Connecting disciples of His Holiness Jayapataka Swami
Rajapur Jagannatha Pastime
Two years back I had the good fortune of translating the book “The Pastimes and History of Lord Jagannatha in Rajapur” authored by His Grace Pankhajanghri Prabhu into Kannada. There are so many interesting pastimes of the Lord which leaves one mesmerized. In fact, after reading this book I was so attracted that I wanted to go immediately to Rajapur (near Mayapur) and have darshan of their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Devi Subhadra.
One such pastime was related to our beloved Gurumaharaj, His Holiness Jayapataka Swami, which I thought I should share with all my god-brothers and god-sisters.
“They have nice prasadam down there…”
This story was told by his Holiness Jayapataka Maharaja. When ISKCON was first given this temple land (Jagannatha temple in Rajapur), there were many joint owners and most of them had already signed it over to ISKCON. However, Jayapataka Maharaja stressed that he didn’t want full worship to begin until the remaining persons had signed the deeds. Unknown to him, the pujari was already offering bhoga that had been brought up from Radha Madhava’s kitchen in Mayapur. So upon hearing this instruction he stopped the offerings. But that night he dreamed that when he was going to wake the Deities, he found They were not there – They were gone! Frantically running outside he spotted them walking across the fields. “Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra!” he shouted, “Where are You going?”
“You are not feeding us, so we are going to Mayapur Chandrodaya Mandir.” They replied. “They have nice prasadam down there. Lot’s of prasadam.”
Of course when Jayapataka Maharaja heard about this dream he said, “I didn’t know that you were already making offerings otherwise I would never have told you to stop. I just wanted to make sure the temple was ISKCON’s before establishing a high standard of worship, but now immediately continue the offerings.”
His Grace Pankajanghri Prabhu says:
Now we are feeding Lord Jagannatha very opulently with over twenty items for “raja bhoga”, so we hope He is satisfied and will never leave.
Actually it is an interesting story how we started to offer chappan bhoga. Just after this new temple was constructed we invited some cooks from the Jagannatha temple in Puri to come and teach us how to make the kind of preparations that they offer there. Our devotees learned very nicely, so much so that it is now an internationally acclaimed cuisine!
So Jananivasa Prabhu, the head pujari of Mayapur temple, wanted to offer chappan bhoga everyday, but the temple just didn’t have sufficient funds. Regardless, he decided to start anyway. He went before the Deities and told Them, “We are going to offer You chappan bhoga for one month beginning from this purnima, and if You want us to continue it, then You kindly make some arrangement!” The first day, he took some guests to take the maha prasadam and when he explained about his desire, one guest immediately offered to sponsor the next month. Upon returning to Mayapur he was telling one devotee about what had happened and she in turn offered to pay for the next two months. So like that the program has been going on ever since.
To ensure that Lord Jagannatha never goes hungry again ISKCON has started a Nitya-seva scheme where devotees and well-wishers give Rs. 25,000 as a one time donation, which is kept in a corpus fund and the interest provides for one day’s seva. It is very happily announced that this program has received a very good response.
Your humble servant
Sugathi Krishna Dasa