Ratha Yatra Festival in Jagannath Puri

Rath-Yara-Festival-Puri

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Yesterday, July 10th, marked the start of the annual Ratha Yatra Festival of Lord Jagannatha in Jagannath Puri. Millions of pilgrims visit Jagannath Puri to participate in the Ratha Yatra car festival of Lord Jagannatha. Lord Jagannatha, along with His brother Baladeva and sister Subhadra, travel in gigantic chariots and go to the Gundicha Temple. The previous day of Ratha Yatra (i.e. July 09, 2013) devotees assemble in Gundicha Temple and clean the temple. This event is called as Gundicha Marjana. Lord Jagannath stays in Gundicha temple for a week and then comes back to His own temple. This return journey is called Bahuda Ratha Yatra (July 18, 2013).

In the Brahmanda Purana it is said, “A person who sees the Lord’s Ratha-yatra car festival and then stands up to receive the Lord can purge all kinds of sinful results from his body.” In the Bhavisya Purana, it is said, “Even if born of a lowly family, a person who follows the Ratha-yatra car when the Deities pass in front or from behind will surely be elevated to the position of achieving equal opulence with Visnu.”

In 1967, Srila Prabhupada inaugurated the Ratha Yatra Festival, the Festival of the Chariots, in western countries and thanks to him, today people all over the world observe this festival.

Ratha Yatra in the West More

The Kidnapping of Subhadrā and Lord Kṛṣṇa’s Visiting Śrutadeva and Bahulāśva

Lady Subhadra

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…King Parīkṣit became more inquisitive to hear about Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes, and thus he inquired from Śukadeva Gosvāmī how his grandmother Subhadrā was kidnapped by his grandfather Arjuna at the instigation of Lord Kṛṣṇa. King Parīkṣit was very much eager to learn about his grandfather’s kidnapping and marriage of his grandmother.

Thus Śukadeva Gosvāmī began to narrate the story as follows: “Once upon a time, your grandfather Arjuna, the great hero, was visiting several holy places of pilgrimage, and while he was thus traveling all over he happened to come to Prabhāsakṣetra. In the Prabhāsakṣetra he heard the news that Lord Balarāma was negotiating the marriage of Subhadrā, the daughter of Arjuna’s maternal uncle, Vasudeva. Although her father, Vasudeva, and her brother, Kṛṣṇa, were not in agreement with Him, Balarāma was in favor of marrying Subhadrā to Duryodhana. Arjuna, however, desired to gain the hand of Subhadrā.”

As he thought of Subhadrā and her beauty, Arjuna became more and more captivated with the idea of marrying her, and with a plan in mind…

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Flowers for Lord Jagannatha (Chapter 8)

The Hare Krishna Explosion
by Hayagriva das

Part II: San Francisco, 1967
Chapter 8

Flowers for Lord Jagannatha

The days of February are beautiful with perfect temperatures in the seventies, fog rolling off early, skies very blue and clear, sun falling bright and sharp on the lush foliage of Golden Gate Park. The park encloses the largest variety of plant and tree life to be found in any one spot on earth. We are at a loss to identify plants for Swamiji.

“When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu passed through the forests, all the plants, trees and creepers were delighted to see Him and rejoiced in His presence. Plant life is like that in the spiritual sky—fully conscious.”

“And these trees, Swamiji? How conscious are they?”

“Oh, spirit soul is there, but consciousness has been arrested temporarily. Perception is more limited.”

Swamiji strolls by men playing checkers, passes beneath the tall oaks, past the shuffleboard court, then stops and turns to speak.

More

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Important Slokas from the Brahma-samhita

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Slokas from the Sri Isopanisad

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Prayers By Queen Kunti (Slokas)

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Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender (Slokas)

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Reference Material/Study Guide

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