Juggernaut

 

There is a very good historic reason for the name Juggernaut being linked to the Lord Jaggan-Nathji.

The temple in Puri does not allow non-Hindus into the sacred precinct. Having suffered attacks on 18 different occasions, and being looted by non-Hindus for it's wealth, temple refuses to allow non-Hindus into it's precincts. As a result, the only times a foreigner could "see" the deity was during the chariot festival. The British / French and Portuguese who first came to the Eastern shore of India were fascinated by the culture there, but found it impossible to get admission into the temples. The only times they could see the sacred deities was during their "festival trips". Special platforms were sometimes created by the foreigners to facilitate a "view" of the sacred precinct. But ofcourse, the best time to get a real and close up view of the Gods and their exotic rituals was during the biggest "outing" - the Chariot festival.

Since that time, the Lord of Puri and his chariot festival have become synonymous with each other - the British had no concept of the Lord and his festival and his chariot being different entities. They found the "heathen" names "unpronounceable" and their rituals fascinatingly "pagan" - hence they saw no reason to dwell deep enough to find the details. To them, the chariot of the Lord JagganNath was the Juggernaut - the biggest thing on wheels they (British / Europeans) had encountered. Hence all large moving vehicles came to be called Juggernaut.

The Deity of JagganNathji is also a very large deity (physically) and compared to many other temple deities they encountered, this was the biggest - one more reason for them to assume that JagganNath was the biggest deity in the country.

Ofcourse, bigger deities had their "Uttasav Swarupas" that went out on the "outings" and as a consequence, these special icons were smaller represententes of their bigger versions in the inner sanctum. Having never seen the original deity, the British could only assume that the deity in the festival parade was "THE" deity of the inner sanctum.

In the case of the Lord of Puri, this was not the case - at least not at the summer festival when he went on his annual holiday. Hence the association of all large religious objects - temples, chariots, deities, number of temple servants, wealth/ income of the temple etc was associated with Lord JagganNathji.

Click here to see the picture of the Ratha Yatra, with the chariots awaiting at the main gate of the temple.

b-ratha.jpg (2463 bytes)

Some interesting videos of rituals at Puri

Ratha Yatra of the Lord of Puri

Suvarna Vesh of Shri Jaggan-Nathji on the last day of the Ratha Yatra (commentary in Oriya)

Ratha Yatra and Suvarna-Vesh (golden attire) of the Lord on His return to the inner temple (commentary in Hindi)

Gallery of the Lord Shri JagganNathji in His various festive attire.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madala_Panji  Chronicles of Jagganath temple

 

 

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