How did the unique bakula tree in the courtyard become known as the Siddha-bakula tree?
Every morning the Pujaris offer three twigs of a kumbhatua tree as toothbrushes (danta-kastham) to Jagannath Swami, Baladeva and Subhadra.
One day before the offering, a twig was missing so the Pujari substituted a twig from a bakula tree to use a toothbrush.
That bakula twig was given to Mahaprabhu as Maha-prasadam.
Gauranga came to see Haridasa and planted the maha-prasadi bakula toothbrush in the garden.
Soon the tree grew up luxuriantly and provided soothing shade to everyone.
Haridasa used to perform his Bhajana under this tree.
After the departure of Haridasa Thakura, a devotee named Srila Jaganantha Goswami used to perform Bhajan here.
One day the king’s officers came to cut down the bakula tree which was stout and straight; ideal for making the wheels for Jaganantha’s chariot.
Jagannath Goswami told them about the Supreme sancity of the bakula tree, which was planted by Mahaprabhu and used as the Bhajana sthali of the revered namacharya Thakura Haridasa.
When the king’s officers returned the next day to take the tree, they observed a miracle.
Overnight, the main trunk of the bakula tree had become petrified; as hard as rock.
The rest of the tree was completely hollow, bent over and winding here and there like a snake. It was of no use of them.
Unlike a normal living tree, this phenomenal bakula tree has no middle portion; it only has outer bark.
According to botanical principles the tree should be dead, yet it is thriving beautifully.
Any person or even an object like a bakula twig that is intimately connected with Lord Jagannath, Gauranga Mahaprabhu and the namacharya Haridasa Thakura will surely attain perfection and perform miraculous deeds.
The bakula tree had attained perfection, and from that day on it became famous as the Siddha-bakula tree.
Every year on Chaitra Sankranti (April), which is the day that Mahaprabhu manifested the bakula tree, the locals celebrate a festival called Danta-kastha-ropana Mahotsava, “the festival of planting the wooden toothbrush.”
The devotees bathe the Siddha-bakula tree with 108 pots of water and sing many bhajans glorifying Gauranga Mahaprabhu and His devotees like Thakura Haridasa.
Siddha Bakula ki Jai! Namacharya Haridasa Thakura ki Ja