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Rath Yatra Reason in Hinduism - Why Hindus Celebrate Rath Yatra?

Rath Yatra is an important ritual in Hinduism and is observed today throughout the world. The most important one is observed at the famous Puri Jagannath Temple. But why do we Hindus celebrate Rath Yatra? Have we ever given a thought to it?

The original Rath Yatra is held from the Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa to the Gundicha Temple. It is believed that the murtis of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra was carved in the Gundicha Temple. It was later moved into the present Puri Jagannath Temple. It is sort of return journey for the deities.

During Rath Yatra, the deities come out of the sanctum sanctorum in temples and mingle with devotees. Thus the deities give an opportunity to all devotees to touch and feel their venerated murtis (idols).

All people irrespective of caste, creed, sect, and religion and sex distinctions are allowed to pull the Rathas or Chariots. This shows that all are equal before god.

All man made barriers are broken. Gods come down to visit devotees in their place. Every form of barriers are broken by Bhakti – devotion. Devotees dance with the deities. Devotees pull the deities around. Devotees sing with them. There is complete union. Symbolically, Rath Yatra beautifully explains the core teaching of Hinduism that everything is Brahman (God). The arrival of gods amidst devotees proves that there is no difference between the worshipped and the worshipper.

Chariot processions are also held in Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti Temples in many regions in India especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.