Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The founder of Vajrayana school of Buddhism, Indrabhuti had created the name Jagannatha for Gurudev Buddha in Jnanasiddhi that began with
“pranipatya jagannatham sarvajinavararchitam / sarvabuddhamayam siddhibyapinam gaganopamam//” (Jnanasiddhi: i, 1).
Nowhere in Jnanasiddhi, he has used the name Vishnu for Sri Jagannatha.
Sri Jagannatha is also known as Kali
(“Niladrou Sri Jagannatha sakshat Dakshina Kalika”, meaning, in Niladri Puri, Sri Jagannatha is Dakshina Kali herself.).
Kali is the epitome of women power that had fought against and vanquished the satyrs from Mahishasura to Raktavirjya whereas Vishnu had impersonated Sambarasura to desecrate his woman like any satyr could have done. So, Kali represents a cult that is in opposition to that of Vishnu.
Kali is unique. She is seen in a pose suggestive of advance movement with a body lying beneath her raised foot. That body is called Siva, known also as Shmasanabasi (one, who lives in the cremation grounds). So most probably that body is a sava (a dead body) but under Kali’s advancing step, it becomes Siva, whom scriptures have described as a factor of destruction and reproduction.
Symbolically, thus, Kali connotes to awakening of the dormant human society to destroy the exploiters and to proceed towards progress, which, Guru Dev Buddha, by organizing the matriarch agro tribes into Sangha with democratic centralism against rising autocracy, had philosophized.
This is why the Vedic imperialists, to whom progress of the natives was intolerable, had aggressively tried to divest Sri Jagannatha of matriarch progressiveness by converting him to Vishnu, the protector of patriarch conservatism. In this endeavor, they had tried to first change Sri Jagannatha from Buddha of Orissa into Sri Krushna of Dwaraka.
Possibly Sri Krishna was the only name that was suitable for their purpose.
India has two Mahapuranas subscribing to two opposite social orders. The first one is Ramayana wherein patriarch hegemony is glorified. Patriarchy being the factor of caste supremacist social order, Rama, who had beheaded Sudra Muni Shambhuka to justify that peoples belonging to “untouchable” castes have no right to worship any God, and who, time and again, had so coldly embarrassed his wife Sita in the public by asking her to establish her chastity, that she ultimately committed suicide, was the hero of Ramayana. Against this patriarch inhumanity, Muni Vyasa, who was conscious of his own birth being the result of rape of his mother by Parasara, a top practitioner of patriarchy, had deliberately created Mahabharata to condemn patriarch hegemony. In his Mahabharata, whosoever has offended any woman has been severely punished even to the extent of extermination. He has redefined religion as rise of the exploited to annihilate the exploiters. In this new scripture of class war, Sri Krishna was the hero. So he was the most beloved epic character that the peoples adored as their redeemer. Therefore the caste supremacists and their cohorts who constituted the exploiter class had tried to tamper with Mahabharata and to interpolate the character of Sri Krishna with such components that his distinction as class war hero would be blurred. Thus they had, in Bhagavata, deliberately plastered characteristics akin to Sahajayana on Sri Krishna by composing this Vaisnv literature in the style of a Mahapurana and promulgating the same in the name of Vyasa.
Crafted legends were cunningly spread to add authenticity to Bhagavata as a genuine work of Vyasa and through massive interpolations and manipulations in the real Mahabharata, Sri Krishna was projected as the God Vishnu of Vedic pantheon. Depicting the massiveness of this manipulation Garuda Purana says,
“daityah sarve biprakulesu bhuta / kalauyuge bharate satasahasrayam / niskasya kashchinna navanirmitanam / nibesanam tatra kurbanti nityam// (Devayani Das, Sambad, 15 Sept.1996),
which roughly means that the wicked persons born to Bipra castes have tampered with the Mahabharata of Vyasa by replacing many of its 6000 stanzas with the ones purposefully composed by themselves.
What was the purpose behind such tampering with the text of the Mahabharata?
Obviously, paving of the path for creation of Bhagavata in the name of Vyasa to make Krishna of Sahajiya character prominent than that of the class war leader the Mahabharata had created. So, it was as per a stratagem. And, it was a shrewd stratagem.
In this stratagem, if Sri Krushna of Sahajiya character could be posed as Jagannatha, the latter being the name of Buddha from whose tenets Sahajayana had emerged, the thread of difference between the two would be so indiscernible that it would not be possible for the common man of Orissa to say that Sri Jagannatha was not Vishnu, because the name Vishnu was also given by them to Sri Krishna. To the Vedic mafias, once Jagannatha was accepted as Vishnu, there would be no difficulty in wiping out Buddhism from its soil of origin, Orissa, with torrents of the Vedic philosophy that Vishnu was standing for.
To execute this stratagem, many a patron saints of Vedic imperialism had for centuries flocked to Orissa and concentrated at Puri to do this conversion.
Sri Jay Dev, belonging by birth to now extinct village of Kenduvilwa on the sea shore near Puri of Orissa, which the yet active agents of Brahmanism have wrongfully been showing to be Kenduli near Bhubaneswar, was deeply disturbed over the decline of Buddhism, his creed by birth, due to spread of Vedic hegemony in Orissa.
Depicting how in Jay Dev’s contemporary Orissa, Buddhism was being dragged into decline, Iswar Das has noted at Stanzas 61-65 in Chapter 148 of Chaitanya Bhagavat that a Keshari king had massacred 667 out of 752 Buddhist monks in the Satapata area within the spread of Kurmapatakapur forcing some of the Siddhacharyas belonging to the monastery at village Chaurashi in the same region, to go underground. In giving another account, the Ekamra Purana has described that kings, patronizing Brahmanism, were giving sumptuous gifts and gold coins to Pasupat Saivas (a sect of Vedic mafias) as rewards for butchering Buddhist Monks.
Against such scenarios, Sri Jay Dev had tried to save Buddhism from Aryan onslaught in his motherland Orissa by equipping Sahajayan (Buddhist philosophy of social unity and female superiority based on her being the primary factor of creation) with an excellent literary weapon in form of Astapadi love songs written in Sanskritised Oriya (Subhas Chandra Pattanayak: Sri Jaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha (SJDBP), Bharata Bharati, Cuttack, 2005).
In the offering song, popular as Dasavatara Stuti, he had reinforced Sri Jagannatha as Buddha and by singing glory therein to Hari, a synonym also of Vishnu, had prodded the caste supremacists to accept Buddha as the object of their worship.
Though a synonym of Vishnu, Jay Dev’s Hari in reality was derived from Heruka, the form of Buddha, whose complexion was black because of density of wrath against the caste supremacists. A Heruka image discovered from Kuruma near the Konark temple (the now extinct Kuruma monastery of Orissa) shows that he even carries the chopped off head said to be of Brahma in one hand and a container full of his blood in the other. So, it was natural on part of Sri Jay Dev to abridge Heruka to Hari in his composition, as therein he had to provide Sahajayan with the needed literature against Vedic imperialism (Ibid).
Besides being Heruka, Buddha was also known as Surya (the Sun) by his clan name (“Adicchanamagotten”– I belong by birth to Aditya (Sun) Clan – Buddha to Bimbisara in Suttanipata). And, Surya was known as Hari. So by singing glory to Hari, Sri Jay Dev had sung glory to Gurudev Buddha.
On the other hand, Sri Jaya Dev had used some other names, which, though synonyms of Vishnu, stand in reality for women-right and against exploitation, such as Murari.
Thus, by singing glory to Hari, Sri Jaya Dev had sung glory to Buddha, not to Govinda.
This aspect is proven by the very fact that he has never used the word Govinda anywhere in his songs. Therefore it is sure, the name Hari and Murari etc were tactfully used by Sri Jay Dev to hoodwink the caste supremacist rule then in possession of Orissa (Ibid) to reinforce the Sahajayana tenets of applied Buddhism. In fact, due to this tact of Sri Jay Dev, the caste supremacists and their cohorts then in power had, in worshiping Jagannatha as Vishnu, been worshiping Buddha.
When this tact was discovered long after his passing away, the caste supremacists, unable to stop its spread, interpolated the songs with 74 clumsy stanzas designed to create confusion in the public over their Buddhist status and edited the same with the most misleading caption of Geeta Govinda. The interpolators had given this caption, no doubt, because the poet, having never used the word Govinda anywhere in his geetas (songs) was not supposed to have given this title.
Further to this, the agents and lobbyists of Vedic imperialism, as observed from cultural history, had also concentrated at Puri to annotate the same to show Sri Jay Dev as a Vaishnava and his songs stood for Vedism, not for Buddhism.
But an inadvertent mistake in interpolating, editing and converting the compilation of his Astapadi poems to Geeta Govinda had left Buddha intact in the Dasavatara Stutee and recitation of Jay Dev’s songs in the inner chamber of Sri Jagannatha being part of the deity’s daily rituals, the caste supremacists, out-and-out against Buddhism, were being compelled to sing glory to Buddha.
To get rid of this contradiction, they used Emperor Purusottam Dev, who after clandestinely incarcerating his father Kapilendra Dev in a southern point of Orissa, had occupied the throne with their help, to replace the said Geeta Govinda with an imitation thereof, styled as Abhinav Geeta Govinda, written by one of them namely Dibakar Mishra (Kedarnath Mohapatra in Contribution of Orissa to Sanskrit Literature, 1960, P.LI), but projected as authored by the emperor. This attempt was designed to replace Buddha with Sri Krishna in the Dasavatara Stutee so that Sri Jagannatha would no more be known as Buddha but be known as Sri Krishna to be worshiped consequently as Vishnu.
But the peoples of Orissa, devout followers of Buddha of their own soil as they were, so sharply revolted against this mischief that Purusottam Dev had to withdraw his steps and to restore the recitation of the original songs authored by Sri Jay Dev. This glorious cultural victory of the peoples of Orissa against their own political emperor was unique.
It is noteworthy that after this defeat, the same emperor Purusottam had tried again to project Sri Jagannatha as Sri Krishna. He had promulgated a Code of Rituals in the temple of Sri Jagannatha styled as “Sri Gopalarchana Paddhatti” that was vitiated with the mischief to worship Him as Gopala (Krushna) under the plea that in Kaliyug (the epical era following Dwapara), worship should be offered only to him as he was recognized as the reigning Lord when the last era was taking leave.
The peoples of Orissa sternly declared that if Sri Jagannatha was to be worshiped in the name of Gopala Sri Krishna in Kaliyug, then that Gopal Sri Krishna couldn’t be anybody other than Kalika, the Supreme Mother.
“Kalau Kali, Kalau Krishna, Kalau Gopala Kalika”: Tara Rahasya.
Nobody, howsoever high in power, had dared to reject this declaration.
At the initial stage of Vedic imperialism trying to terminate Buddhism in its place of origin, Orissa, its strongman Sankaracharya, had established one of the four branches of his school at Puri styled as Gobardhan Peetham, a name deliberately given to assert against Orissa’s Buddhist tribalism.
During days of Purusottam Dev, the caste supremacists had tried to control the Jaganntha temple through a body styled as Mukti Mandap with the then Sankaracharya as its President and with the emperor behind them, they had put the statute of Adi Sankaracharya along with the statue of his first agent at Puri, Padmapada, arbitrarily on the Ratna Simhasana of Sri Jagannatha in order to exhibit their supremacy over the spiritual spectrum and to force peoples to pay obeisance to those two epitomes of anti-Buddhism while offering their prayers to Sri Jagannatha.
Peoples of Orissa at the summit of their consistent battle against this conspiracy had not only forced the emperor to ban the worship offered to Sankaracharya on the podium of Sri Jagannatha but also had executed their wrath by deracinating those two implanted statues from the Ratna Simhasana during the days of Gajapati Divyasingha Dev (Khurudha Itihasa: Kedarnath Mohapatra, p.288) and by throwing them as obnoxious waste to the road for the people to pulverize them under their feet. So the peoples of Orissa never approved transformation of Sri Jagannatha from Buddha to Vishnu under the cover of Krushna.
This victory of the peoples of Orissa over their ruler and the ruling elites has no parallel in history; but due to lapse in recording of history, it has not become conspicuous so far. Culture historians should take note of it.