Srimandir is an integration of all the ‘Tatwas’ of human values and Dharma. The main themes of Dwaita, Adwaita, Sankhya, Yoga, Tantra, Bhakti and Karma are all found here. Many bhaktas, householders, yogis, karmis and hermits have come here and the Lord has blessed all according to the nature of their pursuits and devotion. Many Western yogis have come to Srikhetra during the course of their ‘sadhana’ and have taken spiritual inspiration and motivation.
Srimandir and its periphery can be explained according to a yogic interpretation. When we visit Lord Jagannath, first we bow before ‘Aruna Stambha’, which is in front of the main door of Srimandir. Aruna is the charioteer of the Sun God. Arun rises first and then the sun comes and lightens the whole world. Aruna is the symbol of light. When a yogi gets the first glimpse of bliss in his meditation, he sees a faint light and then many strange rays and pictures appear. If the 'Sadhaka' gets his concentration right on the light then he is energised with its power. The first sight of the light is charming, but it seems to be static. But as the concentration increases and the 'Sadhana' deepens, the inner lights become more powerful and gives divine inspiration. With this vision, the ‘Sadhakas’ interest to experience Godliness intensifies. He feels that his 'Sadhana' is not futile and he is filled with positive energy. But if the 'Sadhaka' is identified with his ego at this stage, all his effort is destroyed. A 'Sadhaka' should be egoless and feel that his energy is that of the God’s. So, a devotee should enter the temple egoless and full of humility.
After bowing before 'Aruna', one enters ‘Singhadwara’. While practising Yoga, a 'Sadhaka' hears different sounds after the initial vision of light. When the vital energy of the 'Sadhaka' becomes silent gradually, he experiences sounds like the roar of a lion. At that time, ‘Samadhi’ of the 'Sadhaka' is imminent. 'Singhadwara' of Srimandir is the symbol of the lion’s roar.
This is followed by the 22 steps (Baisi Pahacha). While climbing the steps, Lord Biswanath is seen on the left side.
Biswanath is the Lord of the whole universe. After getting a glimpse of the Lord, the 'Sadhaka' expands the feeling of his self love towards the broader aspect of universal love. He sees his own self amidst all the creatures of the world. Then he has to transcend 22 steps. According to Yogic science, the steps comprise the five elements (Pancha Tatwa), five senses (Pancha Indriya), six enemies (Sada Ripu), Triguna (Sattwa, Raja and Tama) and mind, intellect and ego.
All the creatures are bound by these 22 mundane 'Tatwas'. If we can overcome these 22 steps, we will get self knowledge and overcome birth and death. After transcending 22 'Tatwas', a 'Sadhaka' becomes eligible to experience true consciousness.
Inside the periphery of the temple, one gets the glimpse of Lord Satyanarayan on the left side. Satyanarayan is the symbol of vitality among all creatures. To feel the vitality and true consciousness among all creatures is the real Satyanarayan darshan. Then the 'Sadhaka' visits Ganesha (Bighna BInasaka) and all his obstacles are removed. Then comes Mangala temple and after visiting the Goddess, well being (Mangala) is reflected in all the works, thoughts and emotions of the 'Sadhaka'. He becomes eligible for 'Jagannath Darshan'.
Jagannath darshan means experiencing Jagannath Tatwa in one’s inner world. The devotee gets a glimpse of the Lord standing before the great divine bird 'Garuda'. Garuda is the symbol of our vertebra. Inside the vertebra, we have the 'Susumna' artery in which the spiritual power is hidden. The 'Sadhaka' experiences Jagannath Tatwa through a special Yogic Kriya by transcending the six Chakras (Satchakra) through the artery. Behind 'Garuda Stambha' there is 'Bhoga Mandapa' (the symbol of indulgence), which the 'Sadhaka' has long left back. The lord is apparent in front through a narrow channel called 'Gumuta'. If the 'Sadhaka' looks back, there is every possibility that he will be again dragged into 'Bhoga' (indulgence).
Through the 'Gumuta', the 'Sadhaka' sees a black bright cube which is called ‘Bhramari Guha’. If the 'Sadhaka' experiences the Lord inside the cave, the experience is called Jagannath Darshana.
After coming out of the temple, devotees bow before the 'Kalpabata' inside the inner periphery and get a glimpse of Goddess Bimala. Otherwise, the Lord’s darshan is considered futile. Kalpabata is the symbol of lowly temporal desires of the Yogi. When Jagannath’s Prasad is offered to Bimala, it is called ‘Mahaprasad’. Bimala is the symbol of purity. When the 'Sadhaka' reaches the highest stage of 'Sadhana', he becomes pure and he desires nothing and soon after attains the divine.
Then the 'Sadhaka' visits the Gopinath temple. At this stage the 'Sadhaka' attends Gopi Bhaba, which is a state of pure love. Then he advances in the direction of Goddess Saraswati and Lakshmi temples. It symbolises the highest stages—the secret door of knowledge and prosperity is wide open for the 'Sadhaka'. But the 'Sadhaka' becomes indifferent towards these mundane things and marches towards ‘Amunha Madir’, which is the symbol of liberation. Then he bows before 'Nilachakra' and the 'Patitapabana bana' in deep gratitude. At last, he moves towards ‘Ananda Bazara’, which is the symbol of eternal bliss.