Skip to main content

Rath Yatra Festival


Shila Sinha

Ratha yatra is one of the greatest festivals of  the bishnupriya manipuris.  We Manipuris celebrate the occasion in the same manner as it is celebrated at Jagannath temple in Puri. It is here that the great saint of Bishnupriya manipuris shree shree Bhubaneswar Sadhubaba was blessed with darshan of Lord Vishnu. His ultimate desire of nandan darshan was fulfilled in the temple of Lord Jagannath of Puri, and so this temple is very dear to our people.                  

It  is one of the most  spectacular and colourful festivals on earth. Everything is on a scale befitting the great lord. The occasion is full of spectacle, drama and colour. This festival is a typical Indian fair of huge proportions. It is also the living embodiment of the synthesis of the tribal, the folk and the autochthonous with the classical, the elaborately formal and the sophisticated elements of the socio-cultural religious ethos of the Indian civilization. The festival is also known as Gudicha yatra, Ghosa yatra (in Puri), Dasabatara yatra and by a variety of other names. For the devotees and believers, it is considered the most auspicious occasion.

Rathe tu vamanam drishtwa punarjanama na vidyate’,     

“A glimse of the Vamana the dwarf form, an incarnation of Lord Jagannatha is sure to ensure emancipation, to release from cycle of birth and death”.

Yatra  is an essential part of the ritual of the Hindu system of worship. Yatra literally means travel or journey. Normally it is the representative deities of temples popularly known as Utsava murty, who pertake  these journeys. The yatra for the ritual journey takes two forms—one involving the short circumbulation around the temple and the other involving a longer journey from the temple to some other destination. The yatra is considered as an important part of festivities and ceremonies of each temple and is considered as a special and sacred occasion.

Ratha yatra being unique among all yatras is the grandest festival of the supreme divinity, who has manifested in the Kaliyoga to emancipate humanity and to relieve them from their sufferings. Lord Jagannatha is identified fully with Vishnus and Krishna. A glimpse of Lord Jagannatha on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious and saints, poets and scriptures have repeatedly glorified the sanctity  of this  special  festival.  The sanctity of the festival  is  such that even a touch  of the chariot or even the ropes with  which these  are  pulled is  considered  enough to confer  the  results of  several  pious  deeds or penance  for  ages.

The  concept of the chariot has been explained in the Kathopanishada in the following words:

Atmanam  rathinam vidhi sareeram rathamevatu, Buddhimtu  saarathim  viddhi  marah pragrahmava cha. 

“The body is the chariot and the soul is the deity carried in the chariot.  The wisdom acts as the  charioteer  to control the mind  and its thoughts”.         

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The 'Star' Krishankant Sinha of Space City Sigma

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi It is a myth that the all-knowing Internet knows everything. One such myth relates to old television stuff aired on Doordarshan before 1990. Search in Google “Space City Sigma”, the search engine would throw up reminiscent results from the people who still long for those days. Those days were really golden days. Krishankant Sinha in the role of Captain Tara in Space City Singma For those who have watched Doordarshan some 15 to 20 years back, am sure they will have nostalgic memories of it. The days when possessing a now ubiquitous looking television set was a luxury. It was a neighbour’s envy product. It was a visual product to showoff, to flaunt that we have a television set . Those were the days when black and white, locked television was rarely found in homes. The days became immortal for teleserials like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Swami’s Malgudi Days (Ta-Na-Na-Na…), Ek-Do-Teen-Char (Title song: Ek do teen char, chaaro mil ke saath chale to

Shastriya sangeet exponent no more

Post Bureau, Silchar/Guwahati (Mar 31): Renowned Shastriya Sangeet (Uchchangik) exponent from the Barak Valley and gold medalist (1983-84) from the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, Calcutta Guru Motilal Sinha breathed his last at 10 pm on Friday at his Bhakatpur residence on the outskirts of Silchar town. Born in the family of Ojha Deveswar Singha and late Kusumleima Devi on Poush 11, 1330 Bangabda, Motilal Sinha had his graduation in vocal music (Bisharad in Shashtriya Sangeet) from Bhadkhande, Lucknow and master’s degree (Nipun with gold medal) from the Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, Calcutta. In 1960, he started teaching classical music (vocal) at Silchar. He had a long stint in the Silchar Sangeet Vidyalaya as its honorary principal since 1960. He also worked in Government Higher Secondary and Multipurpose Girls’ School, Silchar, and retired in 1985. He had received the Assam State Award as an ideal music teacher. He had a stint in conducting a programme on the teaching of Rabindra Sangeet

Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Thakur, the great saint of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Community was born on 26th October, 1871, in a remote village of Cachar district called Baropua in the state of Assam. He was born to a Xatriya Manipuri family. His father Sri Sanatan Pandit was a Sanskrit teacher and mother Srimati Malati Devi, a house wife. Sadhu Baba from his childhood was indifferent to all worldly happenings. He was engrossed in chanting the name of Lord Krishna. Along with other students of his age, Sadhu Baba started taking lessons of grammar and other spiritual literature from his father. At a very young age he lost his mother but he was brought up with utmost love and care by his step mother. At the age of eighteen, Sadhu baba lost his father, so, to continue his spiritual education under the guidance of Rajpandit Mineshwas Swarbabhwam Bhattacherjee, he went to Tripura. But within one year he made up his mind to visit all the holy places and as such he took permis