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Home > Gods and Goddess > Lord Jagannath
Lord Jagannath
Sri Jagannath (Lord of the World) is an `Avatar` or incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the second in the Holy Hindu Trinity of Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwar).Lord Jagannath The Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa, is dedicated to Him. It is one of the four Holy `Dhamas` of India including temples at Rameshwaram, Dwaraka, and Badrinath. The Jagannath idol is black in color and lacks proper arms. He is worshipped along with His brother Balabhadra and sister Suvadra.

The legendary account of Jagannath`s creation as mentioned in the `Skanda Purana`, `Brahma Purana` and other Puranas, and later in other Oriya works, state that originally Jagannath Dev was worshipped as Neel Madhab by Viswavasu, a Savar King (Tribal Chief). Having heard of the deity, King Indradyumna of Kalinga, sent a brahmin, Bidyapati, to locate the deity.

After much toil and tactic, Vidyapati succeeded in locating Neel Madhab. However Indradyumna failed to catch a glimpse of the deity. However, the King`s determination to have a glimpse of the deity was rewarded by the Gods with an oracular dream in which he was instructed to worship Jagannath Dev - an Incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was asked to build the idol with a piece of Neem wood that would be found at theseashore. True to the prophecy, the King found the neem wood at the seashore and requested Lord Vishwakarma, the heavenly mason, to model the Jagannath idol. Vishwakarma accepted the offer only under one condition, that nobody should disturb him or a steal a look until he had finished doing his work.

The King promised to follow His wishes and Vishwakarma began modeling the Jagannath idol. However, curiosity being an irresistible urge, the King could not help stealing a glance at Vishwakarma`s studio. The idol was still incomplete and Vishwakarma was infuriated. At that time all except the arms of the deities were finished. Vishwakarma, exasperated at the King`s audacity, left without completing His work. Thus came Lord Jagannath with his incomplete limbs, His brother Balabhadra and Sister Subhadra. The three deities were installed in the temple of Puri.

The Annual Rathayatra festival is the high point of all the Festivals celebrated. Millions of devotees from every corner of the world gather round the temple during the `Ratha Yatra` festival of Sri Jagannath.Lord Jagannath As the legend goes, every year Lord Jagannath, accompanied by His brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra leaves the temple to visit His aunt. The three of them are pulled in huge stringed chariots (Rathas) and the King of Puri himself sweeps the roads with a golden broom for the Lord of the World to pass. It is believed that observing the Ratha Yatra and pulling at the ropes of the chariot leads one to salvation from the cycle of birth and date.
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