Right Consciousness for Ratha Yatra
There are only few days left for the Rath Yatra to be held on 10th-September at Yio Chu Kang Stadium and it’s important to get into a proper mood for this magnificent and most merciful festival of Jagannath Rath Yatra. A proper mood and knowing the significance of particular festival is required else we might approach such festivals as ordinary ritual and miss the most important essence of changing our lives by participating in such festivals.
The grand Ratha Yatra festivities relate to the event when Lord Krishna returned to Vrindavan from His opulent life in Dwaraka to meet His most loving devotees. It is a festival of the deepest, most profound spiritual feelings. It’s the day in Jagannath Puri as has been done for thousands and thousands of years, that Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra are carried upon enormous chariots and pulled by hundreds and thousands of pilgrims and devotees from Jagannath temple (Puri, Orrisa, India) to Gundicha. The Jagannath temple in this lila represents Krishna in Dwarakadhish, the Lord of Dwaraka, who was visiting Kurukshetra. And Gundicha represents Vrindavan. It is the day when the gopis and the gopas visit Krishna in Kurukshetra after many, many years of separation and they are begging Him, pleading with Him to come back to Vrindavan. And the mood of the feelings of bringing Him to Vrindavan is the substance of the rath yatra.
Similarly all of us participating in this Rath Yatra festival should sincerely pray to Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra with the mood of requesting Them to enter our hearts. This process is for cleansing the heart of all malice (Lust, Anger, Greed, False Attraction, Pride and Envy) and ignorance and subsequently to realize the relation of self and all others with God, to understand the real purpose of human life. This desire to invite the Lord into our heart can be fanned by simply chanting the ‘Hare Krishna Mahamantra’ which is prescribed as the best medicine for the people of Kali Yuga.
Also the Deities come out of the centre to shower their blessings to all categories of people who otherwise cannot enter centre for whatsoever reason. Anybody can hold the rope of the chariot with faith and pull the Lord to their heart. Hence the Lord in these Divine forms is considered most compassionate and benevolent and thus attracts all.