What is the Story of Lord Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra Festival?

Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2024 has amazing and popular stories about the devotees of Lord Jagannath that they love to hear. Puri Rath Yatra celebrates the Lord Krishna who loves to play pranks, tease Radharani, and Gopis, and eat makhan (butter). The dark-skinned Lord Krishna is the love of Vrindavan. The devotees sing praises for the Makhan Chor. They stare at the cloudy boy for hours without blinking their eyes. Jagannath Rath Yatra 2024 is famous across the world. 

Let’s unfold the legends of the Rath Yatra at Vedic Story and understand what Rath Yatra means in real!

Why Does Jagannath Puri Celebrate the Rath Yatra?

Puri Rath Yatra is a joyous festival. Thousands of devotees visit Puri to experience the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra Festival, also known as the Chariot Festival.

Puri king and its people honor Lord Jagannath, Subhadra, and Balabhadra for making a peaceful pilgrimage from Jagannath temple to Gundicha temple. Don’t be surprised by the fact that this festival has been enjoyed and practiced for over a thousand years. Devotees believe it has a deep spiritual and religious meaning that connects people at a spiritual level.

Why Devotees Pull the Rath Yatra and What Is Its Significance? 

Hundreds of devotees, wanderers, and explorers fly to attend the chariot festival. They travel to experience the mesmerizing aura of Lord Jagannath and pull the chariot. 

Priests of Jagannath temple and devotees sing hymns and mantras as if they are bathing under the invisible shower of blessings. 

The festival is huge and joyous, and it seems as if Lord Jagannath, Balaram, and Subhadra come down from the Vaikuntha to experience the love of their devotees.

What is the Vedic story Behind the Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra?

Krishna, Balaram, and Subhadra enjoyed their time at Vrindavan, the Raas Bhumi of Vaikuntha on Earth.

However, the Vedic story behind the Jagannath Rath Yatra is unbelievable, as it has the mischief, teasing, and zeal of childhood. 

Lord Jagannath, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, visits Gundicha temple with Balabhadra and Subhadra. 

The Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra is a journey to their aunt’s home, and the siblings enjoy it with great zeal.

Why and When Did the Rath Yatra Begin?

Krishna, the son of Nand Baba and Yashoda, needed to stay away from Vrindavan for a hundred years. 

Listening to the news, the Vrindavan people and Gopis cried and were devastated. They refused to let go of Krishna, the love of all Gopis.

While Krishna, Balabhadra, and Subhadra were ready to travel, Gopis tried hard to stop the chariot. They pulled it with all their strength and refused to leave the reins of the chariot.

They wanted their sakha to stay with them; don’t go with Akrura.

Akrura was shouting that he would take Krishna with force. Listening to this, the Gopis were terrified and laid down in the path of the chariot. 

“Sakhi, I and Baldao to go to Mathura. King Kansa invited us and we cannot refuse the invitation.” Krishna told the Gopis.

He assured his Sakhis. Gopis and the entire Vrindavan knew that Krishna never fulfilled his promise and continued to refuse to leave his chariot. 

However, Krishna, with his pleasing smile, assured the Gopis that he would return. 

On the other hand, he knew he would fail to fulfill his promise to the Gopis.

Why Did the Gopis Go to Kurukshetra?

Krishna remained away from Vrindavan for about a year. On the Surya Grahan, people used to follow a ritual of bathing in Samanta Panchak, Kurukshetra.

Gopis and other village people went to Kurukshetra for a holy bath. There they came to know about Krishna and Balaram being present. They were surprised to meet Krishna and filled with joy. The longing to reunite with Krishna made Gopis eager and overjoyed. 

Why Radha Refused to Stop Krishna from Going to Mathura and the Reason for Her Unhappiness?

Gopis and Vrindavan people were crying profusely. They were not ready to leave their beloved friend. 

However, Radharani, on the other hand, did not shrug and tried stopping Krishna. 

Krishna and Balaram were ready with their weapons and attire as warriors. It was the time of their departure. 

The residents of Vrindavan were crying with a painful heart and tears of separation, but Radha did not protest. 

Radharani, the queen of Vrindavan, couldn’t find Krishna in the same way as before. She knew it was not the Krishna she knew. It was not her beloved who teased her with his miscellaneous pranks. 

Radharani knew that Krishna loved to wear a peacock feather on his head as a crown, but the person on the chariot was a prince who wore a princely crown. 

Krishna, the apple of Yashoda’s eye, loved to wear yellow garments, but the person who was on the chariot was in royal attire.

The wild forest flower garland that used to adorn Krishna’s neck was now carrying precious gems and jewels.

Krishna’s lip, which was once carrying a flute to produce music and a melodious smile, now carried seriousness. 

Radha saw her beloved Krishna carrying dangerous weapons, such as a bow, sword, and arrows. 

Why Did Radharani Stop Meeting Krishna?

The eternal lovers Radha Krishna used to meet in the dark forests along the banks of Yamuna. 

Now the place of the meeting was crowded with people, and noise resounded with the trumpeting of elephants and the whining of horses, disturbing the calm memories of Krishna.

Radharani never imagined meeting her beloved Krishna in such a scenario. 

Thus, the Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra 2024 narrates the painful separation of Lord Krishna and Radha and the joyous meeting of their aunt. 

Radha, Gopis, and the devotees want to rejoin Krishna again and relive the memories at Vrindavan.

What is the Significance of the Gundicha Temple?

The Gundicha temple represents the Vrindavan, Krishna’s home, and the rath yatra signifies the return of Krishna, Balabhadra, and Subhadra to their home.

What is the Meaning of the Rath Yatra?

In Hinduism, the Rath Yatra encourages devotees to quest for enlightenment and reunite with the Supreme Lord in the Vaikuntha. 

We at Vedic Story wish you a Happy Rath Yatra! May you find peace by reading this write-up.

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