Odisha Parthi Yatra, a journey of Love and Gratitude

Around two thousand Youth and a large number of devotees from the state of Odisha, arrived on a three day pilgrimage to Prasanthi Nilayam on 26th Dec 2011. Nagar Sankirtan, Service activities and Spiritual talks were held everyday.

On the morning of 27th, Lord Jagannath of Puri along with His brother Balabhadra and sister Subadra, (Lord Krishna, Balarama and Subadra) came out in a regal procession this morning, adorning a huge chariot, blessing thousands of devotees in Puttaparthi, outside the Ashram.

Thousands upon thousands of devotees from the state of Odisha, on a Parthi Yatra, joined in this regal procession organized by the State Sathya Sai Organisation. The procession was styled similar to the world-famous Jagannatha Chariot Festival of Puri that happens every year.

Every year in mid-summer, Lord Jagannath, with His elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, goes on vacation, travelling on grand chariots, from His temple in Puri, to His garden palace in the countryside. This belief of the Hindus has given rise to one of the biggest religious festivals in India — the Rath Yatra or the Chariot Festival. This is also the etymological origin of the English word ‘Juggernaut’.

The procession began at 0930 hrs. from the birthplace of Bhagawan, The Lord Shiva Temple, and moved along the main road up to Vidyagiri gate to retreat to the original starting point.

Thousands upon thousands of men and women from the state joined the procession marked with great devotional exuberance. While men in yellow scarves and red headband made merry dancing to heavy drum beats, hundreds of women preceded the royal chariot carrying auspicious ‘Kalasa’ on their head. Another set of thousands, women, moved in steady pace, joining in chorus singing and whistling. There were SaiRams, Jaikars, eerie whistling and continuous singing of the bhajan Sai Jagannatha… A group of dancing men led the procession, dressed in various coloured costumes , representing the rich cultural tradition of the state.

It turned out to be a different experience for the folks of Puttaparthi, that joined in thousands along the road side, watching the big melee. Puttaparthi that has seen many such processions, its own Chariot Festival and similar festivals organized by various districts of Andhra Pradesh, watched the procession in rapt attention adoring the Lord mounted on the Chariot.


In the evening, devotees of Odisha presented a bouquet of three programmes. Girl students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Bhadrak presented an Odishi dance drama entitled “Jagannath Leelaamurtham” and  Sai Youth of Cuttack presented a drama entitled “Pharistein Sai Gaganke” on the Transformation in a SSSVIP village.

The skit was based on real life incidents which occurred in the village Samsaraa of Odisha. A patriotic dance by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Balasore, “Bharat vandana” formed a fitting finale to the day’s proceedings.

Earlier the State President of Sri Sathya Sai Organisation, Odisha addressing the gathering, stated that over 2000 youth have arrived for Odisha’s second parthi yatra of the year. Apart from participating in the daily schedule of Prasanthi Nilayam, they have also taken up cleaning activities, blood donation and Satsang sessions. He declared with the conviction of experience that the Glory of Bhagawan is spreading to every inch of Odisha and the mission of Bhagawan is progressing with great zeal in the blessed state.

The participants were honored with clothes even as prasadam was distributed to the gathering.
On the 28th evening, Odisha once again proved why she has always established herself in a soft corner of Bhagawan’s heart. The youth of Odisha presented a moving prayer to Bhagawan in the most successful medium of a devotee – Music. A garland of some of Bhagawan’s most loved songs delivered with wonderful Bhava and strict adherence to Raga and Tala had the audience mesmerised.

Starting with an excerpt from the holy Upanishads, “Isha Vandana”, they adored the Maternal aspect of the Lord with the song, “Maa’go Karunamayee Saijanani”. One of the most popular song with His students, “Madhura Mohana Ghanashyama” was the next rendition followed by two songs of surrender praying and yearning for succour at His lotus feet.

Bhagawan has often extolled the flute as the most perfect instrument in the Lord’s hands. Being hollow, without any obstruction to the flow, allows the will of God to work through it. “Baje Muralia” inspired that feeling in us. The youth concluded the symphony with two songs in praise of His name and His munificence.

The group continued with Bhajans which included some of Bhagawan’s own compositions. The group was honored with clothes while special Odisha sweets were distributed to the assembly.