Friday, March 29th, 2019
A pure devotee is an incarnation of the Lord’s compassion, always desiring to bestow causeless mercy upon all the living entities of the world and endeavoring to bless them with the highest form of love of Godhead, without taking into consideration the qualification of the person. Srila Prabhupad, the founder Acharya of the International Society of Krishna Conciousness, desiring to deliver the entire universe from the clutches of the material nature, preached and propagated the doctrine of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the Western World. After having inspired many to take to the sublime process of Krishna Consciousness, he further freely distributed his unlimited mercy by introducing the Ratha Yatra festival all over the World, in order to create sukriti for all the general populace by taking Jagannath out of the temple and on the streets so that one and all can be benefitted by having his divine darshan and hearing the holy names of the Lord.
Following his mood and his mission, today, regular Ratha Yatra festivals are held in every town and village throughout the world. On the 28th of March, one such grand Ratha Yatra festival was organized in the City of Mathura, in which Lord Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra devi, from the Iskcon Jagannath Temple in Vrindavan, went to Mathura to give darshan to all the residents of Mathura. Seated on a beautiful chariot, after being offered an Arati at the starting point of the procession at Mukunda Vihar, they were lovingly pulled by the devotees, commemorating the pastime of the Lord going from Dwarka to Vrindavan. Srila Prabhupad states that the significance of the festival is that we are inviting Krishna to please come and take up residence in our hearts, and with this desire in the heart, the devotees enthusiastically sing the holy names of the lord while participating in the festival. However, in order to prepare our hearts for receiving the Lord, we must first cleanse them of all unwanted offences, and symbolizing this the road is swept in front of the chariot by different devotees. Preceded by Gaura Nitai on a chariot in front, Lord Jagannath, along with his elder brother Balabhadra and sister devi Subhadra, made his way through the streets of Mathura, casting his merciful glance upon all while traversing through the city. The mood of the occasion was heightened by the presence of senior devotees such as H.H. Gopal Krishna Maharaj, H.G. Panchagauda prabhu, temple president of Iskcon Vrindavan, and H.G. Janardan Maharaj. Accompanied by enthusiastic Kirtan, the Ratha went from Mukunda Vihar to Holi gate, where the Ratha Yatra culminated, having inspired and enlivened many in its wake. All Glories to the transcendental Ratha Yatra Pastime of Lord Jagannath, and may he always keep us engaged in his service so that more such festivals can be organized for his pleasure and for spreading his transcendental glories.