4th July 2019
Ratha Yatra Mahotsva
Today is a great day, Ratha Yatra day. In 1977, when we were in Jagannath Puri we could not have darshan on Netra utsava day but next day on ratha yatra day as we were performing Hare Krishna kirtan we were appreciated by the local devotees and called for darshan. We were feeling as if Lord Jagannath is appreciating us and our kirtan. On ratha yatra day Jagannath is going to Vrindavan in the chariot. The mood of ratha yatra is, how Lord’s love for His devotees moves towards Vrindavan. Ratha yatra is full display of perfection of our chanting if we could realize what ratha yatra is, what is Lord thinking, what is Lord feeling, love of the Lord for His Vrajavasi devotees, Radharani, Nandababa, Yasoda. They are trying to pull Lord to Vrindavan.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is representing Himself as Radharani and Her Lord is in the chariot and She is dancing, chanting and there is reciprocation between Them.
King Pratap Rudra also comes and seeing how humble King Pratap Rudra is, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says he is an example of,
trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna
(Siksastaka Sholka 03)
There is nothing wrong in giving darshan to such person. And as Lord had this thought and there was whole arrangement by His ‘ischasakti’ and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu meets King Pratap Rudra.
So, chanting and dancing is going on, Odiyas and Gaudiyas had come in large numbers. Mahaprabhu had divided devotees into 7 dancing party. Special mercy on King Pratap Rudra, he is getting darshan of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in all 7 kirtan parties. This is similar to the rasa dance in Vrindavan as Krishna is dancing with each and every gopi, like that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is dancing in each kirtan party. King Pratap Rudra is qualified to have such darshan. Lord is giving him such darshan.
That’s the goal of chanting and of participating in ratha yatra, getting darshan as King Pratap Rudra had. What darshan he is getting we should also get that darshan. That is the goal of participating in ratha yatra. There are so many eternal things happening there, the crowd and mridanga players but we should be striving to experience the darshan as King Pratap Rudra and that could be experienced by chanting. And by the mood of,
trinad api sunicena. taror api sahishnuna.
Then person can chant continuously.
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna.
Ratha yatra is the time, place and day of reunion of Lord and His devotees, they are reuniting and their hearts are meeting and there is festival. So Vrajavasis meet Lord, Lord of their heart during ratha yatra. Time for reunion, time for meeting Krishna, getting back to Krishna. Perfection of Bhakti yoga.
As we know from Chaitanya Charitamrta that particular year, King Pratap Rudra was blessed by close association of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He was the center of attraction. The whole chapter describes the mood of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu that mood represents the mood of Radharani. He is talking, acting and dancing like Radharani. And He is tired and also its time for upala bhoga of Lord Jagannath. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is resting in Jagannath Vallabha garden and King was inspired by ‘ichasakti’ to go and have darshan of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. And he goes and he recites gopi geet which is also Radha geet. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is in mood of Gopi. So it was a day and great fortune for King Pratap Rudra he was able to touch the transcendental form of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and he was chanting beginning from
“jayati te 'dhikam janmana vrajah” [1st Verse Gopi geet]
And he reached,
tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam
kavibhir iditam kalmasapaham
sravana-mangalam srimad atatam
bhuvi grnanti ye bhuri-da janah [9th verse Gopi geet]
And last part of that stanza and as King Pratap Rudra recited bhurida janah.
gopis had said ‘Those persons who share Krishna katha with others are bhurida janah.’ As Mahaprabhu heard this he said bhurida bhurida I have not seen you who are you. But that does not matter you are bhurida janah you have given Krishna to Me. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was thinking this bhurida is charitable he has given Me katha amrita in form of gopi geet, I should give him something, but what could I give? I am sanyasi. He got up with His arms extended, you could accept My embrace if you don’t mind.
King Pratap Rudra also moved forward and they were embracing each other. There was great union between one soul and Supreme soul. So such great union took place during ratha yatra festival.
As we participate in ratha yatra we should remember the example of King Prataprudra, remember his qualities, his humility and his chanting,
HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA
KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA
RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
Of course, he was chanting without offences and serving devotees offencelessly. He was attentive and he was thinking of nothing else but of Jagannath and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and His devotees. You should remember how King Pratap Rudra achieved perfection in his life and try to attain such perfection. Ratha yatra day is a very special day to achieve such perfection.
King Pratap Rudra ki jai!
He was a great King. So following the example of King Pratap Rudra we should achieve perfection and goal of our life in this very life.
‘Jagannath swami nayana patha gami bhava tume’
Jagannatha ratha yatra ki jai!
Jagannath Swami ki jai!
King Pratap Rudra ki jai!