GGHS – Shriya Sankhe
GITA GOVINDA AND JAGANNATH
Once upon a time , the Gita Govinda song was very famous among the people of Orissa. In a small village near Puri ,there lived a girl named Padma .She was the daughter of a gardener ,and was very expert in singing Gita Govinda . One day while Padma was plucking eggplant from the garden ,she was chanting Gita Govinda very melodiously .when lord Jagannath heard this song of Gita Govinda ,he became so attracted that He could not keep Himself in the temple At once He left the alter and went to the garden where Padma was singing .Lord Jagannath followed the girl ,listening to her singing he was so he was so much enchanted with this song of Gita Govinda that he forgot himself . while he was walking behind the girl his cloth was torn by the thorns of an eggplant tree .the top piece of his cloth fell on the ground , but the lord was so much engrossed in hearing Gita Govinda that he did not notice .
After sometime,Padma filled her basket with eggplants and left the garden. Lord Jagannath, completely satisfied by hearing Padma’s singing, returned to the temple. The next morning, the pujaris came to perform their morning service. When they opened the temple gate, they were surprised to see that Lord Jagannath’s cloth was torn and His top piece of cloth was missing. Pieces of cloth were scattered here and there. It was as if the Lord had not been dressed the previous evening. After seeing this, the pujaris became very worried and immediately informed the King. No one could understand how this had happened. Everyone considered it very inauspicious. The King started to fast and
fell in front of the lord, praying to him to excuse any mistakes in their service. Lord Jagannath appeared to the king in his dream and told him ,’Oh King !do not be worried . I am very fond of hearing the Gita Govinda song written by my great devotee ,Jayadeva. last night there was a girl who was chanting Gita Govinda very nicely . I became so attracted by her song and left temple to listen to her . When I was following her in the eggplant garden, My cloth was torn by the thorns on the eggplant garden. You do not
have to be worried at all. You have no fault in any of this. But I request you to please bring that girl every day and let her sing Gita Govinda in front of Me in the temple before I go to bed.”
Immediately the King sent people to find the girl. When they located her house, they found Lord Jagannath’s top piece of cloth lying in the garden. When the King heard this, he was very surprised: this confirmed that the Lord had gone last night to her garden. The King wanted to fulfill the desire of the Lord to hear Gita Govinda every day from Padma. He personally went to Padma’s house and told her of his dream and of the Lord’s desire to hear her sing. He told her that if she had no objection that she could come and reside in puri. All facilities for her and her family members to stay in Puri would be arranged. Then she could sing Gita Govinda every day in front of the Lord Jagannath. Hearing this,the girl was very happy. How fortunate she was that the Lord wanted to hear her personally sing Gita Govinda. And so Padma, along with her family members, agreed to go to Puri to serve Lord Jagannath.
They all came to Puri and met the King. He gave them all facilities to stay in Puri and gave Padma the special service of chanting Gita Govinda in front of Lord Jagannath. From that time the system of chanting Gita Govinda before Lord takes rest was introduced in the Jagannath temple. The King gave lot of respect to the song Gita Govinda written by the Jayadev. He fixed the time for singing this song ,and the method for singing was determined.a special order was given by the king for this service and was engraved in stone as a permanent order .From that day onward ,Padma ,the most fortunate girl , started singing Gita Govinda every day in front of Lord during the midnight arti before Jagannath takes rest . Padma became known as Devi Dasi, or maidservant of the lord.