Kartik Braj Darshan with Vrindavan Today (Day 23): Shri Jagannath Mandir

The temple in Vrindavan is open to devotees of all castes, creed and religions, whereas entry in the Puri Jagannath temple is restricted to Hindus only.

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Vrindavan 2020-11-18 (VT):  Nearly 500 years ago, when Baba Haridas ji (a Ramanandi Vaishnav Mahatma from Vrindavan) was lost in meditation at the banks of Yamuna, Bhagwan Shri Krishna appeared before him and said that in the month of ashaad the vigrahas of Shri Jagannath ji, Shri Balram ji and Subhadra Devi will be replaced by new ones in Shri Kshetra (Puri). This happens every thirty-six years at the time of Rath Yatra. He ordered him to bring the old murtis to Vrindavan and install Them here.

Baba Haridas went to Puri on foot with his disciples. Having reached four days before the Rath Yatra, he requested the temple priest to hand over the old vigrahas to him as desired by Shri Krishna Himself. The priest asked him to seek approval from the King of Puri, Maharaja Pratap Rudra. The king however refused to break the tradition of immersing the murtis in the ocean.

Dejected upon not being able to fulfil his aaradhya’s wish of living in both Puri and Vrindavan, Haridas ji thought of giving up his life. He went to sea-shore and soon entered deep meditation. In the mid-night Bhagwan Jagannath ordered the King in a dream to hand over the old vigrahas to Baba.  Next day the deities were set off for Vrindavan in a royal chariot.

The place where Shri Krishna appeared before Haridas ji is Jagannath Ghat. A temple was constructed at this divine spot for the deities. It came to be known as Shri Jagannath Mandir. One of the special features of this temple is that it is open to devotees of all castes, creed and religions, whereas entry in the Puri Jagannath temple is restricted to Hindus only. One gets same blessings by visiting temples of Puri and Vrindavan. 

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