Jammu, May 2: Thousands of devotees participated in the 8th Annual Shree Jagannath Rath Yatra, which was taken out today in the City of Temples by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).
The Rath Yatra started with magnanimous welcome of Shree Shree Jagannath , Baldev and Subhadra Devi. H.H. Navayogendra Swami Mahraj performed the Aarti of the Lords.
While speaking, Swami Ji said that the Lord Jagannath is so merciful that he himself comes out of the temple for those who do not come to the temple. He added that his brother Baldev and sister Subhadra accompanied the Lord and a beautiful chariot was made for the Lord.
The Rath Yatra commenced from City Palace, Kachi Chawni and after passing through Parade, Shalamar, Kanak Mandi, Rajinder Bazaar, Shahedi Chowk, Raghunath Mandir, Indra Chowk, Gumat, Vinayak Bazaar, Dogra Chowk, Jewel, Canal Head, Guest House, Gole Pully, Bohri culminate at Kashmiri Hills, Bohri.
The Maha Aarti Utsav was held yesterday at Jambu Lochan Community Hall, Karan Nagar, Amphalla from 5 pm onwards till mid night.
Highlighting the importance of the Rath Yatra, Swami ji said that the Rath Yatra festival of chariots originates in Puri, Orissa and it is the oldest known festival and has been celebrated for over thousands of years.
“To give benefit to the people of the world, the founder Acharya of ISKCON, A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada introduced the RathYatra festival throughout the globe”, he maintained.
The City of Temples was over flooded by the constant chanting of the holy names of the Lord “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare” which was followed by a number of jhankis.
Some artistic devotees were simultaneously making rangolis at equal distances on the Rath Yatra Path for the pleasure of their Lordships. These rangolis exhibited their love for the Lord. While the Rath passed through the roads many shopkeepers and residents served the devotees with juices, fruits and various types of foodstuffs. And the devotees with gratitude honoured their loving offerings.
Then the Rath reached Kashmir Hills Resort at around 7 pm in the evening, where there was enchanting kirtan satsang followed by dinner prasadam for all the devotees.
All the esteemed members of Shree Jagannath Rath Yatra Committee were present in this grand festival of chariots along with all the devotees.
Among others present were Vikram Malhotra, President Rath Yatra Committee, Nitai Das Manager ISKCON Jammu, Rajan Bhan, General Secretary Rath Yatra Committee, Abhay Krishna Das, President Swagat Committee, Rajinder Manhas, Special Supporter of Rath Yatra, Kunti Devi Dasi, President ISKCON Udhampur, Sudershan Das President ISKCON Kashmir, Sanjay Vyas Das, etc.