Stage set for ISKCON’s Jagannath Rath Yatra in Mumbai
Mumbai: Lakhs of devotees from Mumbai and elsewhere in the country will join the famed annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra scheduled here on Saturday at Shivaji Park, an official of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness said on Thursday.
Considered the second-biggest of its kind in the world after the renowned Rath Yatra held in Puri, Odisha, and organised by ISKCON’s Chowpatty Temple, it will mark the global celebrations by holding similar chariot processions in the US, UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other countries.
Like every year, the main attraction would be the special ‘darshan’ of Lord Jagannath, the 56 ‘bhoga’ offerings in designer pots to the Lord, Mangal Yagya, lunch-dinner ‘prasadam’ for devotees, and cultural and spiritual activities besides distribution of Vedic literature to the participants.
The Rath Yatra will start at 3 p.m. after the Maha Aarti from Shivaji Park to the Shiv Sena Bhavan, wending its way through some of the oldest and congested localities and return to Shivaji Park.
The evening would comprise religious singing and discourses by ISKCON spiritual head Radhanath Swami Maharaj.
Revered as ‘The Lord of the World’, Lord Jagannath is worshipped as an abstract form of Lord Krishna and the chariot festival in Puri has been celebrated for several centuries.
Devotees believe that a person who pulls the chariot of Lord Jagannath attains spiritual abode after death and the Lord personally comes to take his soul to the spiritual world, explained Radhanath Swami Maharaj.
The founder-Acharya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada decided to make the festival a global event, starting from 1967 in San Francisco, to enable those devotees who cannot travel to Puri get an opportunity to join the festivities in their city or country, he added.