Showing posts with label Puri. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puri. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is A Rath Yatra?


Rath Yatra is a Hindu pilgrimage.

On the second day of the brilliant (waxing) half of the lunar month of Ashadh (June–July), the festival takes place.

Jagannath, a version of the god Krishna, is the main deity worshipped at this festival.

This festival is celebrated across India, but particularly at Puri, where the main temple of Jagannath is located.

Jagannath, his brother Balabhadra, and his sister Subhadra are taken in procession from Puri's main street to another temple approximately a mile distant during the festival.

They spend a week at this adjacent shrine before returning to the Jagannath temple.

Devotees (bhakta) process the deities in three gigantic wooden chariots (rath), which the devotees pull with long ropes.

The tallest of the three, Jagannath's, is forty-five feet tall, thirty-five feet wide, and rolls on sixteen seven-foot-high wheels.

The English term "juggernaut" is a corruption of Jagannath, and the idea of a juggernaut as an unstoppable force comes from the velocity that these carts gained once they started moving.

One of the most popular legends in British colonial history has Jagannath's enraged disciples committing suicide by putting themselves beneath the car's wheels in order to die in front of God.

Despite the fact that such stories were widely circulated, suicides of this kind were exceedingly rare.

Even still, pushing the carts posed a danger, since those who lost their footing in the throng would be unable to stand up and may be crushed by the wheels.

T. N. Madan (ed. ), Religion in India, 1991, is a good source of knowledge.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - When Is Purushottama Observed? Who IS Revered As Purushottama?


When the intercalary month falls within the lunar month of Ashadh, it is observed as a religious observance.

The intercalary month is a lunar month that is placed into the calendar every thirty months or so to keep the solar and lunar calendars in sync.

It starts after any "normal" lunar month in which the sun has not yet shifted into the next zodiac sign, and adopts the name of the previous month.

The intercalary month is regarded unlucky since it has an atypical phenomenon, and the most popular vernacular word for it is malamasa, which means "impure month." When the additional month happens in the lunar month of Ashadh, however, worshippers of the deity Vishnu (bhakta) see it as an extremely sacred period devoted to Vishnu in his avatar as Purushottama ("best of men"), and treat it as such.

This month, Vaishnavas study holy scriptures, sing Vishnu's glorious names, and engage in various forms of devotion.

The month of Ashadh, as well as its intercalary month, are particularly significant for the Jagannath temple in Puri, whose presiding god, Jagannath, is regarded a form of Krishna, and hence a manifestation of Vishnu.

Every year, the Rath Yatra event is held in Puri during the month of Ashadh, and in years when the intercalary month occurs in Ashadh, fresh representations of Jagannath and his siblings are produced.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.