H H JAYAPATAKA SWAMI, MERCY ON WHEEL, SRI JAGANNATH E RATHA YATRA ADDRESS, SRI MAYAPUR DHAM, INDIA
Mukam karoti vacalam pangum langayate girim
Yat kripa tam aham vande sri gurum dina tarinamc
Paramananda Madhavam Sri Caitanya Isvaram
I offer my obeisances to His Divine Grace Abhay Caran Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada! Lord Jagannath is a very special deity in Rajapur. Radharani created the Navadvipa dhama for the pleasure of Lord Krsna. And Krsna gave the blessing that all the holy places will be present in Navadvipa dhama. So, some thousands of years ago, there was a demon attacking the brahmanas in Jagannath Puri. And he liked to eat the blood of the brahmanas. He was known as Rakta Bahu. So, the brahmanas were worshipping Lord Jagannath. They decided to take Lord Jagannath, Baladeva, Subadra, on a boat, off the Ganges, and kept the Lord in Navadvipa dhama. So this place in Rajapur is non-different from Jagannath Puri. After Indradyumna maharaj killed that demon, Lord Jagannath went back. But in the same place, 500 years ago, a Jagannath, Baladeva, Subadra manifested. A blind devotee wanted to go to Jagannath Puri with Sivananda Sena and others to see Lord Caitanya and to be present to see Lord Jagannath. So, this is a long story, but he got Jagannath, Baladeva and Subadra deity and on their installation, he got back his eyesight. And the person who carved the deity had leprosy, he was cured of his leprosy. So, on the very inauguration of the deity, who came spontaneously, He has been performing miracles! And there are so many books written on the miracles of Lord Jagannath.
So actually, Lord Jagannath came in the dream of the pujari. The pujari was thinking, who would worship the deity? Who would take care? His own children and relatives had gone to Calcutta, so he didn’t have faith in anyone. And Lord Jagannath came in his dream and said, I want to be worshipped by ISKCON! How many deities tell the pujari, I want to be worshipped by ISKCON??!! So we have been having the worship of These Jagannath, Baladeva, Subadra deities since many decades. And They have performed many, many miracles.
And Srila Prabhupada also wanted there should be a worldwide sankirtana party. So we were thinking how to fulfill Srila Prabhupada’s desire? And then the idea came, since this year, everything is in lockdown and no large religious gatherings are allowed, so let us have a virtual Ratha Yatra. And with that Ratha Yatra, we can take Lord Jagannath around the world! A world Ratha Yatra! And with that idea of fulfilling Srila Prabhupada’s desire, at this time when Lord Jagannath’s mercy is needed by the whole world, take Lord Jagannath, Baladeva, Subadra, Sudarshana Cakra around the world! So there wasn’t much time to arrange this thing. Everything is possible by the mercy of Lord Jagannath. His devotees worked very hard to put this together. You see the person who gave us these deities, he said that these deities observe the Snana Yatra but they don’t go on Ratha Yatra! So, Lord Jagannath will stay in Navadvipa dhama, simultaneously, He will go around the world! By virtual Ratha Yatra. In fact, we intend to have 108 Ratha Yatras. Just as Lord Krsna, when He was in Dwaraka, He left His chariot and entered into 16,108 palaces! So it is not a big deal for Lord Jagannath to manifest Himself into 108 expansions! So as Subeksna prabhu and others have said, we are very grateful for those devotees who are helping us. Around the world, we thought that as the spiritual headquarters, we should reciprocate those who are helping us, and we should do something to help everyone! Now we hope that Lord Jagannath, Baladeva, Subadra, Sudarsana Cakra will be going to your house, to your city. You will feel the unlimited bliss of His service. We are very grateful for all the devotees who have worked hard to put this together. And we hope that it will be a great success, and all of you will be very encouraged by having the darshan and the seva opportunity of Lord Jagannath.
Actually I joined the Hare Krsna movement in 1968, and I was assisting Jayananda prabhu on the ratha yatra. It was the first custom made ratha. So I was helping with that. On the ratha yatra day, I surrendered to Krsna. I shaved off my hair and wore the traditional dhoti. So for me, ratha yatra is a very special occasion! And I hope that you will all feel special mercy of Lord Jagannath! If there are any defects in our execution of this Ratha Yatra, please forgive us! And I am very glad that we have this opportunity to serve Lord Jagannath, Baladeva, Subadra, and to serve the community of devotees around the world. Thank you very much! Hare Krsna! Your servant, Jayapataka Swami!
Another small address:
The virtual Ratha Yatra is now being presented around the world and we are very happy that you are able to participate in this virtual ratha yatra. His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, he wanted to have a worldwide sankirtana party. So now saying thanks to all helpers and donors and various devotees, we are having a worldwide virtual Ratha Yatra festival. Lord Jagannath has expanded into 108 rathas and He is going to different countries around the world. So thank you very much for participating in this Ratha Yatra and we hope that you will pull the virtual rope, engage in arati offering lamp and flowers, you will offer bhoga to the Lord and offer your seva. So this Ratha Yatra is meant to purify the world, at this time we are suffering, and we want the Lord to be pleased. So please satisfy the Lord and thus your life will be perfect! Thank you very much! Hare Krsna! Your servant, Jayapataka Swami
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi,