Significance, History and Importance of Rath Yatra Celebration

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Rath Yatra Celebration: Probably all of you know about the Rath Yatra, but very few people know why the Rath Yatra is celebrated. Rath Yatra is a very important festival celebrated in India. But there is some major difference between the other festivals and Rath Yatra, because Rath Yatra is not a festival that is celebrated by worshiping or fasting in homes or temples. This festival is celebrated by gathering outside. Rath Yatra (chariot) is carried out in this festival. Rath Yatras are carried out in two cities in the country.

There is a great temple of Lord Jagannath in the coastal area of Orissa state, this city is mainly known as Puri. Every year a grand Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is taken out in Puri. The Jagannath temple of Puri is considered as one of the Char Dham of India. Although the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is carried out in Ahmedabad also, the Rath Yatra of Puri is more famous. So today I thought why should you all be provided with the complete information about the Rath Yatra, including what is the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra , why is the Rath Yatra celebrated and how is it celebrated?  Let’s start without delay.

What is Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra is a Hindu festival which is celebrated every year. This religious festival is considered fairly different from the other Hindu festivals, because the other Hindu festivals are mainly celebrated by fasting or worshiping in temples or at homes. But this festival is unique to them because everybody comes together and celebrates this festival. This festival is celebrated for ten days. It is celebrated by bringing out the Rath Yatra in the Puri city.

Rath Yatra Celebration

The pious city Puri is located in Orissa state in India, which is also known by the names of conch region, Purushottam Kshetra, Jagannath Puri, etc. Many people think that the main god is Lord Jagannath and Puri is thought to be the main Leela land of Lord Jagannath. Rath Yatra festival is considered the night journey of Lord Jagannath. This festival is celebrated with great pomp and show. Millions of devotees come from outside or abroad to avail the blessings of Rath Yatra.

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When is the Rath Yatra celebrated?

The rath yatra starts in Puri on the day second of Ashadh Shukla . This rath yatra lasts for 10 days. It is assumed that Lord Jagannath lives among people from the second day of Ashada Shukla to Dashami. The festival of Rath Yatra has been continuously celebrated for hundreds of years. Every year millions of devotees arrive to take part in the Rath Yatra festival. The number of devotees joining in the Rath Yatra is increasing year after year. The preparation of Rath Yatra is started every year from Basant Panchami.

Lord Jagannathji is viewed as the form of a couple idol of Lord Krishna and Radha . For the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannathji, a chariot is prepared from selected Neem trees. Fresh and auspicious trees are identified for the wood of the chariot, in which the nails etc. are not stopped and no metal is used in the making of the chariot.

Why Rath Yatra is celebrated

The festival of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra is celebrated every year. There are some assumptions behind celebrating this festival. One of the well-known beliefs is that Lord Jagannath’s sister Subhadra showed interest to visit Dwarka to see Lord Jagannathji, due to which Lord made a proper arrangement for Subhadra to travel on a chariot to see Lord Jagannathji since then Jagannath Yatra is carried out every year on this day.

Three chariots are constructed for the chariot journey of Lord Jagannath. At the forefront of the chariot journey is the chariot of Sri Krishna’s elder brother Balaram. It has 14 wheels and is called Taladhwaja. The second chariot is of 16-wheeled Sri Krishna known as Garunadhwaja or  Nandighosh. Third chariot has 12 wheels and is called Padmarathor Darpadalan. This third chariot is Sri Krishna’s sister Subhadra. The three chariots are distinguished by their color and length.

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Story of chariot journey

There is an old known story behind Rath Yatra is that Lord Jagannath was born on the day of Jyestha Purnima. On that day Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balarama and sister Subhadra are taken off the Ratnasinhasan and taken to the bathing pavilion near the temple of Lord Jagannath. Then he has a great royal bath with 108 Kalas , which makes Lord Jagannath sick and he gets a fever. After this, He is kept in a specific place that is called Osar Ghar.

After 15 days of a long stay, Lord Jagannath comes out of this place healthy and gives darshan to the devotees. This is also called Navyavan Eye Festival. Moving ahead on the second day of Ashadh Shukla, Lord Jagannath , his elder brother Balaram and sister Subhadra ride in a chariot and go for the tour of the city.

How is the Rath Yatra celebrated?

Three chariots are made for the chariot journey of Lord Jagannath . When these chariots are ready, then ‘Chhar Pahanra’ ceremony is performed. By worshiping these three chariots, a golden used to clean the chariot and clear the way of the chariot.  The rath yatra starts on the second date of Ashada Shukla Paksha. This yatra is carried out with drums and the devotees pull the chariot and receive the blessings of the lord.

The Rath Yatra starts from the Jagannath Temple and carried out through the city of Puri and finally reaches the Gundicha Temple. On the 10th day, the chariot again returns back to the temple. The temple gates are opened on the 11th day. On this day, the devotees take a holy bath to see God.

Importance of Rath Yatra

The existing temple at Puri is more than 800 years old and is supposed to be one of the four holy shrines. It is said that the devotees who get the privilege of pulling the chariot of Rath Yatra are believed to be very fortunate. According to the mythological theory, the person pulling the chariot gets ultimate salvation.

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Many also believe that on this day Lord Jagannath himself tours the city and comes among the people and participates in their happiness and sorrow. It is also believed that the devotees who take part in the Rath Yatra and worship God and roll themselves in the dust of the road and mud etc. get the best abode of Shri Vishnu.

The most significant thing is that nobody worships in the temple and house on this day of Rath Yatra and collectively celebrate this festival and no discrimination is seen here in it.

Why Rath Yatra is celebrated?

I believe that you must have enjoyed reading this article on why Rath Yatra is celebrated. It has always been my endeavor that the readers should be given complete information about what the Rath Yatra is, so that they don’t have to google for any other sites in the context of this article.

This will also save your time because you get all the information at one place. If you have any query about this article or you want that there should be some improvement in it, then please write your comments below/

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