Ratha Yatra Ireland - Dublin 2014 - thanks to you, our best ever!
by Sanjeeb Barik
Hare Krishna dear Devotees and Friends,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada who gave us this beautiful Ratha Yatra festival gift to celebrate… by the mercy of Lord Jagannatha, the Ratha Yatra 2014 festival has come and gone! HUGE thanks to all the volunteers who come out from early morning to evening and made this event a grand success!!
On Saturday 06 September, early in the morning volunteers started setting up cart with fresh flowers garlands in Parnell Square and tent frames were all assembled in St.Stephen Green Park. All three deities looked beautiful and stunning and amazing to see all the beautiful, happy, and COLORFUL faces enjoying the many wonderful aspects for the festival!! The devotees were chanting enthusiastically while running, spinning and jumping stupendously and the mridangas were beating hard.
This year we had huge crowds gathering but by Krishna's causeless mercy and all the devotees hard work, we finished the parade and setting everything up on time in St. Stephen Green Park.
At around 01:50pm the parade ended at St. Stephen's Green Park where beautiful tents filled with exhilarating exhibits were setup. Around the festival site hundreds of people were reading Festival of India’s exhibits presenting the deep and rich science of Krishna consciousness, as Srila Prabhupada has left for all of us in his transcendental books.
There were booths selling Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental books; a “Questions and Answers” booth, a “Henna and Face Painting” booth and a “Childrens' Theater” booth. There were two booths serving very opulent prasadam, rice, curd subji, halava, and puris! And OSI volunteers serving free Green Teas to all the devotees. On the main stage devotees chanted the Holy Names of the Lord: Hare Krishna, in ecstatic kirtan, classical Indian dances and drama depicting Lord Krishna's lilas by various child artists.
At around 6:00 pm the festival started winding down. All glories to the Devotees at ISKCON Dublin for putting on such a wonderful festival and also for inviting Festival Of India and each year it just keeps getting better and better!
Ratha Yatra Worldwide
Since Srila Prabhupada organised the first Ratha Yatra in the Western world in 1967 in San Francisco, the festival has been celebrated yearly in all corners of the world.
Significance and Benefits of Ratha Yatra
Lord Jagannatha Ratha Yatra or “Festival of Chariots” is a timeless festival, originating in the ancient city of Jagannatha Puri in India! 500 years ago, the festival became the center of the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, who is Krishna Himself appearing in the guise of a great devotee. Each year Lord Caitanya danced and chanted in the Ratha Yatra festival along with His associates and he was in the same mood of separation as Srimati Radharani. So this Ratha Yatra festival is a festival of feelings. It is very nice and anyone who is participating in this festival will gradually develop his dormant love for Krishna.
The Vedic scriptures state that anyone who sees Lord Jagannatha or pulls His chariots achieves immense spiritual benefit, attaining liberation from the material world and entrance into the eternal blissful pastimes of the Lord. By engaging in dancing and chanting during the Ratha Yatra parade, one can uplift one’s soul beyond all meditations. Although one may think such statements to be exaggerations, expert devotees who know the intricacies of transcendental science do not doubt them.
There are hundreds of Ratha Yatra pictures on Facebook. Please visit and share the link facebook.com/rathayatra.ie on your Facebook as well. Thank you very much and see you next year!
Jaya Sri Jagannatha Swami! Jaya Sri Baladeva! Jaya Sri Subhadra Devi!
Jaya Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!