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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhakti Purushottama Swami > Lord Shri Jagannatha at Puri > Udayan Acharya

Udayan Acharya


There was once a great scholar in Mithila named Udayan Acharya. He was a great pandit in Naya philosophy. He was able to defeat everyone and establish his own verdict. No one dared to arŽgue with him. Even learned Buddhist and Jain philosophers avoided meeting with him out of fear. Once, Udayan Acharya deŽveloped a desire to study Jagannath philosophy. He found in the Skanda Purana a verse that read: yatra sakhyat jagannadia sankha chakra gadadharah jantunam darsanat muktmi yo dadati kripanidh (Purushottama Mahatmya 7.30). Whoever takes darshan of Daru-Brahma Jagannath will immediately be liberated. Although Udayan had faith in Lord Jagannath, still he could not believe this stateŽment. Yet he had a desire to examine the verse more thoroughly.


One time he traveled to Puri. He arrived at night and went to take rest, planning to go for darshan the following morning to see if he would get liberation like the verse said. Early the next morning, the head pujari came to the temple gate, but he could not open it. Others soon arrived, and all tried their best, but none could open the temple. No puja could be done, and there was no mangala-arati. A message was sent to the King, who came personŽally and tried to open the doors. Still they would not open. EveryŽone thought that a very sinful person had arrived in Puri whom the Lord did not want to see. For the entire day the doors remained shut. Finally everyone went home and took rest. During the night, Lord Jagannath appeared to the head puŽjariin his sleep and told him, "As long as this non-believer Udayan Acharya is in Puri, My door will not open. I am only available to those who have faith in Me. Faithless people cannot reach Me."


The next morning Udayan Acharya performed puja to his salagram-sila. At that time the head pujari of the Jagannath temple, along with many others, arrived at Udayan Acharyas place. The pujari asked, "Are you Udayan Acharya from Mithila?" Udayan Acharya stood and replied, "Why, yes, I am." The pujari said to him, "You have no faith that one will attain liberation just by takŽing darshan of Lord Jagannath. That is why Lord Jagannath s temŽple did not open yesterday. As long as you remain here, His doors will not open." Udayan was surprised to hear this, and immediŽately understood his mistake. He said, "Due to one sinful person like me, so many people will be deprived of having darshan of Lord Jagannath. I must go myself to pray to the Lord for forgiveŽness. Let me see whether He listens to my prayer." Udayan Acharya went to the temple and, being very humble, he prayed to Lord JaŽgannath. Immediately the door of Lord Jagannaths temple opened, and everyone took darshan of the Lord.