Indian culture, Global Warming and the Climate Emergency INVITATION to join us THIS SUNDAY for the 130th weekly ICC ZOOM Public Meeting.
This ancient chariot festival is considered to be one of the world’s most incredible spectacles.
The focus of RathaYatra [Chariot Festival] is the procession of three Hindu deities being transported on three wooden chariots. The three smiling figures of Lord Jagannatha, his brother, Lord Balarama, and sister, Subhadra, are drawn on these magnificently decorated huge chariots. Lord Jagannath, Lord of the Universe, particularly, is taken out of his sanctum sanctorum to give darshan [blessings] to all those who witness him in the parade. The chariot containing Lord Jagannath has resulted in the English word “juggernaut” which refers to an unstoppable force. The actual construction of the chariots begins two months before the parade.
These murtis [sacred murtis] are carved from wooden stumps which is uncommon in Hindu sculpture. Almost all Hindu statues are made up of clay, metal or stone. The icon of Jagannath has large round eyes and no legs.
Participants take the delight in re-enacting the pastime of Lord Krishna 5,000 years ago in India. Legend has it that Ratha Yatra originated from the pastime between Lord Krishna and his consort, Radha. She had asked him to return to Vrindavana and even tried to pull his chariot to her home. Ratha Yatra procession symbolizes Lord Krishna’s return on a hand-drawn chariot.