THE popularity of Lord Jagannath has reached globally. Though the Rathyatra in Puri is famous world over and the devotees from across the world reach Puri to participate in it, now similar Rathyatras are taken out in some other countries also. Many religious and social organisations including ISKCON play a key role in organising such Yatras.
A similar Yatra was taken out in one of the seven islands of Spain, Tenerife island, on July 11 where a large number of Hindus live. When Shri Patit Pavan Das, Tenerife president of ISKCON, announced to take out the Yatra about three months back it was widely welcomed by all the Hindus there. The idols of Lord Jagannath, Baldev and Subhadra were specially brought from Orissa by a special plane.
Before taking out the Yatra on July 11, special puja was performed by five Brahmins and only after performing the Pran Pratishtha, the idols were installed on the Rath. Before starting the Yatra, Mayor of Tenerife, Shri Gop Mahatani of Indian Embassy, Shri Patit Pavan Das of ISKCON, Shri Kanhaiyalal Mirpuri of Indian Culture Centre, Shri Laxman Godhvani of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and many other distinguished personalities broke coconut and formally cleaned the streets to which the Yatra was to pass through.
The presence of the devotees was too large that the rope to pull the Rath was extended to 500 metres. Amidst the chanting of slogans like Jai Jagannath, the atmosphere turned highly devotional. Many ISKCON devotees and the representatives of various cultural organisations performed dances during the Rathyatra. After passing through the main roads of the city, the Yatra concluded at the same venue from where it had begun.
In the end, Hare Krishna Bhakta Shri Vaiyasaki Das and Smt. Bhakti Devi Das who came from the US, performed Harinam Sankirtan and thrilled the devotees by their melodious voice. This is how the first Lord Jagannath Rathyatra concluded peacefully in Spain.