Mayapur, April 18: Braving the heat a large number of devotees of Iskcon have been attending the Samadhi temple regularly to render their devotional services to Lord Jagannath on the occasion of holy “Chandana Yatra” festival that has begun from Wednesday in Mayapur. The occasion also known as the “Boat festival” that is aimed to provide a cooling effect to Lord Jagannath to beat the heat of summer. The festival also marks the beginning of preparations of Rath Yatra in this holy hub of the Vaishnabs.
Chandana Yatra starts on the third lunar day of the waxing moon of Baisakh month and continues for three weeks when the devotees smear the deity with sandalwood paste as mark of their devotion to the Lord Jagannath.
As per legend Lord Jagannatha instructed Malav King Indradyumna to perform this festival at this time. Since Baisakha is very hot, the sandalwood paste provides a pleasant cooling touch to the body of the Lord. In the evening the deity is placed in a boat for a tour in the water body adjacent to the temple to enjoy the breeze.
It is also believed that Lord Krishna in Vrindavan instructed his devotee Madhvendra Puri to fetch Malaya Chandana (sandalwood) from Odisha and to make it’s for smearing it over his body to provide relief from the heat. Since then the festival is held in the month of Baisakha.
Iskcon’s Mayapur spokesperson Subrata Das said: “The Chandana Yatra festival is being celebrated with fervour and devotional gaiety by the devotees like previous years. This year a large number visitors and devotees from across the globe have been attending the Sridham Mayapur to render their devotional service. Every day delicious prasadam with wide varieties of delicacies including khichdi, cakes, pizza, laddoos, halua, and pakoras are being distributed among the devotees and visitors”.