Jagannath Rathyatra: Know How People Celebrate The Auspicious Day
Lord Jagannath is an incarnation form of the Hindu deity, Lord Vishnu. The term Jagannath itself refers to the one who is the lord of the Universe. Many holy scriptures like Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, and Skanda Purana describes the importance of Jagannath Rathayatra.
On this special day, people organize a 3-km-long procession of three chariots carrying Lord Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, and sister Subhadra. Mainly, it is celebrated in the various parts of Odisha. Many local artists spend days decorating these chariots of three Hindu deities. On the day of Rathayatra, hundreds of devotees together step up to pull these chariots. This famous Rathayatra is celebrated in various cities of India since the late 1960s. Not only Hindus but Buddhists too commemorate this festival by participating in Rathayatra.
Moreover, this day commemorates Lord Jagannath visit with his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra to his birthplace, Gundicha Temple. Alright, moving on to check some important facts of this auspicious day.
Jagannath Yatra 2023 Date and Time
Jagannath Rath Yatra Other Facts
The History of Jagannath Rath Yatra
The Kansa Connection
Krishna’s maternal uncle Kansa wanted to kill Krishna and his brother Balrama. So, with this secret intention, Kansa invited Krishna and Balarama to Mathura. He sent Akrura with his chariot to Gokul. On being asked, Lord Krishna sat on the chariot with Balarama and left for Mathura. Devotees celebrate this day of the departure of Krishna and Balarama to Mathura as Rath Yatra. Devotees in Dwarka celebrate the day when Lord Krishna, accompanied by Balarama, took Subhadra – his sister – in a chariot to show the splendour of the city.
The Incident regarding the Ras Leela
Once, the queens of Lord Krishna requested Mother Rohini to narrate an interesting romantic affair (Rasa Leela) of Lord Krishna with the gopis. Rohini, considering Subhadra inappropriate to hear such an incident, sent her off. But Subhadra remained there with the incorporeal Lord Krishna and Balabhadra. When he was completely absorbed in the stories, Narada arrived, finding the brothers and sisters standing together; he prayed: May you three appear like this forever, and the Lord gave them a boon. Since then, all three reside in the Puri temple of Lord Jagannatha forever.
The Incident Concerning Cremation Of Lord Krishna’s Mortal Remains
Finally, a story that tells what happened after the cremation of Lord Krishna’s mortal body. When Shri Krishna was being cremated in Dwarka, Balarama, very sad, rushed to drown in the sea with Krishna partially cremated. Subhadra was behind him. At the same time, on the east coast of India, Jagannath Puri’s King Indradyumna dreamed that the Lord’s body was floating up to the banks of Puri. He should build a huge idol in the city and sanctify the wooden idols of Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. Simultaneously, the ashes of Lord Krishna should be put in the hollow part of the back of the idol. The dream came true. The king found the pieces of ashes (bones) and brought them with him. But the question was who would carve the idols.
It is believed that the architect of the gods, Vishwakarma, arrived in the form of an old carpenter. He made it clear that no one should disturb him while carving the idols and if anyone does, he will disappear, leaving the work unfinished. Some months passed. The impatient Indradyumna opened the door of Vishwakarma’s room. As he had warned earlier, Vishwakarma immediately disappeared. Despite the incomplete idols, the king sanctified them and placed the holy ashes of Lord Krishna in the hollow of the idol and installed it in the temple. Since then, every year, a majestic procession is taken out in three huge chariots with idols of Lord Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra. Huge chariots are pulled by devotees from Janakpur to the temple at Jagannath Puri. The idols are replaced every 12 years, and the new ones are also kept incomplete.