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The Jagannath triad are usually worshiped in the sanctum of the temple at Puri, but once during the month of Asadha (Rainy Season of Orissa, usually falling in month of June or July), they are brought out onto the Bada Danda (main street of Puri) and travel (3 km) to the Shri Gundicha Temple, in huge chariots (ratha), allowing the public to have darśana (Holy view). This festival is known as Rath Yatra, meaning the journey (yatra) of the chariots (ratha). The Rathas are huge wheeled wooden structures, which are built anew every year and are pulled by the devotees. The chariot for Jagannath is approximately 45 feet high and 35 feet square and takes about 2 months to construct. The artists and painters of Puri decorate the cars and paint flower petals and other designs on the wheels, the wood-carved charioteer and horses, and the inverted lotuses on the wall behind the throne. The huge chariots of Jagannath pulled during Rath Yatra is the etymological origin of the English word Juggernaut. The Ratha-Yatra is also termed as the Shri Gundicha yatra.
The world would indeed be a dull place, if everything were to be in black and white. It is colours that add spice to our lives- we feel elated when we see a rainbow, a garden alight with bright blooms, a meadow of green grass topped with sparkling dew, a bright blue sky with the Sun shining as a yellow ball of fire, and so on. The rising and setting Sun is indeed beautiful to watch, for its sheer colourfulness. Can you imagine a world bereft of cheerful colours? It would be as dull and dreary as ditchwater, and make our lives mere drudgery.
It is interesting to find from our scriptures that the Creator of all colours is Himself extremely colourful. Let's see some of the hues that He is said to sport on various occasions. To start our colourful journey with the Vedas, the Purusha Sukta describes the Lord as being the colour of the Sun- “Aditya varNam tamasa: parastAt”. The reference to Sun-colour is significant. Just as the Sun is the antithesis of all darkness or evil, so too the Paramatma is verily the abode of all good qualities, and the antithesis of all that is inauspicious (akhila hEya pratyanIka, kalyAnaikatAna).
The meanings of Dīpāvali, its symbols and rituals, and the reasons for celebration are innumerable. Dīpāvali celebrates Lord Rama’s glorious and long-awaited return to his kingdom of Ayodhya after fourteen long years of exile in the forests.
It also commemorates Lord Krishna’s victory over the demon Narakasura who had kidnapped and terrorized the gopīs of Vrindavan. When the evil Narakā was finally killed by Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa in the presence of Satyabhāmā, he begged pitifully for mercy; thus, upon his entreaties, it was declared that this day of his death would be celebrated with great joy and festivity. It is also celebrated as the day Bhagavān Viṣṇu married Maha Lakṣmī.
Dīpāvali is also associated with the story of the fall of Bali – a demon king who was conquered by Lord Viṣṇu. Lord Viṣṇu appeared to the demon king Bali in the form of a dwarf and requested only three steps of land. Bali granted the dwarf’s meager request for only three feet. Suddenly, Lord Vishnu took on His grand size and placed one foot on the Earth, another on the Heavens and His third on the head of Bali.
In general, Dīpāvali signifies the triumph of good over evil, of righteousness over treachery, of truth over falsehood, and of light over darkness.
Last night at Radha Kund, a multi-step lamp offering was made, many pilgrims offered individual lamps from the banks; a maha arotik was also performed.
As the Rādhārāṇī Braja Yatra celebrates in Vṛndāvana may this Diwalli day(where ever you are), more importantly than personal gain, bring new unprecedented victories in the protection and preservation of Braja Dhāma.
The following are some of the photos taken during the occasion…
Yesterday, 27 October 2014; was the second day of Veda Parayanam and Prabhandha Parayanam being done at the Brindavan of 41st Srimadh Azhagiasingar whose aradhanam will be done on 28.10.2014. Aippasi Shukla Panchami is when SriLakshmi Nrisimha Sathakopa Yatheendra Mahadesikan(41stJeer) known as Karakurichi Azhagiasingar attained SriVaikuntaprapthi.
Thiruvaymozhi parayanam was continued and the 4th-6th Centums were recited alonside with Veda Parayanam. Swami Desikan’s Amrutha Swadhinee was recited followed by Adhivan Sathakopan swami’s Adaikalapathu. This was done between 8.00A.M. -11.00 A.M.
The evening session started at 3.00P.M. Thiruvaymozhi and Vedic chanting took place and the recital of Swami Desikan’s Mumani kovai and Navamani malai was the highlight of the evening. It was almost 5.30P.M. when the theertha-shatari and Prasada distribution was over. Morning prasadam was dadhiannam and evening was kadambam.Tommorrow Tirumanjanam for Azhagiasingar is scheduled for 8.00 A.M. followed by Purapadu, Veda, Prabhandha parayana satrumurai. After this aradhanam and Thadeearadhanai will take place.
The following are some of the photos taken during the occasion…
On, 10 November 2014, Jaya Varusham Aippasi Mirughashirsham; Vanabhojana Utsavam was celebrated in a grand manner at Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Temple, Lower ahobilam. On this occasion in the morning Sri Prahaladavardan along with ubhya nachiyars had purappadu to Lakshmi Vanam where Thirumanjanam took place. And in the evening Sahasara Deepotsavam took place. Several astikas took part in the Vanabhojana Utsavam and had the blessings of Divya Dampathis.
The following are some of the photographs are taken on the occasion…
Around two hundred years back, when Gopal Das Mukherjee was the temple pujari. One morning when he was doing Madan Mohan’s shringar, he found it difficult to put the deity’s turban on him. He couldn’t put the turban even in after several attempts. Annoyed by the difficulty, the pujari slapped Madan Mohan with his left hand and did not bother trying to put the turban on afterward.
That night Madan Mohan himself appeared to the then Mahant, Shri Chandra Das Goswami, and told him what had happened. He complained, “When Yashoda Maa dressed me up before I went off to gocharan (cow grazing), she would give me kheer or butter to eat. I was thinking of my mother’s love while the pujari was putting the turban. While remembering the mother I shook my head, which made it difficult for the pujari to put the turban.”
The next day, the mahant went to the temple to see if the turban had been put on the deity. He found that it was missing from Madan Mohan’s head. When interrogated about the missing pagri, the pujari said that the bhandari (the storehouse manager) had not been able to get a good turban from the market, and this one was too small. Then the Mahant asked him if he had slapped Madan Mohan and the pujari shamefully admitted his misdeed. So the Mahant immediately sacked the pujari after paying him off.
The pujari was so disappointed that he went to the Pushpanandan Ghat and began a hunger strike to the death, as he could not bear to live without serving Madan Mohan. With each passing day his condition deteriorated. All this was too much for Madan Mohan, who could not bear to see his devotee in trouble. He appeared again to the mahant in a dream and pleaded with him to re-employ the pujari. Madan Mohan excused the pujari’s offense as he had been in haste to perform his father’s shraddh ceremony that day.
When the pujari was asked about it, he admitted that he had been late for the shraddh and was in hurry and that is why he had been frustrated. Pujari was finally given his job back and the tradition to offer kulia after shringar was established in the temple.
The samadhi of the Pujari Shri Gopal Mukherjee is still there in the temple grounds.
Many similar stories are told about the deities of each of the Sapta Devalayas and the temples of the contemporary times. When narrated by the Acharyas, these stories seem to be as real as if happening just in front of us.
Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Astotara Shata Shri Shrimad Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Maharaj (Shri Gopinath Gaudiya Math) at Krishna Balaram Mandir on the disappearance day of Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Astotara Sata Sri Srimad A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaj (Founder International Society of Krishna Consciousness), 1998.
Ом Вишнупада Парамахамса Паривраджакачарья Аштотара Шата Шри Шримад Бхакти Прамод Пури Госвами Махарадж (Шри Гопинатх Гаудия Матх) в Шри Кришна Баларам Мандире (ИСККОН, Вриндаван, Индия) в день ухода Ом Вишнупада Парамахамса Паривраджакачарья Аштотара Шата Шри Шримад А.Ч. Бхактиведанта Свами Махараджа, основателя Международного общества сознания Кришны, 1998 г.