Yatra Dispatch: Puri Rath Yatra

Quick update because this Wifi isn’t great. We can’t get photos up, for instance, so you will have to wait for a shot of our Puri Mysore space. (It isn’t as nice as Kolkata.) And for shots of the Rath Yatra and maybe a few from. Mayapur.

What we can say is:

We are feeling very fortunate to be some of the lucky people to see the Jagganath Rath festival. It is an awesome experience, and you can see the devotion of the million or so people who pack the street along which the chariots are pulled.

We spent about 12 hours watching the Rath, much of it waiting for the three deities — Subhadra, Baladeva and Jagannath — to come out from the temple. The roar of the crowd when they did rivaled those at the World Cup. And the effort to cajole the deities, especially Jagannath, up the ramp onto the chariots was remarkable. They swayed and stopped, and acted they say like an intoxicated elephant.

The Monsoon has come with a sweet rain, warm and full, with nighttime lightning that sparked over and over, as we prepare to go to Siva’s city, Varanasi. We walked to the beach on the Bay of Bengal, where the rain soften the crashing, pitching surf.

And for those family members of our fellow Yatris who have been directed out way: Everyone is fine. Some are taking a little longer to adjust to the embrace of India, which is both gentle and harsh.

OK. Our fingers crossed this will post. More when we have a reliable connection. It may be after we all are stripped bare by Siva.

Posted by Bobbie and Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.