The Potency of Ratha-yatra

The Potency of Ratha-yatra
By: Compiled by Yashoda Nandan Das (USA)

Our Hare Krishna movement is standing on three principal things: chanting, dancing, and eating prasadam.

Excerpts from the teaching of Srila Prabhupada

Srila Prabhupada: Melbourne, Tokyo, and many other places. And India also, in Calcutta also. So this festival, taking part in these festivals means a step forward for our self-realization. Rathe ca vamanamarstva punar janma na vidyate. Simply by seeing the Lord on the chariot, one makes advancement for stopping the repetition of birth and death.

So I am very glad that you have taken so much trouble to come here. Now will you chant Hare Krishna mantra along with the devotees and take part in honoring the prasadam? The prasadam is also one of the programs. Our Hare Krishna movement is standing on three principal things: chanting, dancing, and eating prasadam. It is not very difficult. It is very enjoyable to chant, dance, and take prasadam. And if you like, you can hear a little philosophy of this movement. Or even if you do not understand the philosophy, even you do not read the books, simply if you take part in these three things, chanting, dancing, and taking part in eating the prasadam, your life will gradually progress in spiritual advancement of life. And if you continue this, then some day will come, even in this life it may come, that you will understand what is Krishna. And as soon as you understand Krishna, then after leaving this body you go back to home, back to Godhead, directly (?). This is stated in the Bhagavad-gita. Those who have read Bhagavad-gita… Lord Krishna says,

janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti kaunteya [Bg. 4.9]

Simply by understanding Krishna, Krishna’s appearance, Krishna’s disappearance, Krishna’s activities. This Rathayatra is one of the activities of Krishna. Therefore to take part in the Rathayatra festival means to associate with Krishna directly. So in this way, if we associate with Krishna’s name, Krishna’s pastimes, Krishna’s qualities, Krishna’s form, then, gradually, we transcend this material existence Janma karma me divyam yo janati tattvatah. If we simply try to understand about Krishna’s movement, then the result is, Krishna says, tyaktva deham: we have to give up this body. But if we give up this body after being elevated into Krishna consciousness, then Krishna says, tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Then, after giving up this body, you haven’t got to accept another material body. Tyaktva deham punar janma naiti [Bg. 4.9]. Then where shall I go? Krishna says, mam eti: “He comes to Me.

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Ratha-yatra Festival

Ratha-yatra Address
Given by Srila Prabhupada
San Francisco, June 27, 1971

Jagannatha svami nayana-pathagami bhavatu me. (crowd repeats) Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. (crowd repeats) Thank you very much. Ladies and Gentlemen, I thank you very much for your kindly participating in this great Ratha-yatra festival.

I have already explained what is this Ratha-yatra festival. It is in commemoration of a grand visit by Lord Krishna along with His elder brother, Balarama, and His younger sister, Subhadra, in a solar eclipse ceremony at Kuruksetra.

This occasion is the subject matter of this Ratha-yatra festival. Apart from these historical references in the matter of Ratha-yatra festival, there is another spiritual meaning, that the Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, and this body is just like ratha, or car.

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San Francisco Rathayatra (Chapter 11)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part II: San Francisco, 1967
Chapter 11

San Francisco Rathayatra

As the passengers file through the gate into the terminal, we all wait anxiously, wondering how Swamiji will look. Somehow, we cannot imagine him gaunt, disabled or feeble. It is difficult for us to accept that his body, the medium for his teaching, could in any way break down, in defiance of the great spiritual personality within.

He is the last off the plane, accompanied by Kirtanananda. Despite the severity of his stroke, he looks virtually unchanged, only a little weary. The girls rush toward him and burst into tears. We throw flowers taken from Golden Gate Park: rhododendrons and hibiscus. He smiles appreciatively, but says nothing, and this is strange. Instead of giving his usual airport talk, he looks to us to show him the direction out. He chants Hare Krishna softly, his fingers incessantly caressing the japa beads in the beadbag, counting the rounds.

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Reference Material/Study Guide

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