Rath Yatra

Rath Yatra

It is believed that the Jagannath Rath Yatra is the oldest Rath Yatra and the largest Chariot Procession in the world. It marks the procession of Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Baldeva and younger sister Subhadra from their home to the ‘Gundecha Temple’, their aunt’s home.

Confined to the temple throughout the year, the abhisheka and the grand procession allows Jagannātha, Baladeva, and Subhadra the rare chance to leave their altar to be more widely viewed and glorified by the public. Instead of having to travel to the temple to attain a glimpse of their forms, the deities come out, specifically to make themselves more accessible to the public. This shows Lord Jagannath’s compassion for His devotees which is unmatched.

Srila Prabhupada, once said taking part in this festival means taking a step forward in the path of self-realization.
‘Rathe ca vamanam dhrstva punar janma na vidyate’ which means ‘Just a glimpse of the Lord on the chariot, helps one to make advancement in spiritual life and stop the repetition of the cycle of birth and death.’
At Gopal’s Garden High School, the Pre-Primary section celebrated this festival on Friday, 1st July 2022 and the Main school celebrated it on Saturday, 2nd July 2022.

Pre- Primary celebrations included offering of the bhoga to the Lord brought by the tiny-tots, a story of Lord Jagannath by the chief guest who was an ex-student of the school and aarti followed by pulling of the rath amidst dancing and kirtan in the praise of the Lord. Last but not the least; the children were served prasadam arranged by the school.

The main school also celebrated the festival with great fervor. The aarti was performed and the Lord was offered 56 bhogas – chhappan bhog, which was arranged for by the students and the entire staff with love and devotion. A short drama was performed by students to show how young Abhay (Srila Prabhupada) organized the Rath Yatra along with his friends. A dance performance was also presented by students. Then the chief guest gave a talk which was followed by the aarti and the Rath was pulled with the deities of Lord Jagannath, Baladev and goddess Subhadra by the students and all the staff members amid the kirtan which kept everyone involved in the magnificient procession as it gave the feeling of bliss and being blessed by the deities.

An amazingly spiritual atmosphere of gratitude to the Lord was created. It was an intriguing sight and a joyful experience. In line with the tradition the Lordships visited each and every classroom and blessed everyone present in the school premises. Later all were blessed with the prasadam and the maha bhoga arranged by the school authorities. We all returned enchanted by the Lord’s love.
Reported by
Sangeeta Rajani
Primary Teacher