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Maharaja Shri Prataparudra Deb;
The Lord of Elephants, Gajapati Prataparudra was the King of Orissa descended in the line of Ganga kings. His father's name was Shri Purusottam Deb and his mother's name Shri Rupanvika or Shri Paddabati Debi. Endowed with the opulence of Indra, he ruled over Utkaldesh (Orissa). His capital was at Cuttack.
Shri Purusottam Deb, who considered himself to be the servant of Lord Jagannath, arranged for the observance of Lord Jagannath's various festivals and rituals. During the Rath Jatra he would personally sweep the ground before the Rath with a golden handled broom. Lord Jagannath was so merciful to Shri Purusottam that He personally defeated the king of Kanchi, whose daughter He then presented to Purusottam Deb. From the womb of this Paddabati Debi Shri Prataparudra took his birth. After Prataparudra ascended the throne, he, like his father, engaged himself in the service of Lord Jagannath. This is all explained in the book Shri Sarasvativilasa.
Gaura ganoddesh dipika states, "He who was formerly the servant of Lord Jagannath, the King Indrayumna, is now present as Shri Prataparudra.
Kabi Karnapur Gosvami composed Shri Chaitanyacandrodayanataka in accordance with the request of King Prataparudra Deb; "I have been ordered by Shrimat Prataparudra to compose a drama in glorification of the lotus feet of Shri Hari."
When Mahaprabhu first came to Puri, Prataparudra had at that time gone to conquer Vijoy Nagar. However, when Mahaprabhu returned to Puri from Ramakeli, Prataparudra came there from Cuttack with the purpose of having His darshan. Prataparudra begged the devotees to please arrange that he might have the darshan of Mahaprabhu. They advised him that he might, from a concealed place, have a view of the Lord during His performance of sankirtan in the temple of Lord Jagannath.
Prataparudra saw that Lord Chaitanya, in the ecstasy of divine madness, was fainting and falling to the ground. Recovering His consciousness he would roll in the dust as His body became wet with tears from His eyes and the saliva drooling from His mouth. Not being able to understand these transcendental ecstatic symptoms, the king felt some repulsion in his mind.
After returning to his palace, that night he saw in a dream that Lord Jagannath's body was covered with dust and from His lotus eyes water was flowing like the Ganges river. His body had become wet with those tears and the mucus and saliva drooling from His nose and mouth.
When the king went to touch the lotus feet of Lord Jagannath, Lord Jagannath exclaimed, "Please! Don't touch Me! Your body is besmeared with camphor and sandalwood paste whereas I am covered with dust. When you saw my ecstatic dancing today you felt repulsed to see My body soiled with the dust and the saliva drooling from My mouth. But that same dust and saliva still covers My body so why do you wish to touch Me now? Do you think I am fit?"
The king saw then that in place of Lord Jagannath, Lord Chaitanya was sitting on the simhasan. His body covered with dust, He laughed as He told the king, "This is not very deserving of you. If you feel abhorrence towards Me then for what reason are you coming to touch Me?" Then the king could understand that Lord Chaitanya was non-different from Lord Jagannath Himself, so he fell on the ground and begged forgiveness for his offence.
During the time when in Jagannath Ballabh Udyan, Maharaja Prataparudra was finally blessed with Mahaprabhu's darshan, Prabhu gave him some instructions along with His blessings; "May you attain devotion to Krishna. Other than devotional service to Krishna you should not engage in any other activity. Incessantly you should perform Krishnasankirtan and in this way, your protector, Bisnu cakra Sudarshan, will always remain with you. I have come here specifically on account of yourself, Sarbabhauma and Ramananda. I have only one request which I hope that you will all honour. You should not make any publicity as regards My presence here. If you do then you will no longer see Me here."
Feeling very pleased with him, Prabhu put His own garland around Prataparudra's neck and then sent him away. All of his desires having been completely fulfilled by getting to meet Mahaprabhu face-to-face, Prataparudra offered his dandabats again and again.
The last king of the Surja dynasty was Shri Ananga Deb. Seven generations after him appeared Shri Anga Bhimadeb, who constructed the present temple of Lord Jagannath (about 800 years ago). In the seventh generation after him appeared Shri Kapilendra Deb (1435-1470 of the Christian era). His son was Shri Purusottam Deb (1470-14979), whose son was Shri Prataparudra (1497-1541). The four queens of Maharaja Prataparudra were Padda, Paddaloy, Shri Ila and Mahila. He had three sons: Purusottam Jana, Kaluya Deb and Kakhara Deb. He also had one daughter, Shrimati Tukka.
After Shrimati Jahnava Mata had a Deity of Radharani made and sent to Brindaban for Lord Gopinath, Purusottam Jana sent two Deities of Radharani to Brindaban, one for Madanmohana and one for Gobindaji.
When the Deities arrived in Brindaban by boat, They were brought to MadanMohan Mandir which was on the banks of the Jamuna. That night the pujari of MadanMohan had a dream in which MadanMohan told him, "You all are thinking that these two Deities are Radharani, but actually the smaller one is Radharani and the bigger one is Lalita, so you should put Radharani on My left side and Lalita on My right side." In this way, MadanMohan appropriated both of those Deities and Gobindaji remained alone.
When word was sent back to Purusottam Jana in Puri he was perplexed. That night however, he had a dream in which Radharani told him, "I am here within the temple of Lord Jagannath. Everyone thinks that I am Lakkidebi, but actually I'm not. I used to live in Braja from where one brahmana brought me to his house at Shri Radhanagar here in Orissa. His name was Brhadbhanu and he was very affectionate to Me, as though he was My father and I his daughter. But when he passed away I was brought to Lord Jagannath's temple by the king. Anyway, now you should send Me to Brindaban to be with Gobinda."
When he awoke from his dream Purusottam Jana was very astonished. He immediately prepared a retinue to accompany Shrimati to Brindaban. When She arrived in Brindaban and stood by the side of Gobinda, the bliss of the inhabitants Brindaban of knew no bounds. [Bhakti Ratna 6]
The kingdom of Prataparudra extended from the present district of Hugli and Medinipur in Bengal, to Guntur district in Madras. Also the major part of Telenga (Tailanga, the country to the East of Karnat and Northeast of Dravir) was under his rule.
There is no specific information regarding the disappearance of Maharaj Prataparudra, though his samadhi is reported to have been in a village named Pratappur, which is located eleven miles from Baripada, the capital of Mayur Bhanj. Due to the shifting currents of the nearby river, there is nothing remaining of that samadhi. Deities of Mahaprabhu, Jagannath and Dadhi Bamon still reside at Pratappur. The appearance festival of Mahaprabhu is celebrated there with great pomp.
Within the area of the old palace of the king at Puri (Puruna Nahor) within Bat Sagor, there are a number of temples including: RadhaKanta Matha, Gangamata Matha, Govardhan Matha, Astasambhur Mandir, Shri GaurNityananda Mandir and Shri Shri GaurGadadhar Mandir.
Prataparudra Maharaj was very devoted to Lord Chaitanya. The deep attachment that he felt for Him is demonstrated by the fact that he threatened to abdicate his throne and empire if Shri Chaitanya left Puri. The last six years of his life, after the disappearance of Mahaprabhu, were spent almost in total seclusion. Chaitanya Candrodoy Natak gives a true picture of the Emperor's misery after the disappearance of Mahaprabhu.