When the Britishers were attacked by Langurs

graphic footer

There is a wonderful story prevalent in the folklore of Jagannath Puri. 

Once,  while the Britishers were still ruling over India, they heard about Lord Jagannath and decided to go take darshan in the temple. Although they were aware that non-Hindus were not allowed inside the temple, thinking themselves to be the rulers, they decided to make use of their power and go in anyhow.. 

Hearing of their coming, all the pandas, being frail and afraid of the Britishers, went and hid inside the temple and prayed to Lord Jagannath to arrange a solution to the situation. The Britishers, determined to go inside the temple, arrived in front of the Singhadwara, the main door of the temple. They saw that there were no pandas to stop them from entering and started marching towards the door. But before they could even place one foot inside the temple, they were assaulted by hundreds of Langurs (Hanuman monkeys), who descended upon them from all directions, even though no one had noticed them before. The Britishers, although highly trained in combat and warfare, were left baffled by the attack and started retreating. 

Having successully stopped them from going inside the temple, the langurs eventually dispersed, leaving them all in a state of shock and surprise. They could understand that they were not allowed inside. Mere power was not enough. 

When the pandas saw what had happened, they came out of hiding and asked them if they were really eager to see Lord Jagannath. The Britishers showed their eagerness to take darsan of the Lord, so the servants of Lord Jagannath sat them in a row and started serving them the Lord Jagannatha’s mahaprasad. They told themthat the prasada of Lord Jagannath is also a form of the Lord himself and that they would be blessed by the Lord just by taking His prasad. The Britishers thus honoured the mahaprasad and happily returned. 

All glories to Lord Jagannath! All glories to His mahaprasad!