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Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023 | Celebration and Devotion

09 Oct 2023
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Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023 | Celebration and Devotion

 

Jagannath Rath Yatra 2023 | Celebration and Devotion

The Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra is a grand festival that holds immense significance in the Hindu culture. Celebrated in the coastal town of Puri, located in the eastern state of Odisha, India, this vibrant procession attracts millions of devotees from all around the world. In this blog post, we will delve into the meaning, history and significance of the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra, explore how it is celebrated and address some common questions. 

Meaning 

The Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra derives its name from the grand chariot used to carry the deities during the procession. "Jagannath" refers to Lord Krishna, who is believed to be the Lord of the Universe. The term "Rath Yatra" translates to "Chariot Journey." The festival dates back over a thousand years and has its roots in ancient scriptures and legends.

History

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna's older brother, Lord Balabhadra and his sister, Subhadra, accompany him on this annual journey. The chariot used for the procession is a massive wooden structure, brightly adorned and pulled by thousands of devotees. It symbolises the divine journey of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra to their aunt's temple, Gundicha Mandir, situated a few kilometres away.

Significance of Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra

The Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra holds immense religious and cultural significance. It is believed that those who participate in this sacred procession earn blessings and attain spiritual liberation. The chariot is regarded as a representation of the human body and pulling it symbolises a devotee's journey towards self-realisation and union with the divine.

Furthermore, the festival promotes unity and inclusiveness. Regardless of caste, creed, or social status, devotees come together to partake in the yatra. It showcases the essence of humanity and reinforces the idea of equality before the divine.

How to Celebrate the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra

The Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra spans over several days and involves various rituals and customs. Here is a glimpse into the key aspects of the celebration

  1. Chariot Construction: Months before the yatra, skilled artisans construct the grand chariots using wood sourced from specified trees. The chariots are beautifully painted and adorned with colourful fabrics and intricate designs.
  2. Chhera Pahara: On the first day of the yatra, the lord ganesha (King of Puri) performs the Chera Pahara ceremony. He sweeps the chariots with a golden broom and offers prayers, symbolising humility and devotion.
  3. Ratha Prasad and Devotional Singing: During the procession, devotees distribute Ratha Prasad (food offered to the deities) to seek blessings. Chanting of religious hymns and devotional songs fills the air, creating a spiritually charged atmosphere.

Conclusion:

The Jagannath Rath Yatra is a magnificent celebration that unites millions in devotion and spirituality. Its deep-rooted history, symbolic significance and inclusive nature make it a truly awe-inspiring festival. Participating in this grand event offers devotees an opportunity to connect with the divine and experience the rich cultural heritage of India. Witnessing the chariots roll through the streets of Puri is an experience that leaves an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all those who attend.

 

FAQ:

Q1: What is the schedule of Rath Yatra 2023?

This year the Jagannath Rath Puri Yatra is going to start on June 20, 2023, from 10:04 pm. And it will end on 21st June 2023 at 07:09 pm. 

Q2: How many days does Rath Yatra continue?

This festival is celebrated for nine days, during which Lord Jagannath and other two deities visit the Gundicha Temple and Mausi Maa Temple. The highly decorated chariots resemble the grand temple structure that is pulled through the streets of Badadanda in Puri.

Q3: What is the reason behind Rath Yatra?

To kill Lord Krishna and Balram, Kansa, their maternal uncle, invited them to Mathura. He sent Akrur with a chariot to Gokul. As asked, Lord Krishna, along with Balram, sat on the chariot and left for Mathura. The devotees celebrate this day of departure as Rath Yatra.

 

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