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Ratha Yatra

 

Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Ratha Yatra Festival

 


         9th Annual Ratha Yatra of the Hare Krishna Movement

   Chennai

 The Hare Krishna Movement Chennai is celebrating the 9th Annual Sri Krishna Balarama Ratha Yatra on Saturday, 23rd December, 2017. This year, the Ratha Yatra will begin at 4.30 pm from Beasant Nagar Beach and will end at Hare Krishna Movement Chennai,Thiruvanmiyur.  Devotees are requested to participate in large numbers and are encouraged to bring coconuts, flowers and other offerings for Sri Sri Krishna Balarama during the ratha procession.

 

Link for enrolling as avolunteer for rendering service for this grand festival of chariot: http://bit.do/RY17-Vol

 

 

Ratha Yatra is more than 5000 years old

After spending the first 16 years of His manifest pastimes on his earth in intimate loving exchanges with the residents of Vrindavana, especially the gopis, Krishna never returned to Vrindavana from Mathura and Dwaraka.  So, when the gopis came to know that Krishna along with Balarama and Subadhra were coming to Kurukshetra from Dwaraka on the occasion of the solar eclipse, They became anxious to meet him. When they met Krsna, surrounded by all his queens and associates in great opulence, they were not interested in the idea of going with Him to Dvaraka.  They wanted to take Him back to Vrndavana and enjoy His company.  This incident of the gopis inviting Krishna back to Vrindavana is the Ratha Yatra festival.

 

 

 

      Lord Chaitanya inaugurates the      sankirtana movement at the        Jagannatha Ratha Yatra in Puri

 The Ratha-yatra festival observed by Lord Caitanya in Jagannatha Puri around 500    years ago is the emotional process of taking Krsna back to Vrndavana. Being always  absorbed in the ecstasy of Srimati Radharani, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu felt  the same  separation from Krsna that Srimati Radharani felt when Krsna left  Vrndavana and  went  to Mathura. This ecstatic feeling is very helpful in attaining love of God in  separation. One can come to this stage by the chanting of the Hare Krishna  Mahamantra – Hare  Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare  Rama Rama Rama  Hare Hare – the yuga dharma for this Kaliyuga.  The congregational chanting of these holy names is known as sankirtan yagna.

 

  

Srila Prabhupada makes the Ratha Yatra a world-wide festival

  Following the footsteps of Lord Chaitanya, Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of the Hare Krishna movement – introduced this Ratha Yatra festival outside India for the first time in San Francisco in 1967. Today the Ratha Yatra festival is celebrated in almost every major city in the world and in some cities outside India, the Ratha Yatra is even observed as a public holiday.  

 

 

Why participate in the Ratha Yatra ? 

The Ratha Yatra festival is an integral part of the Hare Krishna movement which aims to acquaint all people of the world with Krishna consciousness - the universal principles of God-realization so that they may derive the highest benefits of spiritual understanding, unity and peace.  Krsna consciousness is not a sectarian faith but a science of spiritual values that is described in the ancient Vedic literature.  In the Brahmanda Purana it is said, "A person who sees the Lord's Ratha-yäträ car festival and then stands up to receive the Lord can purge all kinds of sinful results from his body."  Srila Prabhupada said, “If you participate in these car festivals, as it is stated in the scriptures, rathe ca vamanam drshtva punar janma na vidyate... If you kindly see these deities riding on these cars and in procession, and as Caitanya Mahaprabhu chanted the Hare Krsna mantra in front of this car, then according to our Vedic scripture, if you participate in this festival, in your next life you'll go back to home, back to Godhead.”

 

 The Ratha Yatra festival introduces a large numbers of people to the sublime process of Krishna consciousness in a spiritual atmosphere of soul stirring kirtans, ecstatic dancing and wonderful prasadam.  As Srila Prabhupada says about the Ratha Yatra festival “It is simply joyful. You haven’t got to pay anything. You simply come, chant Hare Krsna mantra, dance with us, and when you are tired we shall give you nice prasadam."  Who would want to miss it???

   

 Note about the Ratha (chariot)

The Hare Krishna Movement Chennai‘s Ratha or chariot is a fusion of modern technology and ancient tradition. In spite of its traditional looks, it has several unique features like air brakes, a steering wheel and a very good suspension. The canopy of this Ratha is another unique feature, which, with the help of an electric motor can be moved vertically up and down with the push of a button.  The height of this Ratha is about 26 ft. from the ground level when the canopy is fully lifted.

 

For further details on the Ratha Yatra festival, please contact 9789057103.