Do you know why Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Baladeva and sister Subhadra Devi look so different. They have big eyes, large lips, round faces, and extended hands as if about to embrace someone. In fact, no other deity has such a unique form. There is a beautiful story behind Lord Jagannath and his siblings’ unique form.
The story goes back to the time when Krishna was residing in Dwarka. He had left Vrindavan long back with a promise to the brajvasis that he will return soon. But several years had passed to that promise. In Dwarka he lived in a royal palace. He was the de facto king of Dwarka.
He was married to 16,108 beautiful women. For all his 16,108 wives there were separate palaces. And Krishna had expanded himself into 16,108 forms and used to be simultaneously present with all his wives.
This can be possible only with Krishna and not with lesser mortals like us, so we should never try to imitate the esoteric pastimes of Krishna. All the queens of Dwarka were extremely happy and tried their best to please the Lord.
But the queens often found that Krishna remained absorbed in the pastimes of Vrindavan. This intrigued the queen. They used to think, “What so great and special happened in Vrindavan that Krishna remains completed absorbed in his childhood pastimes?”
A desire arose in their hearts to know about Krishna’s childhood days in Vrindavan.
The queens approached Mother Rohini, who had witnessed the Vrindavan pastimes of the Lord. Mother Rohini agreed but warned that Krishna and Balaram should not hear about this pastime otherwise they will completely get captivated with emotions. They will leave everything and immediately run towards Vrindavan.
So, it was decided that Subhadra, Krishna and Balaram’s sister, would stand at the door and will immediately inform Rohini and the queens if Krishna and Balaram comes there. Mother Rohini started narrating the pastimes while Subhadra guarded the door.
The pastimes were so wonderful that all the queens and Subhadra, the doorkeeper, got completely absorbed.
She spoke Krishna’s pastime with mother Yashoda and Nanda Maharaj, with cowherd boys and most importantly with Srimati Radharani and with the gopis.
Meanwhile Krishna and Balarama understood that there is something special going on in the palace. So they immediately rushed towards that place.
Subhadra who was completely engrossed in hearing the pastimes did not notice the presence of Krishna and Balaram.
Both the brothers stood beside her – Krishna to her left & Baladeva to her right – and began listening.
The pastimes were so sweet and nectarean that Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra started developing Maha – Bhava i.e transcendental emotions.
Their eyes dilated and became big, face widened, legs and hand shrunk in their bodies. These features were unique and never ever seen before.
During the same time Narada Muni arrived at the scene and he saw that form which was so unique. Upon seeing Narada Muni, all the three came to their normal self. But Narada Muni pleaded the Lord that he should let others also witness these extremely unique and rare forms.
Lord Krishna agreed and said that they will appear as Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra Devi in Jagannath Puri in these forms for the pleasure of the devotees.
This is why Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladeva and Subhadra Devi have such a unique and beautiful form in Jagannath Puri. Lord Krishna in the form of Lord Jagannath is very merciful.