The Jagannatha Ratha Yatra in Puri, Odisha is India’s largest chariot festival. This much-awaited Indian festival will begin from July 12th this year and is a 15-day long celebration revered country-wide. Usually, the temple town of Puri witnesses tourists from all over the world participating in the, ‘Pulling of the Chariots’.
However, this year certain restrictions have been imposed keeping in mind the second-wave outbreak of the pandemic. Those who test negative for the virus will be allowed to participate in pulling off the majestic chariots this year. In this blog, you get a glimpse of the magnificent heritage of this festival, its significance and how certain agarbatti fragrances can intensify your devotion and joy during its celebration!
All About Puri’s Jagannatha Ratha Yatra
This Year marks the 144th Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannatha who is believed to be an Avatar of Lord Vishnu. Also, called the Chariot festival, this festival commemorates Lord Jagannatha’s annual visit to the centuries-old Gundicha Mata temple built by the ardent devotee Gundicha Maharani, queen of King Indradyumna who was the founder of the 1st Jagannatha Temple.
The temple’s distinctive Kalinga style architecture is a marvel to behold and has artistic grey sandstone carvings all over it. Devotees believe that Lord Jagannatha along with brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra Devi leave the main Jagannatha temple for nine days every year – one day to travel to the temple, seven days to reside at the Gundicha Mata temple and the last day for returning to the main temple which is also known as the Bahuda Yatra or Return Yatra on the Dashami Tithi.
Each year three chariots of different sizes and ornate designs are used to carry the three deities through the western gate of the Gundicha Mata temple which is also known as the ‘Garden house of Lord Jagannatha’ as it is located in the middle of a lush green garden with tall coconut trees.
The deities are then placed on a plain raised throne inside the temple called ‘Ratnavedi’ and worshipped with pomp and glory. Known as the Adapa Darshana, paying homage to the Lord during the Ratha Yatra is believed to be most auspicious in Hinduism. On his return, the Yatra leaves the temple from the eastern gate and also stops at Mausi Maa Temple dedicated to Goddess Ardhashini.
Why Use Agarbatti to Enhance Your Devotion During the Ratha Yatra?
The right agarbatti aroma creates a perfectly fragrant ambience to fuel a deep devotion to Lord Jagannatha. It calms your mind, infuses positive thoughts and amplifies your spiritual being during the religious rites and rituals, promoting oneness with the Lord.
3 Best Agarbatti Fragrances to Invoke the Lord’s Blessings!
1. Chandan Agarbatti
When burnt during Puja rituals Chandan agarbatti flourishes the soul with its powerful, pious and relaxing aroma. Chandan aroma also purifies the atmosphere around you during religious ceremonies and calms the nerves. The warm, woody and ethereal fragrance elevates energy levels, eliminates anxieties and fortifies the mind to forge a deeper connection with the Lord.
2. Gulab Agarbatti
The sweet-smelling beautiful and velvety petals of the flower Rose (Gulab in Hindi) has been offered in veneration of the divine for ages. Its aroma is a universal symbol of absolute love and bliss. When offered in devotion to the Lord, its sweet and soothing aroma helps your mind focus inward. Gulab agarbatti fragrance acts like a relaxing and restorative energy that encourages you to breathe deeply and slowly during chants and holy rituals.
3. Lotus Agarbatti
Lord Vishnu also worshipped as Padmanabh is symbolized with a Lotus (Padma) in his hands. The floral, sweet and pleasant fragrance of Lotus agarbatti is associated with purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth which makes it perfect for devotional ceremonies.
Burning agarbatti during Puja rituals purifies both the outside ambience and the inside soul with its positively stimulating aroma. This year as you immerse yourself in prayers to Lord Jagannatha, these agarbatti fragrances will help you magnify your feelings and spirit in devotion to the divine.