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How Sākṣi-gopāla deity came to Odisha !

Nityānanda Prabhu recited the story of Sākṣi-gopāla, and Lord Chaitanya Mahāprabhu heard the narration with great pleasure.
The Sākṣi-gopāla temple is situated between the Khurdā Road junction railway station and the Jagannātha Purī station. The Deity is not presently situated in Kaṭaka, but when Nityānanda Prabhu traveled there, the Deity was present. Kaṭaka is a town in Orissa situated on the Mahānadī River. When Sākṣi-gopāla was brought from Vidyānagara in southern India, He stayed for some time at Kaṭaka. Thereafter, He was situated for some time in the Jagannātha temple. It seems that in the temple of Jagannātha there was some disagreement between Jagannātha and Sākṣi-gopāla, a disagreement called prema-kalaha, a quarrel of love. In order to settle this love quarrel, the King of Orissa constructed a village about six miles from Jagannātha Purī. The village was called Satyavādī, and Gopāla was stationed there. Thereafter, a new temple was constructed. Now there is a Sākṣi-gopāla station, and people go there to see the witness Gopāla.
The King of this country heard of this wonderful story, and he also came to see Gopāla and thus became very satisfied. The King constructed a nice temple, and regular service was executed. Gopāla became very famous under the name of Sākṣi-gopāla [the witness Gopāla]. Thus Sākṣi-gopāla stayed in Vidyānagara and accepted service for a very long time. This city of Vidyānagara is situated in Trailaṅga-deśa, South India, on the bank of the river Godāvarī. The place where the Godāvarī flows into the Bay of Bengal is called Koṭadeśa. The Orissa kingdom was very powerful, and this Koṭadeśa was the capital of Orissa. It was then known as Vidyānagara. Formerly this city was situated on the southern side of the river Godāvarī. At that time King Puruṣottama-deva managed to control Orissa and appoint a government. The present city of Vidyānagara is on the southeast side of the river, only twenty to twenty-five miles from Rājamahendrī. During the time of Mahārāja Pratāparudra, Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya was the governor there. Vijaya-nagara is not identical with Vidyānagara.
Later there was a fight, and this country was conquered by King Puruṣottama-deva of Orissa. That King was victorious over the King of Vidyānagara, and he took possession of his throne, the Māṇikya-siṁhāsana, which was bedecked with many jewels. King Puruṣottama-deva was a great devotee and was advanced in the civilization of the Āryans. He begged at the lotus feet of Gopāla, “Please come to my kingdom.” When the King begged Him to come to his kingdom, Gopāla, who was already obliged for his devotional service, accepted his prayer. Thus the King took the Gopāla Deity and went to Kaṭaka. After winning the Māṇikya throne, King Puruṣottama-deva took it to Jagannātha Purī and presented it to Lord Jagannātha. In the meantime, he also established regular worship of the Gopāla Deity at Kaṭaka. When the Gopāla Deity was installed at Kaṭaka, the Queen of Puruṣottama-deva went to see Him and, with great devotion, presented various kinds of ornaments. The Queen had a very valuable pearl, which she wore on her nose, and she wished to give it to Gopāla. She then began to think as follows. “If there were a hole in the Deity’s nose, I could transfer the pearl to Him.” Considering this, the Queen offered her obeisances to Gopāla and returned to her palace. That night she dreamed that Gopāla appeared and began to speak to her as follows. “During My childhood My mother made a hole in My nose and with great endeavor set a pearl there. That very hole is still there, and you can use it to set the pearl you desired to give Me.” After dreaming this, the Queen explained it to her husband, the King. Both the King and the Queen then went to the temple with the pearl. Seeing the hole in the nose of the Deity, they set the pearl there and, being very pleased, held a great festival. Since then, Gopāla has been situated in the city of Kaṭaka [Cuttak], and He has been known ever since as Sākṣi-gopāla.
Thus Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu heard the narration of Gopāla’s activities. Both He and His personal devotees became very pleased. When Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu was sitting before the Gopāla Deity, all the devotees saw Him and the Deity as being of the same form. Both of Them were of the same complexion, and both had the same gigantic bodies. Both wore saffron cloth, and both were very grave. The devotees saw that both Lord Chaitanya Mahāprabhu and Gopāla were brilliantly effulgent and had eyes like lotuses. They were both absorbed in ecstasy, and Their faces resembled full moons. When Nityānanda saw both the Gopāla Deity and Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu in that way, He began to exchange remarks with the devotees, all of whom were smiling. Thus with great pleasure Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu passed that night in the temple. After seeing the maṅgala-ārati ceremony in the morning, He started on His journey.
Ref >> Srila Prabhupada Vani.

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