|Attended the Street Parade yesterday as the grand finale of the annual Fremantle Festival. The grand Rathayatra Cart of Jagannatha, commemorating millenia old celebrations in Puri, Eastern India, was drawn through the streets of the seaport City of Fremantle on Perth’s southern coastline by devotees chanting the ever-fresh Hare Krishna Mantra.
The beautiful cart was presided over by the ancient forms of Jagannatha in a miniature version of the original parade in India which attracts millions of faithful every year.
When, in the 1800’s, the British witnessed the sheer overwhelming size of the carts and the awesome hugeness of the event they coined the term ‘juggernaut’, meaning ‘a large heavy and overwhelming force or object’, their approximation of the name ‘jagannatha’.
I was fortunate to lead the 2 hour-long call-and-response chanting, and thoroughly enjoyed spiritual bliss, accompanied by pounding drums, melodious accordion, fizzing cymbals and sweet voices.
The 10,000 onlookers were stunned by the beauty and spiritual presence of the parade and responded by spontaneously raising their arms and cheering. It was one of the nicest little Ratha Yatra Festivals I’ve been on for long time.
Posted by Kurma on 28/11/05; 1:57:31 AM