Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The good news is that a Public Interest Litigation has been filed before the Orissa High Court after we dwelt on Shankaracharya’s nasty design to destroy Jagannatha Culture.
The PIL has challenged the Shankaracharya’s self-help fatwa banning devotees of Sri Jagannatha climbing the chariot while declaring himself to do the same. He has neither any duty to perform on the chariot nor any entitlement to do so under the Records of Rights, the PIL has stated.
Shankaracharya is a sectarian Hindu leader belonging to Adwaita sect of Vedanta and his basic work is to, as and when necessary, interpret what the Adi Shankaracharya had said Vedanta, which again is one of the six rival philosophies like Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkshya, Yoga, Purva Mimamsa and Vedanta. These six rival schools have their common challengers in philosophies like Jainism and Buddhism which are Dharmas distinctly different from the Hindu Dharma.
So, even if Sri Jagannatha is, for the sake of argument only, considered a Hindu deity, Shankaracharya cannot be the sole authority in the matter of Jagannatha.
Hindu religion is saturated with many modern philosophies, even as Vidyaranya has identified as many as sixteen rival philosophies that affect Hinduism. Adwaita Vedanta is a part thereof. So, Shankaracharya is a mere Mathadhisha only of a quarreling sect of Hindu philosophy, not the leader of the whole gamut of Hindu philosophic schools.
As and when necessary, he may help the followers of his sect with interpretation of Adwaita Vedants; but he has no right to pose as the leader of all the Hindus.
Specifically, Sri Jagannatha being Buddha, the Shankaracharya has no role at all in his matter.
The Orissa High Court was misled by the caste-supremecists to accept Shankarachary as the final adviser of Hindus, and has erred in mandating that any action that goes against the opinion of Shankaracharya “will obviously be inoperative”.
Shankaracharya being a sectarian caste-supremacist leader, it is absolutely wrong to enforce him on all the Hindus in general and in particular, on the Jagannatha devotees, the deity being basically Buddha and extensively anti-casteism.
Jagannath the Shakta deity
On the other hand, Sri Jagannatha is the deity of the Shakta sect. In Puri, which is Niladri, Sri Jagannatha is the discernible form of Dakshina Kalika, the supreme Devi of Tantra (Niladrau Sri Jagannatha Sakshat Dakshina Kalika). Puri is Srikshetra, the best of the soil that represents the female factor, where male identity is lost to female superiority, because the entire Srikshetra is based on the concept of Kali (Sri Kalika Yantrarupam Kshetram Sri Purusottamam / Tatratya Yoginirupah Pumanshcha Parikirttitah). Even the males are considered as female form of Bhairavas, because Srikshetra is Kali’s soil of romance (Strirupah Bhairavah Sarve Purushah Purusottame / Jambudwipe Birajante Kalika Keli Bhumayah).
In this Shakta system on which the cult of Jagannatha has evolved, Shankaracharya has no place. Therefore, when Gajapati Purusottam Dev had consecrated a statue of the Adi Shankaracharya on the podium of Jagannatha, the people of Orissa had revolted against him and had forced him to amend his ways and had uprooted the statue of Adi Shankar from the Ratna Vedi of Jagannatha and had thrown that statue to the dustbin. Since then, Shankaracharya had no say in the matter of Sri Jagannatha. People of Orissa had completely ejected him out of the Jagannatha system.
But the caste-supremacists, who have been using the present Gajapati and top functionaries belonging to the Brahmin caste to revive their hegemony, have, somewhat managed to project Shankaracharya as an authority over the entire Hindu community through the court verdict referred to supra in absence of any informed opposition.
This has given birth to a situation where the purely liberal, secular, caste-less car festival of Sri Jagannatha may be vitiated with a Hindu sectarian fundamentalism.
Sri Jagannatha is epitome of social unity of Oriya people and of their unique world outlook based on universal brotherhood as propounded originally by the greatest son of Orissa soil, Gurudev Buddha, whom the world knows as Lord Buddha. A short sojourn in evolution of Sri Jagannatha may be of immense help.
Evolution of Sri Jagannatha
Founder of the Vajrayan school of Buddhism Indrabhuti had tried to give a shape to Gurudev Buddha, in whose demise, the Buddhists were trying to save their system from the deity-centric Vedic imperialism by promoting Shunyavada on the assumption that, after demise, Buddha had become one with the Shunya, omnipresent.
By then the matriarch tribes of Orissa had been worshiping a torso shaped wooden log as Jaganta in the belief that, the female factor is behind creation. And, as shown in my book ‘SriJaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha’ (Bharata Bharati, Cuttack), in course of time, to make their concept more specific, they had added the picture of a pair of female breasts to this Jaganta and the torso had evolved into Jaganta-tha with the suffix ‘tha’ representing ‘thana’ the breasts. To them, when womb of the mother gives birth, the breasts of the mother gives the growth. So, the breasts depicted in the wooden log representing the torso of the mother were made most prominent. The same breasts on the torso of the creator-female (Madalaa) have come to be projected as the round eyes (Chaka Akhi) of SriJagannatha. (Ibid).
Gurudev Buddha being the supreme leader of Orissa’s matriarch tribes, and because of him the tribal democracies having been saved from Vedic imperialism, which he had done by rushing from Tosala (his birthplace Orissa) to Magadha to obstruct the spread of empire building in the very heartland of Vedic-imperialism, the tribes of Orissa, specifically the Shavara tribe, had been seeing Buddha in the body of that Jananta-tha. Therefore, when Indrabhuti wanted to promote a visible shape for the omnipresent Buddha, to counter the impact of deity-centric Brahminism, his concept being the matriarch component of applied Buddhism, he negotiated with the Shavara tribes that gave eminent Shioddhacharyas to Orissa, to project their ‘Jaganta-tha’ as Jagannatha and thus founded Jagannatha, propitiating the omnipresent (Gaganopama) Gurudev Buddha as Jagannatha for the first time. Gnanasiddhi, the canon he gave to Vajrayan, begun with the verse: “Pranipatya Jagannatham Sarvajina Vararcchitam / Sarva Buddhamayam Siddhavyapinam Gaganopamam / Sarvadam Sarvasattwevyah Sarvagnam Baravajrinam / Bhaktyoham Sarvavabena Bakshe Tatsadhanam Param”.
So, Sri Jagannatha is entirely Buddha as founded by Indrabhuti.
Indrabhuti had been bestowed upon with all cooperation in establishing Sri Buddha Jagannatha by the dedicated followers of Buddha in the Kurma Pataka (literary working class) on the banks of Prachi spanning from his birthplace Kapilavastu (red-soil village) in the Rangamatia region of Chandaka-Dhauligiri range to Puri via Kakatapur and Konarka and the said Kurma Pataka, whom caste-supremacists hate as untouchable, had their writ of Tantra on theology of Jagannatha, in recognition of which the inner campus of Srimandira is named Kurma Bedha where caste factor has no existence. The caste-supremacists, in order to misappropriate Jagannatha for themselves, have transformed Indrabhuti to Indradyumna and the Kurma Pataka to Kurma (turtles) through concocted legends, but the inner campus of Srimandira where caste-less Jagannathism still prevails, is known as yet as the Kurma Bedha.
Despite promulgation of Vedic Mantras and appointment of Puja Pandas by Brahminism’s patronizing kings, the people of Orissa have not only shown their aversion to Shankaracharyan chauvinism in throwing away Adi Shankara’s statue to the dustbin after uprooting the same from Buddha Jagannatha’s Ratna Vedi as mentioned supra, but also have retained the Tantric system in every ritual of Jagannatha, including Snana and Ratha Yatras.
As the Orissa High Court has already injured the Jagannatha culture by putting stamp of approval on Shankaracharya’s nasty design to reduce Jagannatha to a toy of caste-supremacist Hindus, it is now incumbent upon the real devotees of Sri Jagannatha adopt every possible method to save Sri Jagannatha from the antagonists of Jagannathism.
Now two cases are before the Orissa High Court. One, as referred to above, is seeking nullification of Shankaracharya’s self-help declaration to climb over the chariot and do whatever he wants with Sri Jagannath there; and Two, the case of Daitapatis seeking nullification of ban on devotees touching Sri Jagannath on his chariot.
Both the cases should be settled without any prejudice. And, for this, it would be better if judges belonging to Brahmin caste graciously stay away from adjudication; because, as discussed above, the caste-supremacists are active in engulfing Sri Jagannatha, whose Buddha identity is under severe threat.