A READING from: "In The Company of The Holy Mother"
(available at all Vedanta Centres)
Udbodhan, 7 July, 1912:
I asked Mother, "Mother, are you not supposed to go to Puri for the Car Festival?"
"Should one go into such a crowd?" Mother asked in reply. "One might get cholera or something. Lakshmikanta, the pilgrim guide, said that there were no rooms to be had. Even the tiny rooms were fetching ten rupees. He advised us to go in winter."
"Which deity does JagannAtha represent?" I asked.
"In a dream I saw him as the image of Shiva," Mother said.
"Then you did not see JagannAtha's image?" I asked.
"No, only that of Shiva, the stone symbol of Shiva....It must be a very holy place. Why should so many people go there unless there is something? The goddess VimalA is there, who is worshipped on the MahAshtami night. She is DurgA to be sure. So why should not Shiva be there too?"
I said, "Some people say that it was originally a Buddhist temple, the image being that of Buddha. Later when ShankarAchArya got rid of the Buddhists, the image was changed into an image of Shiva. Still later, with the spread of Vashnavism, Shiva became JagannAtha who is Vishnu."
"I don't know all that," Mother said, "but I saw the image of Shiva."...
(to be continued....)