Skip to main content

A HUG OF LOVE by M.G Hreenka

From the very first time I visited Puri in Orissa, India, I had this craving in my heart to hug Lord Jagannath…

Dancing girls at Rathayatra Festival
Lord Jagannath is one of the forms of God worshiped in the gaudiya vaishnava, or bhakti yoga tradition. His name means 'Lord of The Universe'. His deity in Puri in made of neem wood and is over six feet tall. 

Hundreds and thousands of pilgrims come to see Lord Jagannath every year at the Rathayatra festival, when he comes out of his temple. Everyone dances in front of his cart; many hoping for a hug. But only very, very few of his devotees get one. 

What is a hug? A hug simply exists to feel a person’s love, to bring you comfort, to make your depression go away, to break the distance between you and the person you love.

I kept telling my mom how much I miss Jagannath after our Puri parikrama, which is a 19 km pilgrimage walk around Puri, the origin of Lord Jagannath. I’ve had this feeling since I saw Jagannath in Rajapur temple, Bengal. The craving has been in me ever since I was a child.

In December 2012, the Puri pilgrimage influenced me so much that this craving for a hug started to increase more and more.

Finally, One night Jagannath appeared in my dream and made my wish come true, gave me something I was dying to get: a hug of love from the Lord himself!

A Hug of Love

There was this one special day
   that I had a sweet dream
Of my Loveliest Lord:
   Like reality! it seemed.

To see his glorious form
   was my longtime wish.
Now finally granted
   What happiness I relish!

He gleamed with his beauty:
   The Lord of The Universe just as he is!
Seeing his merciful face
   my life was filled with bliss.

It was when I entered
   the Puri Jagannath temple
And saw Baladev and Subadra
   but no Jagannath!
Naturally, I wondered where he’d gone:
   Off on a walk, maybe?
Or off to visit his bhaktas?
   Nowhere could I see his lovely face.

Suddenly, I turned my face
   to the right side of my bed,
And was shocked and bewildered
   to see Lord Jagannath’s head!

He lay happily beside me
   with his cute charming smile!
I didn’t know what to do
   and was frozen for a while.

I tried to call my mother
   but my voice had become lost:
Mute with excitement
   I wished I could be heard at any cost.

Just then Lord Jagannath
   turned his body over to me,
Looked onto my face
and hugged me tightly.

I couldn’t bear this happiness
   that my wish had at last come true:
I was hugging Lord Jagannath!
   All My burdens in a second away flew!

I woke up and I realized
   how merciful Jagannath was.
Just as I wished to hug him
   he appeared for this loving cause.

When you fully believe in the Lord
   show your faith and trust.
He’ll never ever betray you
   keep loving him as you must.

Just crave for his mercy
   and he’ll show you the way:
He’ll appear and give his darshan
   whether it’s night or day.
Photography by The Bhakti Beat

M.G Hreenka : “I am originally from Chennai, India and am currently obtaining my bachelor degree in biomedical engineering. My parents are initiated by Jayapataka Swami, and I am also aspiring for that same shelter. I started writing poems at the age of 16. My inspiration was my mother who is also a wonderful poet. I may not be a great poet but I love writing poetry for the sake of Krishna and his devotee’s pleasure. I wish to continue writing bigger and better ones soon! Besides poetry I have a love for singing and dancing.”

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


  1. Hare Krsna Mathaji. very very inspiring experience that shows how the lord is merciful. I wish one day i'll also become as pure unconditionally loving devotee of the lord like you. Jay Jagannath


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

I AM STILL HERE by Janavi Held


This was composed by a very gifted and beautiful soul: a regular contributor to our poetry project, and dear friend of mine, Janavi Held, whose life is gradually being taken from us by an incurable illness. She has been suffering from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Internal Adhesions for six painful years now, and neither her insurance nor the government healthcare will help her. She reaches out to us, her sisters, as a last plea. This is a poem she wrote yesterday on her birthday, in which she offers us the gift of her friendship. May it touch your generous hearts and inspire you to reach out to her in her plight.

Dear Friends,

The last time I was able to leave the house was by ambulance on my way to the hospital. After many long hours in the emergency room I was admitted and taken upstairs. After everyone left I sat on the hospital bed, knees to chest, bracing my body against the pain and trembling.

The light of this cold day was fading. I turned my eyes to the la…

IMAGINE A WOMAN by Patricia Lynn Reilly

This poem invites you to look upon yourself with loving kindness…
Gazing at your own true reflection, you will discover that everything you have longed for “out there” is already within you! I invite you to love your creativity fiercely. Faithfully plant seeds, allowing under-the-ground dormant seasons, nurturing your creative garden with love and gratitude. In the fullness of time, the green growing things thrust forth from the ground. It's a faithful, trustworthy process. AND it takes time and patience.  Blessed is the fruit of your creative womb! I invite you to trust your vision of the world and express it. With wonder and delight, paint a picture, create a dance, write a book, and make up a song. To give expression to your creative impulses is as natural as your breathing. Create in your own language, imagery, and movement. Follow no script. Do not be limited by the customary way things have been expressed. Your creative intuition is original. Gather all of life into your inner c…

DEPRESSION by Veronica Carpenter

Here goes my vulnerability A heart on a sleeve The typical person who looks at me May not see the same me that I live with daily The mind in the air, swirling with possibility When the darkness rallies/gathers/swirls When I am left to solitude This paper-thin garb unzips Here comes depression          
No I don’t want to advertise So flash a smile Those who are close get to see Through the veil, it’s really not that thick Circumstances in life like to stab at the rib Stumble, fall behind the door Shut out the world Feelings well and weigh down Strength hidden deep in the core So deep that sometimes it’s forgotten Here comes the darkness My old friend Sweeping through my every move  Doubts, fears, un-named masked men Oozing like honey, sticking to everything
Patience is required to get on this ride There is a cycle but its pattern is unknown Slowly my gift will unwrap itself Stay on the path Coming back to that which never truly left me Just laid sleeping out of exhaustion from the fight Dormant in winter…