By Radha Shyamsundar das
2nd Historical Jagannatha Ratha Yatra held in Vrindavana Dham on 17th July,2016 organized by ISKCON Vrindavana Namhatta dept.
For photos please visit the link: https://picasaweb.google.com/111226734450367493875/6309416429985764241
It was torrents of rain continuously from last few day in Vrindavana which became very heavy on the day of the Ratha Yatra.
Lord Jagannatha tested our devotion and determination till the last minute. First a pandal, to be erected in the complex of Ashram Vihar, had to be cancelled due to objection by residents. Then another big party hall, which was booked for the inauguration programme, was cancelled by the owner on the evening of 16th July. Most of the devotees were thinking to cancel the event, but they went ahead and were compelled to arrange the programme in a medium size hall.
Who can understand and know the mercy and the desire of the Lord. Sri Sri Jagannatha , Subhdra and Baladeva were given spiritual welcome by showering flower at Ashram Bihar by 09.00 hours .Subsequently, chhappan bhog, 108 aarties were offered to Sri Sri Jagannatha , Subhdra and Baladeva .
There was big reception to the Leader of Four Sampradaya Sri Mahanta Mahamandaleswar 1008 Phuldol Maharaj (head of Catur Sampraday), Sri Mahanta Brahmacari ji Maharaja, Sri Mahanta Basudevji Maharaj, Sri Mahanta Prahallad das ji Maharaj, Sri Mahanta Ambika dasji Maharaja, Sri Mahanta Ladli Sharanji Maharaj, Sri Mahanta Hari Sankar dasji Maharaj (Head of Naga Sampraday)
And also Sriman Narayan Seth Agrawal owner of G. L. A university of Vrindavan who sponsored morning Prasadam, all hoardings, Banners, and cards for Ratha Yatra
Prominent Sadhus of Vrindavana and donors were accorded warm welcome and were offered pattas (traditional cloth which is a symbol of respect).They were also invited to address the gathering. Many of them delivered short speeches on Lord Jagannatha Ratha and they all glorified ISKCON for the wonderful work they are doing to educate people in devotional life. And they also criticized Sankaracarya who spoke against ISKCON in Ujjain Kumbhamela. All mahantas of four Sampradaya gave stern warning to Sankaracarya to take his words, against ISKCON, back otherwise action will be initiated against him.
From ISKCON HH Bhaktidhir Damodar Swami, HG Sanak Sanatan Prabhu, Many Brahmacaris and congrational devotees from Vrindavana, Delhi, Agra, UP, MP, Rajasthan and foreign devotees attended the Ratha Yatra.
Finally all of them performed combined Maha Aarti to Sri Sri Jagannatha , Subhdra and Baladeva.
At 13.30 hours, Sri Sri Jagannatha , Subhdra and Baladeva were seated on the Ratha and Yatra started at 14.30 hours. Lord Jagannatha, being merciful stopped the rains right at that time and thousands and thousands of devotees attended the Ratha Yatra procession and pulled the Ratha. It was looking like a sea of humanity.
On the way of Ratha Yatra, Lord Jagannatha was warmly welcomed in twenty one places by many societies, hotel owners, ashrams etc by offering Aratik and distributing different kinds of drinks and Prasadam
The yatra was being led by devotees holding a big banner and following that was eight feet high Srila Prabhupada’s picture on the four wheeler car followed by team of Shahnai players. It appeared as if Srila Prabhupada is the leader of the whole world and our Ratha procession is following him.
After that were Jhakis followed by four different Kirtan parties. They were performing Big Harinam Kirtan on the Vrindavan Street. Most of the devotees were dancing on the tune of Hare Krishna Mahamantra. Three vehicles distributed Prasadam and all the visitors were honoring and feeling very satisfied and glorifying ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada.
Our Ratha started from Ashram Bihar (Chatikara Road) then Prem Mandir, ISKCON, Phogla Ashram, Vidyapitha crossing, Atallachungi Parikrama Marg, Lalila Ashram and then reached ISKCON Krishna Hall by 6:30 Pm. Deities were then taken to Krishna Hall on Their Simhasana.
Around 7:30 Pm we started Pandal Pragaram @ Krishna Hall on the big stage. There were cultural programmes like classical dance, and stage play on Lord Jagannatha followed by performances by Namhatta Youth boys and Girls and congregation children and one Brajavasi team. It was very wonderful programs, every one became very very happy. The programme culminated at around 22.00 hrs.
We would like to thanks all the donors, devotees, VIPS, Congregational members, Visitors who helped making ISKCON’s 50th anniversary Ratha Yatra of Vrindavan Dham successful.
And our very special thanks goes to HG Balabhadra Prabhu of ISKCON Delhi who sponsored and prepared Prasadam by his team of devotees the big Bhandara Prasadam @ Krishna Hall. More than 2500 devotees took prasadam.
Under the guidance of Namhatta Department different kinds of programmes are being organized in and around 150 km area of Vrindavana
We are inviting all of you in advance for our upcoming Ratha Yatra festivals in Palwal, Hodel, Hatras and many more places. Our Ratha Yatra organizing team from ISKCON Vrindavan Namhatta, who pioneered this festival in Vrindavana, is very encouraged to organize festival in other places also. We need the blessings of all the Vaishnavas.
We will announce the date of upcoming Ratha Yatra in time.
Jai Jagannatha, Jai Baladev, Jai Subhadra and Jai Srila Prabhupada!
ISKCON 50th Anniversary Ratha Yatra in Vrindavan Dham ki Jay!!
Yours in the service of the Lord Krishna Balaram!