Ratha Yatra 2010 in Dubai

Hare Krishna, everyone!

I attended the ISKCON Ratha Yatra festival in Dubai today. It was taking place in the Sindhi Ceremonial Hall in Bur Dubai. Before this, my grandmother and I went to the Bur Dubai Sinaji mandir. Even there they had made a special chariot for Ratha Yatra. The pujari or head priest was pulling the chariot forwards and backwards throughout the aarti ceremony.

The ISKCON Ratha Yatra was scheduled to begin at 8pm. So my grandmother and I left the Bur Dubai mandir to make our way towards the Sindhi Ceremonial Hall. All the way there, I was praying to Lord Jagganath. It was getting late. I needed to be there, I couldn’t miss the beginning. Absolutely not. I didn’t want to be a second late. Gates opened at 7 pm but the Ratha Yatra was supposed to start at 8 pm sharp.

“Lord Jagganath, wait for me. WAIT FOR ME!”

We reached at around 8:05 pm. The curtains were still closed.

Phew. He waited. Thank You, Jagganath πŸ™‚

We sat there, listening to the kirtan. At first, I thought they were playing a track. Later I realized there were kirtaniyas performing live. I was in shock. It sounded so good! Everyone waited in anticipation for the curtains to be drawn. When the moment came, lots of “oohs” and “aahs” were let out from the audience. It was a breath-taking sight. The deities looked wonderful.

There was a lecture about how Lord Jagannath came to be in this form. Prabhuji narrated a few stories and shared some insight on how Ratha Yatra is celebrated in Orissa, Bengal. The lecture was good, but I couldn’t pay attention, unfortunately. Because of some women around me who were sitting and talking amongst themselves. They weren’t even taking care of their kids. Kids were running around and playing. It was rather irritating and distracting. After the lecture, the pulling of the chariot began. Everyone got the chance to pull the chariots in batches. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to do so. There was too much of a crowd and it left me feeling disappointed. I waited for a while, and then I gave up, thinking if Jagganath wanted me to pull the chariot, I would. Looks like He had other plans for me. So perhaps next time I will get to do some service.

The devotees there were having a ball though. Everyone was singing and dancing and jumping, screaming ‘Haribol!’ It was really nice to watch. It was amazing being there. They felt like family even though I didn’t know everyone.

My grandmother and I went up to the Vaishno Devi celebration in the same building. Then we left. We went to Chappan Bhog and I’m sorry to say, I was in a rather sour mood. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because of the weather. I wasn’t speaking very politely and I wasn’t very keen on buying anything. I really regret being such a sourpuss now. We did buy samosas though. Then we left. We were waiting outside and the heat started to take its toll on me. I started seeing spots and I was almost blacking out. I was sweating profusely and feeling terribly sick. I ran back to Chappan Bhog.

Krishna Krishna Krishna

I opened the door and sat down at the table. I ordered a Rasmalai. The shopkeeper was nice. He offered to get me a panadol, which I politely refused. I was in seeking shelter in the same place that I was so irritated in before. A Hare Krishna entered Chappan Bhog then. He was leaving right around the time my parents came to pick us up. He held the door open for my grandmother and me, for which I am eternally grateful. I had things to carry and I was in a hurry since my parents came and I just picked up all the stuff. I was wondering how we would go out. Should have known that Krishna would send someone to help us. I think I really got lucky. The shopkeeper said he closes at 10 pm. It was 10:30. He was already packing up. Mercy? I think so.

I am grateful that I got to attend this Ratha Yatra festival. I am grateful I got to take my grandmother with me. I have been waiting to take her to an ISKCON festival since forever. I’m glad I got this opportunity. I only pray that everyone gets to experience the Lord’s mercy in their lives.


Filed under Krishna Consciousness, Testimonies + Miracles + Mercy Stories

8 responses to “Ratha Yatra 2010 in Dubai

  1. Hi…i really like ur blog (my first time).
    As a UAE resident living in India (tnx to my final years of schooling), your post brought up a doubt: i know of only one Krishna temple in Dubai, and that is of Sree Moorthy, in , i think, Bur Dubai.
    Is that the temple you mention here, in this post?

    • DrainPiper

      Yes, you’re quite right. There is one temple in Bur Dubai, near the mosque. This temple’s been called by a few names… Some say Sri Naathji Mandir, or Sinaji Mandir, Krishna Mandir… So I guess we’re talking about the same temple here πŸ™‚

  2. Well, then He is the same lovable Krishna! πŸ™‚

    My bday comes around in May, and i was in Dubai.
    i was already badly missing my dear Parthasarathy in Chennai, and plus not many friends in UAE.
    Ever since i came to Abu Dhabi in April, my bday was reserved fr Him, though i didn’t even remember how He looked.

    My bday got off to a horrible start, but i managed to force my dad to drive frm Abu Dhabi to dxb, braving the Friday traffic at Sheikh Zayed even.
    All on the way, sitting in the backseat of my car, i kept wondering about Him. Days of anticipation culminating in a frenzy to reach before the evening aarti, i kept trying to talk to Him. Each time He cut me off. Everytime He does that, something happens: ither very good or very bad. i was hoping it was good.
    So, we reached, with my dad already having given up hopes of a parking, and perhaps a darshan.

    Surprise of Surprises! In Bur Dubai, on a Friday, in that crowded area, my dad found a place waiing for our car!! (My dear Parthasarathy had perhaps driven along with us πŸ™‚ )

    And we went in, only to see that temple timings had been increased by an hour since my dad last visited the place.
    (All the making of a perfect birthday date πŸ™‚ )
    And, we went in, and oh!!!!!!
    It was some spl Pooja that day, and He was surrounded by Prasad all over!!
    And must i say, He was dashingly wonderful.
    i was crying (and people staring), i cudn’t stop the tears, being in UAE meant missing the temple-missing Him, and finally He was there…
    And, He sent us off with handful of Prasad, which was almost like a whopping meal on its own! (Yeah, my treat…i can’t believe He did that πŸ™‚ )
    It was the best birthday gift ever, coupled with what i received at the Parthasarathy temple in Chennai for my star bday.

    Sry abt the rather long and graphic comment. i couldn’t help it- He bowled me over that day! πŸ™‚

    • DrainPiper

      Oh don’t apologize for the length of your comment! I enjoyed reading your comment so much! And I think you’re right – Krishna most definitely wanted to celebrate your birthday! How wonderful! I am just amazed to see how Krishna reciprocated with your desires! Take one step towards Krishna and He takes a million towards us! And yes, even on normal days it is hard to find a parking in that area of Bur Dubai. I can just imagine the rush on a Friday! How amazing that you got a parking, and even got to have darshan! It was so nice to read about how you were so touched by everything and you ended up crying… I really really like hearing about how God touches people’s hearts, simply by His presence! You spoke so wonderfully about your dear Friend. It’s so evident how you see Krishna in everything, and you feel HIs presence, as though He was sitting there, in the flesh, and you talk to Him so casually, the way you would speak to close ones! It is so refreshing to see someone who has such a personal relationship with God – something which is lacking in this world that we live in! Thank you so much for sharing this! Please share any more stories you might have, if you don’t mind. I would love to read them! I absolutely enjoy reading about such experiences. They strengthen my faith deeply! Perhaps if you have some more such stories on your blog, you could link me to the respective entries?

      If you don’t mind, could I repost your experience on my blog for the next collection of “Personal Experiences” I put up? I will put the name and blog address you have registered under for your comments. Do let me know if that is okay with you! πŸ™‚
      Hare Krishna!

  3. //Take one step towards Krishna and He takes a million towards us!//
    How true! πŸ™‚

    //If you don’t mind, could I repost your experience on my blog for the next collection of β€œPersonal Experiences” I put up?//
    If u want to, yeah. i mean, i love ur blog, and i wouldn’t mind u writing anything at all. πŸ™‚

    i never really put up many stories on my blog- i don’t write in that regularly, but i found one here: Part 1 and Part 2. (links in order)
    (It’s about when i begged Him to stop the rain)

    • DrainPiper

      Thanks so much! πŸ™‚ I’ll probably put it up in the next collection of personal experiences i post!

      And thanks for linking me! Goodness, I am excited already! I’m going to read it right now!

  4. Ganesh

    There’s going to be a big jaganath ratha yatra festival on 11th Feb at ISC, Abu dhabi. Interested people may contact me at ganeshthebest@yahoo.co.in. NO MONETARY HELP REQUIRED. Only help required is participation. If interested one may also take part in cooking puri’s or mixed vegetables or sheera for the pleasure of lord and his devotees.

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