ISKCON celebrates its golden jubillee this year
On the auspicious day of “Aashadh Shukla Dvitiya” (aashadi beej) on 14th July Iskcon Vadodara will organise the 37th annual Jagannath Rathayatra Mahotsav in the city. This year happens to be special as Iskcon celebrates its golden jubilee year into existence.
The year is special for Iskcon as in 1955 Abhay Charnarvind Bhakti Vedant Swami established it in New York. Since then the organisation spreads to every part of the world and celebrates Rathayatra with great fervour. In Vadodara the Iskcon organise its 37th annual Jagannath Rathayatra on 14th July Saturday.
As per the tradition, the Rathayatra procession starts from Baroda Railway station at 2:30 PM, with Mayor of Baroda Dr. Jigisha Sheth inaugurate the procession by sweeping the road in front of Lord Jagannath’s Rath. It’s a tradition where the first citizen sweep the road just like the Gajapati Maharaja does in Puri annually. The ancient tradition has been intact for centuries.
Like every year the Rathyatra attracts large number of people to have a glimpse of Lord Jagannath goes out with sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadra for city darshan. People gathered all along the route of the Rathyatra to pay their respect to the Lord and seek blessings from them.
Local, social and political leaders including local MLA’S Municipal Councilors, remain present at the inauguration. Also present will be a number of life patron members and supporters of ISKCON along with large number of general public.
ISKCON leaders H.H. Bhakti Vikas Swami, ISKCON Gujarat Chief Sriman Jasomatinandan Das, Basu Ghosh Das, President of lSKCON Baroda, Sriman Deena Bandhu Das, senior ISKCON devotee and President of ISKCON Chandigarh Vraj-lila Kathakaar, Sriman Bhakti Vinod Das, Iskcon Vidyanagar President Sacchidanand Das, Nityananda Ram Das Vice
President ISKCON Baroda, Bhakti Vedant Academy Gurukul Mayapur Navdweep West Bengal Dean Priti Vardhan Das will remain present along with 55 students from the Gurukul attending the Rathayatra festival.
Like every year large number of devotees will be attending the Rathayatra festival from various parts of lndia. ISKCON Baroda Bhakti Vriksha and Iskcon Youth Forum (IYF) devotees, headed by Mantresh Gauranga Das, Ram Keshav Das, Nimai Nitai Das, Vamsidhari Das, Ram Govinda Das and Ram Gopal Das will distribute books throughout the Rathayatra procession.
Fifteen tons (25,000 kgs) of “halava” prasad, all cooked in “deshi ghee” distributed from trucks moving behind the Rath cart. Later on at ISKCON Baroda, full plates of prasad distributed to approximately forty thousand visitors, and ISKCON life patron members.
The procession proceed from the Railway station at 2:30 PM passing through Sayaji Bagh, Kalaghoda, Salatwada naka. Koti Kacheri, Raopura Main Road, Jubilee Bagh, Padmavati Shopping Center, Sur Sagar, Dandia Bazar, Khanderao Market, Lal Court/Nyaya Mandir, Madan Zampa Road, Kevda Bagh and end at the Baroda High School. opposite the Polo ground at around 8:00 PM.