Ratha Yatra 2018
ISKCON Chennai invites one all to the Ratha-yatra festival of Sri Sri Jagannath Baladev Subhadra 12th January 2018, Friday
Inauguration: Near Rasi Silks, Mylapore, 2.30pm
- Route of Ratha-yatra: Sannathi Street – North Mada Street – R.K. Mutt Road – Royapettah High Road – V.M. Street – R.K. Salai – N.H. Road – Village Road – Mc.Nicholls Road.
- The Ratha-yatra will culminate in Kuchalambal Kalyana Mahal, Chetpet.
- Prasadam distribution is an important feature of the Ratha-yatra. Prasadam will be distributed at the inauguration site, during the procession and at the culmination point in Kuchalambal. Please contribute to the festival.
Schedule on Ratha Yatra day – Friday (12-1-2018) At Kuchalambal Hall
1. 9 To 10 am. Breakfast
2. 10am Srila Prabhupada Guru puja.
3. 10.30 am. Lecture on “Mahaprabhu in Puri Rath Yatra” by HH Bhanu Swami Maharaj
4. 11.30. -1.30 Lunch Prasadam.
5. 01.30 pm last shift of devotees from hall to inauguration site
1. 2.30 To 3.30. Inauguration.
2. 3.30. Procession starts . As Police Dept is quite strict ., inform all to cooperate with the crowd management coordinators during procession.
3. 5.30 To 6 30 cultural programme at Kuchalambal.
4. 6.30 arrival of rath at Kuchalambal
5. 7. Pm Sandhya arthi
6. 7.30. Lecture
7. Prasadam 7pm To 9.30 pm.
For safety reasons., we request all parents to ensure no 👶 children climb the rath. There will be spare vehicles, in case of children or elderly devotees
The spiritual significance of Jagannath Ratha-yatra
The meaning of the Ratha-Yatra parade is steeped in religious sentiment. The form that Lord Krishna takes as Jagannatha is the manifestation of His ecstasy that He feels when He leaves the opulence of His palaces in Dwaraka, represented by the Puri temple, to return to the town of Vrindavan and the simple and pure spontaneous love the residents there have for Him. Thus, there is no difference between Lord Krishna and Lord Jagannatha. So in the mood of separation from His loving devotees, Jagannatha mounts His chariot and returns to Vrindavan, which is symbolically represented by the Gundicha temple. In this way, the esoteric meaning of the Ratha-Yatra parade is that we pull the Lord back into our hearts and rekindle the loving relationship we have with Him. Many great poems and songs, such as Jagannatha-astakam, have been composed describing the event and the highly ecstatic devotional mood one can enter while participating. Many verses are also written in the Caitanya-caritamrita that describe the pastimes Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had during these Ratha-Yatra festivals 500 years ago.
To explain the internal meaning of Ratha-Yatra further, Lord Jagannatha is the embodiment of Lord Krishna’s love for Srimate Radharani. While Lord Krishna was living in Dwaraka, he felt great separation from Radharani and the residents of Vrindavana. On the day of one solar eclipse, He traveled to Kuruksetra with His brother Balarama and His sister Subhadra on His chariot. There He met Srimate Radharani and other residents of Vrindavana, all of which wanted to take the Lord back to Vrindavana. While traveling and thinking of this meeting, He entered mahabhava, the highest sentiments of loving exchange. In that state, His eyes dilated like fully bloomed lotuses, and His hands and legs retreated into His body. In this way, the form of Lord Jagannatha is called radha-viraha-vidhura, the separation from Radharani, and also mahabhava-prakasha, the manifestation of mahabhava for Radharani. Lord Caitanya was the embodiment of Srimate Radharani’s love for Lord Krishna. So Lord Caitanya taking Lord Jagannatha from the main temple to the Gundicha corresponds to Srimate Radharani’s wanting to take Lord Krishna from Dwaraka back to Vrindavana, the place of spontaneous and ecstatic love of God.
It is also explained that by participating in this festival, chanting and dancing, or helping pull the ropes of the chariots, one becomes free of many lifetimes of karma. One can even become liberated due to the spiritual potency of Lord Jagannatha’s presence. One of the ways this happens is explained as follows: at the very end of one’s life when the memories of his activities pass through the mind, when he remembers the amazing Ratha-Yatra festival his mind stops and focuses on that event. Thus, he dies thinking of Lord Jagannatha and is liberated from material existence and returns to the spiritual world, just like a yogi is transferred to the spiritual strata when his mind is fixed on the Supersoul at the time of death. This is why thousands of pilgrims come to Jagannatha Puri every year for Ratha-Yatra.