(A dear god-sister, who is residing in Orissa, sent me this sweet wonderful lila of Jagannatha and his dear most devotee, Hope you will find much inspiration from this katha)
From time immemorial Sri Jagannathjiu has been worshiped in this dhama and the great scriptures like Srimad-Bhagawata, Padma, Visnu, Skanda Puranas etc are the evidence. It is mentioned in the Skanda-Purana that Sri-Prahalada maharaja did ratha-yatra festival long long ago in the age of Satya-Yuga. In this age also Jagannathjiu has a great history. There are devotees beginning from the reign of Pandya kings. All the great devotees like Jayadeba, Ramanujacharya, Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are glorified by their prema-bhakti in this Holy dhama. Thus many such stalwart devotees are well known all over the world.
However there are also many other great devotees whom many people outside Orissa may not know. Orissa is the place where this Great Puri-dhama (Avada Khetra) is situated and by the mercy of the Lord, people of Orissa are witness of many of the Great Lilas (pastimes) performed by the Lord and His premi-bhaktas.
One such premi-bhakta is well-known as Dasia Bauri in Orissa. The word Dasia means the servant and Bauri means low-caste. The mercy of Lord Jagannatha is not partial. It goes beyond any caste or material qualification. The Lord does not see, who is qualified or who is unqualified in the sense of materialistic evaluation. He only accepts the bhava (spiritual loving sentiments) of the individual souls and accordingly He treats the individual. This He has declared to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita as well.
A glimpse of the greatness of the love of Dasia Bauri towards Lord Jagannath can be known from the fact that Lord Jagannathjiu Himself with His own hands accepted the offering of love (coconuts, mangoes etc). It is well known that even the great sages, mystics, siddhas and demigods find it difficult to have the audience or association of the Lord, for Whom they tried many many tough, rigorous and complicated procedures, yet are not successful. But simple hearted prema of bhakta Dasia Bauria attracted the Lord Hari’s Mercy and this reveals the greatness of Dasia Bauri and his loving sentiments (bhava).
The Story of Dasia Bauri
Dasia Bauri belonged to a small village called Baligaon, which is located near to Puri in Orissa. From his birth he was attached with Lord Jagannath from his heart, mind and soul. By profession he was a simple weaver. In his young age he intensely involved himself in writing the songs and many other spiritual literatures on Lord Jagannath Swami. He had a wife who served him honestly and given all possible support to her husband. The family had only a meagre income.
Once a great incident happened and this is a teaching on how Lord helps a devotee indirectly.
One afternoon, Bhakta Dasia Bauri was intensely involved in the writing of a Jagannath bhajan. Suddenly his wife came to him and told him with some anger that, "You see! You are always busy in the divine service of Lord Jagannath and neglecting the household necessities.
I have not taken any food for the last four to five days. How can I survive?"
After listening, Dasia Bauri became surprised and asked , "Everyday, you are giving me the food at the right time and why are you telling that you have not taken food for the last few days?"
His wife answered, "You are very innocent! I am preparing food for you from the rice which you brought five to six days back by keeping my stomach empty"
After hearing the sacrifice, Dasia Bauri felt that he is not able to fulfill his duty towards her as her husband and he suggested to his wife that if she wanted she could marry someone again.
After listening such a statement from her husband, his wife asked, "Is this what Lord Jagannath taught him?"
And she told, "Jagannath may be your Lord, but my lord is you. I can tolerate any pain and even die at your feet."
At that moment, suddenly, they heard that a person is calling from outside, "Dasia! Dasia!"
Dasia Bauri went outside the hut and found the village leader. The village leader immediately gave him rice and a few kaudies (which was used in those days as money) and requested him to weave a new dress for him.
The village leader also told him his intention behind the new dress. He revealed that he desired to visit Puri-Jagannath Dhama during the annual Ratha-Yatra festival. After knowing this, Dasia Bauri could not check his ecstasy and asked like a child to the village leader whether he could give some more kaudies to him so that his desire to visit Puri-Dhama during Ratha-Yatra could also be fulfilled.
The village leader happily agreed and offered, "Why you want to visit alone then? Come with me so that you will not face any trouble in the journey to Puri-Dhama."
Thus Dasia Bauri happily accepted the offer and promised to prepare the dress for the village leader for Ratha-Yatra, which was only two to three days away.
Dasia Bauri then came to his wife and told with joy, "See the mercy of Jagannath! You were asking for rice and the money. And Lord Himself came and gave me the things that you were demanding."
She was surprised and asked where Jagannath came? I saw only the village leader who came and gave these things to you.
The Lord's Mercy
Dasia Bauri replied, "It is not so easy to understand the Lilas (pastimes) of Lord Jagannath even for the demigods like lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. The Lord helps sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. The Lord actually sent you the rice and kaudies through our village leader. The Lord’s mercy and activities are all inconceivable."