Tuesday 10 July 2007
The Lord Himself Comes
JAYADEVA’S STORY IS found in Panduranga Bhakta Vijayam.
After writing the Gita Govindam, Jayadeva wrote Bhagavatam also in Sanskrit. On hearing about that, Krauncha Raja appealed to Jayadeva to read the Gita Govindam in the durbar hall and so he began reading it. People who heard him were so impressed with the writing and with his discourses that his fame spread in all directions and people came in large numbers to hear him. His fame spread so far that Jagannatha Swami, the presiding deity of Puri, was eager to listen to him. So he started in the guise of a brahmin one day while the discourse was going on and entered the durbar hall of the king. After blessing the king, he said, “Sir, I am a resident of Gokula Brindavan. I am a pandit well versed in all sastras. I have been searching all the world over for someone who could discuss the sastras with me on equal terms but so far I have not found any one. I am therefore itching for a discussion. I learned that Jayadeva was with you and so I came here. Where is he?” and when the people pointed out Jayadeva to him, he said, disdainfully, “Oh! You are Jayadeva. Let me see. Let us discuss any one of the sastras you have studied,” and looking at him steadily, said, “What is that in your hands?”
Without waiting for a reply, he snatched the book from his hands and said, “Oho! This is Bhagavatam. So you are a Pauranika? (one who gives discourses on the epics). Who wrote this?” With fear and devotion Jayadeva said, “Sir, I am not a pandit to hold discussions with you. I humbly seek the blessings of elders like you. Though I do not have the courage to say before you that, I wrote this book, still as it will be a fault not to tell you the truth, I admit that I am its author.”
That brahmin pretended surprise and said, “What! If it is you who wrote it, tell me, how could I have learnt all its contents by heart?” So saying and without opening the book he began repeating the contents quickly, chapter by chapter. The king and the audience were amazed. Realising that Lord Jagannatha Himself had come in that form to shower his grace on him, Jayadeva prayed to him to reveal his real form (of Vishnu) with the conch, mace, chakra (discus) etc. Pleased with the stotras (prayers), Lord Jagannatha revealed Himself in the various forms in which Jayadeva had invoked Him in his stotras, blessed him and disappeared.
Photo of Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa courtesy hindunet.org