Jagannath Culture

Jagannath Culture 

The Root of Jagannath Culture is based on Sanatana Dharma  

The Jagannath culture is based on the foundation of Sanatana Dharma, which is referred in Veda, the oldest literature of the world. The word ‘Dharma’ originates from the Sanskrit root “dhri” which means to sustain, which is indispensable, which is fundamental. The word ‘Sanatana’ means eternal which does not having with a beginning or an end. The phrase “Sanatan Dharma” advert to that which is perpetually integral to a living entity. It alludes the natural and eternal way of living. 

The Sanatana Dharma is grounded on the conclusion that the atman(soul) is superior to the body, the assumption in reborn until the atman(soul) is finally liberated and the God alone can free us from reborn as per our accomplishment in this born. It is based on the belief that human being is to do service as desired by God and without expecting anything in return. 

Sanatan Dharma is Not Restricted to any Particular Religion 

The Sanatana Dharma was prevalent from thousands of years, before the term Hinduism came into existence. It is based upon the spiritual laws discovered by the Seers and Rishis with their meditations. Sanatan Dharma is that which cannot be changed, which is perennial, which is timeless and not limited by any boundaries just like the characteristics of liquidity cannot be taken away from water nor can shadow be taken away from tree.  

The Jagannath culture encompasses certain duties and practices, which includes virtues like honesty, goodwill, patience, generosity, respect to other religion etc. Practice of such virtue can allow one to get moksha, a state of spiritual liberation, Self-knowledge and enlightenment. 

The ruling God of Sanatana Dharma is Lord Jagannath “Lord of the Universe” worshiped at Puri, Odisha(Orissa), India. The unique culture of Odisha state is known as Jagannath culture. He is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu and one of the forms of Lord Krishna. 

It is the only temple where Lord Jagannath is worshipped along with his siblings i.e. his sister, Goddess Subhadra and elder brother, Lord Balabhadra. It represents the bonding relationship among siblings and respect to each other. 

Why the Deities Are Made-up of Neem Wood 

The deities are made-up of neem wood. There is a very deeper meaning for the choice of neem tree for construction of deities of Sri Jagannath temple. According to 'Bhavishya Purana' (Indian literature having wide range of ancient topics) ‘Nimbadyaah sarvavarnanam vrikshyah sadharanah smutch'. It means, creation of an idol with neem wood (daru) is suitable for worshippers of all religion and caste of society as he is the deity of the entire World.  

Jagannath culture Believes in Equality 

Jagannath culture based on Sanatana Dharma believes in equality irrespective of caste, communities, religion etc. Every year in Ratha yatra (Cart festival), Lord Jagannath along with his siblings came out of temple to give blessings to his devotees, who are not allowed to temple due to certain restrictions. It shows that Lord jagannath is the god of all and he is omnipresent. 

Meaning of The Sanskrit Phrase “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” 

The Jagannath culture is founded on the Sanskrit phrase “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”. It consists of three words. “vasudha” means the earth; “iva”, means is and “kutubakam” denotes family. The meaning of the Phrase is “the whole earth is one single family”.  Jagannath culture believes that the entire world is just one family. 

The Jagannath culture represents the body color of entire Living Soul. The black texture of lord Jagannath, the white texture of lord Balabhadra and the yellow texture of goddess Subhadra represent the body color of entire human beings of the World. 

The food presented to the deities has its own significance.  Lord Jagannath is offered coarse brown rice with plain vegetables and lentils, which are the food of most of the common people and which protect from stomach illness and acidity. Lord Balabhadra consumes kanika, the food prepared with fine rice and dry fruits and goddess Subhadra is offered with spicy food, similar to food taken by most of the women. 


The characteristics of Sanatan Dharma, the ritual practices, the food presented to the deities, the different color of deities show that the Jagannath culture is not limited to the people of Odisha or India but it represents the people of the entire world.  


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Hi I am Snigdha Mishra. I served in the position of HR Generalist for more than 10 Years. About my education, I have completed my Masters in History and MBA in HR and Marketing. The 2020 pandemic made me to do something for the people who are suffering. so I joined Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari. At present I am working as a sevabruthi to help the poor and needy. I have passion for reading and writing. My creative and analytical skills, my cultivated working experience and the environment where I am staying, encourage me to contribute something with my writing skills. Presently i am working as an Assistant HR Manager in Amrita Viswavidya Peetham, Kerala

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