The San Francisco Rathayatra, ISKCON’s first, returned on August 14th after missing the year 2020 due to the pandemic, with a bright and colorful celebration for the Lord of the Universe at Golden Gate Park.
An online “Sravana Festival,” with a series of Zoom talks by illustrious guests about the pastimes of Lord Jagannath and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, is setting the mood for the upcoming Ratha Yatra celebrations at the ISKCON temple in Plainfield, New Jersey and on the Atlantic City boardwalk.
When devotees at the ISKCON temple in Sydney, Australia, couldn’t organize their regular full-fledged outdoor Rathayatra festival due to COVID-19 restrictions, they decided to bring the whole city of Puri and a new custom-built chariot into their temple room for a small indoor Rathayatra.
Jagai Nitai Das, an active member of the Laguna Beach temple, organized the Jagannath Temple Tent this year at Bhakti Fest, which ran from September 25th to 30th at Twenty-Nine Palms near Joshua Tree in California.
When the category 4 Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20th, 2017, the U.S. territory’s only ISKCON temple, in Gurabo, was almost completely destroyed. For nearly a year after, devotees did not have electricity or running water, and groceries and gas were hard to come by.
Around one hundred devotees from the New Raman Reti ISKCON community participated in the Alachua Christmas Parade on Saturday December 8th, in Alachua, Florida. All the townspeople turned out for the occasion, packing the sidewalks.
As soon as it was time to pull the cart in St. Lous, Missouri, it started pouring. Even though the organizers started to worry that the crowd would be scarce, the park started to quickly fill up with people of all ages, races, and all religions, eager to experience this age-old Indian cultural event.
In the early months of 1969, before they had managed to establish a temple, Shymasundara das had carved the beautiful deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. And so it was, in July that year, five months before the Radha Krishna Temple was opened in Bury Place, the first London Rathayatra proceeded from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square.
Trinidad’s first ever Rathayatra was celebrated in Chaguanas in 1991 with a flatbed truck used as the chariot. In 1994, devotees put on the first Rathayatra in Port of Spain, building a float onto a truck chassis. But it wasn’t until 2006 that organizer Baladeva Das built the first proper Rathayatra cart with the help of a friend.
Touchstone Media has churned the ocean of nectar and come up with a marvellous masterpiece, ‘Sri Ksetra: Vaikuntha on Earth.’ Lord Jagannath is dear to every devotee. His Dham, Sri Ksetra is as glorious as Him.
Once, Srila Pundarika Vidyanidhi and Srila Svarupa Damodara came to Jagannatha Puri and saw the festival of odana-sasthi. On this day, the Lord is offered new cloth, and from that day forth, the Lord should be offered winter clothing.
Every year on the 4th Saturday in September, their Lordships Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra Devi grace the streets of Philadelphia (PA, USA) in a Parade of Chariots beginning from Love Park and ending at Eakin’s Oval, in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art where the Festival of India is then held. This year the festival was held on September 23th.
On Tuesday 27th June, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Netherlands of his three-nation tour after concluding his visit to the United States. During the visit, Prime Minister Modi was meeting the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, King Willem-Alexander and the Indian Diaspora in The Netherlands.
Ratha Yatras are always amazing and wonderful events, but I was trying to pinpoint why this venue felt more auspicious than usual to me. I did not realize the answer until the next day when Shranti devi informed me that Their Lordships Radha Damodar had presided at the exact same venue, Pier 60, when Vishnujana Swami and the traveling party brought Then there over forty years ago!