Jagannath Rath Yatra
Jagannath Rath Yatra is a significant religious event in Odisha and is huge in other parts of India also. This is one of the major festivals for devotees of Lord Krishna. During this festival, people carry the idols of three divinities, Lord Krishna and his two brothers and sisters from the temple of Jagannath to the temple of Gundicha every year. after having bathed idols and offered their prayers. This festival has a tremendous place in the hearts of Hindu devotees and thus they give absolute value to Jagannath Rath Yatra. It takes place in Puri from June to July.
Jagannath Rath Yatra History
Jagannath Rath Yatra was originally built in the 12th century. Its detailed narrative can be found in Hindu sacred texts like Padma Purana, Brahma Purana, and Skanda Purana. According to legend, that day, Lord Jagannath went to the temple of Gundicha through the house of her maternal aunt (now the temple of Mausi Maa).
The lord Jagannath, however, did not go there alone, he went there with his sister Subhadra and his elder brother Balabhadra. The day is now celebrated annually with a Jagannath Rath Yatra where the Lord’s idol sits on the float with his two siblings. The large procession that is taking place has enormous significance throughout India. Thus, the history of the rath yatra goes back in ancient times.
Date, Time & Venue of Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra
Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra is one of the most important religious congregations, covering a period of 11 days. Instead of the devotees who visit the Lord to seek His blessings, the Lord himself comes forth from His sanctuary to bless the believers. This yearly festival of floats begins on the Dwitiya tithi in the Ashadha Shukla Paksha and continues for the next 11 days. The Jagannath Yatra in Odisha begins with the wonderful Puri Festival.
Major Attractions Of Jagannath Rath Yatra
Rath Yatra in the Jagannath Puri Temple is one of the most expected religious feasts in India. It attracts a great number of devotees from around the world who seek blessings from the Holy Trinity, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balbhadra, and Goddess Subhadra. It is a very rare act of divinity where the gods themselves come forth from their sanctuary to pour blessings upon their devotees and mingle with them all.
The main features of Jagannath Rath Yatra deserve to be mentioned-
- Chandan Yatra. That day falls in Akshay Tritiya. Also called Sandalwood Yatra, it goes on for 42 days. It also marks the sowing of seeds by farmers for the next harvest. The annual Rath Yatra commences that day.
- Snana Yatra. It’s a bath party held at Deba-Snana Purnima or the full moon day of the month of Jayestha. It is the birthday of Lord Jagannatha and the three divinities have come out of the temple and taken to the Snana Bedi in a procession. They are adequately bathed and decorated.
- Pahandi. The photographic journey of the Holy Trinity-Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama, and the goddess Subhadra begins in a elaborate royal ritual, called Pahandi. This means going step by step through the rhythms of kahali, ghanta and telingi baja. Watching the divinities move forward in an oscillating motion resembles an enormous elephant slowly exiting.
- Chhera Pahanra. This is a colorful and elaborate ritual. In this ritual, the king of Puri is informed of the gods who took place on their chariots by a messenger. Dressed in immaculate white, the slender young king emerged seated on a silver palanquin. He gets off palanquins and climbs from one tank to the other. After offering his prayers to the deity, he cleans the tank platforms with a gold sweeper and sprinkles the fragrant water and flowers on the surface of the tank.
- Hera Panchami. This is a famous Laxmi goddess ritual where panchami means 5th day and hera means see. Celebrated on the fifth day of the chariot festival, the representative idol of the goddess Mahalaxmi goes to the Gundicha temple in a magnificently decorated palanquin to meet Lord Jagannath. This is a very exciting moment because the Goddess is angry with her husband, Lord Jagannath. There’s a legend in that ritual. The goddess Lakshmi was once very concerned because her husband, Lord Jagannath, after telling her he would be back in a few days, had not returned home for five days. We believe he went to the Gundicha temple to be with his brothers and sisters. To get it, she went there in a nicely decorated palanquin. And, apparently, that is the reason why the devotees also wear the idols to the temple in a palanquin.
- Suna Besha. There are 32 beshas or shapes in total This form is made on Ashadha Shukla Ekadashi Tithi or the 11th day in the brilliant fifteenth of Asadha. On that day, the gods are adorned with magnificent gold jewels.
- Niladri Bije. Niladri means Lord Jagannath and Bije translated for entrance. Therefore, this ritual, as a whole, translates into the return of the deities. The Trinity is presented Rasagola Bhog before entering the temple.
- Niladri Bije. Niladri stands for Lord Jagannath and Bije translated to get in. Thus, this ritual, by and large, translates into the return of the deities. The Trinity is given Rasagola Bhog prior to entering the temple. After performing this ritual, only devotees are permitted to carry Darshan in the temple.
- Brahma Paribartan Jagannath Rath Yatra’s most important idea is reincarnation. To symbolize it, the old temple idols are destroyed and replaced with new ones. This whole thing is taking place in complete secrecy. Even the priest who makes the ceremony and chants is blindfolded during the entire ritual.