Jagannath Rath Yatra 2022: Like every year, this time also the world famous Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath is going to start in Orissa on the second date of Shukla Paksha of Ashadh month. This time Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra will start from Friday, July 01. The chariot of Lord Jagannath, his elder brother Balarama and sister Subhadra is also taken out in the Rath Yatra. All three go on a journey in different chariots. The Rath Yatra ends on Ashadha Shukla Ekadashi. Let us know the special things of Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra and its religious significance.
Special things related to Rath and Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra…
- Not a single nail is used in the chariot of Lord Jagannath. This chariot is completely made of wood, even no metal is used in the chariot. The selection of the wood of the chariot starts on the day of Basant Panchami and the making of the chariot starts from the day of Akshaya Tritiya.
- Every year the idols of Balabhadra and Subhadra, including Lord Jagannath, are made from neem wood. Special attention is also paid to the colors in these chariots. Due to the dark complexion of Lord Jagannath, the same neem wood was used which is of dark colour. At the same time, due to the color of his siblings being fair, light colored neem wood is used for their idols.
- There are total 16 wheels in the chariot of Lord Jagannath of Puri. The chariot of Lord Jagannath is red and yellow in color and this chariot is also slightly bigger than the other two chariots. The chariot of Lord Jagannath follows first, followed by Balabhadra and then Subhadra’s chariot.
- The chariot of Lord Jagannath is called Nandighosh, the name of the chariot of Balarama is Taal Dhwaja and the chariot of Subhadra is called Darpadalana Ratha.
- The well water from which the Lord is bathed on the full moon day of Jyeshtha month opens only once in a year. Lord Jagannath is always bathed with water in 108 pots in the bath.
- Every year on the second date of Shukla Paksha of Ashadh month, Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra ji visit the city in a newly made chariot and reach Gundicha temple of Janakpur from Jagannath temple. Gundicha Temple is the home of Lord Jagannath’s aunt. After reaching here, all the three idols are brought down by law. Then the aunt’s house is established.
- Lord Jagannath stays at his aunt’s house for seven days. Then the chariots return on the eighth day on Ashadh Shukla Dashami. This is called the Bahuda Yatra.
The road is cleaned with a gold broom
After the three chariots are ready, the palanquin of the Gajapati king of Puri arrives for its worship. This worship ritual is known as ‘Chhar Pahanra’. They worship these three chariots duly and with a ‘golden broom’, the chariot pavilion and the path of the journey are cleaned.
Lord Jagannath goes to rest at aunt’s house
People pull the chariot of Lord Jagannath with drums, drums, trumpets and conch sounds on the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, which comes out on the second day of Shukla Paksha of Ashadha month. The one who gets the fortune of pulling the chariot is considered to be very fortunate. The Rath Yatra starts from Jagannath Temple and covers a distance of 3 kms. Away reaches Gundicha temple. This place is also considered as the home of the aunt of the Lord. According to another belief, it is here that Vishwakarma had built these three idols, so this place is also the birthplace of Jagannathji. Here all three people rest for seven days. Then on the tenth day of the month of Ashadha, all the chariots again proceed towards the main temple. This return journey is called Bahuda Yatra. After reaching the Jagannath temple, the deities are re-consecrated amidst Vedic chants.
One gets hundred sacrifices for pulling a chariot and the virtuous fruit of salvation
Lord Jagannath is considered an incarnation of Shri Krishna. According to Skanda Purana, the person who joins the Rath Yatra and goes to the city of Gundicha while chanting the name of Jagannathji, the lord of the world, becomes free from all the troubles, while the person who bows to Jagannath in the dust and mud of the road etc. One who turns around, gets directly to the perfect abode of Lord Vishnu and the person who has darshan of Shri Krishna, Balarama and Subhadra Devi sitting on a chariot in Gundicha Mandap, coming in the south direction, gets salvation.
‘Mahaprasad’ of Jagannath Temple
Prasad is distributed in all Hindu temples after worshiping the deity and performing rituals. But Jagannath Temple is the only temple where the offerings are called ‘Mahaprasad’. This Maha Prasad is still made in the kitchen of the temple in the old way in the Jagannath temple. It is believed that the kitchen of Jagannath temple is the largest kitchen in the world. Mahaprasad is cooked in 7 earthen pots. These 7 utensils are cooked by placing one on top of the other. The most important thing is that the prasad gets cooked first in the earthen pot placed on the top, then the prasad gets cooked one after the other in the pot placed below it. Only wooden and earthen utensils are used for cooking Mahaprasad. The Mahaprasad made in the temple never falls short of the people.