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Lord Jagannath Murti or Idol – an unburned part of the body of Sri Krishna Cremated by Pandavas

There is a widespread belief that the murti of Jagannath worshipped in the Puri Jagannath Temple is nothing but the unburned part of the body of Sri Krishna which is believed to have been cremated by the Pandavas. There are numerous versions to this story.

One legend has it that the wood that was floating in the sea that King Indradyumna found and which became the murti at the Jagannath Temple was the body of Sri Krishna.

Another legend has it that the body of Sri Krishna after he left earth was cremated by the Pandavas. But his heart remained intact. The heart was then given to the sea god. Jara Sabar, the hunter who mistakenly hit Sri Krishna with arrow thinking it was a deer, was watching the cremation.

He was in deep pain as he had not intended to hurt Sri Krishna. He jumped into the sea and tried to recover the heart. When he found the heart, it had turned into a bluestone. This was worshipped by him in a cave.

Centuries, later when King Indradyumna forcibly tried to take away the bluestone to worship in Puri, it disappeared. That very day the king had a dream that the Lord will appear again on the coast of the Puri to satisfy his devotees.

Another legend has it that the Pandavas constructed sandalwood pyre placed Sri Krishna’s body on it. But only the limbs were consumed by flames. The Pandavas were perplexed, at this time there was a voice in sky which asked the Pandavas to offer the body to the sea. This body later became the murti at Jagannath Temple. Jagannath murti is without limbs.

Note – There are numerous other versions of the above story.