jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
“Who sometimes fervently plays His flute on the banks of the Yamuna river in Sri Vrindavana, who is like a bumblebee that blissfully tastes the lotus faces of the Vraja-gopis, and whose feet are worshipped by great personalities such as Laksmi, Shiva, Brahma, Indra, and Ganesha — may that Sri Jagannatha-deva be the object of my vision.” – Sri Jagannathastakam
Lord Jagannatha Rathayatra
Saturday, 18 July 2015
Where: Civic, Canberra City Walk
Timings: 10:30 am to 1:30 pm
Rathayatra starts from Hare Krishna temple (1 Quick St, Ainslie) at 10:30 am and will proceed through Ainslie Ave to the Canberra CBD and will be at the Fountain in front of Canberra Centre around 11 am. Like previous years the Rathayatra parade will continue at City Walk and will return to the temple via the same route. Jagannatha Maha-prasadam will be served after the Rathayatra.
Hare Krishna dear Devotees and Friends,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.
By the mercy of Lord Jagannatha, on Saturday, 18 July 2015 there will be Jagannatha Rathayatra at Civic, Canberra City Walk. Fortunately 18 July 2015, Saturday coincides with this year’s actual date of Lord Jagannatha Rathayatra at Sri Ksetra Jagannatha Puri Dhama.
Like previous years, the Hare Krishna devotees will be participating and performing the Harinama Sankirtana (the Congregational chanting of the Holy Names) during the Rathayatra for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha.
Rathayatra starts from Hare Krishna temple at 10:30 am and will proceed through Ainslie Ave to the Canberra Centre and will be at the Fountain around 11 am. Like previous years the Rathayatra parade will continue at City Walk and will return back to the temple via the same route.
Please come along to glorify Their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra on this auspicious day and seek the blessings of the Lord. Please extend the Jagannatha Rathayatra invite to friends and colleagues, where possible.
On Friday, 17 July in the evening at 6:00 pm, the devotees will be decorating the Rathayatra palanquin at the Hare Krishna Temple. Please come along and help out with this service. For further information please contact Subhadra devi dasi(0432440504) or HG Adi Purusa Das.
Assistance for Cooking services:
If any of the devotees would like to bring any bhoga preparation for Lord Jagannatha, please contact Bhakta Tarun (0421336640).
We humbly request for your kind association for this important festival. Thank you very much.
Lord Jagannatha Rathayatra, also known as Mahavedi Yatra or Festival of Chariots is one of the much-awaited festivals when Lord Jagannatha, The Lord of the Universe, along with His elder brother, Baladeva and His sister Devi Subhadra come out of Their sanctum sanctorum to give darshana to all devotees belonging to all sects and communities. Rathayatra festival has been traditionally celebrated annually in Jagannatha Puri, Orissa and is perhaps the oldest continuously celebrated spiritual festival in the world. This colourful festival draws millions of devotees from various parts of the India as well as from abroad to Sri Jagannatha Puri Dhama. The celebration of this day starts much earlier on Akashya Tirtiya day that comprises the construction and decoration of the Ratha’s by numerous devotees and volunteers. The three chariots that are the highlights of the entire Yatra are pulled by strings. The chariot of Lord Jagannatha which is 45.6 feet high, high comprises 18 wheels and is referred as Nandighosa. Balabhadra’s chariot is made 45 feet high with 16 wheels is called Taladhvaja. The chariot of Subhadra known as Devadalana has 14 wheels and is 44.6 feet high. All these chariots are decorated with various designs and colors by the artists of Puri that showcases their enthusiasm for the Yatra.
Splendidly giant and exquisitely decorated chariots of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra roll on the Grand road from Jagannatha temple to the delight of millions of joyous pilgrims. The famous festival that is celebrated in the month of June or July commences when the chariots of Lord Jagannatha accompanied by his elder brother Baladeva and sister Devi Subhadra are brought out on to the Main Street of Puri known as Bada Danda. Their towering red-and-blue silken canopies rise into the sky as drums and cymbals resound in joyous celebrations. The chariots are then taken to the Sri Gundica Temple to their aunt’s house where the deities stay for a period of nine days and enjoy Their vacations, and are served with sweet pancakes. During the festival, the Gajapati King sweeps all around the deities and chariots. He then cleanses the road with a broom (gold-handled) and sprinkles sandalwood water and powder. After nine days, Their Lordships return back to main temple, Sri Mandira and this Yatra is called Bahuda Yatra (Ulta or Return Yatra).
The pulling of Rathayatra cart during the Rathayatra procession by the devotees symbolizes the attempt of the residents of Vrindavana, especially the cowherd boys and girls, to bring Lord Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra back to Vrindavana, the holy dhama near Mathura, UP from Kurukshetra. Vedic scriptures state that anyone who sees Lord Jagannatha or pulls His chariots achieves immense spiritual benefit, attaining liberation from the material world and entrance into the eternal blissful pastimes of the Lord.
Rathayatra means reclaiming the lost souls. On July 5, 1970 at Rathayatra in San Francisco, Srila Prabhupada said, “Just try to understand Jagannatha. Jagat means the moving world, gacchati iti jagat. Sanskrit word gacchati means that which is moving – all these planets, the universe, the sun – everything is moving, and we are moving. Jagat-natha, natha means master and proprietor. Therefore, Jagannatha means the proprietor or the master of all these movements. And Balabhadra, Balarama – bala means strength and rama means enjoyment. Balarama means He who gives you spiritual strength for enjoying eternal blissful life. Subhadra – su means auspicious and bhadra means well-being. Subhadra, Jagannatha and Balarama combined together are present here to reclaim you all from miserable condition of life. That is the purport of this Rathayatra festival. If anyone see Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balarama combined together on the cart, then he does not take birth again in this material world. Ratheja vamanam drsta.”
Srila Prabhupada wonderfully described the inner mood of the Rathayatra: “When Srimati Radharani saw Lord Krishna in Kurukshetra in all opulence as the king of Dwarka, She said, ‘My dear Krishna, You are also here; I am also here. But We are missing Vrindavana. So I wish that You come along with Me again in Vrindavana and We can enjoy in the forest of Vrindavana.’ Rathayatra festival is a feeling festival for the Vaishnavas. Lord Caitanya taught us how to feel separation of God, but He felt the separation of God very severely. Anyone participating in this Rathayatra festival will gradually develop his dormant love for Lord Krishna.” – London Rathayatra, July 13, 1972.
The first Rathayatra outside India was initiated by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on July 9, 1967 in San Francisco, USA. The Lord of the Universe, Lord Jagannatha now parade in major cities all over the world such as London, San Francisco, Sydney, Paris, Durban, Rome, Los Angeles, New York’s prestigious Fifth Avenue, etc. The Rathayatra festival is accompanied by a procession of devotees who are ecstatically dancing and chanting the Lord’s Holy Names:
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare |
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare ||
ISKCON Canberra Temple
ISKCON Sydney Jagannatha Ratha Yatra Festival praised at Australian Parliament in Canberra:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=822987477778321 (speech by Julie Owens, Member of Parliament)
The Esoteric Meaning of Lord Jagannatha Rathayatra
In his Anubhasya, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura describes the ecstasy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as follows. After giving up the company of the gopis in Vrindavana, Sri Krishna, the son of Maharaja Nanda, engaged in His pastimes at Dwarka. When Lord Sri Krishna went to Kuruksetra with His brother and sister and others from Dwarka, He again met the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is radha-bhava-dyuti-suvalita, that is, Krishna Himself assuming the part of SrimatiRadharani in order to understand Krishna. Lord Jagannatha-deva is Krishna, and Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is SrimatiRadharani.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s leading Lord Jagannatha toward the Gundica temple corresponded to Srimati Radharani’s leading Krishna toward Vrindavana. Sri Ksetra, Jagannatha Puri, was taken as the kingdom of Dwarka, the place where Krishna enjoys supreme opulence. But He was being led by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Vrindavana, the simple village where all the inhabitants are filled with ecstatic love for Krishna. Sri Ksetra is a place of aisvarya-lila, just as Vrindavana is the place of madhurya-lila. SriCaitanya Mahaprabhu’s following at the rear of the ratha indicated that Lord Jagannatha, Krishna, was forgetting the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Although Krishna neglected the inhabitants of Vrindavana, He could not forget them. Thus in His opulent Ratha-yatra, He was returning to Vrindavana. In the role of Srimati Radharani, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was examining whether the Lord still remembered the inhabitants of Vrindavana.
When Caitanya Mahaprabhu fell behind the Ratha car, Jagannatha-deva, Krishna Himself, understood the mind of SrimatiRadharani. Therefore, Jagannatha sometimes fell behind the dancing Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to indicate to Srimati Radharanithat He had not forgotten. Thus Lord Jagannatha would stop the forward march of the ratha and wait at a standstill. In this way Lord Jagannatha agreed that without the ecstasy of Srimati Radharani He could not feel satisfied. While Jagannatha was thus waiting, Gaurasundara, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in His ecstasy of Srimati Radharani, immediately came forward to Krishna. At such times, Lord Jagannatha would proceed ahead very slowly. These competitive exchanges were all part of the love affair between Krishna and Srimati Radharani. In that competition between Lord Caitanya’s ecstasy for Jagannatha and Jagannatha’s ecstasy for Srimati Radharani, Caitanya Mahaprabhu emerged successful.
–Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila Chapter 13 verse 119
Gauranga’s Devastating Dance of Love
In Caitanya Caritamrta, Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami enthusiastically describes the blissful dancing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu during the Rathayatra at Jagannatha Puri: When Lord Jagannatha mounted His cart, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inspired all His devotees to dance in front of it. As Lord Gauranga danced before the cart, He always sang the following two lines: “I have gotten the Lord of My life, for whom I was burning in the fire of lusty desires.”
“That very personality who stole away my heart during My youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, but I am not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the banks of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire.” (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila Chapter 13 verse 121)
Gauranga wandered through all seven groups of kirtana performers chanting the holy names, “Hari, Hari.” Raising His long, beautiful, golden arms, Mahaprabhu shouted, “All glories to Lord Jagannatha!” Gauranga then exhibited another mystic power by performing pastimes simultaneously in all seven kirtana groups. Everyone said, “Mahaprabhu is present in my group. Indeed, He does not go anywhere else. Gauranga is bestowing His mercy only upon us.”
When Sri Caitanya personally wanted to dance, all the seven kirtana parties combined in an awesome assembly. Lord Jagannatha was supremely pleased by the hari-nama-sankirtana, so He stopped His chariot just to watch the performance. Gauranga appeared like a circling firebrand, and His dancing steps and jumping caused the earth to tilt.
Ecstatic love for Lord Krishna brought blissful changes in Gaurahari’s body. Lord Caitanya’s hair stood on end; He perspired, cried and His divine body changed color from golden to pinkish. Sometimes Gauranga fell to the ground to appear like a golden mountain rolling on the earth.
Nitai ran behind Gaura, extending His beautiful arms in an attempt to catch the Lord of love. Advaita Acarya followed along, bellowing, “Hari bol! Hari bol!” Lord Gauranga became more and more ecstatic as Jagannatha Swami rolled down the Temple Road toward the Gundica Mandira. The devotees formed three circles around Mahaprabhu to protect Him from the excited crowds. As Gauranga experienced deeper ecstatic love, He displayed further transformations, including thrill bumps, chattering teeth, perspiration and blood oozing from all the pores of His transcendental body. While attempting to say, “Jagannatha, Jagannatha,” Gaurahari made inarticulate sounds like, “Jaja, Gaga, Jaja, Gaga.” Mahaprabhu’s tears of love, shooting like a syringe, sprinkled the onlookers with mercy. Gaurasundara’s brilliant complexion faded to pink, and His hands and legs became hard as dry wood.
After performing His devastating dance, Sri Caitanya’s mind entered a mood of ecstatic love for Krishna. An ocean of transcendental bliss expanded in Mahaprabhu’s heart, which caused an increase in all the natural emotional symptoms. Lord Gauranga attracted everyone, including pilgrims, Jagannatha’s pujaris, government officers, and all the residents of Sri Ksetra Dhama to His lotus feet by sprinkling their minds with the nectar of love of God. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic dancing filled the hearts of one and all with bliss.
Occasionally, Jagannatha Swami stopped His cart to watch the rapturous dancing of Gaura-nataraja. While all the devotees danced before His cart, Jagannatha moved slowly forward. To examine the heart of His beloved, Mahaprabhu sometimes dropped behind Jagannatha’s cart. At such times, Jagannatha Swami stopped moving, waited for Gauranga’s return, and then started rolling again. There was a competition between Lord Jagannatha and Sri Caitanya over who would lead, but Gaurahari was stronger because He always forced Lord Jagannatha to wait in His car.
Sometimes Lord Jagannatha’s cart came to a dead stop. And despite the best endeavours of drunken elephants, the strongest wrestlers in Puri, and King Prataparudra himself, Jagannatha’s cart would not budge an inch. Compassionate Gauranga, returned to the front of the cart, released the crying elephants, handed the ropes to His men and then personally pushed Jagannatha’s cart with His beautiful head.
Miraculously and automatically, Jagannatha’s cart suddenly started moving without any effort. Gaura’s devotees just held the ropes limply in their relaxed hands, since there was no necessity of pulling. In a moment, the chariot of Lord Jagannatha reached the Gundica Temple. Observing Lord Gauranga’s exceptional strength, everyone chanted, “Jaya Sri Krishna Caitanya, Jaya Gauracandra, Wonderful, Wonderful!” (Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya lila Chapter 13 verses 26-209)