A Grand Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in the Greater Boston


India Post News Service

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Boston, MA celebrated its grand annual Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra (Festival of Chariots) with much pomp, devotion, and enthusiasm on Saturday, Jun 22, 2024 from 11:00AM to 6:00PM. Amidst beautiful, balmy weather, a sea of devotees participated and thousands of spectators witnessed the Chariot Procession that started from one Cambria Street through Boylston and Charles Streets to Boston Commons Park. More than 7,000 people attended the festival from all over the Massachusetts, New York New Jersey, and Connecticut and joyfully chanted the Holy Names of Sri Krishna.

The program started with the installation of three deities, Lord Jagannath (Vishnu Avatar) Lord Balabhadra (his brother), and Devi Subhadra (his sister) along with Srila Prabhupada’s murti followed by their Puja, Aarati while chanting of Maha Mantras and the devotees shouted Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna slogans in chorus. Then, the Ratha moves with elegance through the route and the dancing by men and women of all age groups including infants and young children, and the chanting of the Maha Mantras attracted thousands to the Darshan (auspicious viewing) of the Lord of the Universe. All the devotees were given an opportunity to serve the Lord by taking turns in pulling the long ropes on both sides of the street and in the middle devotees also swept the street for the Lord. The marvelous Rath Yatra marched majestically to the destination and along the way, the chanting Maha Mantra created divine atmosphere in the city.

The Boston Commons Park was looking gorgeous with red, yellow, green and blue stripe tents, featuring presentations on the Bhagavad-Gita, reincarnation, and mantra meditation followed by questions and answers tent on site. Srila Prabhupada’s and other popular writer’s books along with a selection of devotional paraphernalia and clothes were sold. There were exclusive tents for children’s books, face painting, and other activities.

Delicious vegetarian free Prasadam/feast plates containing Chana masala and tofu curry, Palav rice, Salad, Boondi Raita, and Gulab Jamun were served to all the devotees with a glass of orange juice and a bottle of water. Several vendors also sold chat pata snacks such as samosas, cookies, and ice cream etc.

Meanwhile various singing and dance groups presented spectacular stage programs. Firstly, the ISKCON Boston Youth team mesmerized the audience by singing invocation prayers followed by Upasana dance group’s beautiful Odissi dance. Amala Kirtan Prabhu presented melodious Kirtan. Radhapriya performed an enchanting Bharatanatyam dance that displayed holy movements for the devotees. Padmagopika and her team presented lovely Kirtan. Two young girls, namely, Satyabhama and Rohini from Triveni School of Dance gave a breathtaking Kathak dance. This was followed by an outstanding Kirtan singing by Paramrupa Prabhu that made most of the devotees go on the stage and in the front open space to dance to his tunes and be immersed in the Krishna bhakti. Jaya Madhava Prabhu and Karuna Mata also presented their melodious Kirtans and charmed the audiences by their joy of chanting.

Temple president, Shri Vanamali Prabhu Ji thanked all the dignitaries, special invites and the devotees for their active partition and support. He also thanked all the volunteers for their selfless and tireless services, vendors for their enthusiastic presence with all their delicacies. He expressed his gratitude to the city officials for giving permission and the police team helping us to carry on the procession peacefully.

Smitha Alve visiting from Mumbai said, “Boston people will get the experience of their lifetime by seeing the Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath and all kinds of transcendental events happening right here.”

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