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King Indradyumna and the Appearance of Lord Jagannath
(According to the description in Skandha Purana)
In the age of Satya-yuga, King Indradyumna ruled a track of land known as Malava. The capital city was Avanti. He was the twenty-fifth son in a family line coming directly from Lord Brahma. He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu, thus all good qualities manifested in him.
One day after finishing his daily puja, the King made a re¬quest
to the pujari, Purohit. "Please find out that great tirtha on this planet
Earth where I can see Para- brahma face to face." Fol-• lowing the order
of the king, Purohit called all of the tiithas yatris to assemble in the
palace. With folded hands, Purohit inquired, "Oh tirtha yatris, do you
know of any place where our king can see the Lord with his own eyes?"
One tirtha yatri eagerly replied, "By the mercy of the Su¬preme Lord I have had the darshan of every tirtha manifest on this planet. I can tell you where your beloved king may drink the in¬comparable beauty of the Lord with his eyes. In Bharat-varsa there is a place called Udradesh (Orissa). In this country, on the bank of south sea lies Purusottama Kshetra. From that land one can see a majestic blue mountain surrounded by dense forests on all sides. On top of the mountain is a massive banyan tree known as kalpa bata. On the western side of this tree, a beautiful pond known as Rohini kunda offers nectarian water suitable for a holy bath. That pond is filled with the Lord's mercy in the form of water. Whoever touches the waters of Rohini kunda will achieve liberation immediately."
The tirtha yatri went on to describe the glories of the blue
mountain. "Towards the eastern bank of the kunda presides a deity of the
Supreme Lord, Vasudeva. His exquisite form is made of in-dra nila-mani (blue
safire). One who takes darshan of this deity after taking a holy dip in Rohini
kunda gets liberated.
"Look towards the western side of the deity and see an ash¬ram called Sabar Dipak. A path leads the way to the temple of Vishnu. There, Lord Jagannath, holder of the sankha and chakra resides." The tirtha yatris eyes filled with tears and other ecstatic symptoms appeared on his body as he glorified the Lord and His abode. "He is an ocean of mercy. He delivers every living entity just by giving His darshan. For the pleasure of Lord Jagannath, I lived there in Nila-chala Dham for one complete year. The most merciful Lord allowed this great fool to serve Him. By His mercy, I became expert in all eighteen vidyas (branches of knowledge), and my intelligence became pure. The supreme result of receiving divine knowledge was that I developed pure devotion unto the Lord. I do not see anything except for Lord Vishnu."
Throwing himself before the king, the tirtha yatri implored him with heart and soul to take darshan of the Lord at His residence at Nila-chala. "My dear King, you are a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. You are constantly engaged in serving Him with love and devotion. For this reason, I have come to you—not to ask you for any wealth, but to request you to please go and worship Laxmi-pati Jagannath, who is residing in Purusottama Dham."
After saying this, the tirtha yatri disappeared. King Indra-dyumna was astonished to hear that such a place existed. Intrigued by all that he had heard, he said, "We have listened with great rev¬erence to the mystical descriptions from the lips of a sadhu. Yes, I must go to that place where Lord Gadadhara is residing." The King suddenly arose from his asana. "Oh brahmana" the king said, look¬ing at Purohit. "Please help me get the darshan of the merciful Lord. It is by the Supreme s grace that I have attained dharma, ar-tah and kama. Now please help me achieve the fourth pwusardia, liberation."
Purohit gently spoke. "Yes, this is very good idea to go to Purusottama Kshetra and live there." He stood thoughtfully for a few moments. "Let me send my younger brother Vidyapati to Nila-chala first. He can find a place for you and your royal entourage to build a proper camp. Let him come back here with a message from Nila-chala Dham." The King agreed to Purohit s proposal.
Vidyapati sets out in search of the Lord
The brahmana Purohit sent his brother Vidyapati along with a few faithful persons to find the holy blue mountain. With the blessings of the brahmanas, Vidyapati started his journey in the early morning at an auspicious muhurta.While traveling on the chariot, Vidyapti's mind was filled with devotional expectations. "My birth has become successful. I will see the lotus face of the Lord, and all of my sinful reactions will be eradicated. Today I will see that Lord, Chakrapani, who is available only to those who engage in steady sadhana and bhajan. Resting in His abode atop Nila-chala, He is perfectly capable of cutting off the fierce bodily and material attachments that keep conditioned souls bound to the cycle of birth and death. By His merciful glance, I will cross over the ocean of this frightening ma¬terial existence by taking daxshan of that Lamxi-pati, Lord Hari, whose real swarupa is difficult to be understood through the sruti and smriti.
"I will see that Lord Jagannath in His Nilagiri nivas-rupa. His holy name cleanses the heart and removes all sins and contami¬nations. Yes, without hesitation or delay I will take shelter of that Parampurusa, the primeval Lord Vishnu, from whose pores unlim¬ited universes are exhausted. He has thousands of hands and eyes, and from His breathing He emanates Vedic sound vibrations. He is the master of the entire cosmic manifestation." Vidyapatis heart and mind were consumed with love for the Lord. "Oh, what fortu¬nate I have that I will see Lord Narayana, the original cause of the creation of the universe with my own eyes."
His whole being locked in meditation, Vidyapati and his party covered a long distance, yet no one felt any fatigue. He trav¬eled through many forests, mountains and difficult roads. Finally in the evening, he reached the bank of the river Mahanadi. Vidyapati took bath and performed his evening puja, meditating upon Sri Madhusudan. Then he retired for the night. Early the next morning the chariots crossed the Mahanadi River and progressed towards Purusottama Kshetra. Vidypati's every thought dwelled on the glories of Lord Govinda. He reached Ekamra kanana (presently known as Bhubaneswar). Eventually he could see the top of Nila-chala. His heart thumped with excite¬ment. He saw the scene just as the tirtha yatri had described it. Vidyapati spotted the kalpa bata, which removes all sinful reac¬tions. Gradually he reached the valley land of Nila-chala Kshetra. Vidyapati was intensely eager to take darshan of the Lord, but the forest was so dense and dark that he could not see the path.
Vidyapati meets Sabar Viswavasu
Deterred by darkness, Vidyapati laid a kusasana (straw mat) on the ground and prepared to rest. He had already taken full shel¬ter of the Lord, and expected to have darshan of the Him the next day. Suddenly he heard voices coming from the western side of the mountain. The voices were discussing topics of the Lord. Getting up from his asana, he followed the sound vibration. After a little distance, he saw flickering lanterns coming from what looked to be an ashram. It was! This was the Sabar Dipak ashram, the place the tirtha yatri had described. Overcome with emotion, he saw the assembly of Vaisnavas and offered his obeisances to them. Vidyapati was welcomed by the devotees. He met a sabar (tribal) called Viswabasu, who had reached the ashram moments before, after finishing his puja to Lord Vishnu. His body was beautified by the prasada of. the Lord, and a nice smell emanated from him. Vidyapati was very happy to see him, immediately recognizing him as a great Vaisnava. He un¬derstood that the pujari was the chief person from whom to learn about the Lord.
Sabar Viswabasu could understand Vidyapati's mind. Taking Vidyapati gently by the arm, Viswabasu said, "Oh brahmana. Where have you come from? Why have you come to this forest? Cer¬tainly you have found the path to be filled with sharp sticks and stones. You must have had diffi¬culty walking. Come, you must be tired. Please sit here for some time and take rest." Viswabasu arranged water for Viday-pati to wash his feet and offered him an asana. Viswabasu began to pre¬pare prasada for Viday-pati.But Vidyapati's intense desire to see the Lord was his only concern. "I do not want any fruits or cooked food. Please fulfill the purpose for which I have come." Vidyapati rose from his seat. "I am a representative of Purohit, servant of the King of Malava. On the order of the king, I have come here to take darshan of Lord Vishnu. The king is observing a fast which he will break only when I return with the news of the Lord. There isn't a moment to spare. Please arrange for me to take darshan of the Lord without delay." Vidyapati stood expectantly before the sabar, awaiting his response.
Vidyapati takes darshan of Nila Madhava
Sabar Viswabasu, mediating upon the Lord, addressed Vid¬yapati. "Oh great brahmana, I have heard it before that King Indra-dyumna will come and live in this tirtha. Let us not waste a mo¬ment. Now let us go to the top of the mountain." The sabar led Vidaypati through the dense forest to the base of the sacred blue mountain. As they climbed higher and higher the path become nar¬row, so much so that only one person could walk ahead at a time. The path was covered with thorns and the dense darkness of night blinded the eyes. Vidyapati ambled along that path by following the voice of Viswabasu.
After a long night of walking for many hours they reached Rohini kunda in the morning. Sabar said, "Oh great brahmana, this is Rohini kunda, the cause of all water in this universe. All of the elements emanate from here and enter here at the time of anni¬hilation. This is best of all tirthas. By taking bath here people auto¬matically become eligible go to Vaikuntha. Towards the east side of this pond you can see the banyan tree known as kalpa bata. Just by resting under the shadow of this tree one will be free from the sin¬ful reaction of killing a brahmana. "In between the tree and pond there is a grove where the Lord, who is revealed through Vedanta, is residing. Please go there and take darshan of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By tak¬ing His darshan you will become free from all reactions from sinful activities. You will never again fall into the ocean of material exis¬tence."
Vidyapati trembled in anticipation. After carefully taking bath in Rohini Kunda, he remembered his guru and entered the temple to take darshan. Offering prostrated obeisances and heart¬felt prayers to the Lord, Vidyapati sat in front of the deity and chanted the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. He had never experienced such bliss in his life. After some time Vidyapati came outside. He saw Viswabasu sitting beside the holy banyan tree. "Now you have made your life successful by taking darshan of the deity," the sabar congratulated him. "You must be very tired now. It is almost the end of the day. It will be dark soon. There are ferocious animals here. We should start for the ashram before it gets dark," Viswabasu advised. Back at the ashram Viswabasu offered Vidyapati prasada and treated him with many nice things. Vidyapati was surprised to see so many opulent preparations. He had never tasted such delicacies, even as a servant in the king's palace. Without checking his curios¬ity, he inquired where the sabar obtained such heavenly prasada. A small, secret smile passed Sabar's lips. "Indra and other demigods always come and worship the Lord. They chant and dance in front of Him. What you are taking is the transcendental prasada of Lord Jagannath. By honoring this prasada we become free from old age and disease. One is awarded liberation by taking the Supreme Lord's remnants in a spirit of servitude and devotion."
Vtdyapati's hairs stood on end upon hearing the glories of the Lord's prasada. Tears of bliss poured from his eyes, and he felt himself to be a most fortunate man. Then he thought about the even greater fortune of the tribal people—they took darshan of the Lord every day! By then he wanted to form a bond of friend¬ship with the sabar and stay there with him. Vidyapati said, "My dear friend, the king will come and live here. He has a desire to build a magnificent temple for Lord. He will arrange an elaborate system for the Lord's puja."
"Yes, I have heard this from long before. This is an old topic," Sabar sighed. "We have heard that King Indradyumna will come here. But the only problem is that even when he comes here, he will not be able to see the Lord. Daru-Brahma made one prom¬ise to Yamaraj: the Lord will hide himself under golden sand and will disappear from view'.' Vidyapati gasped. "You are very fortu¬nate that you got darshan of the Lord. When King Indradyumna comes here, He will disappear from the king's eyesight. But you must not tell this to the king. When the king discovers that he can¬not see the Lord, he will fast and prepare to leave his body. Being compassionate on His devotee, Lord Gadadhara will appear in the king's dream. He will reveal how He will appear in the form of four wooden deities. Lord Brahma will install these deities and King Indradyumna will worship Them."
Continuing to speak frankly, Vidyapati and Viswabasu ar¬ranged a soft bed out of tender leaves and took rest. The next morning after taking bath, Vidyapati offered his obeisances to Lord Madhava. Mindful of his duty he selected a nice place for the king to live. Then Vidyapati took leave and headed back to Avantipura. Before leaving Nila-chala Dham, Vidyapati circumambulated Puru-sottama Kshetra. By evening he reached Avantipura. He was in so much in ecstasy from experiencing the merciful Lord s darshan that he did not feel any fatigue.
Vidyapati relays the glories of Nila-chala to King Indradyumna
Even before Vidyapati entered the city gate, King Indra¬dyumna joyfully received the news that the advance party success¬fully located the residence of the Lord. The effulgent Vidyapati ap¬proached the king holding a garland gifted by Viswabasu. The King stood up to receive his servant, and nearly swooned in devotional ecstasy. He spoke in a voice choked with emotion. "My life has become successful today just by seeing this garland. I am seeing Lord Madhava through this prasada mala. I offer my humble obeisances to this garland, which was offered to the Lord by His surrendered devotee. This garland has the power to deliver whole universe." The King felt waves of love churning in his heart. "O my Lord! Please deliver me. I offer my obeisances unto You again and again."
With tears m his eyes, the king fell on the ground to offer his prostrated obeisances. The hairs on his body stood on end. Vi-daypati helped the king to his feet and put the garland on his neck. Simply by wearing the divinely fragrant garland, the king felt as if Lord had come inside his heart. By that time, many grihastas, brah-macharis and sannyasis had surrounded the king. Everyone was basking in the atmosphere created by the king s pure devotion. The king, along with other learned brahmanas worshiped Vidyapati and offered him a seat in front of the throne. With great sincerity the king asked about Vidyapatis welfare. Yet Vidyapati was anxious to speak about the glories of Purusottama Kshetra and Nila Madhava. According to his realization and memory, he vividly described everything that had taken place during his visit to the sacred dham. Enraptured by Vidyapatis rich glorification, the whole assembly drank the nectar of the brahmanas words, wishing that he would speak more and more.
Finally, the King asked him to describe Indranila-manimaya, the deity of the Lord. Vidyapati closed his eyes and breathed deeply. "My dear king, now I will try to describe that transcenden¬tal deity, who awards liberation to anyone who takes His darshan. The deity of the Lord is very ancient and antique. His form is made of mdranila-mani, very precious gems. Lord Brahma and King Indra along with the demigods go there daily to worship this deity of the Lord. This garland I presented to you was offered by the demigods to Lord Madhava. It will never dry and its smell re¬mains always, never fading with time." Vidyapati opened his eyes and looked at the king with an expression of pure serenity and bliss. "By taking the Lords prasada" Vidyapati said, "I have become free from all sins. I have become effulgent like the demigods. Can you see this?" The king nodded his head in admiration. "Dear King, sense gratification and liberation are easily available there. In Nila-chala Dham there is no disease or old age, nor is there is there any kind of suffering. In that tirtha, the Supreme Lord Himself with His big blue lotus-like eyes resides. He is very pleased by devotional service. He gives lib¬eration to anyone who takes shelter of Him."
Description of Nila-manimaya Vigraha
The brahmana Vidyapati continued with his narration. "I reached the temple of Lord Vishnu in Nila-chala Dham in the eve¬ning. A cool, soothing breeze was blowing. Lord Vishnu's beautiful land is covered by forests from all sides, and around the temple many precious gerns are inlaid in the walls. Indranila-manimaya Vishnu greets His devotees inside. He holds the sankha and chakra, as well as a lotus flower and a club. This deity is 81 ringers tall, and He is situated on top of a golden lotus. The gently smiling lotus face of the deity removes all three miseries of the material world. The nose of the Lord is shaped like a delicate sesame flower. His long ears are adorned with moker kundal (earrings shaped like a crocodile).
"The Lord's shoulders are strong and wide. He has four long arms that end at His knees. A kaustabha mani necklace hangs from His neck, and a chain of pearls hangs down to his lower waist. His deep naval is decorated with small, fine hairs. His thighs look like indestructible pillars. Whoever sees Him with devotion, offering his obeisances, attains freedom from material bondage." Vidyapati folded his hands reverentially. "Goddess Laxmi sits on the left side of the Lord, looking upon His handsome face. She is the residence of all beauty and is decorated with all kinds of jewelry. The father and mother of the whole universe, both are residing on top of this mountain. I saw both of Them there. They are sitting there silently and giving Their blessings to whoever takes Their darshan.
"Behind Them Lord Ananta Sesa is present. He is spreading His hood on top of Them. In front of them, Sudarshan chakra stands in wait. Behind Sudarshan, Garuda is ready to serve." Vid-yapti stopped his narration, waiting for the king to reply. The king said, "Now I have been purified by hearing the glories of the Lord and His Nila-chala Dham. I will go there and establish a city of great opulence. For the Lord's pleasure I will perform one hundred aswamedha yajnas and serve the Lord by per¬forming hundreds of thousands of puj as. Through vrata, fasting, and following the rules and regulations of the scriptures, I will please the Lord. Lord Narayana is very merciful upon fallen souls."
Just then, the most celebrated devotee of Lord Narayana arrived at the palace. King Indradyumna immediately stood up and welcomed his saintly guest, Sri Narada Muni. He washed his lotus feet and gave him a nice place to sit. He worshipped the great rsi with incense and flowers and spoke the following words: "Today all of my acts of sacrifice and charity are fruitful because Narada Muni is present in my home. Please let me know what can I do for your satisfaction. Have you any order for me to follow? Kindly tell us the cause of your visit," the King implored. Narada Muni was pleased by the Kings hospitality. "Oh great king! All of the demigods including Lord Brahma are very pleased with your devotional qualities. Your determination to build a city in Nila-chala is very much appreciated. After thousands of lifetimes of endeavor, one develops devotion to Lord Madhava, who is residing in a cave in Nila-chala Dham. The most learned Brahmaji created this universe only after worshiping this same Lord Jagadiswar. As you have taken birth in the dynasty of Lord Brahma, it is obvious that you have staunch devotion unto the same Ja¬gadiswar. This material world is filled with sufferings and at every step there is danger. Devotion to Lord Hari is only way one can be protected." Narada Muni's sweet words purified the assembled persons instantly.
The residents of the palace were filled with indescribable happiness. King Indradyumna could not mask his exuberance, and announced, "By your holy association, I am free from the darkness of ignorance. My heart is feeling intense eagerness to worship Lord Nila Madhava. Let us both mount the chariot and take darshan of Nila Madhava. My life will be successful if you take me around Purusottama Kshetra and reveal the glories of the dham." Sri Na¬rada replied, "This is a matter of great pleasure for me. I will tell you the glories of that place. You will see Lord Jagannath directly, face to face, in that all-auspicious Nila-chala Dham."
Under Narada Muni's guidance, the king called his astrolo¬ger to determine the most auspicious time to depart for Nila-chala. After consulting many charts, it was announced that that most fa¬vorable date was Panchami tidii in the month of Jestha. A second order was announced in the palace: all of the king's brothers and citizens were invited to live the duration of their lives in Purusot¬tama Kshetra. Additionally, all of the queens, ministers, associates with all of their horses and soldiers were included in the entourage.
King Indradyumna observed the prepatory rights and rituals of purification. He and Narada Muni visited the temple of Lord Vishnu and Durga Devi to get their blessings. When the auspicious dthi arrived, the king offered his obeisances and prayers to Lord Narayana and then climbed on the chariot. Narada Muni sat next | to him on an elevated seat. King Indradyumna's chariot was fol¬lowed by hundreds of chariots carrying kings from other lands. All of the chariots were shielded by various weapons and were decorated with brightly colored flags. The citizens traveled by animals such as elephants, camels and horses. Well-wishers and bystanders cheered at the sight of the glorious procession. The grand party reached the bank of the Mahanadi River in the afternoon. Tents were arranged to provide shelter for the night. The King took his bath in the river while Purohit and other brahamanas chanted Vedic mantras and offered oblations to the forefathers. After his bath, the King worshiped Lord Vishnu and sat down to take prasada along with Narada Muni. He requested Narada Muni to describe the sweet pastimes of Lord Hari.
While the King was absorbed in hearing hari-kotba, the door keeper informed him that a visitor had arrived. "The King of Utkala requests an appointment to meet with King Indradyumna immediately." The King granted the visitor his audience. The pious King of Utkala entered the meeting place and offered his obei¬sances to King Indradyumna and the great rsi. King Indradyumna received him properly by embracing him. "Dear King of Utkala, is your purified intelligence fixed upon the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu? Is everything well with you?"
The King of Utkala replied, "By the mercy of your lotus feet, everything is auspicious. Yet I must share some news that may cause you disturbance and even distress. I know your intention is to take darshan of Lord Madhava." The air in the room suddenly be¬came very heavy as King Indradyumna leaned forward to hear the message from the king. "The Lord's Dham has been covered by a thick layer of sand due to a sudden heavy storm. Now my country is facing all kinds of calamities and many people are dead or dying." The King of Utkala appealed to King Indradyumna, "But now you have come here and I am sure by your presence, everything will be auspicious." After discussing the situation, the King of Ut¬kala took his leave. King Indradyumna was bewildered in spite of himself. He became very worried that his hearts desire to see Lord Nila Mad¬hava was futile. The King turned to Narada Muni for answers. "Oh King, do not be worried about this," the rsi assured him. "You are a great Vaisnava, and a Vaisnava's desire never becomes fruitless. You will definitely see the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He will appear on this earth just to give you His holy darshan. The entire creation is controlled by Him; He is never controlled by any one. He is bhakta-vastala—Wz is controlled by devotion. Vishnu-bhaAti is the root cause all chaturvaga, the four goals of life. Lord Brahma has personally engaged me to help you in this work. Once we reach Purusottama Dham, I will explain everything in detail. Now it is the third prahar of the night. Please let ^11 of the kings go to their respective camps for rest. You must also take rest." Narada Muni's counsel pacified the King's mind.
The next morning, after finishing his daily morning duties, the King worshiped Lord Jagannath and crossed the Mahanadi River on their way to Nila-chala Dham. After crossing the river, the King heard the sound vibration of a conch shell. "Oh King, this is a very rare place which has been kept hid¬den by Lord Vishnu," Narada Muni explained. "Not very far from here is the place of Lord Shiva. Nilagin is situated three yojajans (24 miles) from here. Lord Shiva offered his prayers to Lord Purusottama, the original cause of this creation. Being pleased by his prayers Lord Vishnu appeared to him and said, 'There is a track of land extended up to the shore of the south sea decorated with a blue mountain. Towards the northern side of this land is a very beautiful forest called Ekamra kanana. You should live there with your eternal consort, Parvati. By my order Lord Brahma will estab¬lish you as Koti Lingeswar (the lord of ten million Imgas)'. Since that time, Lord Shiva has resided continuously at that place. Now let us go there to take darshan of Lord Shiva."
The King took bath in Bindu-sarovara, a tank where all of the holy waters are present. Next he worshipped Lord Bhubanes-war. Being pleased with his worship, Lord Shiva told King Indra-dyumna that very soon his desire would be fulfilled. Lord Shiva took Narada Muni aside and told him confidentially, "Oh great personality, please complete the order of Brahamji through this person. This king must perform one thousand aswamedha yajnas for the pleasure of Lord Visnu. Ultimately the Lord Himself will appear as Daru-Brahma in order to deliver the helpless conditioned souls. The Dham is non-different from the Lord. As protector of that place, Lord Vishnu appointed me in eight different forms. I am known by the name Nila-kantha, and I stay with Durga Devi at the entrance of Purusottama Kshetra. Take this king to that place," Lord Shiva gravely instructed. Then he disappeared.
Narada Muni considered Lord Shiva's instruction and led the parikrama on towards Purusottama Kshetra. The King and his entourage followed somberly, understanding that their journey would culminate in service to the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu. To their surprise, the party saw a deity of Lord Nrisimahadeva resid¬ing under a black Agur tree. "Just by having His darshan one is freed from millions of brahmana-hatya. The Lord's transcendental form destroys all danger and fear," Narada Muni said. Lord Nri-simhadeva's open mouth revealed many sharp teeth. His neck was covered with yellow hairs that surrounded His face. He had three eyes and looked very fearful. His ferocious nails were tearing apart the heart of the demon Hiranyakasipu. The sankha and chakra blazed in His hands. The helmet adorning the Lord's head dazzled like a million suns. His eyes shot effulgent fire into every direction. The King and his party paid respectful obeisances to the ugra form of Lord Nrisimhadeva.
Finally the siromani of all munis brought the king to holy place where Nila Madhava resides. Only now the deity form was covered with golden sand. Narada Muni revealed the .Lord's plan to the King, who was practically unconscious with grief. "That Lord Nila Madhava will manifest now in four forms to bless you." King Indradyumna offered prostrated obeisances to the place indicated by Narada Muni as Lord Jagannath's eternal abode. Tears poured unchecked from the King's eyes. Then an unseen sound vibration thundered, "Oh King, do not be worried. I must give you my dar¬shan. You must act according to the instructions of Brahmaji which have been related to you by my devotee, Narada Muni." King In¬dradyumna leapt to his feet and began to praise the Lord with songs and prayers. After some time, he sat down in a solitary place and meditated on the Lord's order. He carefully prepared himself to carry out his beloved Lord's sacred command.
The installation of Lord Nrisimhadeva
Narada Muni was pleased to see the sober countenance of the King. "Let us go toward Lord Nila-kantha, the abode of Lord Shiva," he said, taking King Indradyumna by the hand. "There we will install the deity of Lord Nrisimhadeva, the destroyer of all de¬mons and all inauspiciousness. The deity will face the west. Lord Vishnu will appear in the form of Nrisimhadeva."
The King received instructions from the rsi. "The yajna performed in front of Lord Nrisimhadeva will be very fruitful. Please build a nice temple here facing east. A sandalwood tree is growing on the south side of Lord Nila-kanthas temple, and the western side of this tree is a suitable place to perform yajna. You must make arrangements to perform one thousand yajnas there. Worship Lord Nrisimhadeva with your heart full of faith and de¬votion, and request Him to manifest His deity form. I will then install the deity."
Sughata, the son of Viswakarma, built a beautiful temple according to the instructions Narada Muni relayed to King Indra¬dyumna. The temple construction was complete in four days. On the fifth day the King collected the ingredients for the temple inau¬guration and waited for Narada Muni to arrive. He could hear in the distance the kirtana procession accompanying Narada Muni. Soon Narada Muni arrived at the temple with the deity of Lord Nrisimhadeva. The deity was dressed in fine silk cloth and a beauti¬ful, fragrant flower garland decorated His effulgent body. His tran¬scendental form was smeared with sandalwood pulp. The King circumambulated the Lord and offered his pros¬trated obeisances. On the order of Narada Muni, King Indra¬dyumna established the deity of Lord Nrisimhadeva on the opu¬lent altar. Deities of Bhudevi and Laxmi Devi were installed as well. The assembled devotees chanted the Lord's holy name and danced in ecstasy.
King Indradyumna perforins one thousand aswamedha yajnas
King Indradyumna invited all of the demigods to witness the aswamedha yajnas. Many rsis, Vaisnavas and brahmanas were in attendance. The yajna was to be performed in a large meeting hall with a roof that extended up for three miles. The floor was made with valuable jewels and lined with gold and silver. Then the King worshiped Sachipati Indra, the senior-most personality in the assembly, and offered his obeisances to the Vais¬navas. King Indradyumna prayed to Lord Indra, "Oh Deveswar! I would like to worship the Yajna Purusa, Lord Vishnu, by perform¬ing the aswamedha yajna. I beg that you and the devas stay until the end of the sacrifice. You were awarded the merciful darshan of Nila Madhava, who is now hidden under golden sand. If He ap¬pears again, you all will be benefited."
Hearing the Kings request, Indradeva replied, "Oh King Indradyumna, you are a great soul. I already know your future pro¬gram. This auspicious sacrifice will purify the three worlds. I must help you in this performance. Please proceed with your worship." With the blessings of Indradeva, King Indradyumna started the aswamedha yajna under the guidance of the great rsis. Every¬thing was performed perfecdy with out any mistake or discrepancy.. Near the end of the thousandth aswamedha yajna the king fixed his mind upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and in his medi¬tation saw the island of Swetadwipa. This island was made of sphatik stone and was surrounded by a milk ocean. On top of a platform studded with precious gems was a gold simhasana where four-handed Lord Vishnu sat. On His right side Dharinidhara An-anta Sesa extended his hoods just like an umbrella. His bodily ap¬pearance was a like blue cloud and a flower garland hung to His knees. Laxmi Devi was seated on the Lord's left side.
King Indradyumna disclosed the details of his meditation to Narada Muni, who confirmed that this was a sign that the Lord would reveal Himself further. "The hairs from the body of Lord Visnu have fallen onto the earth and have developed into a tree. He has appeared as a log of wood, a Brahmarupa tree." Narada Muni led the King to the tree. The devoted King offered his obeisances and worship. Narada Muni revealed that the divine tree—Lord Vishnu Himself—was to be carved into a deity form. The King's eyes opened wide in astonishment. "Dear Narada Muni, what kind of form should be carved? And who will carve it?" Narada Muni smiled mildly and replied, "The Lord's lila is transcendental. Who knows how He will manifest!"
While they were talking like this, an unseen sound vibration disclosed the following: "Lord Vishnu's descent will be kept a se¬cret. Cover this log for fifteen days. An old carpenter will arrive here very soon holding instruments to carve the deities. Close the door for fifteen days and play drums and other musical instru¬ments outside. Make sure no one can hear the sound of the carv¬ing. Should anyone hear this sound, surely he will become deaf. No one should try to enter inside to see the carving, lest he become blind." King Indradyumna followed the instructions perfectly. After fifteen days, the forms of the Lords, Jagannath, Baladeva and Sub-hadra manifested along with Sudarsan Chakra. Again an unseen voice directed the King: "Oh King, cover these four deities with cloth and paint them with natural colors. Every year you should paint them when the previous colors fade away. No one should see the naked wooden forms of the deities. King, the merciful Lord has appeared to bestow His blessings on you and all living entities that are fortunate to have His darshan. Now you must a build tem¬ple of a height of one thousand feet and establish these deities there. "
King Indradyumna dutifully carried out this order, and thousands of years later that Sri Mandir stands as the crest jewel of all temples.