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The Jagannath Car Festival

Title:The Jagannath Car Festival
Author:Allen, Marguerite
Enumeration:Vol. 8 Issue no. 4; September 1955, p. 66-69, 81
Abstract:Despite the myth of purely Hindu origin (which is described here) associated with the establishment of Jagannath at Puri, the true origin of Jagannath worship has been attributed to the Jainas, Buddhists, aboriginals,as well as Hindus. In the 12th century, Jagannath was worshipped as the Buddha's incarnation of Vishnu; "Jagannath" was originally a Tibetan term meaning Buddha; the custom of bathing images following the new year is originally Buddhist; the relationship between Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra, and their sister Subhadra exhibits Buddhist concepts and some scholars believe that this triad represents the Tri-Ratna of Buddhism; and certain documents establish that the concept of keeping relics -- associated with Jagannath -- became a part of India's religion during the time of the Buddhist King Ashoka. The festivals and ceremonies associated with Lord Jagannath are described: the annual car-festival held in July, the bathing festival or Snan Yatra just before the monsoon, and the Nabakalabara Yatra (performed every 20 years).

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