sub : How can Jagannath culture retain it's fame ?

Date : Mar 22, 2007 9:52 AM

Jai Jagannath,

( Composed by Siba Ram Baral )

It's quite high time Oriya people should realize the importance of preserving the fame of our own highest cultural icon "Lord Jagannath". In a rapid changing modern society where youth are more leaning towards western culture and are completely ignorant of our own age old tradition, it's an easy guess how our next generations will be, if it goes in this way. It's a quite common observation that except quite a few most of the youths either doesn't have time for GOD or no interest for culturo-spiritualism.

Now in such scenario the primary goal appears to be "how to boost curiosity among young generation for Jagannath culture". If seen from a bird's eye view Three entities can influence these attributes.

1. Authorities responsible for campaigning Jagannath culture ( Temple trust administration, Sevayats and Government.

How : Remember in the today's mechanized world a "temple is an Industry and devotees are customers". Several points can be followed to ensure customer satisfaction in a temple industry.

Temple authorities and administration should take utmost care for customers.

Pujaris, sevayats and priests should never and never use slang language towards devotees and should refrain from cheating the tourists. Authorities should take sensitive precautions to prevent all such stuff.

All "darshans" and "bhoga offering" activity's should be capped with a constant amount.

Adequate arrangements should be taken to maintain optimized cleanliness & hygiene in the premises.

State Govt. and east coast railway should liberalize, railway policies, multiply train numbers, provide Puri station with terminus facility and provide concessions over pilgrimage fares.

Roads leading to Puri to be broadened and alternated with bypasses, should be 8 lane to accommodate heavy rush, strict police vigil to be imposed

Puri deserves a helipad and a small scale at least 1 KM. runway air port.

Friends I know this topic will exploit many of us to write back couple of more points. I will be coagulating all the points, reframe a patient mail and send it to some higher authorities in Orissa assembly, Ministerial personals and Jagannath Temple Administration.

Again following to this mail, with our next week's news letter we will be providing some inputs on how Communication Media ( Print media, TV network and Internet ) and Individual citizen can add value to retain the cultural fame of Lord Jagannath.

let's find out how Jagannath culture can retain it's loosing fame. Broadly speaking about Hinduism, we don't have enough precautionary measures to protect our own religion. Hindu intellectuals have never approached tribal people before missionaries could and thus religion conversions are more alarming than naxalism and terrorism.

Lord Jagannath is known for being too much open towards his devotees, this reflects in his temple too. It has four broad and wide doors to accommodate and ease huge public and smooth rush. Thus people get open space and hurdle less entry to the temple and plenty of room & time at GOD's front. Our GOD never believes in keeping his dignity among his devotees. That's the reason he is sometimes referred as kalia bhai, jaga bhai, even it's quite common where in people call him with name ( without respect ). Still he loves all and misses all so much that he never blinks his eye and once a year he comes out to public, touches every one, dancing, sprinting and hooking like a caterpillar to enjoy "Car Festival". This easy access may be reducing the curiosity of devotees towards him.

It's a proven theory that the reverse can tremendously increase the curiosity of devotees for the GOD and thus make the GOD and his culture famous. At a well known temple located in south India, it is tactically arranged to hassle the devotees, make them wait for a minimum of four hours for darshanam, cage the devotees in cells for hours together and then let them crawl thru a narrow, suffocating, heavily grilled, ill equipped for any medical emergency, lack of evacuation passage, asphyxiating path to have a eyeshot of GOD. It is even made enough caution not to let the devotee sneak the GOD for more than a fraction of second.

Probably in case of Jagannath temple culture we can't follow such humiliating concepts. Let's see some other solutions.

There is another similar way in which Jagannath culture can be famous. A concept called "Seva dal" consisting of thousands of freely employed devotees should be employed for maintenance of the temple, all relevant spiritual structures, Ashrams, Institutions, hospitals, and even the whole city. "Seva Dal" concept should be so intelligently planned that devotees from around the country will be self motivated, driven and thong the venue and continue with there service at scheduled slots in a state wise sequence in a year. This concept also is quite famous some where in south India for the dynasty of a famous holy man "the living GOD". This will not only make our Jagannath culture famous, but also inflow a huge dose of foreign currency syrup.

If we ask a tribal who got converted to another religion about the incident how he got his religion converted, surprisingly we will come to know that first of all they had been approached by few helping hands. Then their livelihood and soul it self was taken over by delicate gifts and money. Even there are live examples where in tribals are misguided and wrongly concreted about Hindu GODs as anti social elements and harmful enemies of mankind, hindu rituals are the hardest ones to follow. Thus moulding them to acquire their suitable religion at once. Does such things we can ever do to make our culture famous. Certainly never.

2. Communication Media ( Print media, TV network and Internet )

Can we partially engage our communication medias to spread awareness and curiosity about Jagannath Culture. Of course such strategy also should be cleverly woven. Not to surprise, we are not going to be the first ones to do such things.

Ever noticed on walls, polls and even inside railway compartments, posters mentioning "xxxxx Coming", one who is called as the only savior in their religion. This not only brain washes a common man, but also alerts him to stick to the right track.

TV channels are sponsored in lump to broadcast spiritualism with stress relaxing yogas, satsangs, pranayams along with something dramatized like devotees asking predefined questions to some one the "Only living GOD" or "GOD's own messenger. This concept of mixing spiritualism with religion also makes them not only draw millions together in inland & abroad but also coagulates a huge amount of money free from tax and custom duty.

Another good concept we can follow is to make yahoo groups and city specific small units of people who can be meeting every week end at places and arrange bhajan kirtans. This looks quite simple, descent and good way of spreading awareness about Jagannath culture.

I am sure most of us would have intercepted a peculiar quote that spam inboxes often is a piece of snap of some GOD or a piece of mantra along with the following lines.

"* Send This to 7 People within the next 5 minutes and your wish will come true Somewhere, somehow. Do not keep this message. The mantra must leave your hands within 1 hours. You will get very pleasant surprise.
* This is true, even if you are not superstitious. FORWARD THIS MANTRA E-MAIL TO AT LEAST 5 PEOPLE AND YOUR LIFE Will IMPROVE.
* 0-4 people: Your life will improve slightly.
* 5-9 people: Your life will improve to your liking.
* 9-14 people: You will have at least 5 surprises in the next 3 weeks.
* 15 people and above: Your life will improve drastically and everything you ever dreamed of will begin to take shape.
If you don't send this then you will suffer from .. bla .. bla . Bla "

There is a famous expansion in Oriya "For the sake of mother swallow the oxa". In oriya " Maa rana dhinki gill"

3. People ( Common man ) :

We all know Jagannath culture is not something confined to only Oriya, it becomes duty of all of us to cultivate self awareness of our own rituals and culture. There are hundreds of eye opening extreme examples where in

A non hindu builds a Jagannath temple at a tribal village in Kalahandi

A professor couple builds a Jagannath temple in USA and celebrates "Rath Yatra" too.

Few people in a remote African country Nigeria, built Jagannath temple & celebrating Rath yatra and even maintain a seva trust too. Amazing, isn't it ?

In Singapore few oriya brothers have their own temple and celebrates all rituals with the best of their efforts. Hats off to them.

And hundreds of such examples are either un acknowledged or lie un noticed. As a common man what we can do is

Chant and sing lord's name and bhajans in a daily basis at least for around five minutes.

Before sleeping at night and after awaking in the morning just can close our eyes and say "Jai Jagannath".

Visit Jagannath temple at our vicinity at least once a week.

Every time we visit the temple, we can invite or escort at least one more new friend.

contribute at least 1% of our monthly net salary. Believe me this will bring in a huge change in Lord's life style.

Start the day's work by taking his name once.

Have a tiny sticker of him at front of our vehicle. He has proven excellence as a shield against road mishaps.

Have a mp3 cut piece or polygonal sound track of his bhajan as ring tone or dial tone in our cell.

Have a small snap of him in our purse. Lord Jagannath is the husband of Laxmi maa. Let them be together.