Jagannath Rath Yatra has a lot of importance in Hinduism. This Rath Yatra is organized from the Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa. According to the Hindu calendar, Jagannath Rath Yatra takes place every year on the second day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Ashadha. Devotees in large numbers gather for the yatra every year. However, due to covid restrictions, this year the yatra will take place without any devotees. The festival is celebrated by worshipping Lord Jagannath (ruler of the world), his elder brother Balbhadra (Balaram) and sister Subhadra. Three giant wooden chariots are made of a kind of Neem tree for the deities for the yatra. This year, the Rath Yatra began on Monday, July 12, at 7:47 am and will conclude on July 12, 2021 at 8:19 am.
This Rath Yatra of Puri is a symbol of harmony, brotherhood and unity. Thousands of devotees come here from different corners of the country to take part in this yatra and get good luck by pulling the chariot of the Lord. It is said that whoever participates in the Rath Yatra, gets all kinds of happiness and prosperity. As per the directions of the Supreme Court, the Rath Yatra will be taken out in a limited area in Puri. The court, in view of the Delta Plus variant of Covid and the possibility of a third wave, has banned the Rath Yatra in the entire state.
PM Narendra Modi also wished the devotees on the beginning of the rath yatra. He tweeted, "Greetings to everyone on the special occasion of the Rath Yatra. We bow to Lord Jagannath and pray that his blessings bring good health and prosperity in everyone’s lives. Jai Jagannath!"
Importance of Travel
According to religious beliefs, Lord Jagannath is taken out on a Rath Yatra and taken to the famous Gundicha Mata temple, where the Lord rests for 7 days. After this, the return journey of Lord Jagannath begins. The Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is celebrated like a festival all over India.
Virtue of Rath Yatra
Lord Jagannath is one of the avatars of Lord Krishna. It is said that Rath Yatra is equal to hundred sacrifices. If a devotee takes part in this Rath Yatra and pulls the chariot of God, then he gets god's blessings. Jagannath Rath Yatra is a ten-day festival. The preparations for the yatra begin with the construction of the chariots on the day of Akshaya Tritiya.
History of Rath Yatra is centuries old
During this centuries-long tradition of Rath Yatra, Shri Jagannathji, Balabhadraji and Subhadraji sit in a chariot to visit their aunt's house, the Gundicha Temple, which is three kilometres away. On the tenth day of Ashadh Shukla Paksha, all three come to their place and sit in their place in the temple. According to religious beliefs, just by watching this Rath Yatra one gets freedom from all kinds of sins and salvation is attained after death.