The Silence of Energy at Jagannath (II)
“The entire area of Orissa is full of holy places, but the city of Puri is the holiest of all.”
(Reference: Utkala Khanda, Skanda Purana3.52-3, 4.5-6).
By Charudutta Panigrahi
The Utkala-khanda (1, Skanda Purana33-35) also mentions that “the land to the north of the seashore and to the south of the Maha Nadi – the Great River” gives all other holy places in the world their powers. The land becomes holier with every step one takes southward from Bhubaneswar (Ekamra Forest) to the ocean. The land by the ocean, where the blue mountain (lauhala) stands, is the most secret of holy places, coveted even for Brahma.
And at the centre of the blue mountain the black granite Ratna Singhasana is placed in full regalia amidst the sanctum sanctorum which is 48 ft. high, and is a square hall of 30ft length and breadth. And Ratna Singhasana or the bejewelled throne is 4ft. high, 16ft. long and 13 ft. wide. Facing East, Ratna Singhasana has seven parts which are, Pindi, Kumbha bandhi, Kanthi,Alasha, Stambha, Kanaka mundai and Antargruhi.
The deities are placed on the Pindi, which means platform in Odia and round shaped brass plates, called Nabagrahabaitha are fixed to the Kumbhandhi. Nabagrahabaitha and its relevance can be gauzed from the fact that the ‘Graha (from Sanskrit ग्रह gráha—seizing, laying hold of, holding is a ‘cosmic influencer’ on the living beings of mother Bhumidevi (Earth) and the Lord has the reins of these nine (naba graha) major influencers. Grahas influence the auras (energy bodies) and minds of beings connected to the Earth. Each Graha carries a specific energy quality and the energies of the Grahas are getting connected in a specific way to the individual auras of humans. The nine planets are transmitters of universal, archetypal energy. The qualities of each planet help to maintain the overall balance of polarities in both the macrocosmic and the microcosmic universe – as above, so below. The planets, stars and other celestial bodies are the living energy entities which influence the other beings of the Universe and the Lord does the entire leela (play) from Ratna Singhasana.
The Vishnu Purana states:
“hiranyareta samdiptam puranampurushottama
sakalamnisk- alamsuddham nirgunam guna sasvatam”
“Lord Purushottama is described in the Puranas as radiant as the Sun. He is all-pervading and transcendentally pure, simultaneously undivided and manifesting in innumerable forms, beyond all material qualities and the personification of all qualities.
There are many descriptions of the Ratna Singhasana, all manifesting towards it being the ‘seed’ of the Universe, the core. The core is always silent and hence Mahapurusha Vidya refers Ratna Singhasana as the Primordial sound, the Aum or the Pranava. Mmm, the humming sound of a bee, is the Pranava mantra. This is believed to be the sound of our Pranan or breathing. Therefore, it is called Pranava – the sound of breathing. And Pranava is the root mantra of Aum. The whole universe is created from “Aum.” Souls are born on this earth, because God wants to release them from bondage. It is to “Aum” that souls owe their liberation. After the deluge, when the Lord again decides to create, “Aum” is heard. Thus, everything has its origin in “Aum”. Ratna Singhasana is the Mystical, Reverberating Sound Aum. The syllable Om has significance not only in Hinduism but in other religions and cultures, including Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, besides Indonesian and Nepalese cultures. Before Creation began, there was an empty void, which was then filled with the vibrations of the sound of Aum, believed to be a manifestation of the Supreme Lord. There is complete ‘quietness’ in Ratna Singhasana or Ratna Vedi and this is a unique situation where a throne or a seat of governance and primordial sound co-exist with the blessings of the Lord. This explains the ‘justness’ of the creation, the balance between root the flower.
akaranetradayas cha ukaraadharasthata
makaramalides- e chanadabindu prakatita
eshohi pranavakara purusha purushottama
“Jagannatha appears to be shaped in the form of Pranava (Aum): His eyes forming the letter A in Sanskrit, His lips form the letter U, His complete face forms the letter M, and His tilaka is the nada bindu (anusvara).”
(Reference: Mandukya Upanishad)
Amidst the ‘surround’ of silence and the absoluteness of Aum, Ratna Singhasana is the lotus. Verse 32 of chapter 9 of Mahapurusha Vidya describes Ratna Singhasana as the hundred petalled Lotus lapping the Saptavigraha (seven deities). It describes Lord Jagannath as a newly formed cloud – an imagination trying to unfold the beauty of a floating, heavenly benediction on earth. The Sapta vigrahas are Shree Jagannath, Shree Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, Shree Sudarshana, Shree Devi, Bhu Devi and Lord Madhava. The deities of Bhu devi and Shree Devi are metallic (silver and gold respectively). Ratna Singhasana on a hundred-petalled lotus signifies Sahasrara or crown chakra which is considered the seventh primary chakra, according to most tantric yoga traditions. It is the most subtle chakra in the system and relates to pure consciousness. All other chakras steering this cosmos emerge out of this chakra and Lord Jagannath is the ‘realisation’ of Nirvikalpa Samādhi. This stage is said to bring about rebirth or the siddhis – powers of transforming into the divine, and He urges humanity from the portals of Ratna Singhasana to attain divinity in speech, thought and action.
(to be continued…)