Jagannath temple case

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By editor - 13.5 2017

A request to all devotees regarding the Jagannath temple case

Dear devotees of Lord Jagannath around the world,
Please accept our dandavat pranams to all of you.
The World Vaisnava Association has resolved to take up the issue of permission for foreign devotees of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Baladeva to enter the Jagannath Temple in Puri.

Recently we came across two letters written by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to his Godbrother Srila Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Goswami Maharaj, who was based in Orissa, and whose temple is situated next to the Gundica Mandir. He also preached the glories of Lord Jagannath around the world.

In those letters, which you find at the end of this article, he requests Srila Puri Maharaj to make every possible effort, including approaching the top leaders of the state, to gain the mercy of darshan in the Jagannath Mandir for foreign devotees of Lord Jagannath, who converted to Hinduism.

Today, many Jagannath Mandirs have opened around the world under the inspiration of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, who was born in Puri on the main road. His disciples, including Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and his ISKCON movement, have established many missions around the world like the Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math in Puri on the main road and the Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission from the Gundica Mandir in Puri. All of them plus many other missions have converted thousands of people around the world to the love of Sri Jagannath. Often they come to visit Puri and leave very sad for not having been allowed to take darshan in the temple. Around the world many of the missions conduct small and medium Jagannath Ratha Yatras, and we could easily say that Sri Jagannath’s fame is increasing day by day.

It has been noted that some initial attempts by ISKCON to gain entrance to the temple and establish their mission in Puri have been objected to by local residents. When asked, the local residents said that they saw ISKCON as just another interest group and they voted against letting them into the Jagannath Mandir.

The Visva Vaisnava Raj Sabha or World Vaisnava Association was founded by Srila Jiva Goswami in Vrindavan in the 16th century. Srila Jiva Goswami was a disciple of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The organization was officially registered in Delhi 20 years ago by Srila Bhakti Pramod Puri Goswami Maharaj, who had his temple in Chakratirtha Puri. It is an umbrella organization for all non-sectarian Vaisnava organizations inspired by Lord Jagannath’s ideals. We have taken up this task given by Srila B.V. Swami Prabhupada to Srila Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Goswami to convince the generous devotees of the Lord to extend their mercy to the newcomer Hindu devotees of Lord Jagannath from around the world.

Our practical request to all devotees of Lord Jagannath from around the world is to send the following documents to us so that we may submit them to the Puri authorities as evidence of Lord Jagannath’s importance for the whole universe:

1. Pictures of your Jagannath Deities and the temple building so they may be exhibited in Puri.
2. Letters written by your devotees attesting to why they believe in Lord Jagannath, even though they cannot enter the Puri temple, in hope that they will soften the hearts of some of the responsible authorities.
3. Photos of the group of devotees in your yatra with the name of the yatra, the mission, and with all of them carrying a big banner saying, “Please allow us to have Sri Jagannath’s darshan in Puri Sri Ksetra Dham.”
4. A formal letter from your temples and missions requesting the mercy to have darshan of Lord Jagannath in Puri directed to the King of Puri, the chief priests, the judges of Puri and India, and the local authorities.

Please give us any further recommendations about what else we can do to be successful in our efforts. We humbly bow to all Acharyas, Sannyasis and devotees of Lord Jagannath around the world. Get organized, please.

The deadline for submitting your material in printed form is Rama Ekadasi, 2017 (October), to the WVA office in Vrindavan (UP) India at:

Name: Yamuna Kunja Math c/o Swami BV Bon
Address: Andher Galli, Seva-kunja 297, on Parikrama next to Imlitala Temple, Vrindavan, District Mathura UP – PIN 281121, India

Pictures and letters in digital format can also be send to vina.cc@mac.com

Please bless our service to all of you. Jay Jagannath!

Swami B.V. Vishnu
Vice President of the WVA

Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti
General Secretary of the WVA

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*Swami Bhakti Vicar Visnu Maharaj is the vice president of the World Vaisnava Association and Acharya of the Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission Puri and Berampur and branches around the world.

*Swami B.A. Paramadvaiti is the general secretary of the World Vaisnava Association and founder of the Vrindavan Institute of Vaisnava Culture and Studies with branches in over 30 countries.

 

Two Letters by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to Srila B.V. Puri Goswami Maharaja

Tridandi Goswami
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Date: April 8, 1972
Camp: ISKCON Sydney

My dear Puri Maharaj,

Please accept my greetings. I beg to acknowledge your letter of 18/3/72, and I have noted the contents carefully. You will be happy to know that our centres in Australia are expanding very rapidly, and many many young boys and girls are surrendering their lives in rich country to Lord Krishna.

Now I think I have got about 100 disciples in Melbourne and Sydney, exactly like those you have observed with me in India. So there is very good scope here because we have opened up our preaching here less than two years back. The other day I was invited by some Christian monks to come to their very large monastery in the countryside near Melbourne, and they were so much appreciating our Krishna Consciousness philosophy of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and they read our Bhagavad Gita every night, and they are all very nice persons and have stopped eating meat.

So practically they have become our allies, and with their co-operation there is immens work to be done. Then last night we had a meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall in the central part of the city, and there was very ecstatic kirtan with more than one thousand persons and many of them joined us by dancing on the stage. So in every respect these western countries are the best field for our Vaisnava culture to spread and take effect, that has been demonstrated.

You have requested me in your letter to consider for purchasing another house. But there is one difficulty, because the present administration of Jagannath Puri sometimes do not allow us to enter the temple. Of course, for our Vaisnavas this discrimination is spiritually illegal. Arche siladhi gurusu navamati vaisnave janavate: if one is dressed in vaisnava dress, according to vaisnava law, if he is considered not a vaisnava, then that is a hellish condition. You know this also.

So I think so long Viswanath Das, Chief Minister of Orissa, is there, he should pass some law to help us. Viswanath Das knows everything, he can pass an act to allow foreign disciples into Jagannath Puri. Many hundreds of foreign disciples will be coming to India in the near future, and already we have got nearly 100 men there, so it is a great opportunity for the administrative officials of Puri to increase the fame and prosperity of Jagannath Puri all over the world, and it will be their misfortune if so many qualified devotees of the Lord are not allowed into the temple, simply because they have taken their birth in a faraway place.

So if you are able to do something, and approach the right persons like Mr. Viswanath, then we shall be free to have our centre in Puri. Kindly let me know at your earliest. I shall be at the above Sydney address until 18th of April, 1972, then I am going to Hong-Kong and Tokyo, so you may write me at Tokyo ISKCON, 3211 Minami Asakawa-cho, Hachioji-shi 193, Tokyo, Japan after then 18th to the first of May, 1972, and after that c/o my Los Angeles ISKCON World Headquarters, 3764 Watseka Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90034, U.S.A.

Thanking you once again. Hoping this will meet you in good health.

Yours in the service of Krishna
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

—————-

Tridandi Goswami
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Date: May 26, 1972
Camp: Los Angeles, ISKCON

My Dear Revered Puri Maharaji,

Please accept my humble obeisances. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter from Rajahmundry dated May 19th, 1972. It is a good idea that you are proposing. The two claimants of proprietorship and the tenants should be given some money and they will go away. So I am advising my Bombay center to send you Rs. 1000/=. So now you do the needful, I am completely trusting in you in this matter. I am very glad that you are in contact with the chief minister of Orissa, Mr. Dass, he must have full knowledge of our world wide activities. Jagannatha Puri is one of the main headquarters of the Vaishnavas, so if the outsiders have trouble in entering Jagannatha Temple it will be a great scandal, so the government must be liberal on this point and co-operate, as we are trying to interest so many foreigners and tourists to come there. And if they co-operate we shall build a very nice center there. At least the government must agree to admit anyone who is certified by ISKCON. I know that they admit foreigners into the temple who are certified by some mayavadi sannyasis living there. So why not they shall allow anyone who is certified by me or the society? You know how strictly we are following the principles of Vaisnava way of life. So kindly try to persuade the government officials on this point and it will be a very great service to Srila Prabhupada’s cause.

Bhaktivinode Thakur and Srila Prabhupada wanted that American and European Vaisnavas should come to India and join with dancing our Vaisnavas there, but if they have got some difficulty to enter into the temple it will be against the desire of Bhaktivinode Thakur and Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. So I am sure that Mr. Dass, the chief minister, is a very nice gentleman, I know him personally. So while he is in the office he must rectify this anomaly and situate himself in the history for doing such nice service for Lord Chaitanya’s mission.

I expect to hear from you soon regarding these matters and I shall look forward very much for your letter. Hoping this meets you in good health.

Your ever well-wisher
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

Srila B.V. Puri Maharaja
Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mission
Aryapuram, Rajahmundry-1, F.G. Disctrict
INDIA