Online Pastimes of Lord Jagannath of Rajapur
By Amogha das
By the mercy of His Grace Pankajanghri Prabhu, Lord Jagannath of Rajapur’s pastimes are revealed online in three languages: Serbian, Russian and English. At www. narasimhalila. com devotees can discover the incredible history of this amazing Jagannath Deity, going back to the 7th century.
The Russian translation is by Her Grace Atula Gaurangi devi dasi, and the Serbian translation is by His Grace Nanda Baba das. Thousands of more devotees can read about the pastimes of Lord Jagannath due to their efforts.
Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur writes, “Whoever visits Sri Navadvipa must take darshana of Lord Jagannatha. It is stated in the sastras that Sri Ksetra, or Jagannatha Puri, is eternally manifest in this holy place and that all benefits one can attain by visiting Jagannatha Puri may be achieved by visiting the Sri Jagannatha Mandir in Rajapur.”
“They have nice prasadam down there.”
This story was told by His Holiness Jayapataka Maharaja. When ISKCON was first given this temple and land, there were many joint owners and most of them had already signed it over to us. However, Jayapataka Maharaja stressed that he didn’t want full worship to begin until the remaining persons had signed the deeds. Unknown to him, the pujari was already offering bhoga that had been brought up from Radha Madhava’s kitchen in Mayapur. So upon hearing this instruction, he stopped the offerings. But that night he dreamed that when he was going to wake the Deities, he found They were not there-they were gone! Frantically running outside he spotted them walking across the fields. “Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra!” he shouted, “Where are You going?”
“You are not feeding us, so we are going to Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir,” They replied. “They have nice prasadam down there. Lot’s of prasadam.”
Of course when Jayapataka Maharaja heard about this dream he said, “I didn’t know that you were already making offerings otherwise I never would have told you to stop. I just wanted to make sure the temple was ISKCON’s before establishing a high standard of worship, but now immediately continu the offerings.”
Now we are feeding Lord Jagannatha very opulently with over twenty items for raja bhoga, so we hope He is satisfied and will never leave.
Many years ago, there was an English devotee, Gaura Hari Dasa living here. After one Snana-yatra festival, after everyone had left, they closed the temple, but from inside the closed altar Gaura Hari heard what sounded like someone sneezing. “Oh no!” he thought; “I must be imagining this!” Then again it came, loud and clear: “Ahhh-chuuh!!”
So it’s confirmed: Jagannatha does catch cold.
A long time devotee of ISKCON Mayapur, recalls how one time, while returning from Krsnanagar, he felt a burning desire for Lord Jagannatha’s darSana, which he admitted was unusual for him. He told the driver of the car to drive there quickly as it was almost one o’clock-closing time.
As fate would have it he arrived just as the pujari was locking the temple door. Looking at the pujari and then at the door and back to the pujari he asked in a half expectant voice, “Is it possible to have darSana of their Lords?”
“Yes,” replied the pujari as he turned and headed for his room. “Come at four o’clock”.
Feeling disappointed, he thought, “Well, maybe I can see Them through the cracks in the door.” (This incident took place before the present temple had been constructed and the previous temple was quite dilapidated). Save for the glint of some jewelry, the Deities were quite indistinguishable in Their dark room. He tried the wooden windows, but they too were locked. Lying on the ground, he tried to see beneath the doors. For fifteen minutes he was trying, but to no avail. Finally he gave up and walked away despondently. A creaking sound made him turn his head, only to see the temple window swinging open. He rushed back to the windows, where daylight flooded into the altar, illuminating the Deities. Jagannatha’s fortunate devotee was awarded darSana to his full satisfaction.
Some years ago, Hrday, the eldest son of Prangopal Prabhu (Lord Jagannatha’s cook), became so sick that when his father tried to admit him to the local hospital, the doctors told him that the boy was dying and there was no use admitting him. They told Prangopal to either take him home or to Calcutta. Prangopal replied that if the boy was going to die, then better he dies here as they couldn’t afford to take him to Calcutta anyway. Reluctantly, the doctors admitted Hrday.
After admitting his son, Prangopal came to temple, cooked for Lord Jagannatha, took some caranamrta, tulasi leaves, and flowers from Jagannatha’s lotus feet, and prayed to Him, “If at all my son has to die in the hospital, at least give him some good destination.” He then returned to the hospital and without anybody’s knowledge, put the flowers and tulasi under Hrday’s pillow and gave him caranamrta. The next day when Prangopal went to the hospital, he found Hrday healthy. The doctors told him that it was a miraculous recovery and he could take his son back soon. By Jagannatha’s mercy, Prangopal Prabhu brought his healthy son back home the next morning.