The Origin of Rathayatra

The Origin of Rathayatra

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In this book, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, a Vaishnava spiritual leader describes the origin of the festival of chariots (Ratha-Yatra) and its relevance in the practice of bhakti-Yoga. The festival is practiced over the last five thousand years, when Lord Krishna with his elder brother Balarama and younger sister Subhadra came together in a chariot from Dvaraka to Kurukshetra. The gopis and Radha Maharani, the residents of Vrindavana visited the Lord at Kurukshetra and invited him to Vrindavana. This yearning to be together with the Supreme Lord is expressed in the celebration of this festival. The separation from the Lord is painful but togetherness with him is most wonderful experience of prema (love) and devotion. Pure bhakti is the theme of the Ratha-Yatra. During the festival, the deities of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and sister Subhadra are worshiped in the sanctum of the temple at Puri. During the month of Asadha (June/July), they are brought out to the main street of Puri and travel to the Shri Gundicha Temple in three separate chariots. This is the festival of Ratha-Yatra. The meaning of the festival is reflected in the prayers of Gopis at Kurukshetra who pray the Lord to come and live in their hearts; a place similar to Vrindavana. Jagannath is identified with Purushottama, the primal Purusha of the RgVeda and the Supreme Brahman of the Bhagavadgita.
Book Title The Origin of Rathayatra
Vender Rasbihari Lal & sons
In this book, Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, a Vaishnava spiritual leader describes the origin of the festival of chariots (Ratha-Yatra) and its relevance in the practice of bhakti-Yoga. The festival is practiced over the last five thousand years, when Lord Krishna with his elder brother Balarama and younger sister Subhadra came together in a chariot from Dvaraka to Kurukshetra. The gopis and Radha Maharani, the residents of Vrindavana visited the Lord at Kurukshetra and invited him to Vrindavana. This yearning to be together with the Supreme Lord is expressed in the celebration of this festival. The separation from the Lord is painful but togetherness with him is most wonderful experience of prema (love) and devotion. Pure bhakti is the theme of the Ratha-Yatra. During the festival, the deities of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and sister Subhadra are worshiped in the sanctum of the temple at Puri. During the month of Asadha (June/July), they are brought out to the main street of Puri and travel to the Shri Gundicha Temple in three separate chariots. This is the festival of Ratha-Yatra. The meaning of the festival is reflected in the prayers of Gopis at Kurukshetra who pray the Lord to come and live in their hearts; a place similar to Vrindavana. Jagannath is identified with Purushottama, the primal Purusha of the RgVeda and the Supreme Brahman of the Bhagavadgita.