(The research on Lord Buddha’s real birth place continues)

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In the entire world, the Oriyas are the only people who have a National Deity: Sree Jagannatha.

Every Oriya belongs to Him and He belongs to every one born in an Oriya family. You will not find a single Oriya who is away from Him. He is the synonym of belief in God. He stands for toleration. He is the beloved of believers and the quest point of nullifidians. To every Oriya He is the final answer to every philosophical search, spiritual or social. In every Oriya family every birth is celebrated with invocation of Him and every death is held desirable if the final rituals are performed in the Swargadwara at Puri, His abode. The Gajapati Maharaja, who reigns over every Oriya heart as the traditional sovereign of Orissa notwithstanding the constitution of sovereign India and whose name and era constitute the first part of the horoscope of every new born Oriya child, heads the list of the servants of this Lord to whom his predecessors had dedicated their State in its entirety. No where such a land and its people have thus been dedicated to a particular Deity

This Deity of the Oriya Nation is Buddha himself. It could never have happened had Buddha not been the greatest leader of the soil of Orissa; had the entire race of the Oriyas not been his ardent follower and not taken refuge in him.
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