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néläcala-niväsäya  nityäya paramätmane
balabhadra subhadräbhyäm  jagannäthäya te namaù

The Jagannatha Ratha-yatra (cart festival of Lord Jagannatha) is a centuries-old festival which takes place in Jagannatha Puri. It celebrates the return of Krishna (Jagannatha) along with His brother and sister (Balarama and Subhadra) to Vandavana, the place of the pastimes of His youth.

Real religion is that which awakens unconditional, unmotivated love for the Lord from within our hearts. The love for God, which is dormant in the heart of all living beings, can be awakened by chanting of holy names of the Lord.

Srila Prabhupada very simply explained the meaning of Ratha-yatra. He said that Ratha-yatra is the meditation on bringing Krishna back into our hearts. Krishna resides within the heart of all living beings, but we have forgotten Him. The real purpose of spiritual life is to make our heart a suitable home for God to reveal Himself to us. If we are inviting God to reveal Himself in our hearts, it must be clean. But if our hearts have accumulated the dirt of lust, envy, arrogance, greed, anger and illusion then He will not be happy to reveal His home within our heart. The purpose of every great spiritual path in this world is to help one another to honestly and sincerely clean our hearts, to cultivate the character of humility, charity, love for God and compassion to all beings.

Keeping this in our minds, Bhakta Prahlada School (BPS), the Sunday school of Sri Narasimha-Giridhari Mandir (SNGM), organized Jagannatha Ratha-yatra festival, an ecstatic event on July 19, 2015. The Ratha-yatra began in front of the Lakshmi-Narasimha Temple at 11 am with about 150 kids pulling the ratha. The procession went through the Dakshina Ayodhya premises and ended once again in front of the Lakñmé-Narasimha Temple. With the air filled with resounding Jagannatha-kirtan­a, our young devotees revelled in the drizzle amid chants, as the splendidly decorated chariot of Lord Jagannatha, Balarama and Subhadra threaded its way through the Dakshina Ayodhya premises. Here is a glimpse of this wonderfully ecstatic occasion.

BPS

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