Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadevera Mandira 
(The Temple of Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadeva)

Vaiṣṇavera Svarūpa u Taṭastha LakṣaṇaVaiṣṇavera Svarūpa u Taṭastha Lakṣaṇa (The Natural and Marginal Characteristics of a Vaiṣṇava)
Śrī-Dayānanda-Sarasvatī-and-the-Tantra-ŚāstraŚrī Dayānanda Sarasvatī u Tantra Śāstra (Śrī Dayānanda Sarasvatī and the Tantra Śāstra)

In this brief article, ‘Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadevera Mandira 
(The Temple of Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadeva), published in Sajjana Toṣaṇi, Vol.4, Issue 2 in 1892, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura gives a short history of the temple of Jagannātha in Purī. He then goes on to explain the poor condition of the temple premises and requests the rich people of Bengal to generously donate towards the cause.

Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadevera Mandira
(The Temple of Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadeva)

 

by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura
(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)

In the state of Orissa, in Puruṣottama-kṣetra, on the shore of the ocean, the holy temple of Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadeva has been present for a very long time. The worship of Bhagavān there is most blissful. There is no doubt that all the fortunate Āryan people who have gone to Śrī Puruṣottama-kṣetra have been delighted to have darśana of Śrī Jagannāthadeva’s līlā. The greatness of this tīrtha has been glorified in many places in purāṇika history. In the text of the kṣetra-māhātmya it states that in the Satya-yuga, during the reign of King Indradyumna, the līlā-vigraha of Śrī Jagannāthadeva manifest. During their time, Śrī Śaṅkarācārya, Śrī Rāmānujācāra and other great mahātmās took darśana of Śrī Jagannātha in Puruṣottama-kṣetra. Śrī Caitanyadeva, the avatāra who is the saviour of Kali-yuga, resided in this kṣetra for eighteen years in order to save the jīvas of Kali-yuga. Śrī Puruṣottama is the primary kṣetra in Bhārata-varṣa and there can be no doubt about this.

The holy temple of Śrī Jagannātha is the oldest and largest temple in India. The present temple is said to have been built during the reign of King Anaṅga-bhīmadeva, according to rumours circulating in Orissa. Even so, there can be no doubt that the temple has been established for almost a thousand years. Those who have seen the size and beauty of the temple can understand this. It is difficult to describe to those who have not seen it. The temple of Śrī Jagannāthadeva is not only the pride of our brothers residing in Utkala (Orissa) – it is the pride of the whole of Bhārata-varṣa. In this tumultuous age of Kali, Śrī Gaṅgā Devī, Śrī Hari-nāma and the Deity of Śrī Jagannāthadeva are the main wealth of the Āryan people.

The unfortunate thing is that nowadays, the temple is in a dilapidated condition due to lack of renovations. Many surrounding shrines are falling apart. Many of the doors, steps and stages are in disrepair. The ever-memorable Ranjit Singh and Brahmācarī Mahāśaya have made the world indebted to them by renovating the east and south gates of the temple. It will be a matter of great concern if the temple is not renovated soon. A few mahātmās from Utkala and Bengal of Āryan descent have come together and decided to renovate the temple. They are indeed blessed, for those who try to perform service to Śrī Jagannāthadeva are not ordinary human beings. They have shown that if there is three lakhs, the work will go smoothly. Through their endeavours, a lakh has been collected from the wealthy devotees of Utkala and important gentlemen of Bengal. Two lakhs are still required.

O Āryan kings, mahārājas and noble rich people! You are shining like stars in the sky of Bhārata at this time. If you have a little mercy, two lakhs will be collected in a very short time. There is no time to be complacent. Donate as much as you can, perform your duty and benefit the jīvas of this world. Money does not last forever. The money that can be used in the service of Bhagavān is eternal and inexhaustible wealth. If you give even a little glance, such a big task will happen. I am grateful to you and by offering this prayer, I feel some relief. The best of devotees, the honourable Śrīyukta Harivallabha Vasu and the honourable Śrīyukta Balarāma Mallika have taken the responsibility of this great work. Monetary donations will be sent to them in the city of Cuttack.

(”Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadevera Mandira”  – The Temple of Śrī Śrī Jagannāthadeva – was published in Sajjana Toṣaṇi, Vol.4, Issue 2 in 1892, and translated into English by Swami B.V. Giri)
Vaiṣṇavera Svarūpa u Taṭastha LakṣaṇaVaiṣṇavera Svarūpa u Taṭastha Lakṣaṇa (The Natural and Marginal Characteristics of a Vaiṣṇava)
Śrī-Dayānanda-Sarasvatī-and-the-Tantra-ŚāstraŚrī Dayānanda Sarasvatī u Tantra Śāstra (Śrī Dayānanda Sarasvatī and the Tantra Śāstra)

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