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Jagganath

by Micha F. Lindemans
The image of the Hindu god Vishnu (whose title is "Jagannath", literally "lord of the world") that was carried on a enormous carriage through the streets of India. As an act of devotion, devotees used to throw themselves beneath its great wheels to be crushed to death.

This story was reported by the Fransiscan missionary Friar Odoric in the early 14th century and it is probably an exaggeration or misinterpretation of actual events, but the story spread throughout Europe. By the 19th century, the word "juggernaut" was used to refer to any massive vehicle with crushing abilities.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Jagannâth
    Juggernaut

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