30th July 2017 (Sunday) at 2 PM
This event is free and open for all! (Don't forget to invite your friends and family to come and pull the chariot of the Lord)
At: The Tower Grove Park (Parking available)
What to Expect:
This festival will start at the Tower Grove Park, Turkish Pavilion, 4256 Magnolia Ave, Saint Louis at 2:00 pm and the colorful, exuberant parade followed by a variety of activities. There will be cultural programs depicting Indian (Vedic) dances and dramas at the Corporate Shelter of the park, surrounded by many stalls and activities such as facepainting and henna tattoos, a free scrumptious vegetarian feast, mantra meditation, yoga, etc.
- Mantra Meditation
- Free Vegetarian Feast
- Face Painting
- Music and Dance
- Henna Tatoo
History of Rath Yatra
The Chariot Festival of India (Ratha Yatra) is a Hindu celebration that was originally only held in Orissa, India. In this festival, three magnificent chariot carts are pulled by devotees from the Temple of Lord Jagannath to the neighboring Gundica Temple. In each cart, there is a marvelous, richly decorated deity of Jagannath, sister Subhadra, and elder brother Balabhadra. Jagannath is one of the many names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krishna. The Sanskrit name, Jagannath, means means Master (nath)of the Universe (jagat). Jagannath is considered to be a very merciful form of the Lord. The oldest and most famous deity of Lord Jagannath is in Orissa, India (also known as Sri Jagannath Puri Dham).
From left to right: Lord Balabhadra, Subhadra Devi and Lord Jagannath
One of the stories behind Lord Jagannath’s appearance is the story of how Krishna was eavesdropping on the gopis (cowherd girlfriends of Krishna) as they spoke amongst themselves about His pastimes, and how much they loved Him. Subhadra was told to keep watch and make sure that Krishna and Balaram were not able to hear them speak of His pastimes. But, after some time Subhadra became so overwhelmed by the gopis’ devotion and love towards Krishna that she became completely engrossed in their stories and didn’t see her two older brothers come and begin listening. As Krishna, Balaram, and Subhadra listened to the gopis, their hairs stood on end, their arms retracted, their eyes grew larger and larger, and they smiled broadly in the mood of ecstasy. This is one reason for why the Deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Subhadra Devi appear the way They do.
2014 Rath Yatra Festival in Jagannathpuri, India
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, the FounderAcarya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), brought this festival to America, and introduced it to the western world as the Chariot Festival of India. Now, every year, hundreds of Chariot festivals are conducted all over the world!