Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Shankaracharya of Puri knows that he has no place in Jagannatha system. Yet, he had almost succeeded to enter into the system through the backdoor under cover of a High Court verdict and in nexus with the present Gajapati Divyasingh Dev.
The good news is that, after we strongly exposed his position and the Daitapati leadership also pointed out how he has no right to ride over the Rath, he has stayed away from the most progressive event centering a deity of the masses in the world.
Daitapati leadership clearly stated that it is only they that were magnanimously inviting the Shankarachary to climb on the Chariot to pay his respects to the Lord. That cannot be construed as a right. And, rightly so.
Sri Jagannatha is Buddha, propitiated as such in Indrabhuti’s Gnanasiddhi where has been described as Sarva Buddhamaya (Buddha in entirety), (Two Vajrayana Works, p.31).
In ancient Oriya literature too, he is described as Buddha.
Orissa’s Vyasa Muni – the great Sarala Das – in Sabha Parva of his unique epic Mahabharata, which has incorporated relevant events of Orissa in his epic contextualizing them with Vyasa’s writing, has made it clear that Sri Jagannatha himself is the merciful Buddha. One of many of his verses in this regard says, “Samsara Jananku tariva nimante, Buddha rupare bije accha Jagannathe” .
In the language of Sunya Samhita, he is described as Buddha worshiped on the shore of Mahodadhi (Buddha rupe Mahodadhi Kule), The Mahodadhi of Sunya Samhita is wrongfully named by the British as Bay of Bengal.
In Deula Tola, Sri Jagannatha has revealed that he is none but Buddha. (Thakure boile Raja hoilu ki bai, Kali yuge basibun Buddha rupa hoi).
In explaining why Jagannatha has neither the hands nor feet, Daru Brahma Gita says, “Sastha divasa antarena, Pada je Pani hela kshina; Bauddha rupa heba jani, Pada Pani chhadile Gosani”.
Sunya samhita further says, “Boile Achyuta tembhe shuna ambha vani, Kaliyuge Buddha rupe prakashibu puni”.
Sasi Sena makes the declaration more specific: “Sri Nilagiri kandare Hari, Buddha rupare chhanti bije kari”.
So, Sri Jagannatha is Buddha; and, hence, is the greatest religious obstacle to conservative Hindutwa that divides the society on caste line, condemning the working class as Mlechha (untouchable) with scriptural provisions for their exploitation.
Sri Jagannatha is Oriya’s epitome of matriarchy and resultant Universal outlook that propounds peaceful co-existence sans any geographical, caste or creed prejudice.
Therefore, for centuries, the Shankaracharian design propelled by caste-supremacists has tried to destroy this uniqueness of Jagannatha.
We have shown in earlier discussions that Shankaracharya is a sectarian Hindu chauvinist belonging to Adwaita Vedanta school of thought which is de facto a sub-thought of the orthodox philosophy called Vedanta, thriving on caste-supremacist mentality of upper caste Hindus. He has formed a private militia styled Aditya Bahini, when Orissa is the place, where, to wipe out her Buddhist identity, Keshari kings were rewarding Pashupat Saiva brand of Brahmin hooligans with gold coins for annihilation of Buddhist monks. When Jayati Kesari had imported 10,000 militant Brahmins from Kanauj to destroy Buddhist monasteries in Orissa, particularly in present day Jajpur district, according to Iswara Das in Chaitanya Bhagavata, at Ch.148, a king of Keshari dynasty had beheaded 668 Buddhist monks on the banks of river Prachi, forcing Bauddhacharyas of Chaurashi monastery to go underground. Some of the Chaurashi Siddhacharyas had fled to Nepal where a bunch of their philosophical poems known as Charyagitis were stumbled upon by a Bengali scholar who, sans qualm, had tried to misappropriate the same for his mother tongue. Philological analysis has shown them as proto-Oriya.
Rev. J. Long, had tried to reach the root of Buddhism. As, Nepal was projected as birthplace of Buddha, he had made extensive research there to find out if that was the fountainhead of Buddhism. He got no proof. China being a land where Buddhism was massively followed, he had tried to find out the root of Buddhism there also. He could not. Ceylon being the other place famously known for Buddhist practices, he made his research there too. No evidence was available to him to arrive at the root of Buddhism. . But, on “antiquarian analysis”, he was convinced that if any place could be linked to origin of Buddhism, that is Orissa. In his ‘Notes and Queries suggested by a visit to Orissa in January 1859’ he has put it on records that, “though Orissa be now the garden of the Hinduism and Jagannatha its jerujalem”, “antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Ceylon and China show that the Buddhism so noted in its regards for enlightening the masses and opposing caste, was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among the rulers and the people”.
“The whole temple (of Jagannatha) was built on the principles of Kamavajrayani Buddhists” wrote P. Bandopadhya in Rachanavali. Analyzing the statues of copulation spangled all over the temple, he had seen how effectively Tantra was its driving force. “It was in this SriMandira”, he noted, “the harmony was achieved between cosmic creation and the creation of human body. In all these obscene sculptures, every male is a Buddhist Monk of the Kamavajrayana school and every female is a Devadasi or a female votary” (Quoted from translation by D.P.Chatopadyaya).
Rev. Jung in his paper cited supra has shown how Brahmins were using brutal force to destroy Jagannatha’s real identity and how to save Buddha’s tooth from them, a daughter of a king of Orissa had fled to Ceylon concealing the holy relics in her hair. Mentioning that the celebrated tooth of Buddha, which Jagannatha contained till 4th century AD, he has said, after a short periodic shift to Patna, “the ancient Palibothra then the capital of North India”, the tooth was soon after brought back to Puri. “But, on an invasion of the country, it was conveyed in AD 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 Brahmins’ rage”.
This is how since so many centuries the Vedic chauvinists, to which gang the Puri Shankaracharya belongs, have been acting against Sri Jagannatha, the Buddha.
People of Orissa, had, therefore, thrown the statues of Adi Shankara and his disciple Padmapada – the first Sankaracharya of Puri – to the dustbin, by dragging them out from the podium of Jagannatha, where the Brahmins had managed Gajapati Purusottam Dev to put those images for worship. Since then, Shankaracharya has no place in SriMandira system.
But, as the people are increasingly growing ignorant of their glorious cultural heritage under fascist flood of Hindu fanaticism, mistaking the same as new definition of nationalism; and as law courts are having judges that are not reluctant to act as launching pads of social acceptability of sectarian religious bigots like the Shankaracharya, the greatest epitome of Oriya culture, Sri Jagannatha is threatened with extinguishment of his uniqueness.
Thanks to the Daitapati leadership, his self-help tricks to impose himself on Sri Jagannatha under the cover of a high court ruling have been foiled this time.