Yang, Anand A. 1987. "A Conversation of Rumors: The Language of Popular Mentalitès in Late Nineteenth-Century Colonial India." Journal of Social History, vol. 20, p. 495. "For a two- month period in 1860, in chain-letter form, a message, purportedly from Jagarnath, commanded much attention." First text below from Saran. "'Jagarnath' refers to the 'Lord of the World' and is often identified with Visnu." Reference cited is a government report, also Anncharlott Eschmann, Hermann Kulke and Gaya Charan Tripathi, eds., The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional Tradition of Orissa, New Delhi, 1978. Actual chain letter text in bold below.
Juggarnath is shut. Don't go there this year. Stay at home and cry "Ram, Ram" or you will repent it. Make copies of this, and distribute them.
"Its southern version playing to an audience in Shahabad stated: "
It is the order of Juggernath to all who read this letter, or who hear its contents shall feed five Brahmins for their welfare - if not, they will incur his displeasure and fall into dire distress.
"The voice of Jagannath was heard again in 1864. On this occasion, however, it spoke specifically to low-caste Dusadhs, chiding them for their polluting practices of breeding pigs and consuming alcohol. " Any one doing such things," is was rumored in Shahabad, " will with his wife and children assuredly die. This order is said to have been received from Heaven." Local officials observed that the effect of this divinely-ordained message was that "the Dusadhs have to a man got rid of their pigs and have also outwardly at least left drinking toddy and other spirits."
"And in 1872, according to the Indian Observer [Feb. 17, 1872], stories were rife in North Tirhut of cows complaining to Jagannath that they were suffering for a lack of grazing lands because all the waste land had been cultivated. The 'strange papers' in circulation also warned that Jagannath would curse any one who did not pay heed to this message and would burn down the house of any one who failed to pass it along to other people."
The cow protection society (Gaurakshini Sabha) was formed in the late 1880's and was active in Bihar. "The gospel of cow protection was also relayed via 'village telegraph', a communication system in which shared commitment was the dynamo. Chain letters, mandating their recipients to make and then issue copies to at least five villages, had a snowballing effect."
The Paper Chain Letter Archive - contents Chain Letter Evolution.