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RATH YATRA 2020
Rath yatra 2020


Historically, Ratha Yatra's processions have been common in Vishnu-related (Jagannath, Rama, Krishna) traditions in Hinduism across India. In Shiva-related traditions, saints and goddesses in Nepal, along-with Tirthankaras in Jainism. Also among the tribal folk religions found in the eastern states of India.



A few notable Ratha Yatras in India include the Rath

Yatra of Puri, the Dhamrai Ratha Yatra, and the

RathaYatra of Mahesh. Hindu communities outside

India, those who are associated with Jagannath, Krishna, Shiva, and

Mariamman, such as in Singapore, celebrate Ratha

Yatra.


Ratha Yatra has religious origins and meaning,

according to Knut Jacobsen, also the events have a

major community heritage, social sharing, and

cultural significance to the organizers

and participants.


RATH YATRA HISTORY

This festival covers the annual ceremonial procession

of Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balabhadra and

younger sister Subhadra, from their home temple to

another temple which is located in what is believed

to be their aunt's home.



This journey is believed to be the oldest Rath Yatra or

chariot procession in the world. This journey is

documented in undated Hindu sacred texts are known

as the Puranas which are believed to have been

written a few thousand years ago.


This is the only festival in the world where deities are

taken out of temples to travel to devotees, and it is

also the largest chariot procession in the world.



Millions of people come to watch as a "king" sweeps


the road with a golden mop and three massive 18-


wheeled chariots bearing the sibling deities make

they're the way through massive crowds.


Their chariots are


constructed over 42 days from over 4,000 pieces of


wood, which are mini architectural marvels, by the


only family that has the hereditary rights to make

them.


Legend says it always rains on the day of the


procession. The temple doors are shut and no one is


allowed inside, for a whole week before, because it is


believed that the sibling deities have a fever after


bathing in the sun with 108 pitchers of water. The


subsiding of their fever calls for a change of scene,


which is why they go to their aunt's home for a few


days.



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What is the legend of the sibling deities?


These three deities are fashioned from wood, cloth,

and resin, unlike the ornate, carefully crafted metal

idols everywhere else. They are deformed with large

heads and no arms which stands as a reminder of the

legend of an impatient King.





The legend begins in different ways.


One speaks of an arrogant Indrayumna, who was the


King of Puri in the east. He is believed to have tried

to steal the Hindu god Krishna's heart.


It had been immersed in the legendary Dwarka sea

after his cremation and had reappeared to the tribe's

people of the place as an idol.


The idol disappeared when Indrayumna tried to claim

its possession. The repentant king sought absolution

from Krishna by sanctifying him in another form.



Another speaks of how Krishna's grief-struck siblings

his elder brother Balabhadra and younger sister

Subhadra- rushed into the Dwarka sea carrying his

half-cremated body. King Indrayumna dreamed that

Krishna's body had floated back upon his shores as a

log, at the same moment.




This is where the two legends merge: Indrayumna


decided to build a temple to house the log. His next


task was to find someone to craft the idols from it.


Legends say that Vishwakarma, God's architect,


arrived as an old carpenter. He agreed to carve the


idols, but on the condition that he was not to be


disturbed.




However, the worried and impatient King threw the


door open, when he did not emerge from his

workshop for weeks, going without food, water, or

rest. At that time the idols were only half-built, but

the carpenter disappeared. Still, believing the idols to

be made from the very body of God, the King

sanctified them and placed them in the temple.



When the deities disintegrate, they are remade in the


same half-done condition with new wood every 12


years. They were last remade in 2015. 



RATH YATRA MEANING

Srila Prabhupada explained the meaning of Ratha

Yatra in very easy and simple words. To quote him,

"Ratha Yatra is the meditation on bringing Krishna

back into our hearts. Krishna resides within the heart

of all living beings, but we have forgotten Him.



The real purpose of spiritual life is to make our heart

a suitable home for God to reveal Himself to us. If

we are inviting God to reveal himself in our hearts it

must be clean. But if our hearts have accumulated the

dirt of lust, envy, arrogance, greed, anger and

illusion then He will not be happy to reveal His home

within our heart.


The purpose of every great spiritual path in this world

is to help one another to honestly and sincerely clean

our hearts, to cultivate the character of humility,

charity, love for God and compassion to all beings.”



RATH YATRA 2020 DATE


This year’s rath Yatra has fallen on Tuesday, 23rd

June.


However, this year due to the deadly novel corona

virus pandemic, the Center has left the decision of

holding the Rath Yatra upon the state government

after analyzing the current health scare. But it has

allowed the construction of the Raths (chariots) for

the religious procession amid the nationwide

shutdown. 


RATH YATRA AT PURI


Ratha Yatra, is celebrated every year at Puri, also

known as the temple town in Odisha. THE RATH

YATRA IS CELEBRATED on the second (dwitiya)

day of shukla pakhya (waxing cycle of moon) of

Ashadha Maasa (3rd month in Lunar Calendar).


With his celestial wheel (Sudarshana Chakra) Lord

Jagannath with his brother Lord Balabhadra and his

sister Goddess Subhadra, the presiding deities of the

Jagannath Temple, Puri's main temple, are removed

from the temple in a ceremonial procession to their

chariots,Multitude of devotees pulls the huge,

colourfully decorated chariots on the bada danda or

the grand avenue to the Gundicha Temple (Gundicha

– King Indradyumna's Queen), two miles away to the

North. On the way, Nandighosa, the chariot of Lord

Jagannatha, waits near the crematorium of Bhakta

Salabega a Muslim devout to pay him tribute.


The three deities stop for a while near the Mausi Maa

Temple (Aunt's abode), on their way back from the

Gundicha Temple, and have an offering of the Poda

Pitha, supposed to be the Lord's favourite, which is a

special type of pancake. The deities return to their

abode, after a stay for seven days.  

    

 
THE RATH YATRA OF LORD JAGANNATH

Perhaps, there is no other procession in India as grand

as the Lord JAGANNATH RATH YATRA.


The importance of the Rath Yatra is massive for a

person, who longs for spiritual merit and final

liberation. Anyone who pulls the rope linked to the

chariots of the deities or helps others to do so or

merely touches the rope of the chariot, is believed to

receive the merit of several penances. All the

paraphernalia linked to the Lord Jagannath Rath

Yatra becomes one with the deity himself.



The glimpse of Lord Jagannath and his siblings at

Gundicha Temple can never go vain. It is believed

that it bestows the boon of a hundred horse sacrifices, 

which only the luckiest kings had the privilege to

perform in the olden days. 



ULTA RATH


Ulta Rath, widely known as Bahuda Yatra or Ulto

Rath, is the return procession of Puri's Jagannath Rath

Yatra chariots from the Gundicha Temple after eight

days. 



Apart from devotees from the country, people from

Australia, Spain, America, Peru, Britain, France,

Brazil, Russia, China also takes part in the return car

festival at ISKCON, Mayapur with more than 30,000

people pulling the chariots.



The journey is marked by beating of bells and 'khol'

(drums) and blowing of conch shells and traditional

dances are also performed in front of the chariots.



The ecstasy is doubled as everyone pulls the chariots

with greater speed, allowing themselves to be

completely drenched in rain waters. There is kirtan

going on and everywhere devotees are seen dancing

for the Harinam.

It is a colorful parade of different band groups,

dioramas depicting various lilas, girls dancing, and

kirtan parties in front of each chariot. 


ULTA RATH YATRA 2020 DATE


This year's Ulta Rath Yatra is on 30th of June, exactly

a week after Rath Yatra.



RATH MELA


Rath Mela can be loosely translated to The Chariot

Festival’s Fair. It’s basically hosted in the eastern

regions of India. It has that typical Indian flavor,

scattered in its air. There are shops of different

accessories and foods and idols.


And the crowd is always tremendously jam-packed.

There are balloons and bubbles and even different

toys. It’s an experience to never miss. There isn’t a

person who isn’t excited. From a toddler to her

grandfather, all of them smiling ear to ear.


Many people buys day to day requirements from such

fairs, as they find all the things in one place and even

much cheaper and authentic. Many folks from different

regions also put up a shop to sell hand-made arts and

such. 


Another very important part of these fairs are some

really fun amusements like roller coaster and toy trains

for the kids. It’s fun to watch them enjoy! Sometimes,

there are functions held and songs of the Lord are

sang. All-in-all an absolute worthy experience to

remember.



ISKCON RATHA YATRA


The origins of the Jagannath Temple of Rajapur, a

ubiquitous village not far from Bengal’s seat of

Vaishnav culture and learning, Nabadwip in Nadia

district, is buried in legends.



Apparently, the idols were carved nearly 500 years

ago, after a local devotee received divine instructions.

However, owing to lack of patronage and care, the

temple was lost and gradually faded from people’s

memory. According to some sources, the ruined temple

was unearthed in the late 1950s by the owners of the

plot. The idols were found almost intact and re-

installed by the family in a new temple.


However,

when the family found it difficult to continue with the

daily rituals and running of the temple, they handed it

over to the International Society of Krishna

Consciousness (ISKCON), whose headquarters are

located in nearby Mayapur.



The chariots from Rajapur travel to the ISKCON

headquarters in Mayapur, about 5km away by road,

accompanied by a huge procession with devotees

playing musical instruments, singing and dancing to

hymns. The Gundicha Temple, where the idols reside

for the next seven days, is located near the Prabhupada

Ghat on the Ganga River. Religious discourses and

cultural programmes are held during the festival.




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