to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga
from Kolkata on the return of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math's Puri Pilgrimage,
Deep in the forest of Mount Neela there was a legendary Deity of Sri Neela Madhab that was worshiped by a tribal chief named Viswavasu. Viswavasu never allowed anyone to know the location of this vigraha that was said to have the blinding brightness of a blue jewel. The news of this mysterious Deity made its way to a great king of the time named Indradyumna who then very much wanted to worship this Deity and take darshan. So he sent a Brahmin priest by the name of Vidyapati to locate the Deity, but after many attempts he failed to locate the site of Neela Mandhab.
Eventually the Brahmin Vidyapati managed to marry the tribal chiefs daughter whose name was Lalita. Now being a member of the family Vidyapati repeatedly asked his father-in-law to take him to have darshan of this sublime form of the Lord. Finally Viswavasu conceded to take him blindfolded so as not to reveal the way.
Vidyapati remembering King Indradyumnas request cleverly dropped mustard seeds along the way. Later Vidyapati, following the sprouted mustard seeds finally found the location of the vigraha, and informed king Indradyumna of the whereabouts of Neela Madhab. Consequently the king made his way to the site, but to his great disappointment it had been hidden in the sand.
Determined to take darshan the King commenced a fatal fast until death. Whereupon after some time he heard a celestial voice cry out "you shall see Him." The king then performed a great horse sacrifice and built a glorious Temple for the Lord Vishnu in which Narada installed a murti of Nrsimha. Later in the kings sleep he had a divine vision where the Lord instructed him to go to the seashore of Puri to find a sacred log that was to be carved and installed as Lord Jagannath, Balabadra and Subhadra.
Srila Govinda Maharaj also quoted in relation to this article, the first verse of Sri Bramha Samhita:
paramah krsnah saccidananda vigrahah
Translation: The Supreme Lord, the embodiment of Truth, Consciousness and Joy, is Govinda Krishna. He is beginningless, the origin of all that be, and the cause of all causes.
Lord Jagannath is none other than Sri Krsna himself. Jagannath or Jagarnaut means universal and as Krishna states Himself all through chapter ten of Sri Bhagavad-gita: "My expansions are innumerable." Therefore Sri Jagannath is not just another form of Sri Visnu but is the absolute all-encompassing form of Sri Krishna.
Jai Jagannath, Jai Gurudev!
researched and compiled by Tusta Krishna Prabhu of Australia,