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Neelamadhava – Bhagavan Jagannath And Hanuman

There is an interesting reference to Hanuman and Bhagavan Jagannath worshipped in the famous Puri Jagannath temple. The reference is the original Neelamadhava form of Puri Jagannath.

In the concluding era of Bhagavan Sri Rama's rule in Tretaya Yuga, Shree Hanuman received counsel from Bhagavan Sri Rama himself. He was instructed to engage in meditation (dhyana yoga) on the 'Padmadri hill' until his services were summoned again in Dwapar Yuga. Expressing concern about how he would connect with his divine Master during this prolonged period, Hanuman was assured by Bhagavan Rama that he could behold his beloved 'Shree Rama' in the form of Bhagavan Neelamadhava. This deity would be worshipped on the neighboring hill, Brahmadri, allowing Shree Hanuman to experience perpetual bliss.

Hanuman exemplified sthitadhi, embodying the state of devotees whose minds remain equanimous and attain victory over the world in their lifetime. The Gita (Chapter 5, Verse 19) emphasizes that devotees, resting in the flawless and equanimous Lotus feet of Bhagavan, mirror the nature of the Almighty.

In line with the sacred teachings of the Gita, Bhagavan always desires His devotees to maintain equanimity in all circumstances—favorable or unfavorable. This involves working with detachment, surrendering the fruits of actions to the Lotus feet of Bhagvan, ensuring that one does not partake in sin, much like the Lotus leaf remaining unaffected by water (Gita Chapter 5, Verse 10). The Graceful Bhagavan wished for His dearest devotee to experience the blissful ecstasy and unalloyed purity arising from such equanimity.

The attainment of such sublime states necessitates perpetual sadhana (perseverance). Equanimity of mind, undisturbed worship, and devotion can be achieved through practices such as concentrated meditation, japa, and tapa (penance), wherein one remains equally content in both good fortune and misfortune. Yoga, detailed by Bhagavan in the Gita, is to be practiced in an isolated and pure place. The essential requirement is for the devotee, through the prescribed Yogic processes, to maintain unwavering faith Bhagavan, fostering a preference for serene locations over those charged with materialistic aspirations. Thus, the counsel for Hanuman to abide in Padmadri, an isolated and pure place, is clearly discernible.

Bhagvan wished that His dearest devotee continue the path of unalloyed devotion and Yoga, navigating against the currents of time. This belief is entrenched in the Neelamadhava Mahatmya and is now not merely a legend but an acknowledged position embraced by many scholars. It affirms the inseparable connection between the cult of Bhagavan Shree Jagannatha and the tradition of Bhagavan Shree Neelamadhava at Kantilo (Nayagarh).