About the Holy Rath Yatra of Puri, 4 July 2019
What is meant by Rath Yatra?
The Sanskrit words Rath and Yatra mean chariot and travel-journey-pilgrimage, respectively. The holy Rath Yatra is a sacred event, spiritual-devout activity or festival in Hinduism. Rath Yatra is also referred to as the Festival of Chariots. Most Rath Yatras are in dedication to Lord Vishnu, one of the top three deities, called Trinity, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. Rath Yatra or processions are also held for Lord Shiva, Lord Krishna, Surya Dev etc. Among other purposes, the participation in Rath Yatras is considered very auspicious in receiving the blessings of deities.
Why the Rath Yatra of Puri is famous and popular?
Historically, Puri is one of the 4 Dhams, the 4 most religious places for Hindus, along with Dwarka, Rameshwaram, Badrinath. Puri is famous for its Lord Jagannath Temple. Lord Jagannath is regarded as an avatar of the supreme deity Lord Vishnu. Puri is also called the temple town.
When is the Rath Yatra of Puri?
The date of the Rath Yatra of Puri can vary every Gregorian calendar year. The date of the Rath Yatra of Puri is determined according to the Hindu lunar calendar. The date of the Rath Yatra of Puri falls on Dwitiya, the 2nd day, of the Shukla Paksha moon phase, in the Hindu calendar month of Ashadha. Shukla Paksha is the rising-waxing phase of the moon in the lunar month’s fortnight. It is simply called Ashadha Shukla Dwitya. This always falls and corresponds to the Gregorian June-end or July beginning period. The Rath Yatra of Puri will be held on the 4th of July, Thursday, in 2019.
What is the purpose of the Rath Yatra of Puri?
The Rath Yatra of Puri is observed in dedication to Lord Jagannath. Lord Jagannath is regarded as one of the avatars-incarnations of Lord Vishnu. The attending of the Rath Yatra by participants, devotees, pilgrims etc is considered highly auspicious and brings the grace and blessings of the deity.
How is a Rath Yatra observed?
Large chariots are decorated, mostly very colorful. The pilgrims, participants etc often dress up in traditional dresses. Many devotees-pilgrims get prepared to walk a long distance in a form of procession. The large Rath hariot is drawn by hundreds and thousands of participants-devotees.
How many pilgrims, devotees or people participate in the Rath Yatra?
Every year, approximately 10 lac or a million pilgrims-devotees participate in the Rath Yatra. Though there are participants from across India, but most are from Orissa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh etc. It is also an attraction for global travelers.
A Mantra for Lord Vishnu is -
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
Date Published : 01 Jul 2019