Who is Navgunjar Avatar of Lord Vishnu ?


Although Lord Vishnu is considered to have 10 main Dasavatar and a total of 24 incarnations, but there is one such incarnation about which very few people know and that is Navgunjar incarnation. This is because there is no description about this incarnation in Mahabharata or any Purana. Description of this strange incarnation of Sri Hari is found only in the folk tales of Orissa. There Navagunjar is also considered an incarnation of Shri Krishna. Let us know something about this special incarnation.

Mahabharata of Orissa

As we told that the description of Navagunjar incarnation is found only in the Mahabharata of Orissa, which has been composed by Shri Sarala Das, who is considered to be the original poet of Orissa, born in the 15th century. Apart from Mahabharata, he has also composed Oriya Bilanka Ramayana. The basic form of the Mahabharata written by him is the Mahabharata of Maharishi Vyas, but in this he has shown his unique originality and has also added some things from his own side, which are not mentioned in the original Mahabharata. Navgunjar avatar is also one of them.

Arjuna saw strange animal

According to the Mahabharata written by him, when Arjun was doing penance in the hills of Manibhadra during his exile, he saw this wonderful creature. The entire body of this creature was a mixture of 9 different animals and was very large in size. When Arjun saw them, he got scared and took Gandiva for his protection. They were about to attack that strange creature when they thought that no such creature could exist on this earth. Then he looked carefully and saw a lotus flower in the hands of that creature. Seeing this they understood that this creature was definitely the incarnation of Shri Hari. As soon as he got acquainted with the truth, Shri Krishna appeared to him and told him that like the world form, he too was a form of him.

This incarnation is named “Navagunjar” because of the mixture of 9 beings. They are:

  • Head: Chicken
  • Neck: Peacock
  • Hump: Rishabh’s
  • Waist: Lion’s
  • Rear left leg: Tiger’s
  • Rear right leg: Equine
  • Front left foot: Elephant
  • Next right leg: Human
  • Tail: Snake

Shri Krishna gave sutra to Arjun

The reason for assuming this incarnation of Shri Krishna was to explain to Arjun that a complete human being can be created by mixing living beings full of such diversity. When Navgunjar was viewed from nine different directions, different creatures were visible to man, but in reality the creature was only one. This means that different people may have different viewpoints on a human being, but in reality that human being is the same as he is. If we understand this in simple language, then through this incarnation, Shri Krishna gave Arjun the sutra of “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti”, that is, “Truth is only one, which knowledgeable people call by different names.”

Mainly in Orissa myths

This Navagunjar incarnation of God has great importance in Advaita literature. The artwork of this amazing incarnation is installed in the Puri Jagannath Temple. Apart from this, the figure of 8 Navagunjars has been carved on the Neelchakra of Jagannath temple, which people come from far and wide to see. Apart from this, Navagunjar and Arjun are also present as characters in “Ganjapa”, an ancient game played in Orissa. This is considered to be a form of the poisonous form of Shri Krishna.

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