All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra
Pictures, Report and Web-Page
by Malini Devi Dasi

4th July 2005 - Departure from Nabadwip

It is the occasion of the Ratha Yatra festival in Jagannath Puri. Our bus leaves Nabadwip at 3:00pm on the 4th of July 2005, commencing the pilgrimage from Nabadwip Dham to Puri Dham by bus, via Remuna and other places of spiritual interest.

The bus is loaded with luggage and devotees, and is ready to go!

Several other pilgrims' buses are here, probably all on their way to Puri for the Ratha Yatra too. One party after the other go in to pay their obeisances and chant while circumumbulating the temple.

Ksirachora Gopinath - The pujari finds the pot of ksira hidden behind the curtain as the Deity told him in a dream....
The Deities are just so beautiful: Radhika, Govinda, Gopinath and Madan Mohan together. They are being dressed when we arrive, and by the time we leave a couple of hours later, at about 8:00am, the dressing is not yet complete. Fortunately though, during the dressing, one is still able to have darshan, so we can see the gradual evolvement of the extensive dressing procedure.

So we chant, circumumbulating the temple a few times, and continue Sankirttan all the way to Madhavendra Puri's Samadhi just nearby. Back again, we taste some ksira Prasadam like the one Gopinath had 'stolen' for Madhavendra Puri, and relish amongst ourselves the story of the Lord's love and mercy for His devotee.

Breakfast Prasadam is served to our Math's devotees behind the temple, and we have some time to wander into the temple again and chant some rounds before we are ready to set off again for the day's journey, expecting to arrive in Puri in late evening.

As one would expect, as we travel on, most people try to catch up on their missed sleep from the previous night, and the morning appears to go very quickly, so that we stop very shortly for lunch Prasadam.

We are in a tiny village on the roadside. The houses are made from mud, with thatched roofs. There is a small Jagannath Temple which reminds you that you are already in Orissa, somewhere near Puri, and there seem to be more cows than people living here in this lush green haven, so easy to by-pass from the road.

Lunch is taken in a quaint roadside country village complete with Jagannath Temple.

It is very hot and humid, and we are happy to sit under a tree listening to Sripad Acharyya Maharaj tell stories about Madhavendra Puri, as well as some others from Sriman Mahaprabhu's Pastimes, while we are waiting for Prasadam. However just as Prasadam is ready to be served, it starts to pour! Well, it is to be expected during monsoon time. Trouble is, within minutes the whole area becomes a mud pit - but actually it is no trouble at all, since the devotees are very tolerant and accommodating, so we have three sittings under the shelter of two nearby houses' verandas instead.

After Prasadam everyone gathers at the front of the little Jagannath Temple while others finish their meal and then everything is cleared up. Soon we are on the road again!

The bus is fairly comfortable to start off with although one might start craving some space in which to move about after some hours. However people are even sitting in the aisle between the rows of seats, so what can I say? I appreciate their dedication - and my seat by the window!

Prasadam is cooked and served by the road-side.

We have a short stop to stretch our legs, after which some inspiration comes to perform Sankirttan on the bus. Sripad Bhakti Nirmal Acharyya Maharaj leads Sandhya Arati and Tulasi Arati, and we are still chanting as we pull up behind a petrol station for Prasadam. Gas cylinders, cooking pots and stoves, and huge sacks of rice, potatoes, and soya chunks, are pulled down from the roof of the bus, and a kitchen is manifested right here on the asphalt parking area. A small party of people sit down and perform some kirttan... appropriately concluding an unusual evening programme!

Everybody happily takes the simple but delicious Prasadam and soon piles back into the bus hoping to catch some sleep during the night journey. Myself, I feel like I cannot drift out of consciousness throughout the night trip, unable to sleep in a sitting position. I shift this way and that, but very shortly it seems, we arrive in Remuna.

Devotees at the temple of Ksirachora Gopinath and Madhavendra Puri's Pastimes.

5th July 2005 - Remuna, 2nd Day of the Bus Journey

It is not yet light and we are instructed to take bath in the public baths near the temple and prepare to go pay our respects to the Deities in the Sri Ksirachora Gopinath Temple, as well as visit Sripad Madhavendra Puri's Samadhi.


Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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