|13 Ekaamra/ Purushottama Kshetras and King Indradyumna’s Temple of Jagannatha|
(‘Kaarunya Sthava Varnana’ /Vishnu Stotra included)
Maharshi Lomaharshana narrated to the Sages assembled at Naimisharanya under the leadership of Suta Maha Muni about the significance of Ekaamra and Purushotthama Kshektras as told by Lord Brahma himself originally. Ekaamra Kshetra had as much of popular belief and reputation of Varanasi with Koti Shiva Lingas and eight Tirthas where at the beginning of the present Kalpa there was stated to have been a huge mango tree and hence the name of Ekaamra (literally meaning Mango orchards). It was also stated that the sacred waters of various Tirthas, Rivers, Sarovaras, Pushkari, Tataakas and Vapis, besides the Oceans surrounding Bharata Desha were collected by Devatas and poured into the famed Bindudsara Tirtha where Tribhuvaneswara (Bhuvaneshwar of Orissa) Lingaabhisheka was performed. Since then Agahana / Margaseersha Krishna Paksha Ashtami has been the day when devotees undertake Tirtha Yatra to the Temple when they take sacred bath in the Bindusarovara and at the time of Vishu Yoga perform Tila tarpanas to Devataas, Rishis, and Pitras to attain the Ashva Yaaga Phala. It has been the belief that Tarpanmaas and Pitru Pinda Daanaas / charities to learned Brahmanas at the timings of Grahanaas or Solar and Lunar Eclipses, Vishuva yogas, Samkranti, Ayanaarambhaas, and such other significant Festival Days would yield hundred fold fruits of similar acts in oher Kshetras. Thereafter, devotees should enter the Temple and perform Abhisheka, and Puja with Bilwapatra, Lotus and other flowers along with the chanting of Vedic and Tantrika Mantras and ‘Shodashopachaaraas’/ Sixteen Services with Gandha, Pushpa, Phala, Chandana, Dhupa, Deepa, Naivedya, Upahaara, Stuti, Saashtaanga Pranaama, Geeta-Vaadya, Nritya, Japa, Namaskaara and Pradakshina. From the Temple in the Four Directions of Paschima, Purva, Dakshina and Uttara are situated Kshetras some two and half yojanas away, of which Bhaskareshwara Linga is the most significant as also other Kshetras. There had also been several other Tirthas not far from Ekaamra Kshetra. Towards the East Coast near the Samudra in the Utkala Desha was the famed Purushottama Kshetra where the all-pervading Jagannatha resided; Brahma Deva stated that besides himself, Shiva, Indra, Agni and other Devataas set up their residences as also Gandharvas, Apsaraas, Pitras, Yakshas, Vidyadharas, Siddhaas, Rishis, also Prajapatis, Garuda, Kinnara, Naaga, Vedas, Shastras and Itihaasa Puranaas were all present and the Place which got sanctified further with Purushotthama’s presence too had acquired unique significance. Those who would visit this extraordinary Tirtha and get the Darshan of Purushotthama would never ever enter Yamaloka but be safe on Swargapatha.
The illustrious and highly virtuous King Indradyumna of Malwadesha with Avantika (Ujjain) as his Capital City on the banks of the Sacred River Kshipra was famed as a unique Administrator with such qualities that his subjects followed Varnaashrama, lived with peaceful contentment and prosperity without fear or ill-health and respectful of values of Dharmik life viz. Dharma-Artha-Kaama-Moksha. Already in Avantika, there had been for times immemorial a Mahaakala Temple of Trinetradhaari Maha Deva whose darshan and worship had proven fulfillment of the wishes of lakhs of visiting devotees. Besides the Sacred Kshipra and several water bodies, there also was a Shivakunda, an instant sin-demolisher, in the vicinity of Mahaakala and devotees who bathed in it; offered Tarpanas to Devas, Rishis and Pitras and entered the Temple to worship Mahaakaala with Lingabhisheka, Pushpa, Gandha, dhupa, deepa, naivedya and pradakshinas were blessed with Ashwamedha Yagna Phala, paapa-mukti and Shivaloka prapti. There was also Govinda Swami Temple which when visited and worshipped, the fruits are stated to relieve the souls of twenty one previous generations. Besides, there also was the Temple of Vikrama Swami whose darshan ensured Swarga Prapti as the King was conducting regular discussions of Itihaasa- Puranas, Shastra-Vedanga deliberations and so on and even Indra and Deva-Devis were stated to attend the Pravachanas!
King Indradyumna crossed Mahanadi on the either sides of which the lands were fertile, Brahmanas were pious engaged in Yagnas, Homas, worships, fastings and Swadhyaas; Varnaashramas were flourishing and the King came to realize that the destination was reached where the Temple task was to be taken up. He ordered his Samanta Rajas nearby to let the building material arrive, Shilpis were ordered to arrive to quicken the making of various Idols and the Astrologers were summoned to fix up suitable dates of various stages of construction. Efforts were intensified to locate the famed Swayambhu Purushotthama Vigraha which was misplaced from the Keshava Temple. As advised by Raja Purohitas and Panditaas, the King performed Ashwamedha Yagna. Simultaneously theTemple Construction was completed too. But there was no trace of the Purushottama Pratima yet and the King was terribly worried and prayed to the Lord at length:
Vaasudeva Namastestu Namastey Moksha Kaaranaa,
/(Vaasudeva, Moksha Kaarana! Save me from the cycle of birth and death; you are like the clean and clear Sky; my salutations to you Purushottama the best of Beings, Sankarshana who attracts the Universe, Dharanidhara the Holder of Earth’s total weight, the Golden- bellied or the Shaaligraama Shila, the Makaradwaja or the Flier of the Flag of a Crocodile on yout chariot; Ratikanta or the Swarupa of Manmatha who is an embodiment of Charm and beauty; Shambraantaka or the destroyer of Shambaraasura; Anjana Sankaasha or of Shyamala / light blue colour; Bhaktavatsala or He who is considerate to devotees; Varadaayaka or the Bestower of Boons; Aniruddha; Vibudhaavaasa and Vibudhapriya or He who rests with and fond of Devas; Natayana or He who lies on a Huge Water sheet in Yoga Nidra; I crave for your indulgence and refuge; You are of the Swarupa of Balarama the Symbol of Strength; You are the Halaayudha; Charurmukha; Jagaddhaama; Prapitaamaha, Neela Meghaaya, Tridashaarchita, Vishnu and Jannaadha; I am fully drowned in the Ocean of Samsara; do lift me up and save me!
Ekastwam hi Harey Vyaapi Chitaswabhaavo Niranjana,
(Deva! I am not aware of when I shall be in Naraka or Swarga; when would I be on Bhumi and when as an animal or a bird! I have been in the cycle of birth and death just as a string around a pot, once on top and once on bottom as a mechanical appliance lifting water from a well in the ‘Kalachakra’ and there does not seem to be an end to the ‘Bhramana’ or unending revolution; I am at a complete loss to realize as to when is the termination of this endless cycle as a I am victimized as a ‘Kandiseeka’ or a migrant/ distressed wanderer from one life to another. Bhagavan Krishna! Kindly liberate me from these unending and repetitive flights in the pursuit of everlasting mirages!)
Krishnarupam param shaantam padmapatraayatekshanam,
(Bhagavan Shri Krishna is of extreme peaceful visage; his eyes are large and sparkling like a lotus; his chest is adorned with the Emblem of Srivatsa and with Koustubha jewel; and his hands are decorated with Shankha, Chakra and Gada. The Second Idol of Bhagavan Balarama should be of milk-like Gaura Varna; of Swastika Chihna / Signage; with Hala/ plough as his Ayudha named Ananta or Interminable / Endless, whom none could decscribe including Deva- Daanava-Gandharva- Yaksa-Vidyadhara-Nagas! The third Pratma would be of Subhadra the sister of Vaasudeva and Balarama whose sacred Physique was golden and auspicious!) As soon as the description of the features of the Three Idols was given, the Junior Brahmana materialized the Pratimas exactly on the lines; first of Balabhadra, then of Vaasudeva and finally of Devi Subhadra. Then the King asked the Brahmanas as to who they were precisely- were they Devataas o Yakshaas, Vidyadharaas, Ahwini kumars are Brahma and Vishnus! Bhagavan replied that he was not a Devata, Yaksha, Indra, Brahma and Rudra, but might be as well construed as Vishnu himself! As the latter’s identity was revealed, the King was non-plussed and broke down into ecstatic bewilderment and implored him as follows:
(Lakshmikanta! Peetaambara dhari! Shrinivasa! I greet you the Adipurusha, Ishaana, Sarveswara, Sarvatomukha or He visions in all directions; Nishaka, Sanatana, Parama Deva, Shabda-Gunaateeta or He who is beyond the reach of Sound or Features; devoid of Bhava or Abhava / belief or non-belief; Nirlepa, Nirguna, Sukshma, Sarvajna, and Saviour; Your Form is dark like the clouds of Rainy Season; You are always engaged in the safety of cows and Brahmanas; Sarvajna or the Omnisient and the Supreme Creator; You are the Highest Deity with Shanka-Chakra-Gada-Musala ready to save; the Ever Provider to one and all; Sesha Shaayi; Hrishikesha; Sarva Paapa Haari; Moksha Kaarana, Sarva Vyapi Vishnu; my obeisances to you Sarva Lokesha!).
The King then asked for the boon of attaining Vishnupada which was impossible even for Devaasuras, Gandharvas, Yaksha, Siddha, Saadhyta, Vidyaadhara, Naaga, Guhya, Kinnara, Parama Yogis and Maharshis. Lord Jagannatha not only granted the boon and also blessed him to continue the Kingship for nineteen thousand years to ensure the observance of worship at the Purushottama Kshetra; he also materialized an Indradyumna Sarovara to immortalize human memory of the most illustrious King as long as Jagannatha’s Presence in the Purushottama Kshetra would continue. It is stated that a devotee would accomplish Great Punya /Fruit by worshipping Lord Jannaatha at Purushotthama Kshetra by observing strict devotion and fasting on Jyeshtha Shuddha Dwadashi as he or she would acquire by standing upright with devotion for seventy thousand years at Kurukshetra by stringent austerity. Even a passing Darshan of the Shikhara of the Purushottama Temple from a disdtance would demolish Sarva Paapaas of the Past and Present.
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