On the day of the initiation of this Yatra, all the people at Puri get up early in the morning and take bath. After this purification bath, they offer prayers to the Lord at their homes and then head towards the Jagannath Temple. The massive chariots on which the Lord has to be taken out in a procession are lined up in front of the temple only.
It is after the devotees have reached the temple, that the contemporary king of the region brings the deities from the temple and installs them on their respective chariots. This ceremony is observed with a great pomp and show, and is followed by massive prayers offered to the Lord by His devotees.
It is after this that the off springs of the king arrive on gaily-caparisoned elephants to the temple. They, then sweep all the platforms of the Lord's chariot with a gold-handled broom. Thereafter, scented water is sprinkled on the chariot by them and mopping is done.
This ritual associated with this Yatra demonstrates that every human being is equal to God irrespective of his caste, color or creed. But, this bringing out of the idols of the Lord from the temple can only be done by either the King of Puri or the King of Nepal for they only belong to the Chandravanshi dynasty of Lord Krishna.
A very interesting but strange ritual associated with this chariot festival is that the devotees chuck various possible obscenities and sacrilegious abuses at the God. The reason for this as per a local saying is an incestuous relationship between Jagannath and his sister Subhadra.
This obviously provoked abuses during their public ventures. Metaphorically speaking, this entire yatra comes as a symbolic humanization of God. Thus, it is an attempt to bring the Lord down from his glorious pedestal to a human level.
Leaders and Foreign Ministers of the South Asian region visited the Parliamentary Complex today.
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On arrival at the Parliamentary Complex this morning, they were warmly greeted by President Rajapakse, Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara and Parliamentary Secretary General Dhammika Kitulegoda. Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani, Malidivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Prime Minister of the Caretaker Government of Nepal Girija Prasad Koirala, Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigmi Thenley, Special Advisor of Bangladesh Fakhruddin Ahmed and Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrived at the Parliamentary Complex. Thereafter, they joined in a special round of official discussions at the President's Office in Parliament. As SAARC Chairman, the President presided the meeting. They broached at length common problems confronted by the SAARC region and matters discussed by Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries. The leaders posed for a group photograph after visiting the Chamber.
A survey has revealed that Sri Lankans are the most satisfied in Asia. Grey Group Asia Pacific, a leading Marketing Communications Company made this revelation
It did so releasing its latest 2009 Eye on Asia study, which looks at the hopes and dreams of people in 16 countries and regions across the Asia Pacific region. According to the survey, 93 percent of Sri Lankans surveyed, were satisfied with their lives. The survey also disclosed that Sri Lankans remained optimistic about their future. Now in its 4th year, Eye on Asia has interviewed over 33,000 people from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Nirvik Singh, Chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific released the details of the survey.