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By Tusti Mohan Krsna dasa
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
We have the great pleasure to share with you a brief story and a lot of pics about the Calcutta Rathayatra Festival held by ISKCON Calcutta and Mayapur on the 12th of July with a one week program in tha Maidan area with Pandal programs including, apart from the temple, a place for Yajna, a book and prasadam distribution stall, life members center and halls, VIP halls, exhibitions, a stage for cultural program, and a japa meditation hall.
The Calcutta Rathayatra was attended by Their Holinesses Jayapataka Swami and Bhakti Caru Swami, and co-organized by HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami and Dayaram das with the help of all the devotees from Mayapur (we also have Rathayatra in Mayapur apart from Calcutta, and we will share the pics later when we get them).
The chief guests were the world-famous musician Pandit Jasraj, and a national leader of the congress party (former finance minister) and now a member of the Congress party central committee, and the West Bengal State Chairman of the Congress party Mr. Somen Mitra.
The Festival started at 1:00 pm with thousands of devotees and the public in general. It was too hot at the beginning, but it cooled down at evening, and at almost 5 pm thousands of people were joining the devotees and increasing the participation of the public in this transcendental event. Jayapataka Swami and Bhakti Caru Swami were leading the kirtan at different points of the procession. The ladies were leading in front of the chariot of Lady Subhadra, performing ecstatic kirtans with nonstop dancing for hours. There was a special bus to distribute maha prasadam, and people in general were jumping over one another to get the mercy of the Lord, while other were competing to get a chance to pull the chariots of the Lord.
There were, apart from the three main chariots, one small chariot for the young devotees as well three float parades, one with Srila Prabhupada and the Panca Tattva dancing in front of Jagannath ( leading the procession) and one float parade about Lord Krsna and the gopis (in a boat) and the Ten Avatars float parade.
We will try to post pics daily on our websites and all the pics of these activities will be in www.mayapur.info.
The program will finish (Ulta rath) on July 20th.
© CHAKRA 27 July 2002
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