Written by Rukmini

Tucked away in Punjab, the city of Chandigarh was set ablaze with two back to back Ratha Yatra’s this weekend. Kadamaba Kanana Swami arrived from Mayapur on the eve of the first Ratha Yatra. He walked straight into an evening program at the home of our gracious host for this leg of the tour, Madan Mohan Prabhu. After a warm reception Maharaja launched into an animated hindi class and vibrant kirtan.

On the morning of the initial Ratha Yatra we got first darshan of Sri Sri Radha Madhava, presiding Deities of Chandigarh at the local temple – They definitely have a distinct Vrndavana flavour reminding us of Krsna’s sacred dham, now geographically much closer. Maharaja gave the morning class. He spoke on the humility of Vidura as the essential mood of the devotee expressed in the Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu and dainya baudika. He emphasised how by serving the devotees we can come closer to Krsna just in the way King Pratraparudra was able to gain the association of Lord Caitanya by serving Ramananda Roy even though initially the Lord bluntly refused to see him.

Just after midday Chandigarh came alive as the Lord of the universe mounted His chariot. An impressive array of guest speakers included Gopal Krsna Maharaja, Vedavyasa Priya Swami, Navayogendra Maharja, Prabodananda Maharaja and others. A unique feature of this Ratha Yatra is that every few kilometres the chariot stops allowing people to climb up the chariot and make offerings to Jagannatha and thus getting an eye level darshan of the Deities. Thus the chariot procession went on till late night flooding the streets with the mercy of Lord Jaggantha. The next day was but a nectar replay, this time in a nearby city of Panchakula.

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