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Rathayatra – Festival of Chariots

May 19, 2014

Parade starts from BiggePark, Liverpool
Sunday, 29thJune 2014, 10:00 am
For more information: Govardhan das 0411 952 551, email: folk108@gmail.com

Open invitation to everyone to come and participate in the Rathayatra – Festival of Chariots.The RathaYatra, Festival of Chariots has been organised in Liverpool on Sunday, 29thJune 2014 at 10am. The RathaYatra – Festival of Chariots, includes a walking street festival and a Cultural Show. Showcasing : Classical Indian Dancing and delicious Free Pure Vegetarian feast in Bigge Park, Liverpool. Traditionally held during the month of June/July, in Puri, eastern India, where hundreds of millions of people sing and dance in the procession, the festival now takes place in cities all over the world.

The decorated chariots of Jagannatha will roll down the main streets of Liverpool. The Float sits on Isuzu 10 tonne truck, with NO engine and the volunteers will pull the Ratha cart using two 8 metres rope.
There will be people singing and playing Indian musical instruments along the parade. It is expected that between 2000 and 5000 people will attend the parade.

One of the aim of the Festival is to Increase aware of Indian Culture/Art and to promoting peace and harmony among local communities. Befitting the religious sentiment of its origins, RathaYatra Festival reach out to the wider community and generate greater awareness and interest in India, its age old traditions and the unity in its amazing diversity.Festivals of this nature increases awareness and interest in other cultures and it also, transcends cultural and religious origins to unite diverse sections of our multicultural society.”

The Festival starts in BiggePark, followed by a street parade in the main streets in Liverpool. After the Street Parade there will be a Cultural Shows, Classical Indian Dancing and distribution of delicious Free Pure Vegetarian feast in BiggePark.

RathaYatra, the festival of the chariots, is a procession of Lord Krishna in his form of Jagannatha, Lord of the Universe. Traditionally held during the month of June, in Puri, eastern India, where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims sing and dance in the procession, the festival now takes place in cities all over the world.

Rathayatra, has been celebrated for thousands of years in the Indian holy city of Jagannatha Puri. Lord Jagannathameans Lord of The Universe and is non-different to Krishna. He has large eyes and features which seem to be displaying symptoms of ecstatic bliss. Lord Jagannatha, together with His brother Lord Baladevaand His sister, Lady Subhadra, are pulled through the streets on chariots.The festival of Rathayatra represents Lord Jagannatha´s longing to reunite with His dear devotees.

The story of how Krishna appeared to a great devotee of the lord, King Indradyumna and ordered him to carve a deity(Daru-brahman, the wooden manifestation of the Absolute) from a log he would find washed up on the sea shore. King Indradyumna found a mysterious old Brahmin carpenter to carve the deity, but the carpenter insisted that he not be disturbed while he was carving the deity.

The king waited anxiously outside his room, but after some time, all sound stopped. The impatient Indradyumna worried what had happened and assuming the worst, opened the doors – only to find the deity half-finished and the carpenter gone! The mysterious carpenter was none other than Vishvakarma, the heavenly architect. The king was distraught as the deity had no arms and legs. Utterly repentant that he had interrupted the carving, the king was only pacified when the Narada Muni appeared and explained that the form the king now sees is a legitimate form of the supreme personality of godhead. Narada Muni then described how he had seen this form before, while visiting Dwarka. At that time, the Lord’s Vrindavan pastimes were being discussed, and the Lord overheard the conversation and felt loving separation for His devotees. He went into a trance and His eyes opened wide, His feet and hands retracted into His body. Sharing in this transcendental exchange, Krishna’s Sister(Lady Subadra) and Brother(Lord Baladeva) were similarly transformed.

From the SkandaPurana we get information that the original construction of the first Jagannatha temple was in Satya-yuga, millions of years ago. It is related that Lord Jagannatha told Maharaja Indradyumna that He first appeared in the Svayambhuvamanvantara of the first part of Satya-yuga, after being pleased by devotion.

The Vedic scriptures state that anyone who sees Lord Jagannatha or pulls His chariots achieves immense spiritual benefit, attaining liberation from the material world and entrance into the eternal blissful pastimes of the Lord. Anyone who has experienced the Rathayatrahas surely experienced ecstasy.

Five hundred years ago, Lord ChaitanyaMahaprabhu encouraged all of His followers to celebrate RathaYatrawith great enthusiasm. SrilaPrabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, organised the first RathaYatra in the Western world in 1967 in San Francisco.It is now observed in over 200 cities worldwide. The first event held in Australia was in Melbourne in 1974. Since then, Ratha-Yatra has been held in Sydney, Gold Coast, ByronBay, Wollongong, Newcastle, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.