Rath Yatra is the celebration of the Lord Jagannath (Odia: ଜୟ ଜଗନ୍ନାଥ, Hindi: जय़ जगन्नाथ, Bengali: জয় জগন্নাথ), who is believed to be the Lord of Universe’s journey towards his aunt’s house. Though it is a Hindu shrine but this chariot festival is not associated with any particular denomination of Hinduism entirety. It is the festival for all the devotees who have devotion for Lord Jagannatha and love for the deities.
Jagannath Rath Yatra is more than five thousand years old and the most spiritual thing is, the celebration follows all the same rituals from its starting. There would not seen any changes in this festival. Traditionally the Rath Yatra festival is celebrated annually in Puri, Odisha. During this world renowned festival, lord Jagannatha is worshipped along with his brother lord Balabhadra and sister Devi Subhadra.
According to spiritual significance of Katha Upanishad- The festival talks about Human body as Rath and sarathi or driver as God, who drives the chariot of body to the yatra/journey to material existence or Bhavasagar. Classically it is mentioned as- The soul drive with in the Rath of body, which has been intellect and total devoted to God the driver of the chariot towards the material existence. The wheels are the significance of velour. The horses are and persistence. The horses are the synonyms of vigor, self discipline, tolerance, charity and discrimination, where as pity, equanimity and forgiveness are the reins of horses.
The popular Rath jatra is the time when the Deities come out of the temple for all to see. Each deity visit Gudicha Temple in their specific chariots drawn by devotees. Gudicha temple is dedicated to Lord’s Mosi (Aunty).
The chariots used during Rath Yatra are built every year. Carpenters began the construction of chariots on the Akshaya Tritiya day. The chariots are painted with bright colors and the tops are covered with red, black, yellow, or green canopies. Lord Jagannath uses red and yellow, Lord Balaram uses red and green, while Goddess Subhadra uses red and black. All the chariots have separate features to distinguish from each other.
Lord Jagannath’s chariot is called as Chakradhwaja or Nandhighosa, which simply describe about tumultuous and blissful sound. 45 feet tall, 16 wheels, 65 tons weigh, Garuda on its crest along with four white wooden horses are the specific features of Lord Jagannath’s Rath.
Lord Balaram’s cart is called Taladhwaja, which means the sound of significantly powerful rhythm. It has 14 wheels, and is drawn by four black wooden horses. It carries Hanuman on its crest.
Goddess Subhadra’s cart is called Padmadhwaja or Darpadalan, which means destroyer of pride. It has a lotus on its crest, uses 12 wheels, and is drawn by four red wooden horses.
On the celebration day devotees pull the chariots till the Gundicha temple. This time in Rath Yatra Puri 2015 also you will see the same celebration but wide more spiritual excitement. Because it is the Nabakalebar Rath Yatra where all the Lords will get new avatar after nineteen years. The return journey of Lords is also celebrated as Bahuda yatra. The deities reach the Puri temple on Ekadasi day, than attired in new costumes and this new form of the idols is known as ‘Suna Vesa’ . So come to be a part of Puri Rath Yatra 2015 to see new looks of deities and get blessing for your lifetime.
We wish all the readers a very Happy Rath Yatra, May Lord Jagannatha, Maa Subhadra and Lord Balarama shower blessings on all of us.
Jai Jagannatha 🙂
Legend of Ratha Yatra
This event marks Lord Jagannath, travelling in the chariot with his brother, Lord Balarama and sister Subhadra. It attracts pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. The festival has been celebrated since ancient times. According to a legend about its origin, Jagannath is said to have expressed his desire to visit his birthplace every year for a week. Thus, the deities are taken to the Gundicha Mandir every year. According to another legend, Subhadra, wanted to visit Dwaraka, her parent`s home, and her brothers took her back to Dwaraka on this day. The Ratha Yatra is a commemoration of that visit. According to the Bhagavad Purana, it is also believed that it was on this day that Krishna and Balarama went to Mathura to participate in a wrestling competition, at Kansa`s invitation. The chariots are cleaned by the Gajapati Maharaja, with a golden broom to proclaim that he is the first of the Lord`s servants.
Rath Yatra involves following ceremonies:
The idols of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are brought out and bathed on a pedestal known as the snanamandap amidst series of rituals and chanting of `Jai Jagannath` and `Haribol` and beating of conch shells, bathing ceremony was performed on Purnima of Jyestha month (Devasnan Purnima), to commemorate the appearance day of Lord Jagannath.
The bathing ceremony discolors the painted wooden deities. Therefore nobody except the main priest is allowed to see and pay homage for a period of 15 days, which is known as Anavasara time. It is said that Lord Jagannath himself had ordered King Indradyumna about this Anavasara period.
For a staunch devotee of Jagannath, the Anavasara time is really a tough time of separation. The images are re-painted and brought to the Ratnavedi or the main platform for the devotees to see and pay homage. This ceremony is named as Netrotsava. On this day people take the opportunity of seeing the deities in all new and young form. This is called `Nava Yauvana Darshan`.
Lord Jagannath Ratha Yatra Festival (Car Festival)
The main journey of the “Car Festival” involves the large Deities of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra to be transported from the temple, each on their own chariot, every year, where:
* Jagannath`s chariot, Nandighosha is a 35 feet square, rising to a height of 45 feet, with 16 wheels, 7 feet in diameter and is yellow in colour.
* Balabhadra`s chariot is called Taladhvaja, is blue in colour and has 14 wheels.
* Subhadra`s chariot is the smallest, with 12 wheels and is called Devadalan.
Then the images are taken from the temple to Jagannath`s country house at Gundicha Bari, two miles away. They are confined to a solitary abode for a fortnight where they undergo treatment, are offered special Ayurvedic medicine and some special liquid diet called sarapana. After a week`s rest, they are taken back to the temple at Puri. This return car festival or Bahuda Yatra begins on the `Ashadha Sukla Dasami`, the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Ashadha (June-July).
On the Ratha Yatra day, temple staff and congregational members cook enormous quantities of foodstuffs, and everyone gets to enjoy as much Mahaprasadam as they care to consume. The continued success of Puri`s Ratha Yatra is so fundamentally important to Orissa that the state government has proclaimed the Yatra a “state festival”.
Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) Birth and Childhood (Hafta-E-Wahdat, Week of Unity)
Hazrat Muhammad (saw) was born in the year 570 CE (fifty-three years before the Hijrah) in the town of Makkah, a mountain town in the high desert plateau of western Arabia. His name derives from the Arabic verb Hamada, meaning “to praise, to glorify.” He was the first and only son of Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abd Al-Muttalib and Hazrat Aminah bint Wahab. Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abd Al-Muttalib died before Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) birth. The precise date of his birth is disputed among the historians, but Ayatullah Ruhullah Musawi al-Khomeini (ra), the founder of the Islamic revolution had declared the week between 12th and 17th Rabi al-Awwal as “Hafta-E-Wahdat” meaning “the week of unity amongst Muslims.” Muslims all over the world are urged to get together and celebrate (Eid-E-Milad un Nabi) the birth of Hazrat Muhammad (saw) for the whole week.
The year in which our Hazrat Muhammad (saw) was born is called as the Year of Elephant (Aam ul-Feel); it is because of that famous incidence in which the ruler of Yemen, Abraha tried to destroy Kaaba using his army of Elephants and a vast flock of small birds like swallows, carrying pebbles in their beaks darkened the sky and pelted them down upon the heads of Abraha’s army causing deep puncture like wounds killing many. It is also said that at the same time for the first time in Arabia, the diseases of typhoid and smallpox appeared, affecting the whole army. Abraha himself suffered from smallpox, and remained alive only until he reached Yemen and died there. This is the theme mentioned in Noble Qur’an, Chapter 105 ‘Feel’ (Elephant).
The tribe that Hazrat Muhammad (saw) came from was named “Quraish”. This tribe was one of the most influential tribes that governed Muslims centuries after Islam.
Hazrat Muhammad (saw) as Wonderful Baby (Eid-E-Milad un Nabi, Birth celebration)
Eid-E-Milad un Nabi, Birth celebrationHazrat Muhammad (saw) was born and his blessed birth gave rise to numerous wonderful incidents in the sky and on the earth, especially in the East, the cradle of civilization.
News of these events spread quickly and informed the people of an imminent, very significant incident. Since this newborn child was predestined to destroy the people’s old superstitious beliefs and customs and to lay new foundations for human progress and prosperity, from the very beginning he sounded the reveille.
It is narrated that on the day which our Hazrat Muhammad (saw) was born, the following incidents happened:
All the idols fell down.
The “Kasra Veranda” (a part of the palace of Iran’s King) shook and fourteen of its notches were damaged.
The “Saweh Lake” that people worshiped for years, dried up.
Water flowed in “Samaweh Desert”, where no one had seen water for many years.
The fire in the fire-temple of Persia was extinguished, which had been flaming for several years.
On that night, a light came out from “Hijaz” and spread to the east.
So the humiliated worshippers of that false, destructive object of worship, whose minds had been blocked by the obstacles of prejudice and false imitation and who thus could not reflect upon nature took notice of the truth and were attracted toward a totally different direction.
Hazrat Muhammad (saw) in the Storm of events
Hazrat Muhammad (saw) was just six years old when his mother, Hazrat Aminah bint Wahab, left Makkah for Medina to visit her relatives and probably to pay a respectful visit to her husband’s grave. He (saw) accompanied his mother on that trip. But after visiting her relatives and expressing love and loyalty to her husband at Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abd Al-Muttalib’s graveside, on her way back to Makkah, Hazrat Aminah bint Wahab passed away at a place named Abwa. Thus, Hazrat Muhammad (saw) had lost both his mother and father by that tender age when every child needs a father’s affections and a mother’s loving embrace.
A glimpse into Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) character [Mawlid al-Nabi, Mawlid an Nabi]
Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) characterJust as Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) birth and the events that followed his blessed birth were extraordinary and suggestive of his majesty and supreme character, so his behaviour and manner of speaking in childhood also made him different from other children. Hazrat Abd Al-Muttalib, the chief of the Quraish tribe, did not treat his grandson like other children, but held him in great respect and reverence.
Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib, Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) uncle, used to say, ‘We have never heard any lies from Muhammad, nor have we seen him misconduct himself or make mischief. He never laughs unduly nor speaks idly and he is mostly alone’.
Hazrat Muhammad (saw) was seven years old when the Jews remarked, ‘In our Books we have read that the Prophet of Islam refrains from eating any food which is religiously prohibited or doubtful. Let’s try him’.
So they stole a hen and sent it to Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib. Not knowing that the hen had been stolen, all ate from the cooked hen but Hazrat Muhammad (saw), who avoided even tasting it. When they asked the reason for this avoidance of the food, he (saw) answered, ‘this food is forbidden by Allah (SWT), and Allah (SWT) protects me against anything that He has forbidden.’
Then the Jews took a hen from a neighbour, intending to pay for it later on, and sent it to Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib’s house. Again he (saw) avoided eating the hen, saying, ‘this food is doubtful and …’
Then the Jews said, ‘This child has an extraordinary character and a supreme position’.
Some scenes from Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) childhood and youth
Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) childhood and youthHazrat Muhammad (saw) went through the difficulties of orphanhood in his childhood with the support of his high-spirited grandfather, Hazrat Abd Al-Muttalib, and his affectionate uncle, Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib.
When Hazrat Muhammad (saw) became eight years old, Hazrat Abd Al-Muttalib passed away as well. This incident made Hazrat Muhammad (saw) very sad.
After that Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib, the master of Quraish, accepted to look after him. Although Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib was not rich, he and his honorable wife Hazrat Fatima bint Asad [the mother of Hazrat Ali (as)], tried their best in looking after Hazrat Muhammad (saw).
It seems that the heart rendering pains of orphanhood must have severely tormented his pure delicate soul. It is logical to believe that these sufferings were necessary for the foundation of his supreme character and that such difficulties taught him how to resist the hardships of life and to bear the heavy responsibility later to be put on his blessed shoulders.
As time went on, Hazrat Muhammad (saw) grew up and his childhood gave place to youth, when instincts and potentials bloom. Hazrat Muhammad (saw) received affectionate care and attention from his uncle Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib, who, due to his moral attitudes and in obedience to his father’s emphatic order, protected and supported him. In fact, Hazrat Muhammad (saw) represented three things to Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib: a son, a reminder of his brother, Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abd Al-Muttalib, and of his father, Hazrat Abd Al-Muttalib. So Hazrat Muhammad (saw) became a beloved member of Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib’s family, lived in his house, and was treated as his own son. To Hazrat Muhammad (saw), Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib was an affectionate father, a loyal uncle, and a compassionate preceptor. These two – uncle and nephew – were so fond of each other that their lives seemed to be intertwined. This very intense affection had caused Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib to refuse to ever part from him.
Hazrat Muhammad’s (saw) presence in his uncle’s house was not ordinary. Signs of his greatness could be seen everywhere. His entrance to their house brought bountiful blessings to the house of Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib. Hazrat Fatima bint Asad has said, “From the moment that Hazrat Muhammad (saw) entered our home, the tree, which had dried up for years, prospered and offered fruits.”
Hazrat Abu Talib ibn Abd Al-Muttalib narrates that they would hear Hazrat Muhammad (saw) praying at nights. Though it was against the custom of Arabs to remember Allah (SWT) while eating, the little Hazrat Muhammad (saw) would not start eating or drinking unless reciting the name of Allah (SWT). He would also end his meal by thanking Allah (SWT), the exalted.
Why should one love Allah (SWT)?According to Islam, one (1) reason for loving God, as said before lies in the fact that God is the most precious, absolute perfection and eternal beauty, that a man can ever conceive and therefore, man out of his nature that aspires to values, beauty and perfection loves God.
The second (2) reason for loving God, men by nature love whoever does good to them, and they appreciate such favour and benevolence, as Imam Ali (as), said: “Generosity and magnanimity enslave men.”
Now, as God is the source of all being, of all generosity and benevolence, man, by virtue of his nature, loves God. Prophet Muhammad (saw), said: “Love Allah (SWT) because He has done good to you and He has bestowed favours upon you.”
A believer who has started his spiritual journey towards God first comes to recognize God’s blessings upon him in providing him with lots of supports and helps that enabled him to act. Having continued his journey and been equipped with a mystical view of the world, he will realize that every good thing, indeed, comes from God himself. We read in the Noble Qur’an: “Whatever benefit comes to you (O man!), it is from God, and whatever misfortune befalls you, it is from yourself”
Aside from the fact that one who loves God is loved by Him (5:54), a real love for God prompts one to perform the best of deeds. Reason and nature dictate that if someone really loves God, he would act in a manner that is pleasing to God. In this regard, the Noble Qur’an says:
Say: “If you love Allah, then follow me, and Allah will love you and forgive you your sins,” and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (Surah Al-E-Imran, 3:31)
This ayah indicates the interrelation between love, as an inner state, and emulating Prophet Muhammad (saw), which is an outward action. Moreover, it implies that no one may neglect his religious obligations under the pretext of love for God. Love for Prophet Muhammad (saw)
Article Source : www.ezsoftech.com
P.S.: I wish all of you, A Very Happy Eid , May God Bless you and fulfill all your wishes.
धर्म अधर्म के भेदो से न्यारे
अमर है गीता के बोल सारे
हे नाथ नारायण वासुदेव
श्री कृष्णा गोविंदा हरे मुरारे
हे नाथ नारायण वासुदेव