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Jagannath by Derek Dodds

God Jagannath: Significance in Hindu Mythology

God Jagannath is the Lord of the Universe, the supreme god, an abstract of Krishna or Vishnu (more explained below). Jagannath is the cause and equivalence of all avatars and the infinite existence in space and time. In this article, we explore the significance of Jagannath and highlight the Jagannath temple in India.

Vishnu and Krishna are two prominent figures in Hindu mythology and devotion. Vishnu is considered one of the principal deities in Hinduism and is revered as the preserver and protector of the universe.

He is often depicted as serene and benevolent, with various attributes and symbols representing his divine qualities. Vishnu is worshipped in different forms and avatars, with Krishna being one of the most revered and beloved incarnations of Vishnu.

Krishna, known as the eighth avatar of Vishnu, holds a special place in Hindu devotion and is widely venerated as a supreme deity in his own right. He is regarded as a multifaceted figure, embodying various roles, such as a divine lover, a mischievous child, a compassionate friend, and a wise counselor. Krishna’s life and teachings are extensively chronicled in Hindu scriptures, particularly in the Mahabharata and the Puranas.

God Jagannath Krishna & Vishnu Avatars
Krishna & Vishnu (Image © Derek Dodds)

Krishna is renowned for his role in the epic Mahabharata, where he serves as the charioteer and guide to the Pandava prince, Arjuna, during the Kurukshetra War. In the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred text within the Mahabharata, Krishna imparts profound spiritual wisdom and guidance, addressing existential dilemmas and emphasizing the path of righteousness, devotion, and self-realization.

The stories and legends surrounding Krishna depict his divine playfulness, captivating flute music that enchants humans and animals, and divine exploits during his earthly life. These narratives emphasize Krishna’s divine presence and virtues, including love, compassion, wisdom, and the power to vanquish evil forces.

Vishnu is a revered deity in Hinduism who assumes various forms and avatars to protect and preserve the universe, with Krishna being one of his most beloved incarnations. Krishna is unique in Hindu devotion and mythology, symbolizing divine love, wisdom, and the ultimate path to spiritual liberation.

God Jagannath: An Abstract of Vishnu & Krishna

God Jagannath is a deity worshiped in regional Hindu traditions in India and Bangladesh. He is part of a triad with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. In Odia Hinduism, Jagannath is the supreme god, Purushottama, and the Para Brahman. The deity is primarily associated with the city of Puri in the Indian state of Odisha and is widely revered by devotees across India and around the world.

In Hindu mythology, God Jagannath is regarded as an avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu. The temple dedicated to Jagannath in Puri, known as the Jagannath Temple, is a significant pilgrimage site and one of the Char Dham (four abodes) for Hindu devotees. The temple is famous for its annual Rath Yatra or Chariot Festival, during which the deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are taken out in a grand procession on elaborately decorated chariots.

Jagannath temple in India Puri
God Jagannath Temple in India (Image © Derek Dodds)

The worship of God Jagannath has deep historical and cultural roots in the region, and the Jagannath Temple in Puri is considered one of the holiest places in Hinduism. The temple complex is known for its unique rituals, practices, and traditions associated with the deity. Devotees from all walks of life visit the temple to seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath.

It is important to note that God Jagannath can also refer to the deity Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu), who is worshipped as Jagannatha in Puri and other locations in India. The 12th-century temple of Jagannatha in Puri is dedicated to this form of Krishna.

May the blessings of Jagganath be with you.

God Jagannath Krishna & Vishnu

– 12 X 18 Acrylic, Gouache, Ink

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