Do’s & Don’ts in Jagannath Puri Rath Yatra
This small list of do’s & don’ts for those devotees who are going for Rath Yatra to Jagannath Puri. I hope my & my friend’s last year experience will help you for flawless journey:
1. For Gundicha Marjan buy a big pot – as big as you can for cleaning Gundicha Temple. If possible take bhoga’s pot.. Why big???
For cleaning you have to take water in pot from hand pump (that is outside of Temple) to inside Temple. So with small pot u have to do in-out-in-out many times. Means waste of time.
After 1-2 pm Pandas (Pujari of Temple) close the Temple.
(Note: People with medical condition, children should avoid big pots)
2. Try to book yr hotel nearby Temple. Just to save time of internal traveling in Puri dham.
3. On Rath Yatra day get up early like 5 am & try to get in Temple before 6-7 am. The ceremony call Pahandi in which Panda (Pujari of Lord) carry Jagannath from alter to Ratha,starts after 7 am. In this ceremony Jagannath wear nice Mukuta (TIARA) which is get removed inside of Temple only. Mainly Jagannath do dance in side of Temple. Its most beautiful scenes you will ever see. SO DON’T MISS IT. There will be ticket for entering inside the Temple, so book it one day before. It will be around 500 Rs. but its worth of paying it.
4. Make a group of 6-8 & book an auto (TamTam) to take a tour of all holy Gaudiya Vaishnavas spots in Puri. There are around 8 spots. Auto driver will take 200-250 per person & he will take you to all spots. At each spot wait for 10 mins & sit & chant 1 round. Take this tour on 2nd or 3rd day when most of roads are open for autos. This tour will take 5-6 hours with auto.
5. Check 7 Wonders of Jagannath Temples as follows (keep yr scientific brain aside & then read it. Still if you don’t believe this then check yrself in Jagannath Puri) –
a) Flag always flap in opposite direction of air
b) From any place in Puri you will find Sudarshan Charka (Charka at top of Temple) is facing to you only
c) Normally in day air comes from sea to land & at evening opposite way but in Puri it’s totally opposite
d) No bird or planes fly above the Temple
e) The shadow of the main dome is not visible at any time in any direction
f) The quantity of cooked food inside the Temple remains same for entire year. But same prasadam can feed few thousand people & 20 lac people also; still it won’t not get waste or never lag
g) In Jagannath Temple kitchen, 7 pots are kept on each other & cooked on wood fire. In this process top pot get cooked 1st & bottom one last. After entering from Singhadwara’s first step inside the Temple you can’t hear any voice of ocean & when you cross the same step outside you can hear it. Mostly we can notice this at even time clearly.
Prasadam is cooked by Laxmidevi herself every day; only pure devotees of Lord can see her inside the Temple kitchen.
1. If you are going in group then don’t order or arrange food (prasadam) in particular hotel or Bhojanalya for entire group. Pay individual each time where ever you eat. Why not in group???
In Puri there are many hotels and bhojanalayas. Jagannath Puri is too big & during Yatra times mostly you have to travel by walking from hotel to Rath Yatra marg or any other spot. So if you order yr food at any particular hotel then you have to travel to that hotel from wherever you are every time, so again waste of time. Anyway you have to pay to for food then don’t waste yr time in traveling, just eat at nearest hotel or bhojanalaya every time.
2. Don’t carry money & mobile in bead-bag or money belt. Again Why????
Local thefts know that Gaudiya Vaishnavas are becoming more & more fashionable nowadays. They know we are using zipper pocket bead-bag so they just steal our bead-bags. Many of my friends lost their bead-bags & money like that.
3. Don’t carry Initiated beads for Rath Yatra. If you are carrying then keep it inside of yr room only, don’t bring them outwith you on Rath Yatra day. Why so???
In the crowd of around 25 lac people, it is possible that we may lose it or thieves may still it
4. Don’t dare to pull any of Rath on 1st day. Now this is big WHY??? We are going to pull Rath there so why not to pull it on 1st day????
A – 20 Lac people come for 1st day to pull Rath & many times new devotees have lost their life in stamped. So pull Rath on 2nd day, that time most of people leave Puri. Mainly all local Orissa people come for 1st day only, 2nd day it’s almost clear. Even on my 1st Rath Yatras 2nd day I got kicked by crowd several times, many punches on face & stomach. So be careful.
5. Don’t put yr step on Yamaraj step after completing Temple parikaram while going out from Temples Singhadwara (main gate exit side -east opening)
Why so??? And how to identify which step is Yamaraj step???
Jagannath Puri is holy Dham, if anyone does parikrama to Temple his/her liberation is confirmed. His/her all senses get clear, so in past Yamaraj saw that all people are visiting Puri & getting liberated & going back to godhead. As everyone was attaining Liberation by the Jagannath Puri kshetra, Yamraj was becoming ideal in his work so he complains to Jagannath. And as you know Jagannath is so kind he accepted request of Yamaraj & kept one step in exits side of main gate (Singhadwara). So if anyone keeps his/her feet on that step his/her all pious karma get nil & they will get back all old karmas.
Q – How to identify which step is Yamaraj step???
A – Before entering to Temple ask any panda (pujari of Temple). We made sure, we didn’t cross it as we were informed well in advance. The Yamraj step is the only black coloured step.
6. Don’t argue with Pandas (Pujari of Lord).
A – They are pure devotees of Lord. They are born in specific families which are appointed by Lord himself to worship him at the time of Indradumaya Maharaj. They born in such families & we are born in some city outside of Puri, that only shows that we are not qualified. While entering in Temple Pandas hit you by stick on yr head, accept that hit if they don’t do it then ask them to hit you. That hit represents yr ego to get crush before entering in Lords Temple. As per Vedas one should enter in Temple without ego if anyone has it then it must get crush before entering.
7. Don’t travel alone. Complete Big NOOOOO Why???
A – For yr safety purpose & you will easily get lost.
8. Don’t buy anything on M.R.P. or shoppers price; do bargain like – ask for half of a price. Why???
A – During Rath Yatra most off shopkeeper double the price of all things in shops so do bargain. And besides its fun to bargain especially for Matajis…
9. Don’t consider that all devotees around you in Yatra are normal human being.
A – Many times demigods come in form of human to serve Lord. Demigods are not allowed to take darshan or eat Lord’s mahaprasad in normal days. They are allowed in Rath Yatra time only. So be careful with other unknown devotees. Don’t do any vaishnava aparadha.
Have a wonderful yatra & chant the maha mantra !!!