Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Legends are the most misguiding mischief aimed at superimposing lies on reality so that indigenous people of an occupied land are kept too dazzled to see the dark face of the rulers and the class of exploiters can keep its victims subjugated to its authority, while forcing them to forget the heroic history of evolution of their own philosophy of life, their own splendid spiritual realizations, their own socio-economic uniqueness, their own ancient culture, their own valorous past, their own way of social integration and their own civilization.
We see this mischief galore in the context of Navakalevara of SriJagannatha.
So, here, we are to rip apart the legends and bring the reality of the Navakalevara to light, as thereby alone we can reach the lost uniqueness of the people of Orissa.
We will use Puri Sankaracharya’s self-proclaimed authority over Navakalevara to proceed with our purpose.
Sankaracharya Vis a Vis SriJagannatha
The Sankaracharya of Puri has again shouted before the Press that neither the Government of Orissa nor the Temple administration is consulting him or taking his advice in matter of Navakalevara of SriJagannatha. His claim has been rejected by the ‘family of Jagannatha’ – the Daitas – and fully endorsed by the people of Orissa.
History of Jagannatha is a history of fight of the people of Orissa against Sankaracharyan mischief since the time of the Adi Sankara (788-820 AD).
Many of the present generation might not be knowing that, to save Oriya uniqueness, their ancestors had fought a consistent battle for about a thousand years to protect SriJagannatha from the evil design of Adi Sankara and his chela (disciple) Sankaras.
Final victory had come to people of Orissa when Gajapati Dibyasingh Dev (1793-98) terminated Sankarachatya’s connection with SriMandira and kept his eyes closed when the agitating masses deracinated his and his first chela Padmapada’s statues arbitrarily planted by the Vedic chauvinists on the Ratnasinghasana of SriJagannatha to compel the people to accept the authority of Sankaracharya over Jagannatha system and transformation of Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu.
The people of Orissa, at the summit of their revolution against this mischief, not only pulled out the statues of Sankara and Padmapada from the RatnaSinghasana, but also had destroyed them to dust.
This historic act of the people of Orissa has no similitude in India. But the Government is trying to keep it hidden from the people of present generation, because it is dominated by fellows who want the real cult of Jagannatha stay buried under concocted legends.
Let us see why the ancestors of the present Oriya race were so much against Adi Sankara and his chela Sankara and why the Daitas opposed the incumbent Sankaracharya’s attempts to enter into Jagannatha system when the State is waiting agog for the Navakalevara.
Sankaracharya is Anti-Jagannatha
Sankaracharya stands for caste supremacist socio-political system, whereas SriJagannatha is meant to wipe out the system of caste apartheid. Sankaracharya stands for philosophy of inequality, whereas SriJagannatha stands for equality in the society. Sankaracharya stands for caste-exploitation, whereas SriJagannatha is Patita Pavana (extinguisher of caste-exploitation). Therefore, the people of Orissa had dismissed his predecessors including his sect’s founder from having any role in matters of SriJagannatha. To Oriyas, conscious of their tradition and glorious past, Sankaracharya is anti-Jagannatha.
Buddha is Jagannatha
People of Orissa, under the guidance of their beloved Siddhacharya from Sambalpur – known as the chief of Uddiyan, Acharya Indrabhuti – had accepted Buddha as Jagannatha.
Therefore, when the famous Sahajia Buddhist Sri Jaya Dev (Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha, Bharata Bharati, Cuttack, 2005) prefaced his Asthapadi love lyrics with the ten stages of evolution of social order, just before the final exterminator of tyranny – Kalki – was invoked, he propitiated Buddha as the last epitome of mercy and peace. This Buddha, to people of Orissa, is Jagannatha.
Like the Vedic fanatics have made Buddha a Hindu Avatar, they have converted Sri Jaya Dev to a Hindu Baisnav, unable as they were to counter Buddhism, and to snatch off the link of Buddhist Vajrayan and Sahajayan with SriJagannatha and to diminish the universal relevance thereof to philosophy of life.
In Dasavatara Stuti, Sri Jaya Dev has shown that if cruelty perpetrated by Vedic fanatics, such as annihilation of the innocent ones under the guise of sacrificial rites, does not end, those ‘Mlechha’ – the condemnable class that ritualizes Veda – must be exterminated as speedily as possible, which is suggested by description of Kalki (the last incarnation meaning the last hope of tortured masses) charging on a horse (symbol of speed) with sword (symbol of valor) in hand.
It was so appropriate that when the people of Orissa addressed their creative geniuses to engrave the ten Avatars (stages of evolution of Kalki the exterminator of tyrants) on Dasavatara stone-plate, SriJagannatha was sculptured in the place of Buddha, because the people of Orissa knew that Buddha of their soil was SriJagannatha.
Eminent poets of Orissa, whose works, even though epics in style, are viewed as repositories of the history of Orissa in the field of socio-philosophic and politico-economic developments, have described Jagannatha as Buddha. For ready reference, we may cite a few such works:
DaruBrahma Gita says, “Bauddha Rupa Heva Jani / Pada Pani Chhadile Gosani” meaning, the eternal mother who is SriJagannatha, jettisoned feet and hands, because she is to become Buddha. Needless to say that Gosani means the supreme mother. So, here, Jagannatha is the embodiment of the supreme mother epitomizing the matriarch benevolence of Buddha. After demise of Buddha, he became omnipresent, as limitless as the sky (the void) – Gaganopama – as Indrabhuti, the founder of SriJagannatha, has described Buddha in Jnanasiddhi.
The sky has no legs and no hands. Therefore, Daru Brahma Gita says, SriJagannatha has no legs, no hands.
Carriers of Buddhist outlook in Orissa, who were ruling over the spiritual minds of the masses, have described Buddha as the void (Shunya Dehi) and delivered dictum of Bouddha Tantra in effective popular verses, to which non-Buddhists were unable to counter. We may go through some.
In Brahmanda Bhugola, Balarama Das has said, “Shunya Purusa Shunya Dehi / Shunyare Brahma Sina Thai//” meaning, the Supreme Being is void, in the void stays the Supreme Being.
In Premabhakti Brahma Gita, Yasovanta Das has written, “Ye Shunya Pare Jyoti Jana / Ta pare Mahashunya Puna // Se Shunya Upare Chetana / Chetana Madhye Mora Thana //”, which means, the Supreme Being lives in consciousness atop the great void below which the stars stay.
In Shunya Samhita, Achutananda has revealed: “Shunya Purusa Dayalu Atai / Shunya Purusa Sarva Ghate Rahi //” meaning Dayalu (Buddha, whom Sri Jaya Dev has described as Sadaya Hrudaya) is void and void picks up every shape.
So, Buddha, after his demise, became all pervasive as the void to his theological followers. Void is dark and therefore, when he became SriJagannatha, his color became black, representing the void. Keeping this in mind, acclaimed epic writers of Orissa described Jagannatha as Buddha.
In Deula Tola , SriJagannatha refrains the King from worshiping Him in any form other than Buddha: “Thakure Boile Raja Hoilu Ki Bai, Kali Juge Basibum Buddha Rupa Hoi”.
In Shunya Samhita , the Supreme Creator revealed to Achyuta that in the era of Kali, Buddha would be He (SriJagannatha): “Boile Achyuta Tumbhe Shuna Ambha Vani / Kali Yuge Buddha Rupe Prakashibu Puni”.
In Sabha Parva of his Mahabharata, the great Sarala Das has said that, in Kali – the era of sin, Buddha becomes Jagannatha to save the people of the world from degradation: “Samsara Janamku Tariba Nimante / Buddha Rupare Bije Achha Jagannathae”.
Thus, what the founder of Vajrayan school of Buddhism – Indrabhuti – has said in propitiating Buddha as Jagannatha in his scripture Jnanasiddhi, has also been said by Orissa’s eminent epic writers of later period even though they do not discernibly belong to the school of Vajrayana.
I think no further elaboration in this presentation is needed to show how SriJagannatha is Buddha, though I am yet tempted to point out a peculiarity that no other God, I repeat, no other God except SriJagannatha is called Buddha in Oriya.
This is because, to our forefathers, Buddha was Jagannatha and Jagannatha was Buddha.
Sankaracharyan mischief has changed Indrabhuti to Indradyumna and changed Buddha’s greatest followers of Kuruma and Kurmapatakapur to Kurma (turtles) of Narandra Pusharani Under loads of concocted legends to show Jagannatha as Vishnu. Despite this mischief, because of the Daitas, Jagannatha has remained Buddha.
Buddha’s emergence as God: Footprints of history
Buddha, son of the soil of Orissa, was the most revered leader of the masses. By restricting Vedic empire at Magadha in northern India, he had saved the agrarian tribal democracies of Orissa.
When Magadh annexed Anga, foreseeing the threat to Orissa’s agrarian tribal democracies from the aggressively expanding Vedic imperialism, Buddha had rushed from his birthplace near Bhubaneswar to Rajgriha and had prevailed upon Bimbisara to stop empire expansion, while organizing the tribes such as the Vajjians to resist the patriarch autocracy. Buddha had told Bimbisara that from near the Dhauli Giri (“Hemavantassa passato”), from Tosala, the land of affluence and valor, (“Dhana viriyena sampanno Tosalesu”, he had come straight to him.
Bimbisara had heard him and honored his advice and had stopped empire building. Thus, in other words, he had brought Vedic imperialism to a halt.
Vedic imperialism means Empire of Brahmanism that had stopped because of Buddha. That was not tolerable to Brahmins, the highest beneficiaries of Vedic religion. So, they cultivated Ajatasattu to revolt against his father. Bimbisara was dethroned, put to house-arrest and the empire had come to hands of Ajatasattu.
But despite that, expansion of empire could not be possible because of Buddha. He had fortified the Vajjian tribes in pattern of Orissa’s tribal democracies and had made them invincible.
So Ajatasattu had to depute his Brahmin minister Bassakar to Buddha who was camping near Rajagriha on the hill known as Vulture’s peak. It is interesting to note, while telling Bassakar what message he was to deliver to Buddha, Ajatasattu had asked him to tell Buddha that he was delivering the message of “Ajatasattu, son of Videhi”. By preferring to be introduced as “son of Videhi”, Ajatasattu had indicated that he was well aware of Buddha’s support to matriarchy. In fact, matriarchy was the common bond between Buddha and Tribal democracies. And, this was a major cause of antagonism of Brahmins towards Buddha.
On going back to that period, we see Ajatasattu’s Brahmin Prime Minister Bassakar went to Buddha with assertive authority, conveyed him the message of the emperor and urged upon him to abandon the Vajjians, as Magadha was determined to annex their territories for expansion of the empire.
Ignoring him, Buddha had asked venerable Ananda, who was standing behind him and fanning him at that time, “Have you heard Ananda that the Vajjians foregather often and frequent the public meetings of their clan?” “Lord, so I have heard”, replied he. “So long, Ananda”, rejoined Buddha, “as the Vajjians foregather thus often, and frequent the public meetings of their clan; so long may they be expected not to decline, but to prosper”( ‘Dialogues of the Buddha’ T.W.R. Rhys Davids, London(1910)-Vol-ii (78-80). The message was unambiguous. Ajatasattu did not dare to attack the Vajjians during life time of Buddha as well as his own.
Buddha’s impact was such that, the Haryanka dynasty to which Ajatasattu belonged collapsed, but could not carry out the threat to demolish the tribal democracies by hook or by crook.
Buddha’s influence, even after his death, was so enormous that, Kakavarman of the succeeding Saisunaga dynasty sponsored the second Buddhist Council at Vaisali. He was killed by Vedic chauvinists that founded the Nanda dynasty. This dynasty had warriors like Mahapadma of whom mention has been made in Kharavela’s Hatigumpha inscription at Khandagiri, Bhubaneswar. Yet, till Asoka the wicked of the Maurya dynasty, whose source of inspiration was Chanakya the strong champion of Brahminism, Magadh Empire had not dared to attack the Tosala region of Orissa.
Thus, Buddha had been unanimously accepted by the Oriya tribes as their greatest protector of divine prowess, their God.
Therefore, when Asoka attacked Orissa, his attack was on the Dhauli Giri region where Buddha was born and this is why the Oriya tribes had faced his attack at the foot of the Dhauli Giri on the banks of river Daya, so named after Buddha’s personality of mercifulness (Daya) and this is why the Kalinga war was held between Asoka and the people of Orissa, no king.
People took their victory over Asoka as Buddha’s mercy (Daya) and in their hearts Buddha the merciful continued to rule as their God.
Significance of the war at Dhauli
The Kalinga war was held only at Dhauli Giri, nowhere else.
This makes it clear that Ashoka’s attack on Kalinga was meant to obliterate Buddha as the God the Oriya tribes and to desecrate his sacred birthplace near Dhauli Giri so that the fountainhead of Buddhism would dry out.
To understand the modus operandi of Asoka, it would be helpful to know, what Chanakya, the real spirit behind Maurya Empire, had said about what a king should be. We get glimpses of it from ‘Mauryan Empire in India’ where Chanakya has been quoted to have said that, the king should be an autocrat and he should concentrate all powers into his own hands. He should enjoy unrestricted authority over his realm. But at the same time, he should give honor to the Brahmins and seek advice from them to run the State.
Thus it is clear that, Asoka had attacked Orissa in order to promulgate autocratic rule in obliteration of tribal democracies and to establish the hegemony of Brahmins, as contemplated by Chanakya, over the society for which it was necessary to eliminate Buddha’s birthplace, as birthplace of the Guru is the most sacred to the disciples and followers and considered fountainhead of the ism he propounded. In fact, it is ordained in Buddhist canons that every Buddhist, during his / her lifetime, must pay a visit to Buddha’s birthplace even for once. The wicked Asoka (Chandashoka) had wanted to eliminate the birthplace of Buddha for which he had attacked Kalinga. Destruction of the birthplace of Buddha near Dhauli was essential for the Empire of Brahmanism, because that was the fountainhead of Buddhism, the strongest barrier to Brahmanism.
Attempt to duplicate Buddha’s birthplace
After he fled away from Dhauli, unable to eliminate Buddha’s birthplace, probably he himself or the agents of Brahminism under his patronage had erected a forged pillar in Tarai region of Nepal to project that as Buddha’s birthplace, in order to misguide the Buddhists.
The Tarai claim is convincingly rejected by Pt. Chakradhar Mohapatra in his epoch making book ‘The Real Birthplace of Buddha’ (Grantha Mandir, Cuttack, 1977). The entire book is full of geographical and scriptural evidences against the forged pillar at the concocted place of Rummindei and in support of Mohapatra’s conclusion that the present day Kapileswar in the Dhauli-Chandaka region was the ancient Kapilavastu, where Buddha was born and where, years after the Kalinga war, Asoka, by then a Buddhist, had erected the souvenir pillar of Buddha’s birthplace in that village.
In preface to this masterly documented book of Mohapatra, Prof. A. L. Basham, the most celebrated author of ‘The Wonder that was India’ has said, “It has long been taken for granted that Kapilavastu, the chief city of the Sakyas, and Lumbini, the actual birthplace of the teacher, were situated in the Nepalese Tarai. The main basis of this belief is the inscribed pillar of Rumminidei, recording the visit of the emperor Asoka, to the place where Buddha was born. It was little known that the same fact in similar words and script existed at Orissa”.
Mohapatra has proved that the inscribed pillar in Nepalese Tarai is a forged one.
No Buddist scholar has countered Mahapatra’s claim.
Even the great scholar of Asian Civilizations, Prof. Basham, who wrote this preface on 1 May 1972, has not challenged the proofs of Buddha’s birthplace in Orissa, rendered by Mohapatra, so far.
Thus, we reiterate that, the Rumminidei (Nepal) pillar is a forged pillar which was erected in that jungle to mislead the later generation Buddhists in matter of Buddha’s birthplace and change Orissa from being the fountainhead of Buddhism, after people of Orissa had thrashed the wicked Asoka of Magadha who had attacked Orissa’s Dhauli region to destroy the place of origin of Buddhism.
Buddhist Oriyas vanquished Asoka
The Buddhist tribal democracies (Gana Rajyas) of Orissa had not allowed him to do that. Their valiant resistance to Asoka under the Dhauli Giri, famous as Kalinga war, had forced Asoka to flee with his life by getting initiated into Buddhism to destroy the fountainhead of which he had tried to attack Kapilavastu of Tosala, where Buddha was born.
That, Asoka won the Kalinga war and seeing the colossal loss of life his heart melted into compassion and he initiated himself to Buddhism are all blatant lies created by Asoka and his Vedic allies as they were literate and able to write whatever they liked, whereas Oriya Gana Rajyas comprised of illiterate tribes whom writing the history of their victory over Asoka was an impossibility.
This is why the history of the birth of Buddha in Kapilavastu region of Orissa has been lost to Orissa.
Kapilavastu literally means soil of reddish color. The soil of the area, which we claimed to be Buddha’s birthplace, is reddish. There stands even a village in this area which is known as Rangamatia (literally meaning land of reddish soil).
That, Asoka’s aggression was against this particular area at the foot of the Dhauli hill, and the fact that the Buddhist Tribal democracies of Orissa had not allowed him, despite loss of lakhs of their lives, to penetrate into it, is proof of the fact that Buddha, the greatest philosophical obstacle to Brahmanism, was born in the place now known as Kapileswar, as established by the great researcher Chakradhar Mohapatra in Real Birthplace of Buddha.
I have supplemented Mohapatra’s arguments in support of Buddha being an Oriya by birth with my definition of Kapilavastu. I may add a few further inputs to supplement Sri Mohapatra. One is ‘Fire Salute’ to Badabadua before SriMandira in the night of Kali puja.
In the night of Kali Puja (The day of worship devoted to Mother Kali) Oriyas rush to SriKshetra Puri to give ‘fire salute’ to Sri Jagannatha by setting ablaze bunches of Kau’nria (hibicus cannabinus) bundled together.
Bundled Kau’nria symbolizes the strength of togetherness of the masses.
The pith of Kau’nria is so fragile that a little pressure on it by a kid can break it to pieces. But, tied together, a bunch of this pith cannot be broken by a strong man. So, by using tightly tied Kau’nria piths in ‘fire salute’ to Badabadua before Sri Jagannatha, Oriya race has been proudly recalling the effect of their united action against Asoka the wicked.
Why on Kali Puja ‘Fire salute’ is given to Badabadua before Jagannatha? In answer to it lies the key to Orissa’s unrecorded history.
On Kali Puja day, in every Oriya home, the entire family gives ‘fire salutes’ to the ancestors of the maternal side, specifically to the matriarch martyrs who had sacrificed their lives in the Kalinga war to save the birthplace of Buddha from the extremely evil invader Asoka.
The salute is given by invoking the Badabadua literally meaning the greatest amongst the greats, Gurudeb Buddha, worshiped as Sri Jagannatha in Orissa.
Patriotic Oriyas gather in front of the Sri Madira, abode of Sri Jagannatha at Puri on the evening of Kali Puja with Kau’nria sticks bundled together and setting fire thereto raise the flame high while saluting the greatest teacher and his followers that had sacrificed their lives in the Kalinga war with the words, “Badabadua ho! Andharare asi aluare ja, Baisi Pahachare gagagadau tha”. The words are set. The words are the same all these centuries. The words are symbolic. They are as symbolic as burning the bonds of Kau’nria sticks while uttering these words. The words mean, “O Badabadua! When the dark quagmire of religious dogmas surrounded us, you came. You saved us. You ushered in the reign of light. You left only when the light of knowledge illuminated our minds. Whenever the dark dogmas of religions are revived, please repeat the journey! On the Baisi Pahacha of Jagannatha, come cascading to destroy dark dogmas of religion as you had promised, O Supreme Being!”
In fact the bundles of Kau’nria kathi used for the ‘fire salute’ are symbolic of the strength of unity that the Oriya ancestors had shown against Aryan aggressors in the Kalinga war.
Written history rues that it has no records on ancient Orissa except what has been recorded as Kalinga war.
Historians of Orissa shamefully diagnose the period as a void in history sans any serious attempt to find out facts to fill it up.
Durga Saptasati gives the hint
When written history is vitiated with false inputs obtained from braggadocios of Asoka and his allies to make up their defeat in Kalinga war, the missing part of socio-political history of Orissa has a veiled expression in a matriarch scripture like Sri Durga Saptasati where after killing the Mahishasura, the Devi has eventually taken Kali shape and extinguished the gene of the demon to free the people from the perennial threat of tyranny.
In this war against the demons Kali is credited with victory over Chanda (the wicked) and the Mouryas (Stanza 6 of Chapter 8 of Sri Durga Saptasati).
This is symbolic of obliteration of every drop of blood of Raktavirya by the force of Mother Kali who is credited with victory over Chanda and the Mouryas. We can read this Chanda as the well known epithet of Ashoka, and the Mouryas as the soldiers and supporters of Ashoka, who had attacked the matriarch democracies of Orissa to promulgate Brahminism, as per Chanakya’s dictum. We are inclined to make this interpretation because of Kali’s clear declaration that her targets shall always be whosoever adheres to Brahminism. In defining herself she says,
Avatirna Hanisyami Baiprachittansu Danavan //” (SriDurgaSaptashatyam, 11/43)
The plain meaning of this verse is: whenever religious dogma would engulf the society, she shall take birth to extinguish the Baiprachitta Danavas (fanatics of Brahminism).
And, who is this Kali?
She is Jagannatha (Niladrou Sri Jagannatha sakshat Dakshina Kalika: Tara Tantra).
Therefore, in Jagannatha system, caste is irrelevant. And, therefore the Sankarachatya, whose avowed aim is to promulgate Brahmanya Dharma is against Sri Jagannatha.
This is why the Oriyas, proud of their unique heritage, offer ‘fire salute’ to the greatest son of their soil, Buddha, who has become Jagannatha; and to all his followers, who had sacrificed their lives in the Kalinga War while trying to protect Buddhism and to save their soil from Vedic imperialism; and to all their ancestors that had given to them peace and prosperity under benevolent matriarchy, conceived together as Badabadua, in front of the temple of Sri Jagannatha as well as in the north-eastern (Aishanya) corner of their respective residential courtyards in the rising half of the night of Kali Puja. (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha, Bharata Bharati, Gajapati nagar, Sutahat, Cuttack 753001)
Sanatana Dharmists have been trying to impose Diwali on Kali Puja to keep away from minds of modern Oriyas the uniqueness of the ‘fire salute’ heritage. Yet, the ‘fire salute’ before Jagannatha continues to call us to the history of social evolution of Oriyas in course of which Jagannatha has emanated from Buddha and become the synonym of Kali, the extinguisher of devilry that exploit the people under caste-supremacist religious dogmas.
Badabadua of indegenous Oriyas
Badabadua is itself the proof of Buddha being an Oriya, which Mahapatra has perhaps inadvertently failed to mention in his book Real Birthplace of Buddha.
Oriya’s Buddist matriarch heritage is most discernible in Badabadua. When Brahminism became the synonym of administration promulgated by non-Oriya Emperors who run reign of terror, annihilating the Bouddhacharyas and destroying their monasteries, non-Brahmin Oriyas started worshiping Buddha secretly in all their houses. In their every household, in their ‘Handishala’ – the room where the senior most female of the house keeps earthen vessels of cooked rice and into which none but the females permitted by her can enter, a mini Stupa got established in the ‘aishaanya kona’ (the north-eastern corner) where the Sun (Buddha) rises in Orissa. Its name is Badabadua in order to hoodwink the Brahmins and save their own families from the wrath of them, without staying away from their Ista (the master) Buddha. Because Buddha was born in Kapilavastu of Orissa, kapilavastu literally meaning reddish soil, Badabadua is made of reddish soil and if reddish soil is not available in their own area, they import it from wherever it is available.
It is significant that Badabadua – the most important deity of the Household – is not to be found in Thakura Ghara (a room dedicated to deities accepted and worshiped by Brahmins). It is established in the secret Aisanya Kona of the Handishala and worshiped secretly by the GruhaKarttri (reigning lady of the family). The first handful of cooked rice is offered to Badabadua by the house lady in the Handishala itself. This is the strongest proof that Badabadua (greater than the greatest) is Buddha and the real Lord of every Oriya who knows his heritage.
In every non-Brahmin agricultural household, every morning begins with paying obeisance to Badabadua and every evening becomes illuminated with Sandhyadeepa (lamps) offered to Badabadua by the Karttri (most important one amongst the women) to usher in peaceful nights. Every important event of the house takes place by invoking the blessings of Badabadua. Even when a Naba badhu (a new daughter-in-law) comes to the house, she offers her first obeisance to Badabadua, which can be termed as the first Viksha to Gurudev Buddha at the beginning of conjugal life of the bride.
It is noteworthy that there is no Badabadua in any Brahmin family. That the Badabadua represents Buddha and the Buddhist ancestors of Oriya race, who were in opposition to Brahminism, is established by the very fact of absence of Badabadua in Brahmin families in Orissa. Badabadua is greater than the greatest as is SriJagannathaa, So, Buddha is Jagannatha, the Supreme Being.
Sand stupa in Khudurukuni Osa
SriJagannatha’s Navakalevar begins with permission from Mangala in Kakatapur. When to Oriyas, SriJagannatha is SarvaMangala (benevolence in entirety) Magala is SarvaMangalaMangalye (embodiment of all benevolence). So, SriJagannatha is intrinsically linked with Mangala.
Mangala is worshipped in Khudurukuni Osa in the night of Sundays of the month of Bhadra by the nubile Oriya non-Brahmin girls when in the day time the girls take bath in the village tank or stream /river nearby their homes and pay obeisance to a small Stupa they erect with sand and soil on the bank thereof.
Buddha is the Sun in Orissa. He is the Sun for two reasons. He is the brightest person of the Sun clan (Aditya Gotra) about which he had informed, “Adichcha nama Gottena Sakiya nana Jatiya / Tamakula Pabbajitomhi Na kame Abhipatthayam //” (A Sakya by birth, I belong to the Aditya clan). His sword is being worshiped as yet in the ex-State of Narasinghpur, the traditional king of which is Sakya by caste and Aditya by clan. The sword – Prabalayuddha – is now being worshipped as Prabala Devi. Bada Raula, the eldest member of the Narasinghpur royal family, so named by Rahula the son of Buddha, conducts the worship at par with Durgapuja. But no Brahmin is permitted to worship it. Pt. Chakradhar Mohapatra, in ‘Real Birthplace of Buddha, at p.74 reports, “Leave apart worship, even the appearance of the shadow of a Brahmin is also prohibited in this place.” This strict prohibition of Brahmins to the Gupta Puja of the Sword of Buddha is indicative only of the fact that, knowing the Brahmins’ conspiracy against Buddhism, Oriya tribes were keeping them away from intimate worship of Buddha.
Khudurukuni Osa is a great evidence of this. The word Khuduru is Kshudra (small) and Kuni is a derivative of Konakamana, a mini Stupa built by Brahmadatta. It had later had an Asokan edict, in the region of what is now known as Konarka area. Most probably, Konarka has its name from KonaKamana (Konark by Bishan Shwarup, p.31), which, according to some, is a also a synonym of Buddha. When Brahmanyavadi kings like Shasanka and Yajati Keshari et cetera destroyed the Buddhist Stupas and in that process, KonaKamana Stupa bearing synonym of Buddha got extinguished, like the elder women in Oriya agro-families founded red-soil mini stupas in their Handishalas, the Oriya nubile girls started erecting miniature Buddhist Stupas in sand or soil on the banks of the tanks or river in fond memory of Kudurukuni in Orissa.
Knowingly they were doing it in the past; unknowingly the practice is continuing at present.
But the story of Ta’poi, the central character of Khudurikuni Osa, makes us sure of how Brahmins were harassing the pro-Buddhist Sadhava families in Orissa.
Before proceeding, we must appreciate that Buddha’s first two disciples were the Sadhavas – Tapusa and Bhallika and spread of Buddhism from Orissa to the world was due to the seafaring Sadhavas mainly. So, Brahmins were always waiting for opportunities to harass the Sadhavas.
The only sister of seven seafaring Sadhavas was Ta’poi.
A Brahmin widow instigated her sisters-in-law to subject Ta’poi to many inhuman atrocities with the ill intention to shatter the domestic peace and solidarity of the Sadhava family. But Mangala saved Ta’poi and the women that had come under sway of the Brahmin widow were punished.
This story is an unambiguous depiction of Brahmins’ antagonism towards the Buddhists in Orissa and Mangala’s protection to Buddhist families. Jagannatha being SarvaMangala and Mangala being SarvaMangalaMangalye, it is clear that in folk conscience of the masses of Orissa, the embodiment of all matriarch benevolence Mangala is the protective force of Buddha, Jagannatha. There are many more evidences. But let us now look at origin of Jagannatha.
Origin of Jagannatha
Deathless death of every matter where end of a form gives birth to a new form was the magic that had inspired Orissa’s jungle dwelling agro-tribes to worship a wooden log reduced to form of a female torso in acknowledgement of the fact that, like their mothers, Nature was giving birth to everything they were seeing and using.
They had compressed the entire visible world to a concise form in that torso, which they were calling Jagantaa, meaning ‘Jagata Jakara Mata’ (Mother of the entire world), known also as Bana Devi. The concept is so decisively matriarch that nowhere in Jungles of Orissa have we found Bana Dev, but everywhere we find Bana Devi.
They had understood that as long as life was in the body, the heart was to pulsate inside the chest. So, to them, chest was home of life. They had understood that, like the earth was receiving seed through a La (the stick, which the females were using to dig the soil to sow the seed) and transforming the same to plants, the female genitals receive the sperms through La (reproductive organ of a male) to procreate the child. So, the genital in the female body was to them the way of creation of life. Thus to them, torso of a female from chest to genitals, where, in between, stays the womb, was relevant as far as their speculation on procreation was concerned. But torso of a female was not everlasting. Being children of the woods, they, therefore, had preferred a wooden log to create the torso of the eternal female and worshiped it in their own innocent way as Jagantaa.
In course of time, it occurred to them that, genitals may be the cause of conception, womb may be the lab of procreation and chest may be the container of heart that speaks of life; but the breasts alone are the primary source of survival. Had there been no breasts, no child could have stayed alive. So, in a female torso, the most important limbs were the breasts. With this clear perception, breasts were engraved on the chest of the torso. Breasts being “Thana” in colloquial Oriya, the Jagantaa with engraved Thana must have become ‘Jagantaa-Tha’ (Sri Jaya devanka Baisi Pahacha, refered to supra). Mischief of Brahminism has been projecting this Tha (Thana) as Chaka Akhi. We are not to be misled by this mischief, because we are to proceed toward the truth.
The truth is: long after loss of pure Buddhism to Asoka’s officialism, Siddha’s like Indrabhuti found in this Jagantaa-Tha the dialectics of Buddhism as grasped by the very plain tribal people. Indrabhuti wanted to project this Jagantaa-Tha as the carrier of dialectics of Buddha. Savara tribes, the main sect that was worshipping Jagantaa-Tha, had no objection, because, to them, Buddha had already become their God and Siddha Indrabhuti’s conception was absolutely akin to their own. Thus, Jagantaa-Tha of Orissan Tribes to whom Buddha was their benevolent Lord – full of motherly mercy, responsibility and compassion – metamorphosed into Jagannatha in the new direction, which Siddha Indrabhuti gave to Buddhism through Vajrayana and its scripture ‘Jnanasiddhi’.
Brahmins have changed Indrabhuti to Indradyumna through legends concocted by authors of epics like Skanda Purana and have tried to transform Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu, and even have included Buddha as a God of their own pantheon. But despite this, Jagantaa-Tha has continued to live in the form of Jagannatha.
Daru Devata and Daita
This is why, SriJagannatha is yet made of wooden logs (Daru), which the Daita locates and prepares the new image of Jagannatha with.
Let us see who this Daita is.
Buddha was Dayamaya, meaning mercy incarnate.
Therefore, the river flowing in his birthplace is called Daya, on the bank of which, at the foot of Dhauli Giri (Hemavanta), the Buddhist tribes of Orissa had defeated Asoka the wicked of Magadh and had mercifully allowed him flee after he promised to shun violence, accept Daya (non-violence) as his creed, and adopted Buddhism.
Sri Jaya Dev has described Buddha as Sadaya Hrudaya (the one with the heart full of mercy and compassion).
Of all our tribes, whom Dayamaya Buddha was the only adorable one, was the sect of Savara who had been worshiping Jagantaa (Jagantaa-Tha) as the symbol of the motherly benevolence of Buddha.
When Buddha became Jagannatha, Savara became Dayaita in acknowledgement of their inseparability from Dayamaya Buddha, exactly as, in typical parlance of Oriyas, the people of warrior class inseparable from their weapon Khanda (sword) are called Khandaita.
This Dayaita has become Daita in short; and core functions of Jagannatha (Buddha) are being performed by them even today, even to the extent of acting husband (Pati) to the Savara Bali (Jagannatha as described by Siddha Savaripada) in the midnight on the occasion of Navakalevara. For this reason only, Pati Mohapatra is the most important official in Navakalevara festival.
That the Daru Devata is not only mentioned as ‘Darumayee’ in Matschhya Purana, but also the Brihat Samhita describes the Almighty as AyuShreeBalaJayada Darumayee (4/59, Part II) is indicative of how the Daru Devata is adored in female form.
Daru Devata is female torso, nothing else
In saying “Bouddha Rupa Heba Jani / Pada Pani Chhadile Goshani” the historic epic ‘Daru Brahma Gita’ has made it clear that Sri Jagannatha is the eternal mother (Goshani). She left her legs and hands, because she was to emerge as Buddha.
Adi Kavi Sarala Das appears more specific in Bana Parva of his Mahabharata, when he says, “Nasa Karna Shravana Nayana Na Dishi / Dekhi Indradyumna Maha Bismayare Basi / MahaBouddha Bikasha Hoila Tini Rekha / Kara Charana Pallaba Na Dishai Shikha”.
Thus Sarala Das has clearly said that, the great Buddha in the form of Jagannatha has no feet, no hands, and no head, and therefore, has no nose, no ears, and no eyes. Therefore, as I have said above, Sri Jagannatha is the symbolic torso of the eternal female from pelvic to chest and the so-called Chaka Akhi is nothing but the breasts on the chest, even though Sarala has not thought of saying so.
Because this feminine tradition is to be maintained, and tooth relics of Buddha representing the matriarch benevolence of the great Guru is to be put inside the image of Jagannatha, only the senior Daitapati (Pati Mohapatra) performs the role of putting the secret material in the womb of the new image, symbolizing a husband inseminating his wife. Perhaps this practice of insemination during Navakalevara has given birth to the assertion of our ancient wisdom at the summit of our philosophic quest: “Buddhatwam Yosit Yoni Samashritam” (Godhead emanates in female genitals). Even Shiva Tantra aimed at assimilating Bouddha Tantra for the Hindus has been inspired by this to say, “Maithunam Parama Tattwam Srusthi Sthityantakaranam / Maithunam jayate Siddhih Brahmagnanam Sudurllavam”. This means: Coition is the culmination of all philosophy of life, creation, existence and end. The rare realization of Brahma (which is allegedly being put in the womb of Jagannatha) emanates from coition.
Lest this truth comes out, lest it comes out that Buddha’s tooth relic is being kept in the womb of Jagannatha during Navakalevara, lest it comes out that the symbolic insemination by the Pati (husband) Mohapatra smacks of Bouddha Tantra and, lest, because of that, Sri Jagannatha reemerges as Buddha, as a matter of compromise with the anti-Buddha stream in power, the function is called Gupta Puja (secret ritual).
God of Agro-Magic
The truth has been suppressed; but the truth must prevail.
In search of truth, we may see why the agro-tribes of Orissa preferred Buddha to be worshiped as Jagannatha in a female form. This was because; agriculture in Orissa is by origin the innovation of the females and bears the discernible evidence of deathless death where a seed sown gets transformed into multiple numbers of seeds. That, seed sowing for new crop is called Akshi (Akshaya) Muthi (handful of seeds that would generate plenty of its kind) in Orissa can be taken as a sample of this perception of our ancient tribes, which stands similar to Buddhist dialectics of life.
There is no necessity to mention that Orissa is a land of agriculture from the ancient days. There are views that, paddy is the invention of Orissa. Buddha’s father was a great cultivator who had developed paddy of excellent quality for which he was famous as Suddhodan, a synonym of high quality paddy. Abidure Nidana, quoted by Chakradhar Mohapatra in ‘Real Birthplace of Buddha’, offers us the words of Buddha in form of a soliloquy addressed to his own tongue during his period of penance that says. “You have taken three-years-old-scented-rice; why then are you worried!”
This shows that, much before birth of Buddha, agriculture was the avocation of the people of Orissa. Buddha was born to a paddy cultivator’s family and rice was his preferred food.
Therefore, when he became Jagannatha, people of Orissa made rice the basic food to be offered to him, which is taken by the people as ‘Anna Prasada’.
No other deity, except Badabadua as said supra, is offered ‘Anna’ (food prepared of rice), because no other deity except Jagannatha is Buddha.
Buddha stands for agriculture and Jagannatha is, therefore, a God of agro-magic.
Agriculture starts with commencement of rainy season as callow clouds excitedly respond to the earth in heat in rapturous delight. Therefore, the compound of the temple of Jagannatha is Meghanada Prachira (the wall that echoes the sturdy ecstatic sounds of the excited clouds). When this echo sends it vibrations, Jagannatha starts the unique love journey outside the wall (Meghanada Prachira) that we call Ratha Yatra. In Ratha Yatra agro-magic blooms in SriKshetra. And, thus, Jagannatha is the epitome of evolution of Oriya society from the past to the present.
Agriculture in Tribal Orissa had its origin in mother’s eagerness to feed her child and family with stable source of food; and therefore, mother’s right on agriculture eventually gave birth to the concept of ‘MotherRight’ that took a philosophic form in Agro-magic. Mother’s equal treatment to her children gave birth to the concept of equality in the agro-society. Buddha being votary of Mother-Right, agro-magic became applied aspect of ethics of equality he propounded. Naturally, therefore, when he became Jagannatha, SriJagannatha became the deity of agro-magic and his cult became the cult of equality. The phenomenon calls for study in the relevant social scenario.
Why to Savara, Jagannatha is female?
To the Savara living in dense forests, like their females were transforming sperms into offspring, mother earth was transforming seeds into plants that were bearing fruits for them to eat and live with.
Agriculture being innovated by women (‘Science in History’, J. D. Bernal, London 1954, pp.60-61), the Buddhist dialectics of deathless death in nature, seen in transformation of one form into another in endless stream of life, appeared to them similar to the magic the female plays through ‘Maithuna’ (coition). In ecstasy of this magic, the jungle dweller tribes of Orissa, particularly the advanced section of them, known as Savara, had come to the determination that the magic of procreation materializes through coition. They took coition as the vehicle, which a woman uses to drag the sperm of a man into her body to invoke her magical power to transform the sperm into offspring. Similarly to them, the earth drags down the seed from the plant to transform it to a new plant. And, therefore, they saw their creator in the female. Their Jagantaa was a female torso and as Jagantaa with the Tha (Thana) became Jagannatha, (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha, p.188) they ensured that the deity would be a female with the wooden torso, attuned to life style of a woman.
This is why, when SriJagannatha’s temple is named SriMandira (Citadel of the Eternal Mother), corporeal motifs in act of coition are so plentiful on its tower and brackets. Even in challenge to patriarchy propounded by Sankaracharya, the Oriya people have induced a festival of coition called Ananga Trayodasi when worship is offered to a female motif called Anangatura in front of the Mukti Mandapa, the seat of Brahminism, outside the proper temple.
Coition being the cult of Tantra, Sri Jagannatha is epitome of Tantra and his abode is based on Tantra.
In Lokayata, D. P. Chottopadyay gives us a translated excerpt from P. Bandopadhyay’s Rachanavali that says, “Among the Buddhist Tantrikas (practitioners of Vajrayaa) there originated a sect called Kamavajrayana, based on the view that the birth of the human being and that of the universe followed the same principle….. According to this sect, the universe is created by Kama exactly as human beings are……..Their ritual practice aim at establishing a harmony between cosmic lust and human lust. They were, therefore, continually indulging in Kama Sadhana ……They exhibited this lust on the temples and monasteries…..I am of opinion that the temple of Jagannatha (Puri) was originally built under the influence of these Kamavajrayanis. The place of the Goddess Vimala (in the Puri temple) was sacred to them…..It was in this Sri-Mandira (another name of the Puri temple) that the harmony was achieved between cosmic creation and the creation of the human body. In all these obscene sculptures, every male is a Buddhist monk of the Kamavajrayana school and every female is a devadasi or female votary. The whole temple was built on the principles of the Kamavajrayani Buddhists”.
We know Kamavajrayan was developed by Indrabhuti’s sister Laxminkra who was the matriarch chieftain of Sonepur near Sambalpur. She had developed this Kama Sadhana concept to supplement the concept of Vajrayan. This concept in vogue in SriMandira, we not only find the habits of Jagannatha as womanly, but also the ornaments of SriJagannatha are ornaments used by Oriya females. To begin the daily worship of SriJagannatha, the priest shrouds the top of the torso with an Odhani (veil) and puts ‘Nakachana’ (an ornament of the nose, which the females only use) and thrn conducts the Puja (Worship) in Tantric manner, despite Brahminic superimpositions.
Tantra is the code of Tanu-Tattva.
Tanu is always a female body. Children are called Tanuja (boy born out of mother’s body) or Tanujaa (girl born out of mother’s body). Words like Tanaya, Tanayaa are formed on similar ground. So, Jagannatha, a creation of Udiyana Tantra @ Bouddha Tantra founded by Acharya Indrabhuti, resembles a female body from chest to genitals with breasts prominently inscribed on the chest. Though centuries long Brhminical mischief has misled people to accept these breasts as Chaka Akhi, Siddha Sabaripa’s Savari Bali (nubile girl of Savar clan) is discernible in SriJagannatha.
To observations of Savara, the earth was having intercourse with the clouds leading to germination of seeds.
So, when the body of the earth comes to full heat at the end of summer, the Oriya agro-tribes imagine a period of menstruation (Raja) of the mother earth after which, as rainy season arrives, she indulges in coition with the clouds and transforms the seeds to plants. Raja festival is an exclusive festival of Oriyas. The Report of Census of India-1911 says at page 189 of Vol. I, “It is now currently believed that at the time of the first burst of rain, Mother Earth prepares herself for being fertilized by menstruating. During that time, there is an entire cessation from all ploughing, sowing and other farm work”. This Raja period of Mother Earth is marked with matching activities in Jagannatha’s life.
In our traditional social practice, a nubile tribal girl of Orissa, particularly in sects that take agriculture as avocation, on first menstruation (Pahili Raja), takes a bath with much fanfare and retires to rest in a secluded place till the end of the period. After the period, closest ladies of the family dress her up with new cloths and cosmetics, and provoke possible suitors to have Naba Jouvan Darshana (public display of suitability of the girl for marriage). From this starts the journey of the tribal girl in search of the best of suitors and whosoever of the suitors can drag her to his chest, the girl becomes his. In modern Oriya society, this practice has declined a bit; but in the life of SriJagannatha, the tradition is meticulously observed.
Come the period of earth’s menstruation at about the first burst of rain, the Savara Bali Jagannatha gets bathed with much fanfare that we call Snana Yatra. Then hiding from public eyes in Anasara Ghar (secluded place of rest) takes place. After the period of seclusion, festival of maquillage takes place, with new Khandua Sharee (tie and die cloth manufactured in Nuapatana of Tigiria exclusively to be worn by women at the time of marriage) on the body and feminine ornaments on viewable parts attracting suitors to have Naba Jouvan Darshan. In order to mislead the people that the breasts on the chest of the torso are not the breasts but Chaka Akhi, the Brahmins have clamped a festival called Netrotsava (Celebration of eyes). In Navakalevara Festival and Oriya Culture, (Orissa Review, July, 1996), Sri Giridhari Dash admits, “Here, we notice a nice imposition of Brahminical authority on a cult which was tribal in origin”.
Despite this “imposition” of Netrotsava , the ceremony of Naba Jouvan Darshan has stayed the main function proceeding the Car Festival where the Pahandi (moving ahead of SriJagannatha in a typical style of Nahuli –lustful – girls) and pulling of chariots resembling the Savari gitls’ journey in search of suitors.
Whosoever perfects the Ghinch (pulling to the chest), to him goes the nubile girl in tribal tradition. Similarly SriJagannatha belongs to whosoever pulls the chariot with celerity of a determined suitor (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak. Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha, Bharat Bharati, Cuttack, 2005, pp. 196-97).
Officers belonging to the Brahmin caste staying continuously in charge of temple administration, and Oriya intelligentsia having developed disinclination to stay clung to ancient agro-traditions, the Dahuka Boli (articulation of lascivious songs) has been banned since 1995. These songs, though lewd in tenor to some, are suggestive of agro-magic in its applicability in the Jagannatha system over and above being assertions of Buddhist base of the car festival. Therefore, the Brahmin officers in charge of Jagannatha Temple Administration had been trying since long to ban them and finally succeeded in 1995.
Current chronicler of Navakalevara in Sambad Sri Asit Mohanty in an earlier essay captioned ‘Rathe Bhanda Daka Chhadai Dahuka’ has detailed how in 1996, the Dahukas were subjected to suspension from service, fines and other punishments for singing their traditional erotic songs despite ban imposed in 1995.
In this essay, Mohanty has tried to define the word Dahuka. He has relied upon some sources to reach the root of the word. When he has picked up eminent author Surendra Mohanty to the revelation that it is a remnant of fertility cult as propounded by Bouddha Vajrayan, he has also relied upon a Saura (Savara) word ‘Dakku maran’ that means one that protects.
To us, both these perceptions are perfect.
The Dahuka who controls the movement of Jagannatha’s chariot was assigned with the duty to sing erotic songs to instigate the people to pull the chariot like they pull their lovers to the chest. Now, they are being forced to sing rather insipid ditties dotted by detractors of the Buddhist doctrine. This has earned disapproval of intellectuals, who are even more inclined to accept Jagannatha as Vishnu than Buddha. One such person is Dr. Bibudharanjan of Puri. He had vehemently opposed the official intervention in the traditional Dahuka Boli (SriKshetraru Lekhuchhi, Sathi Prakasan, Cuttack, 1997, p.65-69).
What were the Bolis?
They were sermons of Sahajayana in colloquial Oriya language. To Sahajayana, BuddhaJagannatha – the embodiment of wisdom – was in the best of luster in the forms of women (Saiba Bhagavati Pragna Sambhoota Roopamashrita) and therefore, wisdom blooms out of union with them (Buddhatwam Yosid Yoni Samashritam – genital of a woman is the gateway to supreme wisdom). We find it reiterated in “Maithunam Paramam Tattwam Srusthisthityanta Karanam / Maithunat Jayate Siddhih Brahmagnanam Sudurllavam” that means ultimate knowledge on generation, existence, and end has its root in coition. From sexual union alone, the splendid knowledge of creation is achieved. Such theosophical discourses rendered in Sanskrit were being rendered in colloquial Oriya by the Dahuka on the car of Jagannatha. We get a sample from Dr. Harihara Kanungo’s ‘Itihasa Parampara O Jagannatha’. Here it is: “Ho Bhagate! Hadupa Kahile Bai Ethare / Yoni Darasana Sukha Apare / Bhagare Bajile Lingara Mundi / Tini Dhara Nala Niai Tendi / Chha Ganthi Vedai Se Nala Yebe / Ramana Karibu Bhakate Tebe, Ho Bhagate!”(p.224). Dr. Kanungo emphasizes that, this and other Dahuka songs were the works of Siddhas of Bouddha Sahajayan having a hidden spiritual meaning behind the obscene expressions.
Thus Dahuka songs establish that SriJagannatha’s Ratha Yatra is basically a creation of Bouddha Tantra and on this premise; we link it to agro-magic.
We have already shown, Jagannatha’s car festival phenomenon spanning from Snana celebrations to Ratha Yatra including Navakalevara as and when it occurs, is inspired by and executed in terms of Mother Earth’s generative power. When this phenomenon finds its culmination on the Ratha Yatra, Dahuka gives his voice to erotic songs on the Ratha of Jagannatha.
But why it was so essential a part of Jagannatha’s car festival? How is the phenomenon accepted in the world? We find the answer from R. Briffault. He says, “The operation of the divine generative power, which brings about the fertility of Nature, of animals, of women, is believed to be stimulated not only by sexual intercourse, but also by any act or speech of a lascivious and sensual character” (The Mothers, 2nd edition, 1952 iii, 204).
Thus Dahuka Boli was not only indicator of SriJagannatha’s Buddhist identity and the Savara Bali’s journey in search of suitors, but also was indicative of a world outlook it was, being universal, reflecting sans any ambiguity.
The Brahmin officials of Orissa government have deliberately eliminated this glorious proof of Sri Jagannatha’s agro-magical universality by banning the Dahuka Boli. Behind this, the shrewd design of Vedic chauvinists to transform SriJagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu is discernible.
Yet, they have failed to obliterate Navakalevara, though they have been playing all possible mischief to project this function as a function of Vishnu. We shall, therefore, look deeply into how Navakalevara is a function, not of Vishnu of the Hindu caste supremacists, but of anti-caste Buddhist concept that has its root in agro-magic.
Absence of Navakalevara in epics:
Silence or Suppression?
In agro-tradition of Orissa, the most spectacular event takes place when Navakaevara takes place once in many years, when some material, now branded as Brahma, is put to the womb of the deity in the midnight absolutely secretly. We will see of this so-called Brahma eventually. various epics and scriptures related to Jagannatha have no mention of Navakalevara. Silence or suppression? We are to see.
For example, the Skanda Purana from which has flowed in all the legends that have been often cited to show Jagannatha as Vishnu, is totally silent on Navakalevara.
It has a special chapter styled Purusottama Mahatmya. In this chapter, design has been contrived to transform SriJagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu, to change Indrabhuti to Indradyumna, to spread concocted lies such as Lord Brahmaa had come down from his abode in the heaven to inaugurate the temple and establish the idols over and above creation of Indradyumna-Vidyapati and NilaMadhav- Bishwavasu- and Vidyapati-Lalita legends and all such other legends to mislead the people to accept Jagannatha as Vishnu. But the same Purana has no mention of Navakalevara.
Jagannatha’s Vishnu identity having its root in this particular Purana, its total silence about Navakalevara is very significant. Had it narrated Navakalevara, the tradition of Buddha’s tooth relic being kept in the body of Jagannatha must have foiled the Skanda Purana mischief of transforming SriJagannatha to Vishnu. However, that, the Skanda Purana has not also recognized the so-called Brahma in Jagannatha’s body is a great proof of fakeness of Brahma.
Many other works of epical character aiming at diverting people of Orissa to Vedic religion are conspicuous by their silence on Navakalevara, even though they have elaborate presentations on festivals of Jagannatha.
In this connection, mention may be made of Padma Purana, Nilardri Mahodaya, Brahhma Purana, Bamadev Samhita, Kapila Samhita et cetera. Various festivals of Jagannatha are dealt with in works like KalaDeepa, KalaPradeepa, for example. But Navakalevara has no trace in them.
Similarly, Gadadhara Paddhati wherein festivals of Jagannatha are described in depth in Brahminic style is silent on Navakalevara.
Ratha Yatra (Car Festival) centric works such as Gundicha Shatakam of Bakravak Chakrapani Pattanayak, Gundicha Vijaya Champu of Kaviraj Bhagaban Brahma, Yatra Bhagavat of Balunki Pathy, Gundicha Champu of Sadashiv Mishra, Gundicha Bije of Jagannatha Das, Gundicha Bije of Bipra Maheshwar, Gundicha Bije of Kasinath Das, Gundicha Bije of Gobinda, Deula Tola of Dama Das et cetera also do not mention Navakalevara.
This omission in these epical works convinces us that their writers have deliberately blacked out Navakalevara, as, had they not done so, the matter of Buddha’s tooth relics being put in Jagannatha’s body in interspaced occasions in consonance with Mother-Rights could not have been suppressed.
However, for the purpose of our discussion, it suffices to say that, this exercise of putting the tooth relics or Brahma in the womb of Jagannatha once in many years symbolizes a woman conceiving once in inter-spaced years.
The reason of inter-spacing
Most of the time coition goes fruitless; because, pregnancy occurs occasionally. Therefore, Savara (Daitapati) has ensured putting the so-called Brahma in the womb of the image of SriJagannatha, not after every ‘Snana’ and Naba Jouvan Darshan, but occasionally after years when Navakaevara takes place. This is symbolic of the procreation process that our ancient tribes had observed in matter of females. This norm has been adopted in matter of Jagannatha in whom the Savara had put the matriarch benevolence of Buddha when Indrabhuti had developed Buddha to Jagannatha in Jnanasiddhi by improving upon the tribal Jagantaa-Tha.
Brahma the misnomer
The so-called Brahma which is being put into new images of SriJagannatha on the occasion of Navakalevara is nothing but misnomer. Public display thereof can make it clear that either that is the tooth of Buddha or nothing.
Lest demands for its display increases, legends have been created that whosoever sees it would die. A few instances of death precipitated by accidental viewing of the secret material have been planted in grapevines to convince the people that the material being Brahma, Jagannatha is Bishnu, not Buddha. But as no instance of such death is forensically tested, it is better to ignore this claim about the so-called Brahma.
Actually in the long past, the molecular tooth of Buddha was being kept in the body of SriJagannatha. The Brahmins were trying to destroy that celebrated tooth relics to destroy Jagannatha’s identity as Buddha. We get historical accounts of this phenomenon from Rev. J. Long, who in search of Buddha’s real birthplace had reached Orissa. Though he had no academic authority to change the wrong recorded in history that shows Kapilavastu in Nepal as Buddha’s birthplace, he has given the world a great input on how the Vedic chauvinists had transformed Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu. In ‘Notes and Queries Suggested by a Visit to Orissa in January 1859’, (Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1859, No.III, Vol.XXVIII, pp.185-187) he has written:
“Antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Ceylon and China show that the Buddhism so noted in its regard for enlightening the masses and opposing caste, was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among rulers and the people, though Orissa be now the garden of the Hinduism and Jagannatha its Jerusalem. Even Jagannatha itself stands on the site of a Buddhist temple and contained the celebrated tooth of Buddha, which was kept there till the 4th century A.D. when it was carried for a short period to Patna, the ancient Palibothra then the capital of North India. It was soon after brought back to Puri, but on an invasion of the country, it was conveyed in A.D.311 by a king’s daughter concealed in her hair to Ceylon, which was then becoming a place of refuge to the Buddhists from the Brahmin’s rage.”
If that celebrated tooth is yet being placed in the womb of Jagannatha in the style of Brahma, the Government should better open up the secrecy and display the material in public, so that, Orissa as the real birthplace of Buddha can come to light all over the world.
Brahma a creation of Karana dexterity
Legends have been created in recorded history of Jagannatha in matter of Brahma. Therefore, we are to look at its history by ripping apart the legends. The Fundamental Duty direction in our Constitution would engage us in this. On this premise it prima facie convinces us that the so-called Brhama is product of Karana dexterity, which has misled the world in the matter of Jagannatha’s real identity and facilitated transformation of Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu.
As I have shown in my series of essays in Sambad (Orissa’a most read newspaper with its headquarters at Bhubaneswar) from 14 February 1997 – available in my book Singhavalokana, (Bharata Bharati, Cuttack, 2010) at pages 670 to 698, as well as in my book Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha, published by the same publisher in 2005, the so-called Brahma is a dexterous work of a close circle of persons belonging to the Karana section of the people of Orissa for earning accreditation of the masses for Gajapati Rama Chandra Dev who had occupied the throne by dragging to death the Chalukya Mukunda Dev’s regime. Famed as Monarch of the Bhoi dynasty, he was respected as the Dwiti Indradyumna (Indradyumna the second) for having reconstructed the image of Jagannatha and setting the ‘Brahma’ therein.
In interest of history, it should be mentioned here that Indradyumna is a fake name invented by the Brahmins to replace Indrabhuti with, in order to obliterate the truth that Jagannatha was a Buddhist deity created by Indrabhuti the founder of Vajrayan.
The Brahmins had created legends converting Indrabhuti to Indradyumna, as said supra.
Ramachandra Dev being honored as Dwiti Indradyumna, it is proved that by the time he occupied the throne, Jagannatha was not in existence, and, so, when he created Jagannatha afresh, people of Orissa had decorated him with the epithet – Dwiti Indradyumna, buried as was by that time Indrabhuti, the real founder of Jagannatha, under the loads of legends the Vedic chauvinists had created.
Rama Chandra Dev’s Bhoi dynastic identity suggests that he was a Buddhist. So, he revived SriJagannatha. But very cusously he also accommodated a few components of Brahminism therein under political compulsions.
It is remarkable that the king of the powerful State of Sambalpur had helped Rama Chandra Dev consolidate his position as the Monarch of Utkal, when she was overwhelmed by the Muslim invaders, who had reportedly destroyed the image of Jagannatha.
The Sanskrit Mahakavya (Epical poetry) Koshalananda, authored by Gangadhar Mishra, the famous Court Poet of King Baliyar Singh of Sambalpur, gives us its accounts at verse 6 and 7. We may quote these two verses as cited by Pandit Kedarnath Mohapatra in his famous work – Khurudha Itihasa:
“Nimagnamabikshya Sa Yavanambudhou / Tamutkaldeshamashesa Bhavanam / Chamusamanamanayad Yamakshayam / Muda Samaruhya Maharayam Hayam /6/ Bidhaya Maitrymadhigatya Sadaram / Sugarbamurbitala Sarvasodarah / Trunaya Manye’nya Mahishasamhatim / Kshambhuja Yena Sa Rama Bhupatih /7/
This support must have come to Rama Chandra Dev, because of Sambalpur’s connection with Bouddha Tantra. The Sambalpur ruler must have helped Rama Chandra Dev consolidate his power as the Emperor of Utkal.
K. C. Panigrahi, in his History of Orissa (Kitab Mahal, Cuttack, 1981), at page 126 has said, “The family of Bhois to which Rama Chandra Dev belonged, was originally a Karan family”.
When Jagannatha was rescued from Muslim attack by King Sankarsana Tunga Mandhata Kshatriya Birabara Champati Singh Mohapatra of Tigiria, a few of the Karanas of the Bhoi clan had left Khurda to reside in Tigiria near where SriJagannatha was having his secret rest. Their surname was Bhuinmula Pattanayak. Bhuinmula literally means them, whom the soil was of primordial importance. These Karanas were primarily Buddhists. No elaboration is needed, as Buddha is known for the importance he was laying on soil (Bhumi).
So, those to whom the soil was the primary factor of creation were Bhuinmula Karanas. The surname Pattanayak was one of their titles. They were residing in Bindhanima in the midst of the Palace of Tigiria and Sunthipal, where SriJagannatha was kept hidden. Late lamented Joginath Pattanayak of Bindhanima was the last known scion of this Bhuinmula Karana thread.
Karanas are different from Brahmins in approach to philosophy of life and society. There difference is based on the cause of creation. Let us see.
Karttruvad versus Kaaranavad
Karttruvad (doctrine of creation because of a Kartta i.e. Brahma) was the ism of the Brahmins whereas Kaaranavad (doctrine of creation because of a Kaarana i.e. cause) was the ism of the Karanas.
Those who believed that Brahma has created everything were the Brahmins and those who believed that Kaarana (cause) lies behind creation were the Karanas.
This basic difference in approach to cause of creation had contributed to acrimonious rivalry between the two most advanced segments in Orissa. Rama Chandra Dev being a Karana, was in necessity of majority support so that Brahmins – by then powerful as a sect as well – would not dare to challenge his authority, when societal solidarity and inter-caste peace was essential to save Orissa from Muslim invasions. Therefore the drama of Brahma must have been enacted. To calm the Brahmins, Rama Chandra Dev had not only appointed as his preceptor Sri Bardhan Mohapatra, a powerful Brahmin of Kavidindima linkage, whose predecessors had held the position of Rajaguru in previous regimes; but also must have expressed willingness to accommodate their importunity to impose Vishnuhood on Jagannatha.
Brahma legend given legitimacy
In that peculiar situation, the material (Buddha’s tooth) to be placed in the body of Jagannatha was projected as Brahma and a man of a Karana family – Bisar Mohanty – was used to strengthen the legend of this Brahma.
Madala Panji says, “A9nke Raja Kujanga Gadaru Brahma anaile. Khurudha katake Banajaga kari sumuruti karaile. A11nka Kakada 18 dina Shravana Shukla Navami dina SriPurusottama Badadeule Ratnasinghasane bije karaile. Brahma anila Bisara Mohantynku Pora Nayk kale. E Daru Brehma gheni aela, e Tati bhitare passiba boli Shadhi dele” (Madala Panji, Prachi Edition, p.62-63). Thus, roughly it says, “In his ninth year of reign, Rama Chandra Dev brought from Kujanga Garh the Brahma and performed Bana Jaga in Khurda and created beautiful image of SriJagannatha. On his 11th year on the throne, on Kakada 18, Shravana Shukla Navami day, SriJagannatha was consecrated on the Ratna Singhasana. Bisara Mohanty, who had brought the Brahma was given the Pora Nayak (Chief of the town administration) post with authority to enter into Tati (secluded chamber of the deity). But, according to Chakada Pothi and Chayini Chakada, Bada (elder) Padmanav Pattanayak had brought the Brahma from Kujanga being deputed by the Emperor Rama Chandra Dev. This difference between the names of the two persons is of no consequence; because, despite difference in names of who brought the Brahma, in both the cases, Kujanga has remained the place from where the Brahma was brought to Puri.
If we look at the tradition of Karanas, both the names may appear to be of a single man. Bisara Mohanty might have been the nick name of Padmanav Pattanayak.
Karanas in Orissa are broadly called Mohanty. “Mahanty Mahanadi” is a popular saw that means, like the great river Mahanadi accepts all streams and leads them into the sea, Karanas accommodate all castes with no narrow-mindedness and help them progress. This matches the Kayastha (Karanas in northern India) conception. In caste structure, the Brahmins had created the four Varnas – Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra – wherein Karana is not included. All the above castes are earmarked for their origin from specific parts of the body of Brahma, the Creator. Therefore, the persons that had revolted against the caste divide of society had asserted to be representing no specific limb of the creator – if Brahma was so – but instead, they represented the whole body, for which their self-proclaimed identity was Kayastha (settled throughout the body of the Creator). Kayasthas in Orissa are the Karanas, belonging to and covering all castes; and therefore, equated with the river Mahanadi, and further therefore, known as Mohanty. So, the nickname of Padmanav might have been used in the Madala Panji as Bisara and his Pattanayak title might have been shown as Mohanty. When the name Padmanav is a meaningful name, Bisara is indistinct. So, Bisara must be the nick name of Padmanav who we may consider to be the elder brother of Rama Chandra. The prefix Bada (elder) to his name suggests this.
Whatever is the name and title, accounts of Madala Panji as well as Chakada Pothi and Chayini Chakada make it clear that in putting the Brahma in the newly built Jagannatha idol, Rama Chandra Dev had relied upon the Karanas only.
He took 8 years according to Chakada and 9 years according to Panji to reconstruct the image of Jagannatha. This suggests that, despite having been settled on the throne, Rama Chandra Dev was constantly suffering from sense of insecurity in absence of total support of the subjects. To gain the faith of the subjects, he had to build up the Jagannatha image afresh and in order to give the image acceptability for the people; he had to honor the tradition of the Savara by putting components of pregnancy in the womb of the image, claiming the same as Navakalevara of Jagannatha.
After destruction of Jagannatha by the Muslims, Bisar Mohanty might have retrieved Buddha’s tooth from the site of destruction or might have brought some of his relics from the caskets preserved in Laitagiri connected straight to his place Kujanga and preserved the same, which eventually had to come to Rama Chandra Dev to be placed in the body of Jagannatha in adherence to his Buddha identity or otherwise symbolizing the component of pregnancy in consonance with the Savar tradition.
This has remained the secret of Gajapati family and Savara (Daita) families’ combine. They do not spill the secret.
But, even today Gupta Puja (secret propitiation) to Buddha is going on by the Daitas before felling the tree for the desired log with which the torso of Jagannatha is to be sculptured and when ‘Dhatu’ is being placed in the womb of the new image in Navakalevar.
In resemblance with the torso of the fully matured Savara Bali, the new image of Jagannatha gets built with the upper and lower portions representing the chest and pelvic region in wider shape as against the narrow naval region, and then, in a designated midnight, the senior most Savara (Daitapati) in absolute secrecy puts the tooth relic of Buddha, styled Brahma, in the body of the new image where the womb of the eternal mother is imagined.
That, in Puri, marital relationship between Daita (Savara) and Karan families is so normal and well functional, is because, Rama Chandra Dev of Karana heritage and the Savar (Daita) sect shared the secret of Buddha’s tooth being put in Jagannatha’s body in the style of Brahma.
Therefore, when Daitapati sect opposed Sankaracharya’s intervention in Navakalevara the temple administration could not dare to defy that.
Time to know the truth
It is time to know, for what the female factor is so very important in concept of Jagannatha in context of Buddha; because, the whole world is being misled by false legends woven around this unique deity, aimed at making it what the Adi Sankar had wanted it to be: instrument of Brahminism.
I believe, I have discussed the issue. Yet we may revisit the aspect of agro-magic to get the correct picture of why Jagannatha represents matriarch benevolence of Buddha.
Cult of Agriculture
Cult of Jagannatha is deep-seated on the cult of agriculture.
Agriculture was invented by ancient mothers to feed their children with. Therefore, Jagannatha is equated with the mother by the agro people of Orissa.
J. D. Bernal has rightly said, “As grain-gathering was woman’s business, agriculture was probably a woman’s invention, and in any case was woman’s work, at least till the invention of the ox-drawn hoe or plough, for it was done with the hoe, a derivative of the old stone age digging stick which women used to grub for roots” (Science in history). This position equipped the women with rights to control the properties in ancient agro-societies known as tribes. Social scientists call it ‘Mother Right’.
According to O. R. Ehrenfels, “The general geographical and also the archaeological situation favors the theory that the world-cultures of mother-right originally emanated from India” (Mother Rights in India, p.204).
Agriculture being the principal avocation of the people of Orissa from time immemorial, Buddha was born and loyal to the environment of Mother-Right.
His entire philosophy was built upon his conscious adoption of the Mother-Rights in his quest for solutions to miseries of the people.
Inequality in socio-economic sphere was the root cause of peoples’ misery; he had determined and had found its solution in strengthening Mother-Rights.
A mother never sees any difference amongst her children. She sees them equally, nurtures them with equal concern and care. Because of this, sense of equality was not only prevalent but also the guiding force in ancient, agro-based tribal societies, to save which he had rushed from his birthplace near Bhubaneswar to Rajgriha and had stopped empire building of Bimbisara, by organizing the tribal people there to resist the patriarch autocracy. He had even fortified them with philosophical vitality by creating his Samgha in their pattern.
This is why the matriarch tribes, whom procreation was a matter of magic, linked him with agro-magic in their imagination and from their symbolic worship of the object of agro-magic, evolved SriJagannatha from Tribal Buddhists’ JagantaaTha.
Thus Buddha, whom the Oriya tribes had accepted as the epitome of motherly qualities like eagerness to protect the child with equal concern, consideration, and compassion, was accepted as Jagannatha when Indrabhuti made it clear to them that the Buddha who had become omnipresent as the void (Gaganopama) after his demise, needs be revealed in their Jagantaa-Tha with all the original concept of universal motherhood kept intact.
Jagannatha is therefore Buddha reshaped in Jagantaa-Tha of the Savara, whom Siddha Savaripa had described as Savari Bali. And, as such, in Oriya consciousness, SriMandira has remained the citadel of matriarchy.
People of Orissa have not made SriJagannatha a silent deity of matriarchy. They have even made his surrounding matriarch.
The temple where he has his podium is SriMandira, which, the word ‘Sri’ connoting to female gender, deserves to be identified as a feminine temple.
The town where the temple stands is not Pura, but is Puri, which is also a word of feminine gender.
More important is that, it is SriKshetra.
The famous interpreter of Indian philosophy, D. P. Chattopadhyay has made a well defined presentation of Kshetra in the context of India’s politico-economic philosophy. Let us look at it. He says, “The term traditionally used in India to refer to the patriarchal and matriarchal systems are Bija Pradhanya and Khetra Pradhanya. The terminologies are evidently derived from the sexual agricultural circle of ideas. Pradhanya means predominance. But Bija and Kshetra have double meanings. Ordinarily these mean the Seed and Agricultural field and the use of the word Bija in this sense is traced as far back as the RigVedic times. Similarly Kshetra also means the Fertile womb of the wife and the legal literatures have often used this word in this sense. From the Bija Pradhanya point of view, therefore, the human child is the product primarily of the male semen just as the corn is primarily the result or effect of the seed grains. This represents the male bias and is naturally associated with the patriarchal system. From the Kshtra Pradhanya point of view, however, the human offspring is primarily the product of the female womb just as the corn is born primarily of the agricultural field. It represents a female bias and is naturally associated with the matriarchal system” (Lokayata, p.320).
Puri is SriKshetra. Therefore, here, SriJagannatha is Dakshina Kali, the most active force of matriarchy that kick starts the dormant society from slumber to progress. “Nilardrou SriJagannatha Sakshat Dakshiva Kalika” means, ‘in Nilardry (synonym of Srikshetra) SriJagannatha is Dakshina Kali’. Even though Jagannatha is revered as Jagadiswara (Lord of the Universe), he is in reality a woman (“Stree Rupam Sarvamebatwam Pum Rupe Jagadiswarah”).
This Kshetra belongs to Astha Adhisthatris, the eight most adorable forces of Tantra, as is presented by the following verses:
“Prathama Sodasaputri, Dakshine Bata Mangala / Bayabye Bhadrakali cha Ghorarupa Digambari // Tatrancha Pashchime Devi Bimala Bimalatmika / Prusthadeshe Tatha Devi Bhubaneshi Baranana // Kamala barune Tatra Barunalayabasini / Uttarwe UttaradurgaNilava Mahisarddhita //
These are all female deities. All are the companions of Jagannatha, who is Dakshina Kali.
Therefore, Tantra says:
“SriKalika Yantrarupam Kshetram SriPurusottamam / Tatryatya Yoginirupah Puma’nshchah Parikirttitah // Strirupa Bhiarabah Sarve Purusah Purusottame / Jambidwipe Virajante Kalikah KeliBhumayah //”
Here the pronounced perception is: Srikshetra Puri is Kalika Keli Bhumayah (land of Kali’s amorous sports) where cult of coition is the reigning spiritual cult.
The city itself is Yantra of Kalika where males are also treated as females and whosoever enters into SriKshetra, notwithstanding physical gender, becomes a woman.
Trumpeting the Mother Right, it is here in Puri alone, ShyamaKali is seen engaged in inverted coition with Siva, confirming to “Kshetra Pradhanya” perception, as discussed in ‘Lokayata’ cited above.
This perception is entirely based on Mother Right which Adi Sankara had wanted to obliterate.
Villainy of Sankara
Adi Sankar was for revival of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, which basically is a patriarch religious system. Necessity of ‘reviving’ arises only if something is in a state of decay or death. This means by the time of Adi Sankara, the Vedic system was in decay or in rejection by the people, specifically in Orissa. So, Adi Sankara had concentrated at Puri with all his villainy to destroy the Kshetra Pradhanya of SriKshetra as well as the Buddhist identity of SriJagannatha.
What for he was to revive the Vedic Sanatan Dharma? Pandit Kedarnath Mohapatra has given us a clear indication in ‘Khurudha Itihasa’.
According to him, Sankara had founded the Gobarddhan Math at Puri and appointed his protégé Padmapad as the chief of this Math in order to enhance the influence and spread of Brahminism. To quote him:
“Se (Adi Sankar) Brahmanya Dharmara Pratipatti O Prasara Bruddhi Nimitta Purire Gabarddhana Pitha Pratishtha Kari Tankara Priya Sishya Padmapadacharyanku Ehara Prathama Pithodheessa Rupe Nijukta Karithile” (Khurudha Itihasa. p.227).
So, it is clear that, Adi Sankara had established his Math at Puri to destroy the uniqueness of SriJagannatha. His chela Sankaras including the present Sankaracharya have all along tried to carry out their founder’s evil mission.
Therefore, to people of Orissa, his intervention in Jagannatha system is not acceptable.
Political economy of Vedic system was defined by use of power to promulgate legitimacy to exploit the working class through caste supremacist policies, contrived to ensure that the Brahmins must enjoy economic benefits without doing any physical labor and shedding a drop of sweat.
Therefore, the Brahmins under Sankara’s design, in nexus with non-Oriya invaders that had captured Orissa and established their empires, had not only put indigenous matriarch principalities to turmoil, but also had tried to exterminate the Buddhist origin of SriJagannatha by removing from his body the tooth relics of Buddha that the true devotees of Jagannatha were worshipping. An example has already been cited supra from Jung’s Notes and Queries Suggested by a Visit to Orissa in January 1859.
As Buddhists represent the matriarch principles, many attacks have been perpetrated on them by the Vedic chauvinists in nexus with their patron kings in Orissa. Many popular works of bygone days depict the cruel attacks on Buddhists of Orissa by the votaries of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, to revive which Adi Sankara had established the Gobarddhana Math at Puri.
Ekamra Purana has narrated how militant Brahmins were annihilating the peace loving Buddhist monks of Orissa and getting gold coins as rewards.
Even Yuan Chwang has noted how Shashanka – a Vedic fanatic in power in the region from Bhubaneswar to Midnapore – had destroyed many Buddhist monasteries in Orissa.
Iswara Das has narrated in Chapter 148 of his Bhagavat how king Yajati, (who had imported 10,000 Brahmins from Kanyakubja in Northern India to promulgate Vedic system in Orissa), had annihilated 668 Bouddhacharyas of Satapata (Kurmapataka) on River Prachi, where Churashi Monastery near Kakatapur was the seat of the authors of the Buddhist-songs (Charyapada) known as Bouddha Gana O Doha (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Chaurashi Siddhacharyas of Orissa: New Light on Authors of Bouddha Gana O Doha’, orissamatters.com, dated December 9, 2002; republished in Animadversion, Santosh Publications, Cuttack, pp.50-85).
All these and many more cruel violent tricks to wipe out Buddhism failed, because to Oriyas, their Jagannatha was Buddha.
For Adi Sankara, this was not to be tolerated. He, therefore, tried to convert Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu.
Generation of Legends
Knowing that Vishnu being a Vedic deity will also not be acceptable to the Oriyas, he shrewdly started describing Sri Jagannatha as Govinda.
Sri Krushna of the epic Mahabharata was known as Govinda, though the Govindian concept is the economic concept of Vedic politics. (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak, Sri Jaya Devanka Baissi Pahacha, 2005, pp.32-33).
Condemning Buddhist Oriyas as ‘Mudhamati’(stupids), because they were worshiping Buddha as Jagannatha, Adi Shankara had insisted upon worshiping Sri Jagannatha as Govinda (Bhaja Govindam, Smara Govindam, Gobindam Bhaja, Mudhamate).
King patrons of Brahminism were supporting Sankara and because of that Vedic Sanatan Dharma had engulfed Orissa. Caste-supremacists were running reign of terror and churning out concocted legends to transform SriJagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu. In this process, Indrabhuti was changed to Indradyumna and lies were created to adduce strength to this mischief by projecting half truth as truth.
The people knew that Jagannatha was the name given by Indrabhuti to Jagantaa-Tha which the Savara was worshiping in the deep woods. So, ways were contrived to use the Savara background of this deity and build up a blatantly false story about creation of Jagannatha, taking the link of Jagannatha with the Savara as the backbone of the story.
The imagined Indradyumna was equipped with a dream that told him about the Lord’s desire to be salvaged from the Savara (Biswavasu) and to be worshipped by the people as Jagannatha.
Needless to say that in ancient politics, dream of the King or his Brahmin preceptor was being used as the most effective and unchallengeable instrument to trade concocted lies as absolute truth, to give legitimacy to their illegitimate schemes and to browbeat the people to acquiesce into those schemes, as and when public resentment thereto was being apprehended.
Lest anybody challenge the dream matter, Brahma (the supreme creator as Brahmins claim) was shown to have come down from heaven to bless Indradyumna and to inaugurate the temple of the Lord and to consecrate SriJagannathaa on its podium.
In this legend, Balabhadra and Subhadra were created to project him as Govinda Krushna in consonance with Adi Sankar’s insistence on worshiping Jagannatha as Govinda.
With generation of this legend, hundreds of legends have been created to eliminate Buddha identity of Jagannatha and promulgated Brahminism has generated severe caste divide in Orissa so that casteless Buddhism stays suppressed and inoperative.
Emergence of Kapilendra
As caste-supremacists thus succeeded in misappropriating SriJagannatha for the Hindus, the peaceful agrarian community of Orissa was drowned under caste exploitation by the Brahmins. The temple of Sri Jagannatha was also subjected to upper caste hegemony led by the Brahmins. That helped the casteless Muslim religion gain support of Orissa’s peasants, who were severely hit by caste-apartheid and Orissa’s army got demoralized because of preferences given to upper caste soldiers in matter of occupying commanding positions.
It was clear to a peasant member of Orissan militia Kapilendra Rautroy that, because of caste apartheid practiced by Vedic chauvinists, people were joining the casteless Muslim army, which was threatening the entire glorious Buddhist splendor of Orissa.
So, he built up a revolution against caste apartheid in the campus of the temple of Sri Jagannatha, where, he being Buddha, this practice should never have occurred and in the Army, where caste-consideration should never have had any role.
He quite quickly became the most popular leader of the Oriya race and succeeded in capturing Orissa throne. He was Kapilendra Dev, who ruled over even the hearts of the people of Orissa.
He had established a pure Oriya empire for the first time after Kharavel.
He had, for the first time, banned Sanskrit from being used in administration. Sankrit was the language of the Brahmins with which they were interpreting the scriptures as they liked and exploiting the people in nexus with their patron non-Oriya kings. After banning it from administration, Kapilendra promulgated Oriya as the official language. He freed the Army from the caste-supremacist control, made people entitled to take MahaPrasad together from even the same plate, irrespective of their caste.
The Sun Clan
The greatest paragon of Oriya virtues, Kapilendra had the highest reverence for Buddha, the greatest son of Orissa.
Buddha was of the Sun clan.
Buddha being worshiped as the Sun in Konark is the evidence of the fact that to people of Orissa he was the light giver Sun.
Therefore, Kapilendra had declared himself as a person of the Sun clan.
SriJagannatha being Buddha, as a follower of Buddha, he had dedicated the entire empire he had built up to SriJagannatha by making himself his ‘Rauta’ (representative) only.
With him as Emperor, Buddhism in its applied social valor had become the central strength of administration.
Therefore, the Brahmins were eager to get rid of him and had cultivated a son of Brahmin woman – allegedly a concubine of Kapilenda – Mngula Rai by name – to dethrone him, so that Brahminism can return to power.
History has not recorded what happened to this most beloved emperor of Orissa, how he died, where, and when. But relying upon K. C. Panigrahi, it can be said that “the last part of his life was not happy”. Panigrahi has mentioned, “One of his inscriptions in the Jagannatha Temple at Ouri dated A. D. 1464, states that he had been forsaken by his former soldiers and servants” (History of Orissa, p. 203).
History also does not know what happened to his most valiant son Hambira, with whose help, he had expanded the purely Oriya empire, comparable with only the empire of Kharavel.
Panigrahi says, “We are unable to determine the order of seniority of Kapilendra’s sons, but our sourses give us a correct impression and information that Hambira was the ablest of them and it is he who helped his father in his southern conquests”(Ibid).
When, according to Prof. Panigrahi, “The Warangal Fort Inscription dated A. D. 1460, furnishes us with the definite information that Hambira was the son of Kapilendra”, he “does not find mention as the son of Kapilendra” in the inscription of Purusottam Dev or his son Prataprarudra Dev.
This is a puzzle the historians of Orissa, who have not bothered about sociological history of Orissa, have not bothered to solve, perhaps deliberately, because, thereby Brahminism’s tricks to suppress Buddhism in Orissa could have been exposed.
Weapon of Brahminism:Purusottam Dev
Purusottam Dev was a rabid hater of Buddhism and was a great patron of Brhaminism. In fact, Brahmins had made him their weapon against real cult of Jagannatha.
Son of a Brahmin concubine allegedly of Kapilendra Dev, he was enthroned by the Brahmins as the son of SriJagannatha, after which, the Brahmins, elbowed out from administration by Kapilendra, got back their heydays.
He was used to establish Shola Shasana. These were sixteen villages of Brahmins in the areas of Buddhist influence that were given the status of citadels of power (Shasana) from which and according to advice whereof the administration was to run.
There is reason to suspect that he had even killed Kapilendra and disposed off his body in the southern part of Orissa after forcing him to abdicate the throne in his favor.
Lest people revolt, the Brahmins had created legends that Lord Jagannatha, appearing in a dream, had ordered Kapilendra to hand over the throne to his Brahmin concubine’s son Mangula Rai who would be known as Purusottama Dev, as SriJagannatha himself was known as Purusottama.
The Brahmins had confused the people by coining verses that showed Purusottama Dev as the son of Jagannatha, father of Jagannatha, acolyte of Jagannatha. Without any prejudice to interpretation of Prof. K. C. Mishra, we may quote the relevant verse, which he has cited at page 52 of his Cult of Jagannatha. It is:
“Svayam Purusottamopi Purusottamatanayah
Svayam Purusottamatanayopi Purusottamajanakah
Svayam Purusottamajanakopi Purusottama Sevakah”.
By coining verses like this, the Brahmins had made him the emperor of Orissa in place of the Buddhist Kapilendra, away from the headquarters of the State, in distant southern areas, which Hambira had annexted to his father’s empire. They had claimed that, Kapilendra had abdicted his throne in favour of Purusottama as he was ordained to do so by SriJagannathaa in a dream.
“Lord Jagannatha’s will expressed in dreams, was a clever means of propaganda adopted by the new kings and their supporters” (K.C.Panigrahi, History of Orissa, pp.203-04)
By making him emperor Purusottama under orders of Purusottama Jagannatha, the Brahmins had actually tried to eliminate the female factor of Sri Jagannatha and make his instant metamorphosis to ‘Purusa’.
Manufactured legends galore
Kanchi-Kaveri legend was manufactured to earn legitimacy for Purusottama.
Legend of SriJagannatha and his brother Balabhadra having gone on white and black colored horses respectively, drinking butter-milk from Manika Gauduni by mortgaging their diamond rings to her on their way to join the Orissa Army at Kanchi was created to mislead the people to accept Purusottama Dev as their genuine king emperor chosen by SriJagannatha.
On occupying the throne, Purusottama Dev not only fortified Brahminism with sixteen citadels of power in the Buddhists dominated areas, but also tried to extinguish Buddhist identity of SriJagannatha by transforming the deity of SriMandira to Govinda Krushna.
Conspiracy against SriJagannatha
Before proceeding, we must put a cursory look at Sri Jaya Dev again. He had written very lucid Astapadi lyrics as a supportive literature to Bouddha Sahajayana when necessity of saving the people of Orissa from caste divide by reviving the culture of the Siddhacharyas was the most urgent.
These Astapadi lyrics have been misappropriated by Hindu chauvinists and profusely interpolated with verses created by agents of Brahmanism in order to dilute its Buddhist Sahajayani character.
It is wrongfully edited, with these interpolated verses, under the caption ‘Gita Gaovinda’ when Sri Jaya Dev had authored his lyrics basically against the ism of Govinda.
I have discussed this phenomenon in details in my book Sri Jaya Devanks Baisi Pahacha, published in 2005 by Bharata Bharati of Cuttack and anybody may peruse that to understand this phenomenon.
Kapilendra Dev, who, as discussed earlier, was a staunch supporter of Buddhism, had ordered that the love lyrics of Jaya Dev would be sung every day before SriJagannatha and the Lord would retire only after hearing these songs.
For revival of Brahminism, these songs were a very insurmountable obstacle.
The Brahmins had used Purusottama Dev to not only ban singing of these songs where SriJaganntha was being shown as Buddha in the Dasavatara invocation, but also to promulgate in its place a new book of songs projected as his own work, captioned Abhinav Gita Govinda where attempt were made to replace Buddha with Kansasuranisudana Krushna (Krushna the annihilator of demon Kansa).
This was the first major royal attempt to change SriJagannatha from Buddha to Krushna, who had killed Kansa.
Behind this mischief was Brahminism propounded by Sankaracharya (here Sankaracharya means the Adi Sankara and the chain of his chela Sankaras called Sankaracharya of Gobarddhan Math of Puri) to whom change of Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu by any means was of utmost importance to revive the Vedic Sanatan Dharma.
People thrashed Purusottama
People of Orissa had vehemently opposed this mischief. The public opposition to this royal attempt to change Sri Jagannatha from Buddha to Krushna @ Vishnu through imitation of the Astapadi lyrics of Jaya Dev was so ferocious that Purustottama Dev was forced to withdraw his mischievous book.
Nowhere in the history of India (and I believe in whole of the world) the subjects have revolted such ferociously against their own sovereign ruler to protect a poetic work of an acclaimed poet of their soil. Jaya Dev’s work was certainly a lyrical contribution to Maithunavad (Cult of coition) propounded by Buddhist Sahajayana. The filthiest claim of Bengalis – both Bangladesi and Indian – and the mischievous role of Suniti Kumar Chatterjee in his Sahitya Academi published book on Jay Dev has been rejected from every aspect in my well researched book cited supra.
As Emperor Purusottam Dev, whom the Brahmins had projected as the son and the father and the acolyte of Jagannatha, replaced Sri Jaya Dev’s love lyrics with Abhinav Gita Govinda claimed to have been authored by him, the heroic people of Orissa had thrashed him to the core. He was forced to withdraw his filthy book.
But, in order to dilute the Buddhist Sahajayany character of Jaya Dev’s lyrics, tricks were contrived to interpolate them with some of the verses from the discarded book. He prayed the people to allow certain verses from his Abhinav Gita Govind to be added to Jaya Dev’s songs to be recited in SriMandira, telling that, that was ordained by the Lord in a dream to him. In that special circumstance, people had given him the permission.
Villainy of Brahmins exposed
But, Abhinav Gita Govind, where attempts were made to change Jagannatha from Buddha to Kamsasuranisudan Krushna, was not in reality authored by Purusottama Dev, the people soon came to know.
It was revealed that the Brahmins had used a Brahmin poet namely Dibakar Mishra to write the Abhinav Gita Govind in order to replace Buddha with Krushna so that Jagannatha could be changed from Buddha to Vishnu.
People thrashed him mercilessly as they forced his patron Purusottam Dev to withdraw that book from the Jagannath system. He fled away with his life and took asylum in Vijayanagar kingdom.
In his introduction to Abinavagitagovinda-Mahakavyam, printed by Directorate of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Orissa, its editor Bhagavan Panda mentioned of “intrigue against Dibakara culminating in his departure from Orissa to the Court of Vijayanagara” the king of which was “a determined enemy of the (Orissa) Gajapati” (page 13).
His departure was not as per his choice. we are inclined to maintain that he was driven out by the people of Orissa for the mischief he had played in the Brahminic attempt to change SriJagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu.
People took revenge
The literary mischief was quashed.
But the political mischief Purusottam Dev had played was not pardoned by the people.
Purusottama Dev had tried to transform Buddha to Vishnu through another book called Gopalarchchana Paddhatti in order to execute Sankaracharya’s conspiracy to convert Sri Jagannatha to Srikrushna @ Vishnu. It was too much for the people. Their wrath knew no limit.
They enforced termination of the regime of Purusottma Dev whom the Brahmins had projected as the moving Jagannatha, as is seen in the verse quoted by K.C.Mishra cited supra. He was probably killed by the people, as no accounts of his whereabouts after this revolt is found anywhere.
Son quashed father’s mischief
We only find his son Prataparudra to have quashed the mischief of his father.
He ascended to the throne in A. D. 1467 and had immediately restored Sri Jaya Dev’s love lyrics in the regular seva of Srimandira. But he took 32 years to come to clearly quash his father’s mischief.
After reviving Jaya Dev’s lyrics in the ritual of ecstasy of Jagannatha, we find, he left the issue at that stage and concentrated on consolidation of his grandfather’s troubled territory.
In A. D. 1499-50, he had to clamp a permanent royal order by way of an edict that no song other than Sri Jaya Dev’s love lyrics would be sung before SriJagannatha (Jagannath Temple Inscriptions, Journal of Asiatic Society, Bengal, Vol.LXII P.96).
People’s revolt did not stop
Yet the people’s revolution did not stop.
The people continued their campaign against Sankaracharya’s unwanted transgression into Jagannatha system.
When Purusottam Dev’s mischief like Gopalarchchana Paddatti and other Brahminic scripture continued to project SriJagannatha as Gopala Krusna, Govinda, Visnu etc, people christened the name of the Puri temple as SriMandira, literally meaning the home of Laxmi, the daughter of Mahodadhi (the sea at Puri was known by this name till British idiots and their Bengali native servants termed it as Bay of Bengal).
Son-in-law in father-in-law’s house is a dog
The aim of christening the temple of Jagannatha as SriMandira was to show that, if Jagannatha was Govinda (Krushna of Dwaraka), then he had come to stay with his wife Laxmi in his father-in-law’s house. Simultaneously a folk lore was created that described a son-in-law staying in father-in-law’s house as a Kutta (dog). The folklore claimed that there were four types of Kutta (dogs) in the world. They are, (1) a son-in-law living in father-in-law’s house, (2) a brother who lives in sister’s house, (3) a person who doesn’t pet a dog and (4) the dog itself.
I feel tempted to cite the verse. It is:
“Shahura Ghare Joi’n Kutta,
Bhauni Ghare Bhai Kutta,
Kutta Yie Na Pale Kutta,
Kutta Ta Sahaje Kutta
Emiti Chari Kutta”.
Thus the people of Orissa, without directly describing how they look at Govinda (Krusna) in SriMandira, indirectly pointed out that to them, Sankaracharya’s Govinda was a dog.
Punishment to the God of Brahminism
As the Sankaracharyan conspiracy succeeded in changing Jagannatha to Govinda, with addition of Balabhadra and Subhadra – brother and sister respectively of Krushna, the people of Orissa exhibited how mercilessly they can thrash that design.
Sankaracharya had promulgated caste supremacist authority as well as supremacy of patriarchy in the temple of Jagannatha with the help of the kings.
People of Orissa had no military power at their command to undo the royally sponsored mischief. So, through literature, they decided to give Brahminism a lesson.
They planned an Osa (a religious fast) in glorification of Laxmi which they called Manabasa Osa. Laxmi being their own Goddess, Brahmins could not oppose.
This Osa is a celebration of Mother-Right inasmuch as Goddess Laxmi is worshipped as the authority of food and eliminator of caste supremacism.
Sriya Chandaluni story is the essence of this Osa.
To Brahmins, Chandala is Asprushya (untouchable) and is the lowest caste.
Buddha had revolted against untouchability and Buddhism was casteless.
With him as Jagannatha, as detailed supra, Jagannatha was a deity matriarchy.
But, Sankaracharya having transgressed into Jagannatha system, patriarchy and upper caste (Brahmin) hegemony was promulgated. So, in Sriya Chandaluni story, both patriarchy and caste supremacist foul play was threadbare exposed and thrashed.
The story began with Balarama, elder brother of Govinda Krushna, rebuking Laxmi and asking her to leave the temple for the offence she committed by visiting the untouchable Chandaluni Sriya.
Laxmi left the temple.
The two brothers – Balarama and Govinda – could not get any food to eat. Dressed as Brahmins they begged for food. People even refused to give them any alms. They reached the stage of starvation death. To get some food by any means, they reached the house that reportedly was of a Chandala woman. As they prayed for food there, it was asked to them, how can they, being Brahmins, take food from an untouchable Chandala woman? They replied: when lack of food was keeling them, they had no caste choice. Hunger knows no caste; they declared and begged for the food.
They took food from the hands of the untouchable lowest caste woman and then they discovered that Laxmi was in the guise of that woman.
Thereafter, Jagannatha temple became casteless.
Sankaracharya got the sharpest slap on his face through this story and people all over Orissa, since then, have been celebrating this Osa as a mark of their caste-less Buddhist life style, without binding Buddha to any formal ritual.
Bauri is better than the Brahmins
Similarly the people created the Dasia Bauri episode, where their lord Jagannatha had rejected the showy offerings of the Brahmins and had taken personally the coconut offered to him by the low-caste untouchable Dasia Bauri, because, he was Buddha, the Patita Pavana (Friend of the untouchables).
These and many such stories show how zealously the people of Orissa have protected the magnanimity of Buddha in the system of Jagannatha.
But, to their chagrin, the caste apartheid continued to torture the common man as Sankaracharya continued to rule the roost in Jagannatha system. People of Orissa continued to revolt against this.
It is beyond our knowledge who exactly had done it, but there is no doubt in it that a patron king of Vedic Sanatan Dharma had planted the statues of Adi Sankara and his chela Padmapad on the Ratna Singhasana of SriMandira where worship was being offered to them along with SriJagannatha.
People of Orissa had raised a ferocious revolt against this mischief. Finally, during the regime of Gajapati Dibyasing Dev (1793-1798), they deracinated those two statues from the podium of Jagannatha, and crushed them to dust and threw the same to the streets. Pt. Kedarnath Mohapatra, who has mentioned how Adi Sankara had established the Govarddhan math at Puri to strengthen Brahamnya Dharma has narrated this event in his Khurudha Itihasa (1969) at P. 288.
Thus it is clear that Sankaracharya of Puri is a hooligan of Brahminism and he has no place on the tradition of Jagannatha, as rightly shown by the predecessors of present Oriyas by ejecting the statues of Adi Sankar and his chela Sankar out of SriMandira.
The history cited above unambiguously establishes the victory of Oriyas of the day against Sankaracharya and his anti-Jagannatha design.
The present day corporate agents in administration, politics, judiciary and media are keeping this splendid history of our people deliberately in dark.
Jagannatha is being kept buried under concocted legends and his reality as Buddha is being kept suppressed as all the matriarch splendor of Jagannatha, which should have come to light in Navakalevara is set to be kept hidden behind the misnomer Brahma.
Howsoever legends may continue to be amplified; to traditional Oriyas the reality is that Sri Jagannatha is Buddha and the embodiment of benevolence of the Eternal Mother, the epitome of Mother-Right, the eliminator of “Baiprachitta” demons in forms of Sankaracharyas. T
he traditional Oriyas, proud of their heritage will continue to see Dakshina Kali in SriJagannatha and SriKshetra Puri shall continue to enchant them as “Kalika Keli Bhumi”.
The progressive Oriya nation, for all time to come, shall cherish its brilliant history of quashing Emperor Purusottama Dev’s mischief by punishing him probably to death and by thrashing Dibakar Mishra out of Orissa for his evil design to change Jagannatha from Buddha to Kansasuranisudan Krushna (Govinda) and of ejecting out Sankaracharya from Jagannatha system by deracinating Adi Sankara’s imasge from the podium of Jagannatha at the summit of centuries old battle against his design to impose Vedic Sanatan Dharma in SriMandira.
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