Jagannath Rath Yatra Puri

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Ratha Jatra, the Festival of Chariots of Lord Jagannatha is celebrated every year at Puri, the temple town in Orissa, on the east coast of India. The presiding deities of the main temple, Sri Mandira, Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, with the celestial wheel Sudarshana are taken out from the temple precincts in an elaborate ritual procession to their respective chariots. The huge, colourfully decorated chariots, are drawn by hundreds and thousands of devotees on the bada danda, the grand avenue to the Gundicha temple, some two miles away to the North. After a stay for seven days, the deities return to their abode in Srimandira. Ratha Jatra is perhaps the grandest festival on earth. Everything is on a scale befitting the great Lord. Full of spectacle, drama and colour, the festival is a typical Indian fair of huge proportions. It is also the living embodiment of the synthesis of the tribal, the folk, and the autochthonous with the classical, the elaborately formal and the sophisticated elements of the socio-cultural-religious ethos of the Indian civilization. Sanctity and Significance of Ratha Jatra The festival is also known as Gundicha Jatra, Ghosa Jatra, Navadina Jatra, Dasavatara Jatra and by a variety of other names. For the devoted and believers, it is considered the most auspicious occasion. Rathe tu vamanam drishtwa punarjanmam na vidyate A glimpse of the Vamana, the dwarf form, an incarnation of Lord Jagannatha, is sure to ensure emancipation, release from the cycle of birth and death. Jatra is an essential part of the ritual of the Hindu system of worship. Jatra literally means travel or journey. Normally, it is the representative deities of temples more popularly known as Utsava Murti in south and Chalanti Pratima or Bije Pratima in Orissa, partake in these journeys. It is rarely that the presiding deities come out of the sanctum for such ritual journeys. The Jatra for the Ritual Journey take two forms – one involving the short circumbulation around the temple and other involving a longer journey from the temple to some other destination. The Jatra is considered as an important part of festivities and ceremonies of each temple and is considered as a special and sacred occasion. Rath Jatra being unique among all Jatras is the grandest festival of the supreme divinity who has manifested himself in the Kali Yuga to emancipate humanity and to relieve them from their sufferings. Lord Jagannatha is identified fully with Vishnu and Krishna. In his original manifestation as Nilamadhaba, he was worshipped in a sacred Nyagrodha Briksha or banyan tree. The branches of the tree had spread for several miles and any one entering this area was instantly emancipated and was relieved of the travails of the birth and re-birth. In fact, the influence of Yama, the God of Death, is supposed to have been curtailed in the sacred city of Puri – Srikshetra on account of the presence of Lord Jagannatha and therefore it is also called the Yamanika Tirtha. A glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious and saints, poets and scriptures have repeatedly glorified the sanctity of this special festival. The sanctity of the festival is such that even a touch of the chariot or even the ropes with which these are pulled is considered enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages. In fact, there is a famous Oriya song which says that on this occasion, the chariot, the wheels, the grand avenue all become one with Lord Jagannatha himself. The concept of the chariot has been explained in the Kathopanishada in the following words- Atmanam rathinam viddhi sareeram rathamevatu Buddhim tu saarathim viddhi marah pragrahameva cha. The body is the Chariot and the soul is the deity installed in the chariot. The wisdom acts as the charioteer to control the mind and thoughts. The Skanda Purana glorifies the sanctity of the Rath Jatra in the following words- Gundicha mandapam namam yatrahamajanam pura Ashwamedha sahasrasya mahabedi tadadvabat. Those who are fortunate to see the deities of the Srimandira in the Gundicha Temple, the final destination of the procession of the chariots, derive the benefits of a thousand horse sacrifices, an immensely pious deed. Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja in his famous Vaidehisa Vilasa mentions that the Lord comes out from his sanctum for participating in the Gundicha Jatra, another name of the Festival of Chariots, only for redeeming the fallen, the patita jana who get the opportunity to behold their dearest god at close quarters on this occasion. Similarly, saint poet Salabega waxes eloquent in praise of his dearest dark darling and says that the Lord swaying and moving like a wild elephant arrives at the Grand Avenue and rides his chariot and destroys in a flash all the sins of his devotees, even if these may be grave or unpardonable.

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JAYA JAGANNATH

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My visit to kolkata

Recently I visited kolkata with family and this was my first time in a metropolitan city. The city was full of people and ofcourse the yellow taxis! Before going there when we asked for mineral water bottles from the shopkeeper(who is actually Bengali!),he gave only two and said that you go and taste the bengali mineral water!! We thought “great!”.All the bengalis we know were very happy to know that we are visiting West Bengal. We reached Kolkata .The city was very congested and then we saw the Howrah Bridge(I saw it only in movies and picture 🙂 ).

We went to park street and took the rooms in a hotel. After that we saw that kolkata was good when walked through the roads!! Then we took a taxi and went for the work. After that the day we were coming back we went to a place called New Market. Well yes it was also congested with the peoples. We went to a shop called City Smart and had some shopping!! Well it  was a nice experience there.We also saw the Victoria Memorial and the place where people used to play football.

One thing was that we found a lot of taxi drivers Bihari and from UP settled there. There was also a rule for taxi drivers,quite strange one and that was that they have to keep moving and could not stop anywhere. So when we had to go somewhere then we used to catch a new taxi for every trip.When we went to a hotel and asked for vegetarian dish,they said that they mix small fish in every dish and they only gave us rice,dal and fried potataoes. It was the only vegetarian dish available there!The city had its own attraction with’Pizza Hut’,gyms etc.

But it was a nice experience to be there 🙂

Cheers!

India is the best!!

Hello Friends!!

Today I am going to discuss  about the premier instituations of India. The famous IITs and IIMs. All the students have the dream in their eyes to get into these institutions and then become the part of the most prestigious institution of India. Those who makes it,enjoys a good job and salary!! The companies also prefer the IIT,IIM alumni over the others. The main reason is that these institutions takes admission on the basis of the cut throat competitions and possesses some of the best brains of India.

The present working trend in our country is Talent professionals are running after dollar dreams. That is exactly what is happening in India. Europe Corporations and US have caused the ultimate brain drain in India. It is estimated 78% of Indian engineers leave their field after graduation and work for IT/BPO companies. In the mean time India is facing acute shortage of talents in the fields of science, engineering and technology.
We say we have the Premiere institutions, which are giving the most highly skilled professionals. But are we successful in hold them back.The “Brain drain” is the biggest problem of our country today!!

So the real heroes are those who graduate from these institutions and then do jobs in India and helps in the country’s progress.

Cheers:)