Few hundred years ago the King of Puri, Purusottama Deva, was to marry the princess who was the daughter of a king, Maharaja Salluva Narasingha, from the southern state .
That was the period the Annual Ratha-Yatra festival was to take place . The King of Puri invited the father of the princess for the great festival . However , the King sent his minister Chinnu bhatta Godaranga instead.
The Minister carefully observed the kingdom to give the inputs to his King . The Rath Yatra date arrived . The King of Puri along with his ministerial staff went to the temple performed pooja and with the permission of the Supreme Lord the tradition of sweeping the road in front of the carts was done by the King .
The visiting minister was shocked to see the King hold the broom , Rather , being impressed with the devotion of the King for Lord Jagannatha, he did not agree of him sweeping the road, even if it was for the Supreme Lord.
He took leave and reported this incident to King Salluva Narasingha. The king too was unhappy and objected to the idea of his daughter marrying the King of Puri as he was merely a street sweeper. He informed through his counsel about his ejection for the alliance .
Purusottama Dev was extremely angry that he, as the servant of Lord Jagannatha, would be insulted for his service to the Supreme Lord . He gathered his army troupes and went to the southern state to teach King a lesson.
Unfortunately, King Purusottama Dev was badly defeated.
Upset , with a downcast mood, he approached “Saikatacharya”, who was a great ascetic, and a householder devotee of Lord Jagannatha.
The Sadhu said , My dear King You had forgotten to ask permission from Lord Jagannatha before you went to Southern state . It was your mistake . You are King but Lord Jagganath is Emperor. Please take his permision before waging a battle
With this realization, the King returned to Puri and rushed to the temple of the Lord, crying over his defeat, asking why the Lord had let this happen. He spent the entire night in the temple, and with doors closed, before the night came to an end, the King heard a voice asking why he was so distraught over such a simple thing.
The divine voice said … my dear Purusottama Please go and gather our troupes again, and we two brothers, Jagannatha and Balarama, would go along to fight on the your behalf.
The King was astonished . He did all that as Lord commanded . As the news spread, many people, both old and young, joined the King’s forces to fight along with their Lordships. However, as they proceeded , the King was filled with some doubts whether their Lordships were really coming along with him.
While the King along with his army went onward, far ahead were two soldiers who rode , one on black horse and one white horse.
They were looking majestic from behind . They stopped to quench their thirst at a small village near Chilika Lake by buying some yogurt from a devotee named “Manika”.
Manika offered them yogurt looking at their beauty . She was awe stuck and just could not move her eyes away from them . The soldiers looked at Manika and smiled . They said they did not have any money to give her . She just kept looking without uttering any word . The dark soldier shook her and said , Manika ..we don’t have money but I have my ring that will be your payment for the sweet yoghurt . Please give this to your King and collect the gift he gives . Both of them smiled and proceeded
The King was fast approaching behind them . Curious he was , he caught up to the lady, who flagged him down to give him the ring and asked for payment for the soldiers’ drink.
The king was shocked to see the ratnamudrika ring of Lord Jagannatha and then regained his confidence that, indeed, their Lordships had certainly come along with him.
Overjoyed , In payment for the ring, the king gave her the whole village, which is still named “Manikapatna”.
The king and his troupes effortlessly won the battle and as planned he also took King Sallowo’s daughter back to Puri.
The King did not marry her after the insult her father had given him.
He instructed his minister to see that she get married to a most qualified sweeper.
Exactly after one year, Ratha-Yatra date was announced . As per traditional guidance , the King again took blessings from Supreme Lord and performed his sweeping of the ground before the Rath .
The king’s minister felt pity for the princess and announced that the king was the most qualified sweeper, since he swept for Lord Jagannatha, and that the princess, Padmavati, should marry him.
Amongst the crowds Maharaja Purusottama Dev married the princess and she later gave birth to “King Prataparudra” the great devotee of Lord Chaitanya Maha Prabhu .
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pictures& Videos : Courtesy from advanced devotees who uploaded in social media