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Celebration of Rath Yatra at Pune

This Rath Yatra festival takes place at Pune(Poona) every year since 2003. It can be said today that due to ISKCON movement, millions and millions of people all over the world are enjoying the darshan of Lord Jagannath by the mercy of Srilo Abhayacharan Swami Prabhupada. Srilo Prabhupada was following the footprints of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who also used to enjoy chanting and dancing with His followers from Bengal and other parts of Orissa in front of the Rath(chariot) of Lord Jagannath in Puri. About 500 years ago, the devotees of Lord Krishna, the Brajabasis-specially the gopis of vrindavan and among them the greatest devotee Srimati Radharani, the embodiment of devotional service, and that is why she is called Radha- from the word ‘Aradhana’to serve the Lord. When Radharani, Lalita, Vishakha and other gopis along with Nandraja,

Yashodamai and all the cowherds boys learnt that Lord Krishna, the king from Dwarka with His queens, elephants, horses with soldiers in Royal attire is coming in a chariot on the occasion of Solar Eclipse to visit the lake Kuruksetra. So all came there and Radharani also met Him; but she, being the greatest devotee, didn`t like the royal mood and attire as she was reminiscing the mood displayed by him in Vrindavan, playing flute near the bank of Yamuna or under the tree in the nearby forest with his dearest Brajabasis, specially the gopis and cowherd boys. Radharani requests Krishna whether He would accompany her to Vrindavan or not. Before Krishna could specify His position, she forcibly put Him in the same rath along with His brother Balaram and sister Subhadra, started pulling it along with her Sakhis as if a beloved take away his/her most valuable. We are thus following Their footprints by following Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Throughout the world people are doing the same and getting the highest eternal benefit and the mercy of Lord Jagannath, the proprietor of all the world.

It is nice to see that so many local Bishnupriya Manipuri devotees coming forward to serve in erection of pandal, preparation and distribution of Prasad, make the Pune Jagannath Rath Yatra festival a complete success. So, we welcome everybody to take this opportunity to join in the celebration. What greater blessing is there? What greater service could be done for struggling humanity but to give them not only a moment of
happiness and joy at the Rath Yatra festival, but to give them the eternal asset which accures from doing such a confidential and sublime service.

We are confident that all of you are eagerly waiting for the 3rd July 2011.Before that let us clean our hearts as Chaitanya Mahaprabhu cleansed the Gundicha temple to receive Lord Jagannath.

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