Hare Krishna. Today we will discuss a special festival named Gundicha Mandir Marjana. Many people must think that Marjana means cleaning, and how can cleaning be a celebration. We will discuss it, but first of all, we will discuss what Gundicha temple is and the story behind Gundicha temple.
HISTORY OF GUNDICHA TEMPLE
Gundicha Temple is the birthplace of Jagannath Swami. During the reign of King Indradyumna in Satyuga, a carpenter who had come from Deva Loka had built the deities of Jagannath Baladev and Subhadra Maharani on a great altar.
The temple was named Gundicha Temple after the name of Gundicha, the wife of King Indradyumna. The place where the Gundicha temple is is compared to Vrindavana and is called Sundaranchal. Sundarachal means a very beautiful hill. And the place where Jagannath’s temple is located is called Nilachal, which means the hill of blue colour because this place has a lot of opulence compared with Dwarka or Kurukshetra. At the time of Jagannath’s yatra, enthusiastic devotees take Jagannath from Nilanchal to Sundaranchal, i.e. from Dwarka or Kurukshetra to Vrindavana.
BENEFITS OF TAKING DARSHAN AT GUNDICHA MANDIR:
Suppose a person has darshan of Lord Jagannath in Nilanchal in Sri Mandir and visits Jagannath during Rath Yatra at Gundicha temple. In that case, this person will get ten times more benefits from having a darshan of Jagannath. It is told in the Puranas, “Nilanchalo Sat Varshini Gundicha Mandape Nidhi” If a person has darshan of Lord Jagannath in Gundicha temple, then he gets100 times more benefits. It is also told in the Puranas,
“Gundicha mandapam yanti, ye pasyanti rathe
Sthitam krsna-ramau subhadram ca, te yanti bhavanam hareh
ye pasyanti tada krsnam, saptaham mandape sthitam
halinam ca subhadram ca, visnulokam vrajanti te
“Whoever comes to the Gundicha Temple during Ratha-yatra and sees Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhadra will have his mind turned toward God, Lord Hari. If he sees the Deities while they are remaining seven days on the throne in the Gundicha, he will go to Vaikuntha.”
LORD JAGANNATH ACCEPTS DEVI GUNDICHA AS HIS MOTHER:
Now the question arises that why Lord Jagannath goes to Gundicha temple. It is like this, ‘When Jagannath deities had appeared in Gundicha temple, then Jagannath asked Indradyumna Maharaj to ask for some boon, then Indradyumna asked for the boon “that no child should ever be born in my house. Because if there is a child, he will show his right on Lord Jagannath in future”. But when Gundicha Devi, the wife of Indradyumna Maharaj, heard this, she felt very sad that she would never have a son. So Jagannath Ji said to Gundicha Devi, “I am your son from today” hearing that, Gundicha Devi got complete satisfaction in her heart, and he also said,” For your happiness, I will come to Gundicha temple every year”. All glories to Jagannath Swami.
LORD CHAITANYA’S LIFE AT JAGANNATH PURI:
Now we will discuss about Gundicha Mandir Marjana. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu himself is God but has come in the form of a devotee. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has come in the form of a teacher to teach us how to clean our hearts through his conduct. Cleansing of the heart in which many layers of dirt have accumulated and due to which we have forgotten who I am and what is my relation to God, due to which we are suffering, in this world, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu started living in Jagannath Puri after taking Sanyasa. But Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said to mother Saci,” I am very sad that I have hurt you; you give me orders; what should I do”. Saci Mata said, “You remain in Jagannath Puri because if you remain in Jagannath Puri, I would have got the news of you because Jagannath Puri and Bengal are like two rooms of a house, one after the other. “
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu lived in Jagannath Puri for 18 years. And he taught us how to be humble devotees. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to visit Jagannath in the temple, he used to see him standing behind the Garuda pillar. Ever since he used to have darshans of the Lord, the stone melted due to his emotions and the body’s heat. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to go to the temple every day to see Jagannath. Still, when Jagannath’s darshans stopped for 15 days after bathing, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu felt very distant from Jagannath. Because of this reason, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to go to Amarnath to have darshans of the Lord.
MAHAPRABHU ARRANGES GUNDICHA MARJANA:
When Mahaprabhu learned that Jagannath Rath Yatra was soon going to happen, he called a meeting in which he called Kashi Mishra, Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and the president of the temple. Mahaprabhu told everyone, “After some time, Jagannath will go to Gundicha temple, then we all will clean that temple very well.”
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also ordered all the devotees, “We will clean this Gundicha temple because it is confidential Vrindavan where Lord Jagannath, Baladev, and queen Subhadra themselves are coming to stay.” When devotees heard about this matter, they were very excited and started speaking Hari Bol to participate in this service.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu applied sandalwood paste on the foreheads of all the devotees and garlanded them before the service began. Devotees started cleaning the Gundicha temple with a broom because the temple had been closed for one year, so a lot of dust, straw and grass had gathered there. All the devotees served with great pleasure, and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very emotional and, while doing the rituals, started praising the name of Hari loudly, “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare”.
The golden radiance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s body looked even more beautiful when he was covered with dust; Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in emotion with his tears washing the temple. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning the temple, it seemed as if he had 100 hands. For those devotees who were not able to clean properly, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu explained to them that they should serve well. Mahaprabhu told the devotees who were serving very well and told them that they should also teach other devotees.
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was taught that he is a leader, but the job of a leader is not only to give orders but also to obey them.
As the devotees were cleaning, hills of dust were formed. Not only the temple but the outer courtyard, the terrace and all the rooms were cleaned by the disciples of Mahaprabhu. Even after the formation of many dust hills, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was not satisfied. He asked everyone to cleanse the temple again, and this time none of the dust particles had remained.
After this, the devotees made a very long queue from Indradyumna Sarovar, from which they brought pots full of water and were first cleaning from the terrace. None of the devotees were doing gross talks. Gross talk means any such topic or discussion which has no relation to Krishna. Not only gross talks, but no other topic was also being discussed. If anyone wanted a pot or wanted to give one, they addressed each other by using hand gestures and saying, Krishna Krishna. And everywhere, only one sound was heard in Gundicha temple “Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna”. It seemed a huge sankirtana was being organized in Gundicha temple. After the devotees cleaned this way, the Gundicha temple started shining like a mirror.
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE CLEANSING:
Devotees should take care of three important things while cleaning the temple
- Meticulously, and
- With love
Responsibility: First of all it is our responsibility that we reach on time because if we reach later, the cleanliness done by one who has cleaned before our arrival will be spoiled. Secondly, the service which has been assigned to us, we should go by completing it. And thirdly, only do the service that has been assigned.
Meticulously – The second is that when Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was cleaning the Gundicha temple, he was taking care that there should not be any dirt left in any corner. Nowadays, the definition of cleanliness of people has changed, if they clean the room, they make the ceiling dirty, and if they clean the house, they make the courtyard dirty. This is not the definition of cleanliness, but it is that if cleaning is being done, then every place should be cleaned, whether it is the students’ courtyard, whether it is the room, be it any place, because in the Gundicha temple, Jagannath himself who is the Protector of the Universe is going to arrive and his Rath Yatra is about to take place
The third one is with Love and Devotion means to clean for the happiness of Jagannath Ji, not considering it as a burden but by being excited that we have got an opportunity to serve Lord Jagannath. As all the Vaishnav Ganas were cleaning with Mahaprabhu, we had to clean the temple with such love while doing kirtan of Krishna.
BENEFITS OF MARJANA:
In this way, when the devotees participate in the Gundicha Marjana, the temple will be cleaned, and the heart will also be cleaned. It is very important to clean the heart because a lot of garbage has accumulated here.
When we join Krishna’s service, then all the filthiness of our hearts ends. When Srila Prabhupada started preaching in western countries, parents of many devotees used to complain that these people were brainwashing our children. And when Srila Prabhupada came to know about this, he smiled and said,” Yes, of course, there is so much dirt in our mind; it is very important to wash it.” Because if we do not clean the dirt, then this foul smell will keep increasing.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is himself a God and teaches us through his conduct & how we should clean the temple.
Many people come to the temple to clean, but they have a very disgusting feeling that there is a lot of dirt here. How will we serve, bring us tissue paper, bring us newspaper, we have never wiped our house, how will we clean up here? For those who serve with this hatred, this method is not right. Many people think that my clothes should not be spoiled, whereas, in Gaur Leela, devotees are carrying soil filled in their clothes. Many people are worried about one more thing: if anyone is watching me, they must not send the photo. If that photo is published somewhere, people will say you are doing low caste work.
In order to serve God, one must be ready to become one of a lower caste because service to Krsna is divine service, and we should do it with enthusiasm like the companions of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Garbage is always accumulating in the minds of people who serve with grandeur. They try as much as they want, but their vehicle of devotion will never start because there is garbage in their heart. Krishna is the holiest, and if you want to call it the most Holy in your heart, then it is very important to clean the heart because Krishna will not come in the dirt.
If we want Krishna to sit on the throne of our heart, then we need to clean the heart. And this is a very golden opportunity to clean the mirror of our heart in the ceremony of Gundicha Marjana; we should very enthusiastically participate in it.
All glories to Gundicha Marjana, All glories to Jagannath Swami. Thank you.