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HomeNews ReportsVHP organises Shri Ram Rath Yatra across US, Canada; aims to connect Hindu temples

VHP organises Shri Ram Rath Yatra across US, Canada; aims to connect Hindu temples

The aim of the yatra is to unify the various Hindu worship centres spread across these vast lands, encompassing a wide array of traditions (Sampradayas) within Hindu Dharma

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America, along with its chapter in Canada, came together to organise the Shri Ram Rath Yatra, aiming to forge connections in over a thousand Hindu temples across the US and Canada.

Spanning approximately 60 days, the yatra will weave through the expansive territories of both nations, making stops at over 850 temples in the US and 150 in Canada, covering a distance of over 16,000 miles, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Canada said in a press release.

The aim of the yatra is to unify the various Hindu worship centres spread across these vast lands, encompassing a wide array of traditions (Sampradayas) within Hindu Dharma. Further, the Yatra seeks to disseminate the sacred Akshat, Prasad, and blessings from Ram Lalla’s grand ‘Pran Pratishtha’ ceremony, which was conducted in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh on January 22.

In a press release, the American and Canadian chapters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad stated, “The Rath (chariot), actually Rath-s (plural), involves three distinct vehicles, each adorned with the Shri Ram Lalla motif. There’s one Rath designated for the US and two for Canada. Each Rath carries the murtis of Hindu deities, featuring Lord Ram, Goddess Sita, Lord Lakshman, and Lord Hanuman, and, of course, the sacred Akshat and Prasad from the Ram Lalla Pran Pratishtha ceremony in Ayodhya.”

The American segment of the Yatra began at the VHPA headquarters located in Sugar Grove, a suburb of Chicago on March 23. The launch was marked by traditional rituals, including the Shankh Naad (conch shell blowing) and puja ceremonies, the press release added.

On its inaugural day, the yatra visited temples, covering a distance of more than 500 miles. The temples visited on March 23 are: Bala Ji Mandir, Jagannath Mandir, and Shiv Durga Hindu Mandir in Illnois’ Aurora, Iskcon Mandir in Illnois’ Naperville, Hindu Rama Mandir in Illnois Lemont, Chinmaya Mission in Illnois’ Willowbrook, Swami Narayan Gurukul Samiyu in Illnois’ Springfield, Hindu Mandir Peoria in Illnois’ Peoria and Hindu Mandir in Illnois’ Bloomington.

The Hindu community is buzzing with excitement to connect with the Rath Yatra and receive the blessings of Lord Ram. At every temple, the Rath stopped by, it was received warmly by the temple trustees, pujaris (priests), and crowds of eager devotees. The number of devotees welcoming the Yatra participants were more than 300 in several locations.

Amitabh Mittal, VHPA general secretary and one of the key figures in this initiative, said, “The Ram Rath Yatra has ignited an unprecedented wave of spiritual unity among Hindus across North America.” He added, “It’s a historic pilgrimage that brings the essence of our traditions and the blessings of Shri Ram Lalla directly to our doorsteps.”

The Canadian team sent good wishes to the US team for the auspicious start of the yatra as they get ready for their own journey starting Monday, March 25th.

Each visit, lasting less than 30 minutes, follows a strict protocol. During each stop, the statue of Ram Lalla is ceremoniously installed for the duration of the visit. The puja, following the exact guidelines set by the Shri Ram Janam Bhoomi Trustees in Bharat, is performed meticulously.

Further, as per the press release, akshat and prasad are then shared with the temple for distribution among its devotees. In recognition of their involvement in these significant celebrations, each temple receives an official certificate and a 2’X3′ portrait of Ram Lalla. Soon after, the journey promptly continues towards the next destination.

The Canadian segment of the Yatra is scheduled to begin in Toronto on March 25. Over the next several weeks, it will cover the extensive network of Hindu temples in the Greater Toronto Area before splitting into two directions: one branch heading east towards Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and the other moving westward towards British Columbia, visiting other provinces en route, the release added.

The Canadian contingent plans to visit over 150 temples nationwide, covering more than 13,000 kilometers from coast to coast. (ANI)

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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