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Tales of Lord Jagannath: The Tale of Mania Das

July 10, 2015 | By

The story illustrates that for Lord Jagannath, it is the dedication of the devotee alone that matters, not his or her elegance or stature or position. Mania was of low caste, barely clad and crude, awkward and uncouth in his worship, yet the Lord recognised his pristine devotion and took him into his fold.
In modern times style is far more importance than substance and external appearance has become more vital than intrinsic values. Today a person is recognised by what he has than what he is. In such a scenario, the love Lord Jagannath bestows on Mania can be a real source of learning and inspiration.

Lord Jagannath Tales 2

Tale of Mania Das

All I want to do is to devote every moment of my life to singing the praise of my Lord

Mania Das was a poor man of weaver caste who lost his family all of a sudden. As a result of this brutal tragedy he suffered complete detachment from all worldly things and sought refuge at the lotus feet of Lord Jagannath.

‘After losing everything that I had, I have no desires left. All I want to do is to devote every moment of my life to singing the praise of my Lord,’ he kept repeating to himself as he walked towards the Jagannath Temple at Puri.

Clad in a loin cloth he entered the Sri Mandir. There, in an area called Sri Jagmohan, Mania began to sing and dance in complete abandon. His passionate chanting and dancing irritated and angered the Pandas who were chanting the Puranas.

“Hey you filthy outcaste! How dare you enter the Lord’s chamber and indulge in this lunatic behaviour? Can’t you see you are disturbing us and interfering in the sacred rituals we are performing for the supreme Lord of the Universe?” the Pandas shouted and threw him out of the temple.

Bitterly hurt at this treatment he stood outside the Sri Mandir refusing to eat or drink anything and even declining the Mahaprasad.

Tales of Mania Das

I also want that Mania be given complete freedom to sing, dance and celebrate as per his free will in Sri Jagmohan.

Lord Jagannath was deeply moved by the plight of his passionate devotee. He appeared before the Raja of Puri in a dream.

“O’ King, I am deeply disturbed by what is happening in my temple. My faithful devotees are being ill treated and their attachment towards me is being scorned.”

The Lord then went on to narrate the story of Mania Das to the King.

“O’ King, I want you to give Mania the Mahaprasad and with due respect, escort him inside the temple. I also want that Mania be given complete freedom to sing, dance and celebrate as per his free will in Sri Jagmohan. Remember that to me the pure and pristine devotion of devotees that comes straight from the heart is far more important than rituals which are performed mechanically.”

The Raja of Puri obeyed the Lord’s wishes and the tradition of devotees chanting, dancing and celebrating with gay abandon in Sri Jagmohan continues till today.

Read the Tales of Lord Jagannath

These stories have been republished from the book Tales of Lord Jagannath by Ramendra Kumar. This book is available on and has been published by:
B K Publications Pvt. Ltd.

The opinions shared by the writer is his personal opinion and does not reflect the opinion of Learning and Creativity Magazine.

Ramendra Kumar (Ramen) is a children’s writer with 38 books to his name. He has won 34 awards in the competition for writers of children’s literature organised by Children’s Book Trust (CBT), over the years. He also dabbles in satire, poetry, fiction and travelogues. His writings have been translated into 15 Indian and 14 foreign languages and have also found a place in text books, as well as national and international anthologies. A much sought after inspirational speaker and story teller, Ramen has been invited to participate in several conferences and festivals. These include the IBBY Congress of Children’s Writers in Denmark (2008) & Greece (2018) and Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (2019), apart from many literary events across the country. In the Congress held in Greece he was the only writer from India to be invited to chair two sessions. An Engineer and an MBA, Ramen is former General Manager & Chief of Communications, SAIL, Rourkela Steel Plant. He is the father of two children who are bonsai celebrities in their own right. While Ankita is a youth icon and a travel blogger with an Instagram following of 76K, Aniket creates cool Apps and designs covers for his Dad's books. His website is
All Posts of Ramendra Kumar

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“You express your own divinity by being alive and by loving yourself and others.” ― Miguel Ruiz