Chakra Announcements

First Ratha Yatra in Shippensburg, Pa

by Ortrun Gates

Posted September 29, 2008

The first ever Ratha Yatra was held on September 27th in Shippensburg, PA at the home of Hemagaura and Ortrun Gates. Local friends and devotees gathered to pull the cart around our own Govardhan Hill in the side yard. For those in attendance who did not know the origins of the festival, Pariksit Prabhu gave an explanation how the deities manifested, to the delight of everyone present. Sadly M. Kaulini dasi was unable to attend because of her health.

After many days of sunshine, it started to rain on Friday and we were concerned about our festival. We decided to go ahead rain or shine and, just in case, purchased many rain coats from the local Dollar Store. Saturday dawned and the skies opened! We were ready with raincoats and umbrellas. By twelve noon the rain stopped and at 1:30 pm when Sudevi and Acarya started to prepare the cart the sun broke through! The festival went as planned, the sun shining down on us until well after the feast. By the time everyone was leaving, the rain resumed.

One of my friends, who was unable to attend, called me and asked whether we were putting the deities on the cart around 1:30 pm. I told her, yes indeed. She laughed gleefully and said, "I told my husband that you must be putting them on the cart right now, because it just could not rain while you hard your procession!"

Please see pix here: