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The Rath Yatra Festival
Jagannath is a compound word, consisting of ' Jagat ' and ' Nath '. The word nath means ' Master, Lord ' while jagat means the   'Universe '. Thus Jagannath means "Lord of the Universe" and is a deity worshiped in regional traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism in India and Bangladesh. Jagannath is considered as a form of Visnu. He is a part of triad along with his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra. To most Vaishnava Hindus, Jagannath is an abstract representation of Krishna.
The theology and rituals associated with the Jagannath tradition combine Vedic  , Puranic and Tantric themes. He is the vedic Purushottama, the puranic Narayana and the tantric Bhairava. He is same as the metaphysical Brahman, the form of Vishnu that pervades as abstract Kala (time) in Vaishnava thought. He is abstraction which can be inferred and felt but not seen , just like time. Jagannarh is Chaitanya ( consciousness) , and his companion Subhadra  represent shakti ( energy) while Balabhadra represent jnana ( knowledge) . According to Salabega the Jagannath tradition assimilates the theologies found in Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, Buddhism, Yoga and Tantra traditions.
Jagannath is significant regionally in the Indian States of Odisha, Chhattishgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar , Gujarat. Assam, Manipur and Tripura. Jagannath is also significant to the Hindus of Bangladesh. The biggest annual festival called the "Rath Yatra" celebrated June or July every year is dedicated to Jagannath.
Rath Yatra is derived two Sanskrit words, 'Rath'  which means chariot or carriage, and Yatra which means journey or pilgrimage. The Rath Yatra festival has become a common sight in most major cities of the world since 1968 through the Harey Krishna movement. Local chapters put on the festival annually in over a hundred cities worldwide.
Rath Yatra processions have been historically common in Vishnu related (Jagannath , Rama , Krishna) traditions in Hinduism across India, in Shiva related traditions, saints and goddesses in Nepal, with Tirthankaras in Jainism as well as tribal folk religious found in the eastern states of India. Hindu communities outside India, such as in Singapore, celebrate Rath Yatra such as those associated with Jagannath, Krishna, Shiva and Mariamman.
Puri --- a holy place of Indian State of Odisha celebrate World famous Rath Yatra every year. It is the largest and most visited Rath Yatra in the world attracting huge number crowd from many parts of  Indian states and elsewhere. In Bangladesh Dhamrai
(Dhaka distrct) Rath Yatra is the most well known Rath which has a long heritage. Dhamrai Jagannath Rath is a chariot ( made by wooden carriage with wheel ) temple , attracting people from home and abroad in Rath Yatra festival period and other times also. The original historical Dhamrai Rath was burnt down by Pakistan army in 1971. The Rath has since been rebuilt with Indian assistance.
Jagannathdev's Rath Yatra belongs strong religious values and colourful festivity among the society. While Rath Yatra has religious origins and meaning, but the event have a major community heritage, social sharing and cultural significance to the organisers and participants.

Tara Pada Acharjee
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