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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Holy Days of the Year > Holy Days > The Jagannatha Ratha Yatra Pastimes

Title: The Jagannatha Ratha Yatra Pastimes

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-06-27 04:36:17


Millenniums ago there was a King named Indradyumna who was a great devotee of Lord Krishna.


The king’s priestly minister had informed the king that Lord Krishna was

present on earth in his Deity form known as Nila Madhava.


When the King heard this news he asked his minister to find Lord Nila

Madhava for him.


After a great deal of searching and endeavor the minister finally found that

Lord Nila Madhava was in a cave being secretly worshiped by the leader of a

village of pig farmers.


After some intriguing endeavor, the minister finally discovered the secret

location where Lord Nila Madhava was located.


The minister immediately went back and informed the great King Indradyumna

that he had located Lord Nila Madhava, and upon hearing this, the King

immediately set out with his entourage to fetch Lord Nila Madhava and bring

Him back to his capitol to worship Him with great opulence.


After the very arduous journey, the traveling party finally reached the

secret cave where the Deity of Nila Madhava was located. With full

anticipation and excitement, upon entering the cave, the king was shocked to discover that the Deity of Lord Nila Madhava was no longer there.


Lord Nila Madhava had left never to return and King Indradyumna was totally

grief stricken.


After some time, in a dream, Lord Nila Madhava came to the king telling him

that He would return and that a temple should be built for Him to reside in.


The King being absolutely delighted with this news began constructing a

magnificent temple. This temple is now known as the famous temple of

Jagannatha in the City of Puri in Orissa on the Bay of Bengal.


Lord Jagannatha Appears


As King Indradyumna waited for his worshipful Lord to manifest he became

anxious wondering when the Lord would appear. Then he had another dream.


In this dream Lord Krishna informed him that a huge log will float up onto

the beach. This will not be an ordinary log but very unique. No one will

able to cut or even lift it except for one person. You will know that this

person will be the one who will carve the log in the form of the Lord known

as Lord Jagannatha. Lord of the Universe.


True to the dream a large log floated up onto the beach which no one was

able to move.  After many attempts to move this curious log by the strongest of men, one elderly man came forward and with ease single handedly lifted the log.


The King knew this was the wood carver who had been empowered to carve the form of his worship able Lord.


The old wood carver agreed to carve the Deity of the Lord but under very

strict conditions.


As long as he was working no one should interrupt or enter the room where

the work was going on. The king agreed.


As the days passed the King’s anticipation and anxiety to see the Lord grew

when all of a sudden the tapping of the wood carvers hammer and chisel



Unable to contain his eagerness any longer King Indradyumna burst into the

room where the Deities were being carved and true to his word the wood

sculptor left immediately.


When the King saw the three sculpted forms before him he was stunned. The so called form of his worshipful Lord Krishna appeared unfinished. It had short

stubs where the arms should be and huge round eyes.


King Indradyumna began to lament uncontrollably.


Shortly after the great sage Narada Muni appeared before the king and

inquired as to the reason for his intense grief.


King Indradyumna informed the sage of the episodes that took place.


Narada Muni then informed the King that the form of Lord before him was

actually Lord Krishna in a most merciful form.


The origin of Lord Jagannatha’s form


Narada Muni went on to explain to Indradyumna Maharaja the origin of this

unique form of Lord Krishna known as Jagannatha.


One day while in His Capital city of Dwarka, Lord Krishna began thinking of

His sweet gopi friend Radharani from His village days in Vrndavan.


Feeling intense separation from her, the Lord fell unconscious. The great

sage Narada Muni happened to come there with Uddava and upon seeing the

condition of Krishna, they began discussing how to revive Him.


They concluded that Narada Muni should sing the glories of Krishna’s former

Vrndavan village life to Him. This would certainly relieve His condition.


Like many cures for diseases there is often times a side effect and such

would be case with this cure.


Upon hearing the tales of Vrndavan from Narada Muni certainly Lord Krishna

would awaken but at the same time He would immediately want to go to

Vrndavan. However upon arriving their, Krishna would see all the residents

in such a piteous condition of crying due to His having left them

previously, He would not want to return back to Dwarka. This would not be

good for the citizens of Dwarka.


After some consideration it was concluded that Krishna’s sister Subadra

should go there ahead of Krishna to inform them that He is returning. In

this way they would arrange for a nice festive welcoming and their mood

would be very joyful.


When Subadra was ready to leave, her brother Balarama decided that He would accompany her on His own Chariot. Balarama would take the lead with Subadra following Him, and after they left, Narada Muni would revive Lord Krishna by singing the glories of Vrndavan and Krishna would get on His chariot and immediately follow Balarama and Subadra to Vrndavan.


This is how the origin of the order of the carts during the Ratha-Yatra

festival. First Lord Balarama’s cart, then Subadra’s and finally Lord



When Krishna’s Chariot arrived in Vrndavan His feelings of such acute pangs

of separation from His beloved Radharani was so intense that His body

transformed. His hands and legs became pushed into his body like a tortoise.

This is the form or Jagannatha. With big dilated eyes He was only gazing at



When King Indradyumna heard from Narada Muni of this pastime of Lord

Krishna, He was relived to hear that these unique deity forms that were just

carved standing in front of him were actually completed.


His grief now gone he arranged for three huge carts to bring the Deities of

Lord Jagannatha, Balarama and Subadra to Their new temple.  A grand

procession was arranged where all the citizens pulled the gigantic carts

with Their Lordships on them to Their magnificent new temple.


One for Lord Jagannatha, one for His sister Subadra and another for His

Brother Balarama.



Madhya-lila Chapter 13: The Ecstatic Dancing of the Lord at Ratha-yatra


Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita


CC Madhya 13 Summary


CC Madhya 13.1: May the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Shri Krishna Chaitanya, who danced in front of the car of Shri Jagannatha, be all glorified! By seeing His dancing, not only was the whole universe held in wonder, but Lord Jagannatha Himself became very much astonished.


CC Madhya 13.2: All glories to Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Prabhu Nityananda! All

glories to Advaitacandra! And all glories to the devotees of Lord Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!


CC Madhya 13.3: All glories to the listeners of Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita!

Please hear the description of the dancing of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu at

the Ratha-yatra festival. His dancing is very enchanting. Please hear of it

with great attention.


CC Madhya 13.4: The next day, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His personal

associates got up in the dark and attentively took their early-morning



CC Madhya 13.5: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His personal associates then

went to see the ceremony of Pandu-vijaya. During this ceremony, Lord

Jagannatha leaves His throne and gets up onto the car.


CC Madhya 13.6: King Prataparudra in person, as well as his entourage,

allowed the Pandu-vijaya ceremony to be seen by all the associates of Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.


CC Madhya 13.7: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His prominent devotees --

Advaita Acarya, Nityananda Prabhu and others -- were very happy to observe how Lord Jagannatha began the Ratha-yatra.


CC Madhya 13.8: The very strongly built dayitas [carriers of the Jagannatha

Deity] were as powerful as drunken elephants. They manually carried Lord

Jagannatha from the throne to the car.


CC Madhya 13.9: While carrying the Deity of Lord Jagannatha, some of the

dayitas took hold of the shoulders of the Lord, and some caught His lotus



CC Madhya 13.10: The Lord Jagannatha Deity was bound at the waist by a

strong, thick rope made of silk. From two sides the dayitas caught hold of

this rope and raised the Deity.


CC Madhya 13.11: Strong, puffed-up cotton pads called tulis were spread out from the throne to the car, and the heavy Deity of Lord Jagannatha was

carried from one pillowlike pad to the next by the dayitas.


CC Madhya 13.12: While the dayitas carried the heavy Jagannatha Deity from

one pad to the next, some of the pads broke, and the cotton contents floated into the air. When they broke, they made a heavy cracking sound.


CC Madhya 13.13: Lord Jagannatha is the maintainer of the whole universe.

Who can carry Him from one place to another? The Lord moves by His personal will just to perform His pastimes.


CC Madhya 13.14: While the Lord was transported from the throne to the car, tumultuous sounds were made on various musical instruments. Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was chanting "Manima! Manima!" but He could not be heard.


CC Madhya 13.15: While the Lord was being carried from the throne to the

car, King Prataparudra personally engaged in the Lord's service by cleansing

the road with a broom that had a golden handle.


CC Madhya 13.16: The King sprinkled the road with sandalwood-scented water. Although he was the owner of the royal throne, he engaged in menial service for the sake of Lord Jagannatha.


CC Madhya 13.17: Although the King was the most exalted respectable person, still he accepted menial service for the Lord; he therefore became a

suitable candidate for receiving the Lord's mercy.


CC Madhya 13.18: Upon seeing the King engaged in such menial service,

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became very happy. Simply by rendering this service, the King received the mercy of the Lord.


CC Madhya 13.19: Everyone was astonished to see the decorations on the Ratha car. The car appeared to be newly made of gold, and it was as high as Mount Sumeru.


CC Madhya 13.20: The decorations included bright mirrors and hundreds and

hundreds of camaras . On top of the car were a neat and clean canopy and a very beautiful flag.


CC Madhya 13.21: The car was also decorated with silken cloth and various

pictures. Many brass bells, gongs and ankle bells rang.


CC Madhya 13.22: For the pastimes of the Ratha-yatra ceremony, Lord

Jagannatha got aboard one car, and His sister, Subhadra, and elder brother,

Balarama, got aboard two other cars.


CC Madhya 13.23: For fifteen days the Lord had remained in a secluded place

with the supreme goddess of fortune and had performed His pastimes with her.


CC Madhya 13.24: Having taken permission from the goddess of fortune, the

Lord came out to ride on the Ratha car and perform His pastimes for the

pleasure of the devotees.


CC Madhya 13.25: The fine, white sand spread all over the path resembled the bank of the Yamuna, and the small gardens on both sides looked just like

those in Vrndavana.


CC Madhya 13.26: As Lord Jagannatha rode in His car and saw the beauty on

both sides, His mind was filled with pleasure.


CC Madhya 13.27: The pullers of the car were known as gaudas, and they

pulled with great pleasure. However, the car sometimes went very fast and

sometimes very slow.


CC Madhya 13.28: Sometimes the car would stand still and not move, even

though it was pulled very vigorously. The chariot therefore moved by the

will of the Lord, not by the strength of any ordinary person.


CC Madhya 13.29: As the car stood still, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gathered

all His devotees and, with His own hand, decorated them with flower garlands

and sandalwood pulp.


CC Madhya 13.30: Paramananda Puri and Brahmananda Bharati were both

personally given garlands and sandalwood pulp from the very hands of Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. This increased their transcendental pleasure.


CC Madhya 13.31: Similarly, when Advaita Acarya and Nityananda Prabhu felt

the touch of the transcendental hand of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, They were very pleased.


CC Madhya 13.32: The Lord also gave garlands and sandalwood pulp to the

performers of sankirtana. The two chief performers were Svarupa Damodara and Shrivasa Thakura.


CC Madhya 13.33: There were altogether four parties of kirtana performers,

comprising twenty-four chanters. In each party there were also two mrdanga

players, making an additional eight persons.


CC Madhya 13.34: When the four parties were formed, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, after some consideration, divided the chanters.


CC Madhya 13.35: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acarya, Haridasa Thakura and Vakresvara Pandita to dance in each of the four respective parties.


CC Madhya 13.36: Svarupa Damodara was chosen as the leader of the first

party and was given five assistants to respond to his chanting.


CC Madhya 13.37: The five who responded to the singing of Svarupa Damodara were Damodara Pandita, Narayana, Govinda Datta, Raghava Pandita and Shri Govindananda.


CC Madhya 13.38: Advaita Acarya Prabhu was ordered to dance in the first

group. The Lord then formed another group with Shrivasa Thakura as the chief



CC Madhya 13.39: The five singers who responded to the singing of Shrivasa

Thakura were Gangadasa, Haridasa, Shriman, Subhananda and Shri Rama Pandita. Shri Nityananda Prabhu was appointed as a dancer.


CC Madhya 13.40: Another group was formed consisting of Vasudeva, Gopinatha and Murari. All these were responsive singers, and Mukunda was the chief singer.


CC Madhya 13.41: Another two persons, Shrikanta and Vallabha Sena, joined as responsive singers. In this group, the senior Haridasa

was the dancer.


CC Madhya 13.42: The Lord formed another group, appointing Govinda Ghosa as leader. In this group the younger Haridasa, Vishnudasa and Raghava were the responding singers.


CC Madhya 13.43: Two brothers named Madhava Ghosa and Vasudeva Ghosa also joined this group as responsive singers. Vakresvara Pandita was the dancer.


CC Madhya 13.44: There was a sankirtana party from the village known as

Kulina-grama, and Ramananda and Satyaraja were appointed the dancers in this group.


CC Madhya 13.45: There was another party that came from Santipura and was formed by Advaita Acarya. Acyutananda was the dancer, and the rest of the men were singers.


CC Madhya 13.46: Another party was formed by the people of Khanda. These

people were singing in a different place. In that group, Narahari Prabhu and

Raghunandana were dancing.


CC Madhya 13.47: Four parties chanted and danced in front of Lord

Jagannatha, and on either side was another party. Yet another was at the



CC Madhya 13.48: There were altogether seven parties of sankirtana, and in

each party two men were beating drums. Thus fourteen drums were being played at once. The sound was tumultuous, and all the devotees became mad.


CC Madhya 13.49: All the Vaishnavas came together like an assembly of clouds. As the devotees chanted the holy names in great ecstasy, tears fell from their eyes like rain.


CC Madhya 13.50: When the sankirtana resounded, it filled the three worlds.

Indeed, no one could hear any sounds or musical instruments other than the



CC Madhya 13.51: Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wandered through all seven groups chanting the holy name, "Hari, Hari!" Raising His arms, He shouted, "All

glories to Lord Jagannatha!"


CC Madhya 13.52: Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then exhibited another mystic

power by performing pastimes simultaneously in all seven groups.


CC Madhya 13.53: Everyone said, "Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is present in my group. Indeed, He does not go anywhere else. He is bestowing His mercy upon us."


CC Madhya 13.54: Actually, no one could see the inconceivable potency of the Lord. Only the most confidential devotees, those in pure, unalloyed

devotional service, could understand.


CC Madhya 13.55: Lord Jagannatha was very much pleased by the sankirtana, and He brought His car to a standstill just to see the performance.


CC Madhya 13.56: King Prataparudra was also astonished to see the

sankirtana. He became inactive and was converted to ecstatic love of Krishna.


CC Madhya 13.57: When the King informed Kasi Misra of the glories of the

Lord, Kasi Misra replied, "O King, your fortune has no limit!"


CC Madhya 13.58: The King and Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya were both aware of the

Lord's activities, but no one else could see the tricks of Lord Chaitanya



CC Madhya 13.59: Only a person who has received the mercy of the Lord can

understand. Without the Lord's mercy, even the demigods, headed by Lord

Brahma, cannot understand.


CC Madhya 13.60: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had been very satisfied to see the

King accept the menial task of sweeping the street, and for this humility

the King received the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He could therefore

observe the mystery of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's activities.


CC Madhya 13.61: Although the King had been refused an interview, he was

indirectly bestowed causeless mercy. Who can understand the internal potency

of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu?


CC Madhya 13.62: When the two great personalities Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya

and Kasi Misra saw Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's causeless mercy upon the King, they

were astonished.


CC Madhya 13.63: Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed His pastimes for

some time in this way. He personally sang and induced His personal

associates to dance.


CC Madhya 13.64: According to His need, the Lord sometimes exhibited one

form and sometimes many. This was being executed by His internal potency.


CC Madhya 13.65: Indeed, the Personality of Godhead forgot Himself in the

course of His transcendental pastimes, but His internal potency

, knowing the intentions of the Lord, made all arrangements.


CC Madhya 13.66: Just as Lord Shri Krishna formerly performed the rasa-lila

dance and other pastimes at Vrndavana, Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

performed uncommon pastimes moment after moment.


CC Madhya 13.67: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's dancing before the Ratha-yatra

car could be perceived only by pure devotees. Others could not understand.

Descriptions of Lord Krishna's uncommon dancing can be found in the revealed

scripture Shrimad-Bhagavatam.


CC Madhya 13.68: In this way Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced in great

jubilation and inundated all the people with waves of ecstatic love.


CC Madhya 13.69: Thus Lord Jagannatha mounted His car, and Lord Shri Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu inspired all His devotees to dance in front of it.


CC Madhya 13.70: Now please hear about Lord Jagannatha's going to the

Gundica temple while Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced before the Ratha car.


CC Madhya 13.71: The Lord performed kirtana for some time and, through His

own endeavor, inspired all the devotees to dance.


CC Madhya 13.72: When the Lord Himself wanted to dance, all seven groups

combined together.


CC Madhya 13.73: The Lord's devotees -- including Shrivasa, Ramai, Raghu,

Govinda, Mukunda, Haridasa, Govindananda, Madhava and Govinda -- all

combined together.


CC Madhya 13.74: When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu desired to jump high while

dancing, He placed these nine people in the charge of Svarupa Damodara.


CC Madhya 13.75: These devotees [Svarupa Damodara and the devotees in his

charge] sang along with the Lord, and they also ran beside Him. All the

other groups of men also sang.


CC Madhya 13.76: Offering obeisances to the Lord with folded hands, Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu raised His face toward Jagannatha and prayed as follows.


CC Madhya 13.77: "'Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord Krishna,

who is the worshipable Deity for all brahminical men, who is the well-wisher

of cows and brahmanas, and who is always benefiting the whole world. I offer

my repeated obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Krishna and



CC Madhya 13.78: "'All glories unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who

is known as the son of Devaki! All glories to the Supreme Personality of

Godhead, who is known as the light of the dynasty of Vrsni! All glories to

the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose bodily luster is like that of a

new cloud, and whose body is as soft as a lotus flower! All glories to the

Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared on this planet to deliver the

world from the burden of demons, and who can offer liberation to everyone!'


CC Madhya 13.79: "'Lord Shri Krishna is He who is known as jana-nivasa, the

ultimate resort of all living entities, and who is also known as

Devaki-nandana or Yasoda-nandana, the son of Devaki and Yasoda. He is the

guide of the Yadu dynasty, and with His mighty arms He kills everything

inauspicious, as well as every man who is impious. By His presence He

destroys all things inauspicious for all living entities, moving and inert.

His blissful smiling face always increases the lusty desires of the gopis of

Vrndavana. May He be all-glorious and happy!'


CC Madhya 13.80: "'I am not a brahmana, I am not a ksatriya, I am not a

vaisya or a sudra. Nor am I a brahmacari, a householder, a vanaprastha or a

sannyasi. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the

servant of the lotus feet of Lord Shri Krishna, the maintainer of the gopis. He

is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental

bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.'"


CC Madhya 13.81: Having recited all these verses from scripture, the Lord

again offered His obeisances, and all the devotees, with folded hands, also

offered prayers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


CC Madhya 13.82: When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced and jumped high,

roaring like thunder and moving in a circle like a wheel, He appeared like a

circling firebrand.


CC Madhya 13.83: Wherever Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stepped while dancing, the

whole earth, with its hills and seas, appeared to tilt.


CC Madhya 13.84: When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced, He displayed various

blissful transcendental changes in His body. Sometimes He appeared as though

stunned. Sometimes the hairs of His body stood on end. Sometimes He

perspired, cried, trembled and changed color, and sometimes He exhibited

symptoms of helplessness, pride, exuberance and humility.


CC Madhya 13.85: When Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu fell down with a crash while

dancing, He would roll on the ground. At such times it appeared that a

golden mountain was rolling on the ground.


CC Madhya 13.86: Nityananda Prabhu would stretch out His two hands and try

to catch the Lord when He was running here and there.


CC Madhya 13.87: Advaita Acarya would walk behind the Lord and loudly chant

"Haribol! Haribol!" again and again.


CC Madhya 13.88: Just to check the crowds from coming too near the Lord, the

devotees formed three circles. The first circle was guided by Nityananda

Prabhu, who is Balarama Himself, the possessor of great strength.


CC Madhya 13.89: All the devotees headed by Kasisvara and Govinda linked

hands and formed a second circle around the Lord.


CC Madhya 13.90: Maharaja Prataparudra and his personal assistants formed a

third circle around the two inner circles just to check the crowds from

coming too near.


CC Madhya 13.91: With his hands on the shoulders of Haricandana, King

Prataparudra could see Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dancing, and the King felt

great ecstasy.


CC Madhya 13.92: While the King beheld the dancing, Shrivasa Thakura,

standing in front of him, became ecstatic as he saw the dancing of Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.


CC Madhya 13.93: Seeing Shrivasa Thakura standing before the King,

Haricandana touched Shrivasa with his hand and requested him to step aside.


CC Madhya 13.94: Absorbed in watching Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu dance, Shrivasa

Thakura could not understand why he was being touched and pushed. After he

was pushed again and again, he became angry.


CC Madhya 13.95: Shrivasa Thakura slapped Haricandana to stop him from

pushing him. In turn, this made Haricandana angry.


CC Madhya 13.96: As the angered Haricandana was about to speak to Shrivasa

Thakura, Prataparudra Maharaja personally stopped him.


CC Madhya 13.97: King Prataparudra said, "You are very fortunate, for you

have been graced by the touch of Shrivasa Thakura. I am not so fortunate. You

should feel obliged to him."


CC Madhya 13.98: Everyone was astonished by the dancing of Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu, and even Lord Jagannatha became extremely happy to see Him.


CC Madhya 13.99: The car came to a complete standstill and remained immobile

while Lord Jagannatha, with unblinking eyes, watched the dancing of Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.


CC Madhya 13.100: The goddess of fortune, Subhadra, and Lord Balarama both

felt great happiness and ecstasy within their hearts. Indeed, they were seen

smiling at the dancing.


CC Madhya 13.101: When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced and jumped high, eight

wonderful transformations indicative of divine ecstasy were seen in His

body. All these symptoms were visible simultaneously.


CC Madhya 13.102: His skin erupted with goose pimples, and the hairs of His

body stood on end. His body resembled the simuli , all

covered with thorns.


CC Madhya 13.103: Indeed, the people became afraid just to see His teeth

chatter, and they even thought that His teeth would fall out.


CC Madhya 13.104: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's whole body flowed with

perspiration and at the same time oozed blood. He made the sounds "jaja

gaga, jaja gaga" in a voice choked with ecstasy.


CC Madhya 13.105: Tears came forcefully from the eyes of the Lord, as if

from a syringe, and all the people surrounding Him became wet.


CC Madhya 13.106: Everyone saw the complexion of His body change from white

to pink, so that His luster resembled that of the mallika flower.


CC Madhya 13.107: Sometimes He appeared stunned, and sometimes He rolled on

the ground. Indeed, sometimes His legs and hands became as hard as dry wood,

and He did not move.


CC Madhya 13.108: When the Lord fell to the ground, sometimes His breathing

almost stopped. When the devotees saw this, their lives also became very



CC Madhya 13.109: Water flowed from His eyes and sometimes through His

nostrils, and foam fell from His mouth. These flowings appeared to be

torrents of nectar descending from the moon.


CC Madhya 13.110: The foam that fell from the mouth of Shri Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu was taken and drunk by Subhananda because he was very fortunate

and expert in relishing the mellow of ecstatic love of Krishna.


CC Madhya 13.111: After Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had performed His

devastating dance for some time, His mind entered into a mood of ecstatic



CC Madhya 13.112: After abandoning the dancing, the Lord ordered Svarupa

Damodara to sing. Understanding His mind, Svarupa Damodara began to sing as



CC Madhya 13.113: "'Now I have gained the Lord of My life, in the absence of

whom I was being burned by Cupid and was withering away.'"


CC Madhya 13.114: When this refrain was loudly sung by Svarupa Damodara, Shri

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again began rhythmically dancing in transcendental



CC Madhya 13.115: The car of Lord Jagannatha began to move slowly while the

son of mother Saci went ahead and danced in front.


CC Madhya 13.116: While dancing and singing, all the devotees in front of

Lord Jagannatha kept their eyes on Him. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then went to the

end of the procession with the sankirtana performers.


CC Madhya 13.117: His eyes and mind fully absorbed in Lord Jagannatha,

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to play the drama of the song with His two arms.


CC Madhya 13.118: When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was dramatically enacting the

song, He would sometimes fall behind in the procession. At such times, Lord

Jagannatha would come to a standstill. When Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again went

forward, Lord Jagannatha's car would slowly start again.


CC Madhya 13.119: Thus there was a sort of competition between Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu and Lord Jagannatha in seeing who would lead, but Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu was so strong that He made Lord Jagannatha wait in His car.


CC Madhya 13.120: While Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing, His ecstasy

changed. Raising His two arms, He began to recite the following verse in a

loud voice.


CC Madhya 13.121: "'That very personality who stole away my heart during my

youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month

of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet

breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I

am also the same lover, yet still my mind is not happy here. I am eager to

go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is

my desire.'"


CC Madhya 13.122: This verse was recited by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again

and again. But for Svarupa Damodara, no one could understand its meaning.


CC Madhya 13.123: I have already explained this verse. Now I shall simply

describe it in brief.


CC Madhya 13.124: Formerly, all the gopis of Vrndavana were very pleased

when they met with Krishna in the holy place Kuruksetra.


CC Madhya 13.125: Similarly, after seeing Lord Jagannatha, Shri Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu awoke with the ecstasy of the gopis. Being absorbed in this

ecstasy, He asked Svarupa Damodara to sing the refrain.


CC Madhya 13.126: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu spoke thus to Lord Jagannatha:

"You are the same Krishna, and I am the same Radharani. We are meeting again

in the same way that We met in the beginning of Our lives.


CC Madhya 13.127: "Although We are both the same, My mind is still attracted

to Vrndavana-dhama. I wish that You will please again appear with Your lotus

feet in Vrndavana.


CC Madhya 13.128: "In Kuruksetra there are crowds of people, elephants and

horses, and also the rattling of chariots. But in Vrndavana there are flower

gardens, and the humming of the bees and chirping of the birds can be heard.


CC Madhya 13.129: "Here at Kuruksetra You are dressed like a royal prince,

accompanied by great warriors, but in Vrndavana You appeared just like an

ordinary cowherd boy, accompanied only by Your beautiful flute.


CC Madhya 13.130: "Here there is not even a drop of the ocean of

transcendental happiness that I enjoyed with You in Vrndavana.


CC Madhya 13.131: "I therefore request You to come to Vrndavana and enjoy

pastimes with Me. If You do so, My ambition will be fulfilled."


CC Madhya 13.132: I have already described in brief Shrimati Radharani's

statement from Shrimad-Bhagavatam.


CC Madhya 13.133: In that ecstatic mood, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu recited

many other verses, but people in general could not understand their meaning.


CC Madhya 13.134: The meaning of those verses was known to Svarupa Damodara

Gosvami, but he did not reveal it. However, Shri Rupa Gosvami has broadcast

the meaning.


CC Madhya 13.135: While dancing, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu began to recite the

following verse, which He tasted in the association of Svarupa Damodara



CC Madhya 13.136: " 'Dear Lord, whose navel is just

like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who have

fallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshiped and

meditated upon by great mystic yogis and highly learned philosophers. We

wish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, although

we are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.'"


CC Madhya 13.137: Speaking in the mood of Shrimati Radharani, Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu said, "For most people, the mind and heart are one, but because

My mind is never separated from Vrndavana, I consider My mind and Vrndavana

to be one. My mind is already Vrndavana, and since You like Vrndavana, will

You please place Your lotus feet there? I would deem that Your full mercy.


CC Madhya 13.138: "My dear Lord, kindly hear My true submission. My home is

Vrndavana, and I wish Your association there. But if I do not get it, then

it will be very difficult for Me to keep My life.


CC Madhya 13.139: "My dear Krishna, formerly, when You were staying in

Mathura, You sent Uddhava to teach Me speculative knowledge and mystic yoga.

Now You Yourself are speaking the same thing, but My mind doesn't accept it.

There is no place in My mind for jnana-yoga or dhyana-yoga. Although You

know Me very well, You are still instructing Me in jnana-yoga and

dhyana-yoga. It is not right for You to do so."


CC Madhya 13.140: Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "I would like to withdraw

My consciousness from You and engage it in material activities, but even

though I try, I cannot do so. I am naturally inclined to You only. Your

instructions for Me to meditate on You are therefore simply ludicrous. In

this way, You are killing Me. It is not very good for You to think of Me as

a candidate for Your instructions.


CC Madhya 13.141: "The gopis are not like the mystic yogis. They will never

be satisfied simply by meditating on Your lotus feet and imitating the

so-called yogis. Teaching the gopis about meditation is another kind of

duplicity. When they are instructed to undergo mystic yoga practice, they

are not at all satisfied. On the contrary, they become more and more angry

with You."


CC Madhya 13.142: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued, "The gopis have fallen

into the great ocean of separation and are being devoured by the timingila

fish of their ambition to serve You. The gopis are to be delivered from the

mouths of these timingila fish, for they are pure devotees. Since they have

no material conception of life, why should they aspire for liberation? The

gopis do not want that liberation desired by yogis and jnanis, for they are

already liberated from the ocean of material existence.


CC Madhya 13.143: "It is amazing that You have forgotten the land of

Vrndavana. And how is it that You have forgotten Your father, mother and

friends? How have You forgotten Govardhana Hill, the bank of the Yamuna and

the forest where You enjoyed the rasa-lila dance?


CC Madhya 13.144: "Krishna, You are certainly a refined gentleman with all

good qualities. You are well-behaved, softhearted and merciful. I know that

there is not even a tinge of fault to be found in You. Yet Your mind does

not even remember the inhabitants of Vrndavana. This is only My misfortune,

and nothing else.


CC Madhya 13.145: "I do not care for My personal unhappiness, but when I see

the morose face of mother Yasoda and the hearts of all the inhabitants of

Vrndavana breaking because of You, I wonder whether You want to kill them

all. Or do You want to enliven them by coming there? Why are You simply

keeping them alive in a state of suffering?


CC Madhya 13.146: "The inhabitants of Vrndavana do not want You dressed like

a prince, nor do they want You to associate with great warriors in a

different country. They cannot leave the land of Vrndavana, and without Your

presence, they are all dying. What is their condition to be?


CC Madhya 13.147: "My dear Krishna, You are the life and soul of

Vrndavana-dhama. You are especially the life of Nanda Maharaja. You are the

only opulence in the land of Vrndavana, and You are very merciful. Please

come and let all the residents of Vrndavana live. Kindly keep Your lotus

feet again in Vrndavana."


CC Madhya 13.148: After hearing Shrimati Radharani's statements, Lord Krishna's

love for the inhabitants of Vrndavana was evoked, and His body and mind

became very much perturbed. After hearing of their love for Him, He

immediately thought Himself to be always indebted to the residents of

Vrndavana. Then Krishna began to pacify Shrimati Radharani as follows.


CC Madhya 13.149: "My dearest Shrimati Radharani, please hear Me. I am

speaking the truth. I cry day and night simply upon remembering all you

inhabitants of Vrndavana. No one knows how unhappy this makes Me."


CC Madhya 13.150: Shri Krishna continued: "All the inhabitants of

Vrndavana-dhama -- My mother, father, cowherd boyfriends and everything else

-- are like My life and soul. And among all the inhabitants of Vrndavana,

the gopis are My very life and soul. And among the gopis, You, Shrimati

Radharani, are the chief. Therefore You are the very life of My life.


CC Madhya 13.151: "My dear Shrimati Radharani, I am always subservient to the

loving affairs of all of you. I am under your control only. My separation

from you and residence in distant places have occurred due to My strong



CC Madhya 13.152: "When a woman is separated from the man she loves or a man

is separated from his beloved woman, neither of them can live. It is a fact

that they live only for each other, for if one dies and the other hears of

it, he or she will die also.


CC Madhya 13.153: "Such a loving, chaste wife and loving husband desire all

welfare for each other in separation and do not care for personal happiness.

Desiring only each other's well-being, such a pair certainly meet again

without delay.


CC Madhya 13.154: "You are My most dear, and I know that in My absence You

cannot live for a moment. Just to keep You living, I worship Lord Narayana.

By His merciful potency, I come to Vrndavana every day to enjoy pastimes

with You. I then return to Dvaraka-dhama. Thus You can always feel My

presence there in Vrndavana.


CC Madhya 13.155: "Our love affair is more powerful because of My good

fortune in receiving Narayana's grace. This allows Me to come there unseen

by others. I hope that very soon I will be visible to everyone.


CC Madhya 13.156: "I have already killed all the mischievous demons who are

enemies of the Yadu dynasty, and I have also killed Kamsa and his allies.

But there are two or four demons still living. I want to kill them, and

after doing so I shall very soon return to Vrndavana. Please know this for



CC Madhya 13.157: "I wish to protect the inhabitants of Vrndavana from the

attacks of My enemies. That is why I remain in My kingdom; otherwise I am

indifferent to My royal position. Whatever wives, sons and wealth I maintain

in the kingdom are only for the satisfaction of the Yadus.


CC Madhya 13.158: "Your loving qualities always attract Me to Vrndavana.

Indeed, they will bring Me back within ten or twenty days, and when I return

I shall enjoy both day and night with You and all the damsels of



CC Madhya 13.159: While speaking to Shrimati Radharani, Krishna became very

anxious to return to Vrndavana. He made Her listen to a verse which banished

all Her difficulties and which assured Her that She would again attain



CC Madhya 13.160: Lord Shri Krishna said: "Devotional service unto Me is the

only way to attain Me. My dear gopis, whatever love and affection you have

attained for Me by good fortune is the only reason for My returning to you."


CC Madhya 13.161: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would sit in His room with Svarupa

Damodara and taste the topics of these verses day and night.


CC Madhya 13.162: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced completely absorbed in

ecstatic emotion. While looking at the face of Lord Jagannatha, He danced

and recited these verses.


CC Madhya 13.163: No one can describe the good fortune of Svarupa Damodara

Gosvami, for he is always absorbed in the service of the Lord with his body,

mind and words.


CC Madhya 13.164: The senses of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu were identical

with the senses of Svarupa. Therefore Chaitanya Mahaprabhu used to become

fully absorbed in tasting the singing of Svarupa Damodara.


CC Madhya 13.165: In emotional ecstasy, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would sometimes

sit on the ground and, looking down, would write on the ground with His



CC Madhya 13.166: Fearing that the Lord would injure His finger by writing

in this way, Svarupa Damodara checked Him with his own hand.


CC Madhya 13.167: Svarupa Damodara used to sing exactly according to the

ecstatic emotion of the Lord. Whenever a particular mellow was being tasted

by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara would personify it by singing.


CC Madhya 13.168: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu looked upon the beautiful

lotuslike face and eyes of Lord Jagannatha.


CC Madhya 13.169: Lord Jagannatha was garlanded, dressed with nice garments

and adorned with beautiful ornaments. His face was glittering from the rays

of sunshine, and the entire atmosphere was fragrant.


CC Madhya 13.170: An ocean of transcendental bliss expanded in the heart of

Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and symptoms of madness immediately

intensified like a hurricane.


CC Madhya 13.171: The madness of transcendental bliss created waves of

various emotions. The emotions appeared like opposing soldiers staging a



CC Madhya 13.172: There was an increase in all the natural emotional

symptoms. Thus there were awakening emotions, peacefulness, joined, mixed,

transcendental and prevalent emotions, and impetuses for emotion.


CC Madhya 13.173: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's body appeared like a

transcendental Himalayan mountain bearing ecstatic emotional flower trees,

all of them blooming.


CC Madhya 13.174: The sight of all these symptoms attracted everyone's mind

and consciousness. Indeed, the Lord sprinkled everyone's mind with the

nectar of transcendental love of Godhead.


CC Madhya 13.175: He sprinkled the minds of the servants of Lord Jagannatha,

the government officers, the pilgrim visitors, the general populace and all

the residents of Jagannatha Puri.


CC Madhya 13.176: Upon seeing the dancing and ecstatic love of Shri Chaitanya

Mahaprabhu, everyone became astonished. In their hearts they became

infatuated with love of Krishna.


CC Madhya 13.177: Everyone danced and chanted in ecstatic love, and a great

noise resounded. Everyone was overwhelmed with transcendental bliss just to

see the dancing of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.


CC Madhya 13.178: Apart from the others, even Lord Jagannatha and Lord

Balarama, with great happiness, began to move very slowly upon seeing the

dancing of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.


CC Madhya 13.179: Lord Jagannatha and Lord Balarama sometimes stopped the

car and happily observed Lord Chaitanya's dancing. Anyone who was able to see

Them stop and watch the dancing bore witness to Their pastimes.


CC Madhya 13.180: When Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was dancing and

wandering in this way, He fell down in front of Maharaja Prataparudra.


CC Madhya 13.181: Maharaja Prataparudra picked the Lord up with great

respect, but upon seeing the King, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to His

external senses.


CC Madhya 13.182: After seeing the King, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu condemned

Himself, saying, "Oh, how pitiful it is that I have touched a person who is

interested in mundane affairs!"


CC Madhya 13.183: Not even Lord Nityananda Prabhu, Kasisvara or Govinda took

care of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when He fell down. Nityananda was in great

ecstasy, and Kasisvara and Govinda were elsewhere.


CC Madhya 13.184: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu had already been satisfied by the

King's behavior, for the King had accepted the service of a sweeper for Lord

Jagannatha. Therefore Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu actually desired to see the



CC Madhya 13.185: However, just to warn His personal associates, the Supreme

Personality of Godhead, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, externally expressed

feelings of anger.


CC Madhya 13.186: King Prataparudra became frightened when Lord Chaitanya

showed external anger, but Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya told the King, "Don't



CC Madhya 13.187: Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya informed the King, "The Lord is

very satisfied with you. By pointing you out, He was teaching His personal

associates how to behave with mundane people."


CC Madhya 13.188: Sarvabhauma Bhattacarya continued, "I shall submit your

petition when there is an opportune moment. It will then be easy for you to

come and meet the Lord."


CC Madhya 13.189: After circumambulating Jagannatha, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

went behind the car and began pushing it with His head.


CC Madhya 13.190: As soon as He pushed, the car immediately started to move,

making a rattling noise. The people all around began to chant the holy name

of the Lord, "Hari! Hari!"


CC Madhya 13.191: As the car began to move, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu took His

personal associates in front of the cars occupied by Lord Balarama and

Subhadra, the goddess of fortune. Greatly inspired, He then began to dance

in front of them.


CC Madhya 13.192: After finishing the dance before Lord Baladeva and

Subhadra, Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came before Lord Jagannatha's car. Upon

seeing Lord Jagannatha, He began to dance again.


CC Madhya 13.193: When they reached the place called Balagandi, Lord

Jagannatha stopped His car and began to look left and right.


CC Madhya 13.194: On the left side, Lord Jagannatha saw a neighborhood of

brahmanas and a coconut-tree grove. On the right side, He saw nice flower

gardens resembling those in the holy place Vrndavana.


CC Madhya 13.195: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees were dancing in

front of the car, and Lord Jagannatha, having stopped the car, watched the



CC Madhya 13.196: It was customary that food be offered to the Lord at

vipra-sasana. Indeed, innumerable dishes of food were offered, and Lord

Jagannatha tasted each one of them.


CC Madhya 13.197: All kinds of devotees of Lord Jagannatha -- from neophytes

to the most advanced -- offered their best cooked food to the Lord.


CC Madhya 13.198: These devotees included the King, his queens, his

ministers and friends and all other big and small residents of Jagannatha



CC Madhya 13.199: All the visitors who had come from different countries to

Jagannatha Puri, as well as the local devotees, offered their personally

cooked food to the Lord.


CC Madhya 13.200: The devotees offered their food everywhere -- in front of

the car and behind it, on the two sides and within the flower garden.

Wherever possible, they made their offering to the Lord, for there were no

hard and fast rules.


CC Madhya 13.201: While the food was being offered, a large crowd of people

gathered. At that time Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stopped His dancing and went

to a nearby garden.


CC Madhya 13.202: Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu entered the garden and, immersed

in great ecstatic emotion, fell flat on a raised platform there.


CC Madhya 13.203: The Lord was very much fatigued from the hard labor of

dancing, and there was perspiration all over His body. He therefore enjoyed

the fragrant, cool breeze of the garden.


CC Madhya 13.204: All the devotees who had been performing sankirtana came

there and took rest under each and every tree.


CC Madhya 13.205: Thus I have described the great performance of

congregational chanting by Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as He danced in

front of Lord Jagannatha.


CC Madhya 13.206: In his prayer known as the Chaitanyastaka, Shrila Rupa

Gosvami has given a vivid description of the Lord's dancing before the car

of Jagannatha.


CC Madhya 13.207: "Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu danced down the main road in

great ecstasy before Lord Jagannatha, the master of Nilacala, who was

sitting on His car. Overwhelmed by the transcendental bliss of dancing and

surrounded by Vaishnavas who sang the holy names, He manifested waves of

ecstatic love of Godhead. When will Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu again be visible

to my vision?"


CC Madhya 13.208: Anyone who hears this description of the car festival will

attain Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He will also attain the elevated state by

which he will have firm conviction in devotional service and love of



CC Madhya 13.209: Praying at the lotus feet of Shri Rupa and Shri Raghunatha,

always desiring their mercy, I, Krishnadasa, narrate Shri Chaitanya-charitamrita,

following in their footsteps.


Copyright (c) The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.

His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.



Ratha Yatra in Puri


At the height of Indian summer, right at the beginning of the Monsoon, the

Lord of Puri goes to his garden palace for the annual summer vacation.

Originally the festival has its foundation in the residents of Vrindavan

bringing back their Lords, Krishna, Balaram and Lady Subhadra from



Today in Puri He, the Lord of the Universe travels in some style from his

temple in Puri, to his garden temple, located outside the town centre called

Gundicha. Thousands of Hindus flock to see, and to pull the grand chariots

from one temple to the other. The English word "Jagannaut" comes from the

giant chariots of Lord Jagannath of Puri. The British were so stunned by the

size of the chariots, they coined a word for it!


In Puri, Lord Jagannath is worshipped with his elder brother Bala-Rama and

his sister Subhadra. Each sibling has his / her own chariot and goes to the

summer residence with great pomp. Each of the chariots is covered in

distinctly coloured cloth. Various symbols and signs help pilgrims

distinguish between the three gods. As a mark of respect, and humbleness,

the king of Puri sweeps the chariots of the Gods of Puri. Festival begins

with a huge fanfare of conches, trumpets, drums and cymbals. Accompanied by music and dancers, the divine travellers begin their journey to the garden



In order to accommodate the three chariots, the street leading from the main

temple to the garden temple is very wide. Temples, ashrams, hotels, inns,

shops and mansions of the old aristocracy line the route. All buildings are

colourfully decorated with flags, buntings and awnings of bright colours.

Ladies in colourful saries crowd the balconies, doors and windows decked

with flowers. Men and women rush to pull the chariots along this main street

of Puri. This is an exciting time in Puri. The Lord who is rarely glimpsed

outside his inner sanctum, is now easily accessible to everyone in the

streets of Puri !


Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, away from the innumerable

temple servants, away from their spouses, the siblings enjoy their

"Vrindavan-like" garden retreat. The temple routine in the garden temple is

very much relaxed compared to the main temple. Various festivities and fun

are planned for their short stay in this leafy abode. ( Depending on the

lunar cycle, this festival can last anywhere from 1 - 2 weeks. )


As the Lord has only taken his brother and his sister on this holiday, the

wives are left at home! Alone and brooding, Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of

wealth), seeks help from Goddess Vimala to get their husband back.

Travelling by night, in a closed palanquin, she arrives at the garden temple

of the Lord. She enchants the Lord and entreats him to return.


A few days later, Lord returns to his city temple. Though delighted, goddess

Lakshmi orders the temple doors to be shut in His face - in the vain hope of

teaching Him a lesson! In the conversation that follows, female attendants

(dev-dasi) of the Goddess blame the Lord of being inconsiderate, "Jack the

Lad", taking His wife for granted and being far too easily led by the

in-laws (sounds familiar?).


The mood of the sevaks in Puri is that Jagannath is their friend as opposed

to Him being their Master, as in other lilas. In many cases the residents of

Purushottam Shri Kshetra make many comparission with their own lives in

dealing with Jagannath. These intimacies reflect the overall mood, and carry

the tradition of heritage of Jagannath's original coming to Puri many

thousands of years before and the wonderful pastimes of the saintly

Indradyumna maharaj vision of the Lord, Visvavasu the Sabara's attachment to the Lord as Nila Madhav, and finally the mystical appearance of the

Dharu-Brahma from which the first Deities were carved by the architect of

the devas Vishvakarma, the mystical carrying of the log by the descendant of Visvavasu (Virabhadra) that many elephants and men could not budge. Such wonderful depictive pastimes make one's hair stand in horipulations at their recitation.


Today in Puri Lord's servants explain that He really had no choice, as they

bring Him back that He went against His will, He still loves Her deeply and

respects Her enormously!! Eventually, the Lord offers the female

gate-keepers bribess and enters the inner sanctum to pacify the Goddess

Lakshmi. Such are the dramas of a married man's life! The next day, Lord and

the Goddess once again appear in the public, reconciled and as loving as

ever. Lord's summer vacation is over, and life in the great temple returns

to its age old routine.


Of all the festivals, the Ratha Yatra of Jagannatha is the most famous. This

takes place on the second day of the waxing phase of the moon of the ashadha month. Jagannatha ordered King Indradyumna to take him to his birth place, the Gundica Mandira (symbolically Vrindavana), on this day.


Jagannatha's ratha is marked with a cakra and garuda, is yellow in color,

with four white horses. The protecting deity is Nrsimha.


Baladeva's cart is blue, with a palm tree insignia, and four black horses.

The protecting deity is Sesa.


Subhadra's cart is black, with lotus insignia, protected by Vanadurga.


Sudarsana is carried out first and placed on Subhadra's cart. In succession

Subhadra, Baladeva, and Jagannatha are moved to their carts using silk

ropes. After being situated on their carts they are decorated and

worshipped. Midway on the journey, the carts stop, the deities are bathed in

pancamrta and cool water, and naivedyam and aratrika are offered. On arrival

at the Gundica Mandira, aratrika is offered, and then the deities enter the

temple for rest.


On the fifth day of the lunar month, called Hera (looking for) Pancami,

Laksmi comes looking for Jagannatha with Siva and her maid servants. When

the servants of Jagannatha see her at the first gate of the Gundica Mandira,

they close the door of Jagannatha's bhoga mandira so that she cannot see

him. She becomes angry and breaks a piece of Jagannatha's ratha. After

taking a meal she returns to the main temple.


On the ninth day of the moon, the return Ratha Yatra takes place, and Laksmi and her servants come to meet Jagannatha. Jagannatha gives her his garland to appease her.


Several days later on dvadasi, Laksmi closes the temple doors in anger and

her servants quarrel with Jagannatha's servants. After Jagannatha concedes

defeat, the doors are opened again.


Such is the reverance, the fun, the mysticism, and overall bliss of

Rathyatra in Jagannath Puri.