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Page history last edited by Juan Castañeira 15 years, 1 month ago



The 'King of Elephants', Gajapati Prataparudra was the King of Orissa descended in the line of Ganga kings. His capital was at Cuttack. Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika states, "He who was formerly the worshiper of Lord Jagannatha, the king Indradyumna, is now present as Sri Prataparudra, who, endowed with the opulence of Indra, rules over Utkaladesa (Orissa)."


His father's name was Sri Purusottama Deva and his mother's name Sri Rupanvika or Sri Padmavati Devi. Sri Purusottama Deva, who considered himself to be the servant of Lord Jagannatha, arranged to the observance of Lord Jagannatha's various festivals and rituals. During the Ratha Yatra he would personally sweep the ground before the Ratha with a golden handled broom. Lord Jagannatha was so merciful to Sri Purusottama that He personally defeated the king of Kanchi, whose daughter He then presented to Purusottama Deva. From the womb of this Padmavati Devi Sri Prataparudra took his birth.


After Prataparudra ascended the throne, he, like his father, engaged himself in the service of Lord Jagannatha. This is all explained in the book Sri Sarasvati-vilasa.


Kavi Karnapura Gosvami composed Sri Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka in accordance with the request of King Prataparudra Deva: "I have been ordered by Srimat Prataparudra to compose a drama in glofication of the lotus feet of Sri Hari."


When Mahaprabhu first came to Puri, Prataparudra had at that time gone to conquer Vijaya Nagar. However, when Mahaprabhu returned to Puri from Ramakeli, Prataparudra came there from Cuttack with the purpose of having His darsana.


Prataparudra begged the devotees to please arrange that he might have the darsana of Mahaprabhu. They advised him that he might, from a concealed place, have a view of the Lord during His performance of sankirtan in the temple of Lord Jagannatha. At that time Prataparudra saw that Lord Caitanya, in the ecstasy of divine madness, was fainting and falling to the ground. Recovering His consiousness he would roll in the dust as His body became wet with tears from His eyes and the saliva drooling from His mouth. Not being able to understand these transcendental ecstatic symptoms, the king felt some repulsion in his mind.


After returning to his palace, that night he saw in a dream that Lord Jagannatha's body was covered with dust and from His lotus eyes water was flowing like the Ganges river. His body had thus become wet with those tears and the mucus and saliva drooling from His nose and mouth.


When the king went to touch the lotus feet of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Jagannath exlaimed, "'Please, don't touch Me! Your body is besmeared with camphor and sandalwood paste whereas I am covered with dust. When you saw my ecstatic dancing you felt repulsed to see My body soiled with the dust and the saliva drooling from My mouth.' Then the king saw that in place of Lord Jagannath, Lord Caitanya was sitting on the simhasana. His body being similarly covered with the dust, He laughed as He told the king, 'It is not very deserving of you to be repulsed by Me for this reason.'" [C.B.Antya 5.168-177]


Then the king could understand that Lord Caitanya was non-different from Lord Jagannath Himself. Thus he fell on the ground and begged forgiveness for his offense.


The last king of the Surya dynasty was Sri Curanga Deva. Seven generations after him appeared Sri Anga Bhimadeva, who constructed the present temple of Lord Jagannath (about 800 years ago). In the seventh generation after him appeared Sri Kapilendra Deva (1435-1470 of the Christian era). His son was Sri Purusottama Deva (1470-1497), whose son was Sri Prataparudra (1497-1541).


The four queens of Maharaja Prataparudra were Padma, Padmalaya, Sri Ila and Mahila. He had 3 sons: Purusottama Jana, Kaluya Deva and Kakhara Deva. He also had one daughter, Srimati Tukka.


After Srimati Jahnava Mata had a Deity of Radharani made and sent to Vrindavana for Lord Gopinath, Purusottama Jana sent two Deities of Radharani to Vrindavana, one for Madanamohana and one for Govindaji. When the Deities arrived in Vrindavana by boat, They were unloaded at Madanamohana Mandira which was on the banks of the Yamuna. That night the pujari of Madanamohana had a dream in which Madanamohana told him, "You all are thinking that these two Deities are Radharani, but actually the smaller one is Radharani and the bigger one is Lalita, so you should put Radharani on My left side and Lalita on My right side." In this way, Madanamohana took both of those Deities and Govindaji remained alone.


When word was sent back to Purusottama Jana in Puri he was perplexed. That night however, he had a dream in which Radharani told him, "I am here within the cakra of Lord Jagannatha's temple. Everyone thinks that I am Laksmi, but actually I'm not. I used to live in Vraja from where one brahmana brought me to his house at Sri Radhanagar here in Orissa. His name was Brhadbhanu and he was very affectionate to Me, just as though he was My father and I was his daughter. But when he passed away I was brought to Lord Jagannatha's temple by the king. Anyway, now you should send Me to Vrindavana to be with Govinda."


When he woke up from this dream Purusottama Jana was very astonished. He immediately prepared a retinue to accompany Srimati to Vrindavana. When She arrived in Vrindavana and stood by the side of Govinda the bliss of the inhabitants of Vrindavana knew no bounds. [Sadhama-dipika: B.R. 6.63-113]


The kingdom of Prataparudra extended from the present district of Hugli and Medinipura to Guntur district in Madras. Also the major part of Telenganar was under his rule. In 1510, when Maharaja Krsnadevaraya ascended the throne in Vijaya Nagar, he seriously applied himself to conquering the southern portion of Prataparudra's kingdom. Well, did he do it or not?


There is no specific information regarding the disappearance of Maharaja Prataparudra, though his samadhi is reported to have been in a village named Pratap Pur, which is located eleven miles from the capitol of Mayur Bhanj, Baripada. Due to the shifting currents of the river, however, there is nothing remaining of that samadhi. There are Deities of Mahaprabhu, Jagannatha and Dadhi Ramon. The appearence festival of Mahaprabhu is celebrated there with great pomp.


Within the area of the old palace of the king (Puruna Nahor) at Bat Sagor there are a number of temples including Radha-kantha Matha, Gangamata Matha, Govardhana Matha, Astasambhur Mandira, Sri Gaura-Nityananda Mandira and Sri Sri Gaura-Gadadhara Mandira.






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