Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra
Diary 4-10 July 2005 by Malini Devi Dasi
Finally being able to perceive Jagannath's eyes peeking through His car, I cannot describe the feeling. It is truly out of this world, not a bodily emotion or sensation, but something that belongs only to the soul. And to think that He is looking right at You, every single one of you! I want to cry from joy and gratitude at my good fortune for being there, but I can't. All I can do is yell, "Jaya Jagannath, Jaya Jagannath," with this new-found strength given to me only for His satisfaction and pleasure.

sri-jagannathera dekhe sri-mukha-kamala
tahara upara sundara nayana-yugala

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu looked upon the beautiful lotuslike face and eyes of Lord Jagannatha.

suryera kirane mukha kare jhalamala
malya, vastra, divya alankara, parimala

Lord Jagannatha was garlanded, dressed with nice garments and adorned with beautiful ornaments. His face was glittering from the rays of sunshine, and the entire atmosphere was fragrant. (Madhya 13.168-169)

bhavodaya, bhava-santi, sandhi, sabalya
sancari, sattvika, sthayi svabhava-prabalya

There was an increase in all the natural emotional symptoms. Thus there were awakening emotions, peacefulness, joined, mixed, transcendental and prevalent emotions, and impetuses for emotion.
(Madhya 13.172)

Jagannath's car in red and yellow moves through the crowd chanting the mahamantra, His big round eyes observing each detail.

Soon I start preparing for the 'big bash,' handing all my gear to my God-sister as I want to make sure I do not miss the chance to go with my God-brother to pull the rope of the car. I feel strong and certain I can do it, even after experiencing the rush from Baladev's car!

The devotee makes a sign and I nod, and we run against the motion of a wave of people pressing towards us, managing to penetrate after bouncing back on three or four attempts. "Here!" he yells above the din, indicating with his eyes, and I fumble until I can feel the thick coarse rope under my fingers, along with hundreds of other fingers that do not belong to me.

I hold on to this precious vacant space and try to tug, but it feels more like I am being pushed rather than I am pulling. I lose my shoes in two seconds flat. The sea of bodies move around me as I try to stay on the surface and not get sucked under, feeling pokes and prods, and using my elbows for protection against being crushed.

trsarta prabhura netra—bhramara-yugala
gadha trsnaya piye krsnera vadana-kamala

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was very thirsty to see the Lord, and His eyes became like two bumblebees drinking the honey from the lotuslike eyes of Lord Jagannatha, who is Krsna Himself.

praphulla-kamala jini' nayana-yugala
nilamani-darpana-kanti ganda jhalamala

The eyes of Lord Jagannatha conquered the beauty of blossoming lotus flowers, and His neck was as lustrous as a mirror made of sapphires.

bandhulira phula jini' adhara suranga
isat hasita kanti—amrta-taranga

The chin of the Lord, tinged with buff color, conquered the beauty of the bandhuli flower. This increased the beauty of His mild smiling, which was like lustrous waves of nectar.

sri-mukha-sundara-kanti badhe ksane ksane
koti-bhakta-netra-bhrnga kare madhu-pane

The luster of His beautiful face increased at every moment, and the eyes of hundreds and thousands of devotees drank its honey like bumblebees.

yata piye tata trsna badhe nirantara
mukhambuja chadi' netra na yaya antara

As their eyes began to drink the nectarean honey of His lotus face, their thirst increased. Thus their eyes did not leave Him.
(Madhya 12.211-215)

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip
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