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Jamshedpur ‘Rath yatra’ festival: Symbolic rituals performed


Jamshedpur, July 12: Like last year the usual Rath Yatra related festivities were missing today in the city. The festival proved to be just about pulling the chariots of Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra. Rituals like aarti were performed at different places. International Society for Krishna Consciousness ( ISKON)  did not organise ‘Rath Yatra’  from Ram Mandiram in Bistupur to Sakchi Dhalbhum Club like every year. However, arti was performed at the temple. MP Bidhyut Baran Mahto participated in the rituals.

 “For us it is the most important event of the year. Every year the yatra is taken out with pomp and show. However, this year we did not take them out in the wake of coronavirus. Moreover we also believe that the human body itself is the chariot of the almighty and our senses are the horses that pull the chariot. And the rath yatra symbolizes taking our body in the right direction,” said Bhagwan Das, priest of the mandir.

The Rath Yatra Committee of Jugsalai organised an arti during which the Lord Jagannath was worshipped with his elder brother Bala-Rama and his sister Subhadra.

 “The event is inspired from the Puri Jagannath Yatra, our forefathers started it more than seven decades though several other committees too take out yatras but we have maintained the tradition with full devotion but now we decided not to take out yatra to maintain social distancing,” noted Pradeep Gupta, a member of the committee.

It may be mentioned that similar on lines of Rath Yatra at Puri, the Rath Yatra Committee at Jugsalai has been taking out the march from the last seven decades. Such is the popularity of yatra that a place in Jugsalai has been named ‘rath gali’ after it.

Meanwhile, Naga Mandir near Beldih Golf Course that takes out the city’s oldest rath yatra celebrates the day on its premises. “The danger of COVID-19 has only increased and not subsided at all. It was too risky to celebrate Rathyatra out in the open with large people gathering to pull the chariots. It’s practically impossible to do it while maintaining social distance,” said an official. He took out a symbolic yatra inside the temple.

Pujas took place inside the temples keeping with traditional norms. “We followed all rituals behind closed doors. No one, apart from the pujari and select helpers, were allowed to participate this time,” said a member of the temple.

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