March into love, peace and harmony - 'Hare Ram Hare Krishna' rents air as Iskcon takes out Rathyatra

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 6.02.04

Feb. 6: “Hare Ram, Hare Krishna” rented the air today as a colourful rally criss-crossed its way through the city roads, spreading the words of love and harmony.

People from all walks of life participated in the Lord Jagannath Rathyatra, which was flagged off by Assam governor Lt Gen. (retd) Ajai Singh from the Assam Engineering Institute playground at Chandmari in the afternoon.

The procession, comprising cultural troupes from different ethnic and tribal groups including those from Bodos, Karbis and Manipuris, passed through Panbazar and Fancy Bazar and culminated at Srimanta Sankar Kristi Bikash Samiti (Namghar) at Paltan Bazar. More than 3,000 devotees took part in the procession.

The Rathyatra was part of the four-day Hare Krishna Festival organised by Sri Sri Rukmini Krishna Mandir of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), which has its temple at South Sarania in the city.

“The rally had more to do with culture than religion. I hope that this kind of rallies would promote communal harmony for which Assam is famous,” said a participant in the rally.

The picturesque premises of the Iskcon temple have been buzzing with activities these days for the festival.

The Iskcon zonal governing body official, His Holiness Srila Jayapataka Swami, took part in the procession, led by four horses and two elephants. Devotees from the United States, Ukraine and Australia also took part in it.

The rath has been modelled on the chariots used in the famous Rathyatra in Puri in June last year. However, unlike the three chariots used in Puri, only one chariot was used here which carried the idols of Lord Krishna and his siblings.

The added attraction of the rath is the canopy of the chariot. A modern technique called retractable pneumatic system has been used through which the canopy can be raised or lowered with help of hydrogen gas. Its height will range from a minimum of 15 feet to a maximum of 35 feet.

“This facility is being added to make adjustments for electricity and telephone lines across the streets of the city,” an organiser said.

“The key objective of the festival is to check the imbalance of values of life and to achieve unity and peace in the region as propagated in the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam,” he said.

The yatra is part of similar programmes for world peace and harmony being organised by as many as 450 Iskcon centres in over 70 countries.