Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 6:
Jagannath Rath Yatra is not just famous in India but is celebrated all over the world with much fanfare and joy. The sunny sky, the dancing crowd, the clanging of cymbals, beat of the drums, chanting from the Vedas all culminate in a spiritual fervour bonding all Jagannath devotees into one big family or into Vasudheiva Kutumbakam.
But have you ever heard or seen the Jagannath chariot being pulled on a snow sledge cart in a freezing temperature of minus 20 degrees? Surprising, but true!
Devotion can create miracles it is said and when hundreds of devotees turn out in freezing cold to pull the ropes of the divine chariot of Lord Jagannath, it is definitely remarkable! The warmth generated by the spiritual chanting of Jai Jagannath and Hare Krishna Hare Ram reverberating in the village must have thawed out the freezing temperature.
Years ago in the sleepy village of Polushkino in Russia the Jagannath devotees celebrated Rath Yatra in a colourful way with music, kirtans, dance and a lot of joyous fervour . The three deities Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra were lovingly dressed up in warm clothes against the freezing cold and were adorned with Russian head gears.
Snow and the freezing temperature did not deter the devotees from venturing out of their houses or to lessen their spiritual spirit. The devotion and love was for all to see and feel.
The pristine white snow -covered roads were covered with brightly-clad enthusiasts wearing saffron, yellow, vermilion red, blue, green, pink and it was as if the rainbow had descended on earth. The chariot decorated in vermilion red and yellow with the flag flapping in the chilly morning air must have been a sight to never miss!