Discover more from Tattva | S.B. Keshava Swami
Smile! It’s an Emergency!
When people fall ill they go to a hospital, but when it becomes an acute emergency the help comes to them. The annual chariot of festivals, known as Ratha Yatra, is that proverbial spiritual ambulance. In times of ailing spirituality, the Divine ventures into public view to meet those who are apathetic, preoccupied and lacking enthusiasm in anything remotely spiritual. The smiling face of Krishna, seated upon a beautiful chariot and accompanied by a festival of music and dance, injects an incredible energy and spiritual buzz back into the world. Witnessing this festival leaves a powerful impression in the heart.
Jaganatha Ratha Yatra is the oldest street festival in the world. Originally conducted in Jagannatha Puri, India, the ‘Lord of the Universe,’ Krishna, is set upon a chariot along with His brother and sister. Alongside a procession of over one million people, the chariot is manually pulled to its destination – a charming devotional act signifying the ushering of Divinity back into our hearts. Srila Prabhupada took this festival all over the world, and now, in every major city of the world, this historic event is reenacted.
Smiling is a universal language that overcomes all barriers. Most people have forgotten how to smile, and of the few that haven’t, their smile often covers up an unhappy heart. On this day, when we see Krishna in his smiling form, we pray to reawaken this natural joyfulness. In an age where so many apprehensions hijack our consciousness, we sometimes forget the most basic thing – that life is meant to be a happy journey. May the Lord of the Universe transform us into smiling souls – and when you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.