The Origin of Jagannath consciousness, described in different palaco-literatures and interpreted by various commentators over the years, is no doubt, is a synthesis of almost all types of religious schools and philosophical thoughts propounded by several religious leaders and philosophical thinkers of Indian systems of philosophical streams which arrested the attention of the devotees and learners at various times and climes. Several saints, being attracted by the extraordinary features of Jagannath concept, have come to Puri, the sacred abode of Lord Jagannath, known as Purusottama Ksetra in various scriptures, and have been lost with the wonderful manifestations and projections of this unique culture. As evident from various literary documents, the worship of Lord Jagannath, the Daruvigraha (Wonden Idol) has been in existence since time immemorial. In fact a clear reference to the worship of Daruvigraha is available with the Rgveda in the following mantra.
In spite of the fact that Acarya Sayana, the noted commentator on the Vedas, has categorically interpreted the said mantra in favour of Jagannath, some scholars have made some desperate attempts to discard this interpretation under the pretext that the concerned mantra belongs to only. In view of the antiquity of the tradition of Jagannath worship in Orissa, mention of Jagannath –daru vigraha as referred to above, in the Vedas can not be ruled out. Beside, the influence of Vedic rituals on day-to-day worship of Jagannath at Puri also corroborates the Vedic origin of Jagannath consciousness. So many other Suktas like etc. are used in the process of daily rituals of Jagannath even today. However, the subject matter of Vedic narration of Lord Jagannatha needs further discussion and deliberations in view of the absence of any direct reference Jagannath concept or Purusottam Ksetra in the Vedas as opined of Shri Arun Kumar Upadhyaya, to document the present dissertation entitled “Vedic View of Shri Jagannatha” is a timely and laudable intervention, which is bound to open some new portals in the field of research on the concerned area.
Shri Upadhyaya, a senior member of Indian Police Service, is already known to the assembly of scholars for his outstanding contribution of translating the famous work of Sri Samanta Chandrasekhar i.e. “Siddhanta Darpana” in to English, published by NAG Publishers in volumes.
He has also authored so many other books on various aspects of Sanskrit literature, which stand testimony to his deep insight in the subject and crudite scholarship. The present book “Vedic View of Sri Jagannatha” is no doubt another feather on his cap and the said document will definitely benefit the readers and researchers interested in further sturdy on Jagannath Culture.
The Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, accreditated with A+ grade by the NAAC and identified by the U.G.C. as Centre of Excellence for traditional Sastras, is really blessed and fortunate to undertake the publication of this work with the editorial craftsmanship and co-operation of Orissa Chair, which has been established by the Govt. of Orissa with the patronization of Sri J.B. Patnaik, former Chief Minister, Orissa to promote and propagate the Jagannatha Culture, as well as the hoary traditions of Orissa. On the occasion of the publication of the book, I congratulate Mr. Upadhyaya for his outstanding scholastic contributions and wish him a grand success in his future literary and cultural endeavours.
1. Purpose of the book- There has been many works on the so-called Jagannatha cult. All these concentrate on tribal culture claimed to be anti-vedic and previous to that. Jagannatha is lord of the world and thinking him as a cult is denigrating Him. This is one of the nama-aparadha to think God as inferior to the supreme and differentiating among many names of God. In Islam this is called Kufr translated as blasphemy in English. This book explains the various facts of Jagannatha concept texts of Puranas etc. it is not contradictory to other religious texts. It has also been explained as to why He is located in Puri town of Orissa in India. He is the best, among the 3 which can be described in worlds. Being the best, He is Purusottama and Puri town is well known as the region of Purusottama. Vedas describe 3 fold indications Braham, but the means Jagannatha-Balarama-Subhadra are related to His incarnation as Krsna, who is considered as God himself for all practical purpose. So these names do not occur in Vedas, though Subhadra is found in Yajur veda (23/18), but it has different meaning and context.
2. Matters- The book starts with scientific explanation of different concepts of Vedas which have been destroyed during past 200 years of British propaganda that Veda was song of illiterate cowherds. To explain the historic background also, an outline of Puranic chronology has been given as the Oxford pattern is based on Archbishop Usher wood interpretation of Bible that world was created in 4004 BC and no evidence or logic of any date is ever given. Though geological theories have well proved that earth is about 4 bilion years old and world is 8-18 bilion years old as per cosmology theories. Even schoolboys know Usher wood theory to be false, but Indian Historians in blind obedience to Oxford masters can not change the dates arbitrarily fixed by Maxmuller and other masters whose sole declared aim was to destroy vedic culture. The description of size of various leves of cosmos are still more accurate than the modern astronomical estimates and are given at almost every place in Vedas/puranas. An indication of these measures has been given to explain the theories.
3. Purusa levels- An outline of different levels of consciousness called atma has been given. In addition to the undifferentiated there are at least 18 types of atma mentioned in vedic literature. There is a lot of confusion by thinking all as one. An outline of the classification with minimum examples and scientific/logical explanation has been given.
4. Purusa-sukta- This is the essence of Jagannatha, so it has been fully explained in scientific manner. Names of animals, castes etc. are only indicative of class as profuse examples in this verse itself and elsewhere are seen. The other important chapter in Atharva veda about skambha (base or foundation) of world has been left out as it is very big. It can be analysed from the technical background given in the book.
5. Worship methods- Land of Jagannatha is also of Sri, so Sri sukta also has been given with brief translation. Methods of worship compiled by the great sage Visvaksenacharya (famous as Tridandi Swami) has been given in original sanskrita without translation. He was a sage of Buxar in Bihar and had performed yajnas all over the country. In each yajna, he wrote a book explaining some vedic text. This has been quoted from his commentary on Purusa-sukta written in yajna at Balia district (U.P) in 1997. The worships are both as per agama (tantra) and nigama (veda). All these are done through tradition of Guru which is of Ramanujacharya. However, except for brief reference of Tridandi swami or Ramanuja, there is no difference from other schools. On worship or its procedure, there was no difference among various Vedanta schools. Difference was at highest technical level. Ramanuja mathas also use Laksmi Nrsimha stotra written by Sankaracharya, so there sects. However, they may show respect to their line of gurus also while being grateful to Tridandi Svami for his learned compilation.
The worship methods based on vedic mantras indicate the detailed connection of various parts of Vedas with various associates of Jagannatha stated in puranas, local tradition and texts. The deeper meaning of weapons, incarnation, gods/goddesses indicated in vedic verses by Ramanuja is astonishing and is probably based on some ancient tradition and his own insight/research. The deeper meanings of the verses in the stages of worship is subject of further meditation and research.
6. Presentation- It is very difficult to write a book in English on vedic subject. In Hindi/other Indian language, meaning of vedic words are same for all contexts. National regions have only a slight bias for a particular concept of god in a region. 15-20 special words bias for that are common in that region-like Siva in Varanasi, Sakti in Mithila, Indra in Orissa, Asam, Thailand, Varaha in Andhra, Ganesha in Maharasgtra, Karttikeay in Tamilnadu, Sarada in Karnatak, Visnu in north west etc. It is written in English because it is the medium of education and standard texts of science are only in this language. Even Sanskrit is being taught in English. Thus each word is translated with explanation of that interpratation. This is difficult as Sanskrit dictionaries have taken illiterate view of Vedas (song of illiterate cowherds). Sanskrit words have been written with diacritical marks and sometimes italics has been used to differentiate from English words.
7. Dedication- The inspiration for the book came from the tradition of sage Bharadvaja who started scientific study of Vedas for 300 years. My family maintained the study of sanskrita by at least one person in each generation. Many of the concepts of Vedas were given to me in childhood by my father late Sri Chandra Sekhara Upadhyaya while he was writing Vedic dictionary. He always quoted the blessing of a Tamil saint to him 14 years be fore my birth that I will write astronomical explanation of Vedas. Vedas tell that Angira effect is completed in 60 years. I completed mathematical commentary exactly after that period. My writing activity started by command of my mother smt. Jagatarini Devi before her death in 1986. She had deep devotion to vedic tradition though she was unable to read it herself. In path to writing commentary is a necessary requirement as He is the epitom of Vedas. I have a selfish interest to seek his blessing for being able to write vedic commentary through this worship by words.
after my father, I have been guided solely by some books by Pandit Madhusudana Ojha of Mithila (Bihar) in court of king of Jaipur, Rajsthan who is only person after Vedavyasa himself to explore the scientific meaning of Vedas (comments by Sri A.S. Ramnathan in his explanation of Gita and other books by Pt. Ojha). His writings have been made easier by his disciples Pt. Motilal Shastri and Pt. Giridhara Sharma Chaturvedi. Only due to their works, I could grasp the concept of 7 yojana, 7 yugas and 9 time units, though it has not been written in the books, my wife Smt. Tripura Devi and 2 sons stood firmly in my support by denouncing all comforts due to which I could complete the job. My knowledge is solely based on devotion to sages such as Swami Nischalananda Sarasvati, Sankaracharya of Govardhana Pitha, Puri. Prof. Harekrishan Shatapathi, Vice Chancellor, of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati had always admired and encouraged me by his own devotion to Vedas.
Arun Kumar Upadhyay
Born on 30.08.1952 in a family of Varanasi origin following Sanskrit tradition. Learnt Sanskrit from father Pt. Chandrasekhar Upadhyay author of vedic kosha and passed madhyama (prachina) from Kameswarsingh Sanskrit University, Darabhanga in 1962. Thereafter started science education from class 6th. Passed B.Sc. (Physics hons) from Patna University in 1972. While studing M.Sc. (Physics) Joined IFS (Punjab) in 1974 and then IPS (Orissa) in 1976. Took M.Sc.(Math) degree from Utkal University as a private candidate during 4 months brief stay at Bhubaneswar. Wrote mathematical commentary on the largest astronomy text Sidhanta Darpana of MM Sri Chandrasekhara Singh Samant Orissa. It was Published with Govt. of India grant in 1999-exactly 100 years after the original was published. Thereafter, has written several books and articles on astronomical meaning in Vedas, origin of 6-fold scripts and philosophies from Vedas, 7 fold yugas and yuga cycles, Origin of Orissa names, Scientific (mainly astronomical) meaning of Taittirya Samhita in about 5000 pages.
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