Ratha Yatra Mercy in Burma and Australia
BY: MURLI KRSNA DAS
Jul 24, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (SUN)
Ratha Yatra Festival 2008 - Liverpool, Sydney
Please enjoy the following pictures of the Ratha Yatra we had in Liverpool, Sydney, along with the collection of images on our website.
This year we were very fortunate that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who reintroduced the Ratha Yatra festival to the followers of his Gaudiya Math, and Sri Ganesh Ji were personally present to celebrate the Ratha Yatra Festival. If we are fortunate enough and can keep Their mercy with us, then next year we may have more great personalities to witness the Festival.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ratha Yatra is mentioned in the Sri Premadhama Deva Stottram:
prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram
priyah so'yam krsnah sahacari kuru-ksetra-militas
Surrounded by innumerable devotees, Lord Gaurasundara displayed His divine and wonderful dancing figure in front of the Rathayatra cart while performing congregational chanting of the Lord's holy names. The Lord's personality totally charmed the hearts of Prataparudra Maharaja, the assembled pilgrims, and all the other dear friends of the King. The Lord also revealed the inner purport of Lord Jagannatha's pastime of riding the cart to the Gundica temple when He mentioned the verse by Srila Rupa Gosvami:
tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama sukham
tathapy antah khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse
mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati
"O My dear friend, now I am at last reunited with My most beloved Krsna in Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and He is the same Krsna. We are enjoying Our meeting, but still I wish to return to the banks of the Kalindi, where I could hear the sweet melody of His flute sounding the fifth note beneath the trees of the Vrndavana forest." I fall at the feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Golden Volcano of Divine Love. (B.R Sridhar Dev)
It is also beautifully described in Caitanya Caritamrita, Madhya Lila Chapter 13 by Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami
sata thanyi bule prabhu 'hari' 'hari' bali', 'jaya jagannatha', balena hasta-yuga tuli'
ei-mata haila krishnera rathe arohana , tara age prabhu nacaila bhakta-gana
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wandered through all seven groups chanting the holy name, "Hari, Hari!" Raising His arms, He shouted, "All glories to Lord Jagannatha!"
age suna jagannathera gunòica-gamana , tara age prabhu yaiche karila nartana
Thus Lord Jagannatha mounted His car, and Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu inspired all His devotees to dance in front of it.
ei-mata kirtana prabhu karila kata-ksana, apana-udyoge nacaila bhakta-gana
Now please hear about Lord Jagannatha's going to the Gundica temple while Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu danced before the Ratha car.
apani nacite yabe prabhura mana haila, sata sampradaya tabe ekatra karila
The Lord performed kirtana for some time and, through His own endeavor, inspired all the devotees to dance.
When the Lord Himself wanted to dance, all seven groups combined together.
One may ask what is the connection between Ganesh and Ratha Yatra? The Srimad Bhagavatam, Chaitanya Mangala and A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada give the answer why Sri Ganesh was there in Ratha Yatra.
nandam sunandam garudam, pracandam candam eva ca
mahabalam balam caiva, kumudam kamudeksanam
One should worship the Lord's associates Nanda and Sunanda, Garuda, Pracanda and Canda, Mahabala and Bala, and Kumuda and Kumudeksana.
durgam vinayakam vyasam, visvaksenam gurun suran
sve sve sthane tv abhimukhan, pujayet proksanadibhih
With offerings such as proksana one should worship Durga, Vinayaka (Ganesha), Vyasa, Visvaksena, the spiritual masters and the various demigods. All these personalities should be in their proper places facing the Deity of the Lord.
A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada also explains about the Lord and his associates..
So Krishna explains in the Bhagavad-gita: aham sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarvam pravartate [Bg. 10.8]. So Narayana... In the Vedic mantra also, the same thing: eko narayana asit. In the beginning, Narayana was there. So Narayana is not alone. When you say the king is coming, it does not mean that king is coming alone. King is coming with his ministers, with his secretaries, with his military forces, bodyguards, many thousands. Similarly, when we speak eko narayana asit, narayana parah avyaktat, it does not mean that Narayana is alone. Narayana is always... If a king can be surrounded by so many officers and ministers, and Narayana is the supreme king, so how He is surrounded by paraphernalia we can just think over… "
(A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 07/06/1976 SB.LA)
Just like Krishna. Krishna is not alone. Krishna is always with His friends, either gopis or the cowherd boys, or with His father, with His mother. You'll never find Krishna alone. Just like here is Krishna. Krishna is not alone. Krishna is with His Radharani and with His devotees. Just like a king. When we say that "The king is coming here," or "The president is coming here," so it means that president is not coming alone, but he's coming with his secretaries, with his ministers, with so many others. In England, the Queen has bodyguards…
(A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada 13/11/1974 SB.BOM)
We can also find the following excerpts in Chaitanya Mangala by Srila Locana Das Thakur..
I pray to Sri Vighnanasana, Lord Ganesa, who has the body of a huge elephant with one tusk. He brings success in all endeavors. All glories to Lord Ganesa, the son of Parvati Devi.
With folded hands, I pray to Lord Siva and Parvati. Let us all fall at their feet, offering our respects. Lord Vishnu is the only master of the three worlds. Lord Siva and Parvati can award anyone the boon of Vishnu-bhakti.
I pray that Goddess Sarasvati will play on my lips so that they will glorify Gaurahari, who is as yet unknown in the three worlds. May the wonderful topics of the golden-hued Lord of Sarasvati flow from my mouth.
(Chaitanya Mangala, Chapter 1,Sutrakhanda)
We would like to thank to Ajay Krishna Prabhu(Sripada) and Anandamayo Prabhu (TKG) for their hard work with Navadwip Prabhu, Navin Krishna Prabhu and father, Prabhu Ron, Prabhu James, Prabhu Karan, Amritasya Prabhu and GhanaShyam Prabhu.
We also thank to Govardhan Prabhu, Mahavir Arya, Rajen Harak and others for working with supportive communities.
And we heartedly thank to Liverpool Council, Helensburgh Temple, Sanatan Dharma Sabha, Sri Caitanya Saraswat Math, ISKCON North Sydney and all those who participated and supportive to the festival.
Our prayers to the Lord will be there to see you again on 27/06/2009.
Ratha Yatra Festival in Burma
We are happy to share these pictures of Ratha Yatra festival in Burma. The chariot and Deities are over one hundreds years old, and by the mercy of the Lord, the service of the Lord and Ratha Yatra festival are still going on.
There are about eight similar chariots and about ten yatras taking place every year, from the first day to the last day of the ten days of Ratha Yatra festival. If you carefully look at the pictures you can find that whoever is pulling the chariot, even the children, are all barefoot.
On behalf of
Committee for Communnity Ratha Yatra Liverpool
Murli Krsna Das
Srila Sripada Website