Rathe vaamanam drishtva! It is said, those who welcome the Lord Jagannath by seeing him or greeting him, he becomes free from all sins”
The festival of carts or Ratha Yatra is celebrated every year in Jagannath Puri, Odisha whereby the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna manifests his most merciful form for the degraded people of Kaliyuga. Rath Yatra is the chief attraction festival of Jagannath Puri whereby lakhs of devotees come to celebrate the Lord’s festival and get his blessings. It is celebrated every year in the month of Aashadha, the second day of bright fortnight on pushya nakshatra.
The three presiding deities, Sri Baladeva, Sri Subhadra and Sri Jagannath travel from the premises of Sri Mandir and travel to Gundicha Mandir located a few kilometers away at the sea shore, where the Lord made his appearance in the Satyuga of Swayambhu Manu, the first Manu of Lord Brahma’s day.
By Vedic calculations one can determine when the Jagannatha Temple was first built, when the Temple was inaugurated and when the Deities were installed (on their simhasana). According to the authority of Skanda Purana, this period is fifteen crores and thirty-four lakhs (more than 150 million) years ago. From this it is clear that Ratha-yatra began in the time of Svarochisa Manu, the second Manu from the day of Lord Brahma.
The deities of Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra were installed by Lord Brahma himself, who is a great devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. The Lordships have very strange form and this accounts to a wonderful story about why the lord has these forms.
When Lord Krishna was in Dwaraka, he kept on remembering his cowherd friends and the gopis of Vrindavan who had no other means of survival other than Krishna himself. Once the Lord became too anxious to hear about their well-being and went away with Balaram. Meanwhile, the 16,000 queens of Sri Krishna asked Mother Rohini, the mother of Balaram about the anxiety of Krishna. She told them about the Vrindavan past times of the lord and they all became very eager to hear them. But, Rohini devi was afraid, if Krishna hears these past times, he would run to Vrindavan immediately. So, she locked all the doors and windows and asked Krishna’s sister, Subhadra to stand at the door and don’t allow Krishna and Balaram to enter and she started narrating the incidents. Meanwhile, Krishna and Balaram came and asked Subhadra to allow them to enter. When she refused to do so, Krishna by his mystic power opened one of the windows to hear and as soon as he could hear and remember the past times, all three of them manifested the symptoms of eight fold ecstasy. Their hands shrunk, their eyes widened and legs melted. This is the form of Jagannath, Lord Krishna is feeling separation from his dear devotees. When the story was over, Narada Muni came to see the lord’s form but couldn’t see the same. He asked the lord about this peculiar form, to which Sri Krishna replied that this form is especially meant for people of Kaliyuga whereby they can easily attain the supreme perfection of spiritual life.
Thefestival started to mark the pulling of Krishna’s chariot by the Brajwasis from Kurukshetra to take him back to Vrindavan. They let go the horses and themselves pulled the rope of the chariot. The chariots are made from wood without using any iron nail to join pieces together. Three magnificent chariots are prepared which take the lord from Sri Mandir to Gundicha Mandir, where the deity of the lord was prepared i.e. the place where lord appeared. The lord stays there for about a week and then returns back to the temple again. A day before the Rath yatra, the gundicha temple is thoroughly cleaned and washed, which was initiated by Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. People come in huge numbers, just to pull the carts.
Simply by pulling the carts and dancing before the lord makes the person free from all the sinful reactions and makes them very joyful. Lord, being most merciful personally comes out to see his devotees and the people of the world so as to shower his unprecedented mercy on them.
Here is some of the information about the Rathas of the Lordship
- Sri Jagannath
Name of Ratha: Nandi Ghosh Ratha
No. of wheels: 16
- Sri Baladeva
Name of Ratha: Taal Dhvaja Ratha
No. of wheels: 14
- Sri Subhadra
Name of Ratha: Dev Dalan Ratha
No. of wheels: 12
The holy shrine of Badrinath is located in Garhwal, along the banks of the legendary Alaknanda River on the mighty Himalayas located at 10,279 ft above the mean sea level. The Nar Parbat Mountain is located opposite to the temple, while the Narayana Parbat is located behind the Neelakanta Peak.
In the main shrine is the 1 m Shaligram (black stone) image of Badrinarayan, which is housed in a gold canopy under a Badri Tree also made of gold. The image is said to hold a Shankha (conch) and a Chakra (wheel) in two of its arms in a lifted posture (which I could not figure out in my many visits) and two arms are rested on its lap in a Yogamudra (Padmasana) posture which I clearly saw. Legend has it, that Badrinath ji is swambhu.
The Tapt Kund, a group of hot sulphur springs just below the temple, are considered to be of medicinal value and many pilgrims bathe in the springs before visiting the temple and praying before the Lord. (Neela bathed here every year we visited). The springs have a year-round temperature of 55 °C (131 °F).
There is no historical record about the temple, but there is a mention of the presiding deity Badrinath in Vedic scriptures, (ca.1750–500 BCE). As per some accounts, the temple was a Buddhist shrine till the 8th century and Adi Shankara converted it to a Hindu temple. A traditional story asserts that Shankara expelled all the Buddhists in the region with the help of the Parmar ruler king Kanak Pal. The architecture of the temple resembles that of a Buddhist Vihara (temple) and the brightly painted facade is typical of Buddhist temples. As per other accounts, it was originally established as a pilgrimage site by Adi Shankaracharya in the 9th century. Hindu followers assert that he discovered the image of Badrinath Ji in the Alaknanda River and initially enshrined it in a cave near the Tapt Kund hot springs.
The Holy Shrine of Badrinath Ji opens on Akhaya Tritiya (early May) and is closed on Diwali, when the Lord’s abode is shifted to Josthimath.
Contributed By: Amitava Mukherjee
Moon, the symbol of purity, tranquility and calmness is considered highly reverend. Celebrating the appearance of moon after Amavasya (New moon day) and adoring it is referred as Chandra Darshan. Devotees fast for the entire day and usually break their fast after viewing the moon.
- On this day the Moon holds special significance as it is difficult to spot it, being in the same horizon as Sun.
- The God of Moon is considered highly important as per Vedic astrology; and is also worshipped because of its fluctuating trait.
- Moon is a symbol of femininity, happiness, beauty, memory and wisdom; true signs to be worshipped.
- Chandra Darshan is also attached with the attainment of salvation and attaining blessings for self and family.
- All our senses are controlled by the mind and the mind is ruled by the moon. Thus adoring the moon keeps the mind and senses in control.
- Worshipping the moon cures the problem of weak eyesight and brings a glow on the face.
This year the Bhadrapada Maas Chandra Darshan falls on the 14th of September, so remember to see it 🙂
Every individual composed of mind, body and soul have specific identity but all are existent in this One cosmic energy. This omnipresent and omnipotent Universe is eternal and everybody is a part of it. As we blossom in this Universe and grow up within it, we get detached from our sole source and get deviated from our motive. So Navaratri is the period when certain changes are prevalent around us in the nature and environment. Similar alterations can be done within us during this period. It is the most active period when the shaktis of Goddess and Gods are increased and worshipping them can transform your being, both within and around you.
- While chanting mantras and reading the Vedic scripture, the soul is tranquilised and entire humanity is benefited.
- The energy produced during adoring the deities transforms the waves around us and spreads benevolence.
- The devilish or ‘asur shaktis’ can be terminated by realizing the illusion of material world and getting rid of its effects.
Apart from spiritual awakening and divine knowledge, praising Ma Durga during these nine nights and days also solves your worldly issues.
- Concentration level increases and comes back to the stable situation, which increases efficiency in any work.
- Wisdom and knowledge are imparted which takes away education related problems.
- Personal relations among family get stronger by getting involved in the righteous work collectively.
- Childless couples are showered with a baby and pregnancy related issues are solved.
- Disputes related to property and delayed court cases get resolved.
- The malefic effects of planets are removed from one’s life and birth chart.
- Unmarried people facing delay in marriages find the perfect life partner and lead a blissful life ahead.
- Acute diseases and occurrence of minute health problems will be resolved and cured.
- Fear from certain objects and being or disturbed sleep at night will be solved.
- Financial debts or wealth related problems will come to an end along with materialistic growth.
For receiving immense blessing of Ma Durga this Navratri, book your puja package now-
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
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