The Travels of Lord Jagannatha by Hladini devi dasi (June 12, 1976)

 It was a wonderful festival! But in spite of all good planning and enthus­iasm, once again Lord Jagannatha caught pneumonia and had to be rushed away before He could even take the feast. Per­haps it was because we bathed Him out­doors, or perhaps the yogurt was too cold. Whatever, we did it again—this year all 12 Jagannath Deities were taken to Talavan, where They could recover in isolation; a small cabin on a lake, off the road.
The atmosphere there was so perfect. All you could hear were frogs, crickets and birds. Profuse wildflowers and hon­eysuckle bushes were all around to aid in a cheery recovery for the Lord.
The cabin was simple. There was one main room for all of Them, with a big window and front door to catch the morning sunrise and the morning air. And there was one other half-room used as a kitchen and piijari room. All we had was a small gas light in each room and a 2-burner gas plate on the kitchen table. Water came trickling out of a pipe from a source on top of the hill.More...
Their Lordships pretty much kept a normal schedule. Only, Their offerings were very simple -lots of fruit juices, cooked fruits, sweet teas and honey from our woods. They would have Their regular aratrika schedule; only no one was allowed to see Them, except the doctor and piijari.
Mother Mudakari, Jagannatha’s doc­tor, would come up every afternoon with flowers and teas that the devotees picked, letters, cards, and presents from all the sad devotees.
It was such an enlivening atmosphere. Every morning I’d go in and bathe all twelve Jagannathas and change Them to new pajamas. I’d get to wash Their paja­mas out in the stream water and hang them in a tree.
      Finally, as up to nine days progress­ed, big Lord Jagannatha, Lady Subhadra and Lord Baladeva were completely re­covered and supposed to go to Ratha-yatra the next day in Cleveland. But that morning, the day before Ratha-yatra, a devotee drove up with the sad news that because of Srila Prabhupada’s arriving in New Vrindaban, and all the excitement and confusion going on. Lord Jagannatha’s Ratha-yatra outfit wouldn’t be completed. It was such a great disappointment. But early that af­ternoon Mother Parayana sent me to Bahulaban. She organized the finishing of the outfit in eight hours with three people. It was almost completed at 8:30 that night, when I had to go back to Tal­avan. I figured that Mudakari and I would stay up and finish it. But when I got back, Mudakari was yelling from the window, “WE’RE OUT OF GAS!!!” She was cooking down some fruit for Their offering and it ran out, lights and all. We had about twenty minutes of sunlight outside before the darkness be­fell and we sewed like mad, and by Krsna’s grace finished the outfit. But that didn’t solve our Mangala aratrika problems of heating Their offering and bath water, and seeing by three votive candles!
I couldn’t accept the fact that Ja­gannatha would have to be offered cold bath water on Ratha-yatra day. So we took a candle outside, groping for twigs and sticks, and built a little fire in the darkness. Lord Jagannatha had His warm bath, but dressing Them by candlelight was quite awkward, but so nice. I could­n’t get a good idea of how the new out­fit looked until the sun rose. But They were gorgeous, effulgent and so very, very merciful.
After Their breakfast, the Cleveland temple van arrived to take Them to Their Ratha-yatra. It was so exciting! We traveled for a few hours until we reached the cart. It was so simple and so beautiful. Their Lordships were placed on Their chariots, adorned with huge effulgence’s and garlands.
The cart was being pulled by all the excited devotees and guests. The parade was long—through downtown Cleveland to a huge park with big fountains, and hundreds and hundreds of people were there. It was on some huge body of wa­ter—a great lake or something—real bree­zy and beautiful.
Their Lordships descended from Their cart to a decorated stage in the park awaiting Them. There was some jazz band playing so loud over all the loudspeakers. We begged them to turn it down, but they wouldn’t. So Pusta Krsna Swami yelled his lecture on the difference between the agitation of a mundane sound vibration and the pleas­ure of a transcendental sound vibration, and we broke into big kirtans over their jazz.
After about an hour it was announc­ed that the devotees were holding a play clear on the other side of the park. Everyone left Lord Jagannatha, except for a handful of people. Minutes later came this tumultuous thunder clap, and the sky opened with torrents of rain. Everyone came running back to Jagan­natha with umbrellas and blankets over their heads, and once again all the atten­tion went to Jagannatha. The sky hadn’t given any clue of rain the whole day, and within twenty minutes the sun was back shining. We wondered if it was Jagannatha’s anger or His sense of hum­or.
Afterwards, it was back to New Vrin­daban to a big feast and very relieved devotees. Jagannatha SwamT, the Lord of the Universe, was Home.

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Write a Comment

Take a moment to comment and tell us what you think. Some basic HTML is allowed for formatting.

You must be logged in to post a comment. Click here to login.

Reader Comments

Be the first to leave a comment!