ISKCON Temple of Boston, MA, celebrates Snana Yatra Utsav

Snana Yatra
Temple Priest performing the Maha Mangal Arati

Geetha Patil 

ISKCON Temple of Boston, MA celebrated Snana Yatra Utsav, also known as the Bathing Festival on Sunday, 16 Jun 2024 with hundreds of devotees who demonstrated great enthusiasm and devotion. This Snana Yatra Utsavis the precursor Yatra to the grand Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, which is going to be on Sunday Jun 22, 2024.

Snana Yatra
Dancer Mehak Bhola presented devotional Odissi Nrityam

The Snana Yatra Utsav program began with a beautiful classical Odissi dance by Mehak Bhola.

Then the temple priests namely Hemasarir Das, Indulekha Dasi and Premanandini Dasi initiated the sacred bathing ceremony by placing the Chalanti Pratima or Utsav Murtis of the Lord Jagannath, Lord Balram and Ma Subhadra in the Snana Mandapam, a specially decorated bathing altar while chanting Shree Krishna Maha Mantras.

All the priests and every devotee had a chance to bathe the deities in cool scented water and saffron milk. Once this was done, they were decorated with Gaja besa (Elephant form) and give Darshan to devotees.

As would be the case with human beings, shortly after bathing the deities will fall sick due to the indulgence in cold water and go to rest for some days (i.e. no Darshan allowed during this time). Once they recover, they will immediately set out on Rath Yatra. The Sanatana events or festivals around the deities are planned in a way to mimic human life as much as possible. For instance, offering sacred cold bath to Lords symbolizes an event to beat heat waves of the summer.

Snana Yatra
Young children actively participated in the event

This ceremonial bath is believed to purify the deities and bestow blessings upon the devotees. This festival signifies the arrival of the monsoon season, which brings relief from the scorching heat and rejuvenates the land, symbolizing the cycle of life, growth, and prosperity. Subhadra Mata Ji performed devotional Kirtan and other devotees sang melodious Krishna Bhajans and created spiritual atmosphere in the temple. Many young children, teens and graduate students showed their utmost enthusiasm at the event.

Snana Yatra
Temple Priests bathing Lords while chanting Hare Krishna Maha Mantra

Temple President, Vanamali Prabhu Ji thanked all the devotees for their active participation in the event and requested all the devotes to attend the upcoming magnificent Rath Yatra program on Jun 22, along with their family members, friends, and other community people and make the event a grand success. He also encouraged everyone to participate in the temple’s volunteer and support activities since thousands of devotees from all over the country are going to come to Boston to participate in the Rath Yatra and get good fortune by pulling the Lord’s chariot and spread the message of unity, goodwill and peace in the world. In a way, the Rath Yatra is Lord Jagannath’s love for everyone.

Also ReadISKCON Chicago celebrates Govardhana puja – Diwali

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