Subhadrā

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Subhadrā

सुभद्रा Subhadrā is one of the principal goddesses of Hinduism and has many incarnations and forms. Very little is spoken about her except that she is always remembered as the spouse of Arjuna, the mighty Pandava. She is seen as the favorite child of Maharaja Vasudeva and younger sister of the deities Kṛṣṇa and Balarama.

In the Jagannath temple these are the chief deities, the holy trinity on the ratna siṁhāsana (gem-studded śrī yantra based) throne-pedestal. However, in the temple they are referred to with their divine names – Jagannāth, Balabhadra, Subhadrā. If we look at the deities in the order of writing then the order is Balabhadra, Subhadrā, Jagannāth. She sits between her brothers being constantly protected by them. The bīja mantra for these deities is also in the order of their seating ह्रीं श्रीं क्लीं (hrīṁ-śrīṁ-klīṁ) respectively for Balabhadra, Subhadrā and Jagannāth.

Etymology: सुभद्रा (subhadrā) = सु (su) भद्रा (bhadrā) where

सु (su)  to go, move »

    • चर chara, movable – She is the mobility in the movable signs; She is the animation in the living world
    • Balabhadra is अचर achara or स्थिर sthira – He is the fixity of everything and also symbolises the non-living and the dead
    • Jagannāth is चराचर charāchara – both moving and unmoving hence possessing dual powers of mobility and fixity. Represented by dual signs (dvisvabhāva)
  • to possess supremacy » power of rajas guṇa
  • to beget, bring forth » power of procreation
  • opposed to दुस् dus connected with वसु » power to supress duṣthāna
  • prefix emphasizing good, excellent, right, virtuous, beautiful, easy, well, much, greatly, willingly, quickly

भद्रा bhadrā blessed , auspicious, fortunate, prosperous, happy Lit. RV.

  • good, gracious, friendly, kind
  • excellent, fair, beautiful, lovely, pleasant, dear
  • skilful in
  • great
  • a partic. kind of elephant
  • bhadra bullock; bhadrā a cow
  • a water wagtail
  • of the 2nd , 7th and 12th Tithi
  • of the 7th chara Karaṇa (bhadrā-karaṇa)
  • of a form of Durgā; Śakti; Dākshāyaṇī in Bhadrêśvara; a Vidyā-dharī
  • the celestial Ganges
  • of a lake Lit. Hcat.
  • prosperity, happiness, health, welfare, good fortune
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3 thoughts on “Subhadrā

  1. My father, an avid traveler, had visited Puri in 1982 and 1989 and got 2 huge paintings – one of the trinity(exact pic as above) and second of “Shri Shankh Kshetram Puri” picture. As a kid didn’t know much about the significance of both but since they were the only huge paintings in our house, I was fascinated with them whenever I looked at them. They had such a beautiful energy about them. My mother used to say that while our house address was 7 Mansarover(relating to Bhagawan Shiv), we also had Jagannath inside so we should be glad to be blessed by the greatest energies. Lovely article Sanjay ji. Brought back some beautiful memories.

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