared on earth to rid it of evil and restore order. Lord Jagannath is believed to be a form of Lord Krishna, who appeared in Puri as a wooden idol along with his siblings.
The legend goes that Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings, was once worshipped by a king named Indradyumna. However, after the death of the king, the idols were buried in the sand, and their location was lost. Later, a saint named Adi Shankaracharya discovered the idols and re-established their worship. The Jagannath Temple in Puri was built to house the idols, and it has since become one of the most revered temples in India.
Lord Jagannath is worshipped as a symbol of the unity of the universe, with his siblings representing the three aspects of existence – creation, preservation, and destruction. Lord Jagannath is believed to be the lord of the universe, who governs the cycles of birth and death and ensures the welfare of his devotees.
The Jagannath Temple in Puri:
The Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the most significant temples in India and is dedicated to Lord Jagannath. The temple complex is spread over an area of 400,000 square feet and consists of several structures, including the main temple, kitchen, and various other shrines.
The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra, where the wooden idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are taken out in a grand procession on chariots. The Rath Yatra attracts millions of devotees from all over the world and is considered one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.
Visiting the Temple:
The Jagannath Temple is open to all devotees, regardless of their caste, creed, or religion. However, non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple. Visitors to the temple are expected to dress modestly and behave respectfully. The temple has strict rules regarding entry, and devotees are required to adhere to them.
In conclusion, Lord Jagannath is a revered deity in Hinduism, particularly in the state of Odisha. Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings, is worshipped as a symbol of the unity of the universe, and the Jagannath Temple in Puri is one of the most significant temples in India. The temple complex and the annual Rath Yatra attract millions of devotees from all over the world and showcase the rich cultural and religious heritage of Odisha.