Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lord Jagannatha of Puri and his Muslim bhakta Salabega

Lord Jagannath 

Salabega was born in the first decade of the 17th century to a Mughal subedar and a Brahmin widow whom had father had forced to marry him. They lived in Orissa close to the famous Jagannatha temple. When Salabega became a young man he joined his father's army and began his career as a soldier. Once, after he hurt himself badly, he found that nothing would give him relief.

Salabega's mother advised him to chant Lord Krishna's name. He obeyed his mother and found the names of the Lord so sweet that he forgot everything and was healed of his pain. He was overcome by a desire to know more and visited the Jagannatha temple. The Brahmins would not let Salabega enter the temple because he was not a Hindu.

Dejected Salabega when to Vrindavan and lived immersed in the Lord for several years before returning to Orissa just before the grant Ratha ceremony of Lord Jagannatha. Realizing that he would be delayed, he prayed from his heart to Jagganatha to not let the chariot move till he reached the spot.

Despite all the efforts of all devotees and Brahmins, the chariot would not move. It was when Salabega reached the spot and saluted his beloved Jaggantha that the chariot began to move. As long as he was alive, Salabega was never allowed to enter the temple. He always remained the outsider but is remembered today for his wonderful poetry in the Oriya language and his devotion to Lord Jagannatha Krishna and Shrimati Radharani, Mata Subhadra and Lord Balbhadra.

May Lord Jagannatha, the beloved of Salabega, bless us with devotion for the feet of Shri Narayana, who permeates all existence! 

Jai bhakta Salabega! Jai Jai Shri  Jaganntha! Jai Jai Shrimati Radhe Rani! 

Watch a bhajan by Salabega in the Oriya language on this link  

- Mamtamai Shri Radhe Guru Maa Charitable Trust


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