One of India’s oldest & biggest festivals, Jagannath Rath Yatra is celebrated on the 2nd day of Shukla Paksha in the Hindu month of Ashadha across India.
On this day, Lord Krishna along with his brother Balram, and sister Subhadra visited his aunt’s place – Gudincha Mandir.
Want to know about the legends and mythological significance attached to the Rath Yatra?
Meaning of Rituals & Traditions:
On this day, the wooden chariots are decorated with beautiful flowers and are lined up in front of the main temple. These chariots are made as to the replicas of the temple.
Once the rituals are performed by the King of Puri, the procession is flagged off and the devotees line up to pull the holy chariot. Children can be seen carrying the miniature version of chariots on the day of the procession.
The Rath Yatra is a symbol of God coming down from his pedestal among his public. It humanizes God and makes him closer to his devotees.
Historical Significance of Rath Yatra:
As per the legends, once Krishna expressed his desire to visit his aunt’s place. From then onwards, each deity is taken to Gudhincha Ghat on their massive chariots.
According to the Bhagavad Purana, Lord Krishna and Balram had gone to Mathura on this day to participate in a wrestling competition.
Spiritual Significance of Rath Yatra:
On the day of Rath Yatra, devotees come together and chant the name of the Lord. They pull the chariots with enthusiasm and love in the heart for their beloved Krishna.
The purpose behind this ritual is to awaken the divine within. According to the Hindu scriptures, Krishna resides in our mind but due to our ignorance and attachment to the worldly life, we forget this truth. This festival reminds us of our divinity and by chanting Krishna’s name, it enables us to evoke the divine within!
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Importance of the Vibrant Chariots:
The major attraction of the Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra is the vibrant chariots in the procession. The preparation of the chariots starts from the day of Akshay Tritiya. There are 3 main chariots which are pulled by using a long rope. These chariots are beautified with vibrant flowers, paintings, and motifs. These chariots symbolize the perishable human body and highlight the truth of life.
So, this Rath Yatra, witness the grandeur, splendour and beauty of this divine festival in Puri.