KATHANUBHUTIRE SRI JAGANNATHA – Book Review
|Book Name: Kathnubhutire Sri Jagannatha
Written by: Sri Rabindra Narayan Mishra
First Edition: Snana Purnima, 1992
Second Edition: Kartika Purnima, 1993
Third Edition: Chaitra Purnima, 1996
Fourth Edition: Ram Nabami, 2000
Fifth Edition: Rathyatra, 2001
Sixth Edition: Dussehra, 2003
Seventh Edition: Rakshi Purnima, 2005
Price: Rs. 80/-
Theme: Each and every Oriya in his daily life is linked with Sri Jagannatha in such a way that he seems to be the real head of the family of all. We invite Sri Jagannatha first through letter for the purpose of marriage, bratopanyan ceremonies etc. It is said that without his blessings no such ceremonies can be successfully conducted. We start our journey after praying him. His ‘Nirmalya’ and ‘Mahaprasad’ are needed for many spiritual and religious functions. It is the ultimate wish of all Oriyas to taste ‘Nirmalya’ at the time of death. SriJagannatha is not only our ‘Home God’ but he is also ‘Param Brahma’ and ‘Purushottama’. He is accepted universally. Apart from all these, there are some festivals like Odhan-Shasthi, Rekha- Panchami, Satapuri-Amabasya, Akhaya-Trutiya, Chitalagi-Amabasya etc. which come into Sri Jagannatha Culture and are specially conducted for him.
It is needless to say about Sri Jaganntha’s love and affection towards his servants. Let’s give an example in this context. We know that the name of the first naibedya or bhoga in Sri Mandir is ‘Gopala Ballabha’. This special breakfast bhoga is offered to Prabhu in the forms of sweets like kora, khai, peda, sara, labani, fruits etc. It doesn’t contain any cooked food. There is a custom in Sri Mandir that before offering this naibedya to Sri Jaganntha, rather it is offered to Jay and Bijay (Srimandir’s gate keepers) first. These two gate keepers of Prabhu are worshipped first by the priests. After that ‘Surya Puja’ is conducted in Sri Mandir and later Sri Jagannath receives the naibedya. Has anyone ever seen such a merciful Lord? After feeding the servants, he takes his breakfast. We don’t care for our family sometimes. So, there is no issue of loving servants come out in our case. We eat delicious food and forget them. We even don’t regret for ignoring them. But the Lord of the whole universe Sri Jagannath never forgets his gate keepers even. However, his greatness can never be expressed in words. It can be experienced only.
The list of Sri Jagannath’s greatness is really a never-ending notebook. There is no God like him who forgets and forgives the sinners so easily. All servants in Sri Mandir know that Mahaprabhu (addressed by the servants) will certainly forgive them if they commit any mistake. So, they take the name of Sri Jagannath while abusing somebody on spiritual grounds. But they never bring Bada Thakur’s name (Lord Balabhadra is addressed by Bada Thakur in Sri Mansur) to these controversies. According to them, there is no word like ‘forgive’ in Lord Balabhadra’s dictionary. So, the people who say lie are always afraid of Lord Balabhadra. But they believe that Sri Jagannatha can forgive and excuse for such lies. Our mythology also says that Sr iJagannatha is the symbol of forgive whereas Lord Balabhadra is the symbol of anger.
The author of this book feels himself proud and lucky to work in Sri Mandir Administration for several years. There is also a story behind his service under Sri Jagannatha. In 1980, on a black date of his life path, he lost his two sons in an accident. They were 13 and 12 years of old respectively. After facing such an incident in life, how parents would react- everybody can understand. The memories of the boys have made their mother partially mad. Even if she knew the fact, still her motherhood could not accept that. She started searching the boys inside and outside. Situation became worse day by day. The author even failed to bring his wife to normal condition. He had a happy family of 5 members- the author, his wife and 3 sons. His youngest son was only 9 years old at that time. He was told by his father that his brothers were in heaven. Sometimes he was looking at the sky if he could see his brothers moving there. But the sky offered him non-stopped tears and tears only. Days were moving on. Though sorrows and pains were ruling allover the author’s family, he was passing the life path with his wife and youngest son. Finally, a time had arrived when his wife came to normal condition. She tried to accept the changes and started worshipping SriJ agannatha more and more. She dedicated herself totally to Mahaprabhu. Surprisingly, one day the author was appointed as Assistant Manager of Sri Mandir. He thinks it was the result of his wife’s dedication to Mahaprabhu. Gradually, his family could revive from the mishap in the passage of time. The author kept himself busy in the management of Sri Mandir. He became the witness of many strange experiences there. Though the experiences were seem to be unbelievable, but they were true and the author could feel the invisible presence of Sri Jagannatha around him.
However, the author is telling his strange experiences in the book ‘Kathanubhutire SriJagannatha’ which he had collected during his stay in Srikshetra Puri. Many characters came in his life drama and made him to feel the presence of Mahaprabhu. Modern atheists may not believe, but this is true. The author has quoted his experiences in the forms of 11 stories in this book. These stories have been published at different times in ‘SRIMANDIR’ , the in-house journal of SriJagannath Temple, Puri. They have been widely appreciated and now also the author has been asked whether the stories are real or imaginary. He is also questioned sometimes, “did you see the characters of such stories really?” or “where is the main character of the story ‘Priyatama’?” or “is the story of Shabnam true?” etc. etc.
We believe that the readers will be curious to experiment the authenticity of the characters after reading the stories. However, the author has requested not to ask him about the truthfulness of the characters because he had developed very intimate and personal relationship with those characters. These source persons also want to hide themselves for several reasons. The author further tells if MahaPrabhu wants and shows his mercy, then the curious readers must come to identify the mentioned characters in the book. Each and every devotee is loved by MahaPrabhu. He will do well with all.
Finally, we request the readers to collect this book and feel the presence of Sri Jagannatha. We will further say, the stories in this book are based on truth and reality.