Why Rato Machhindranath Jatra is celebrated?

The Rato Machhindra Nath, which is also worshiped as the ‘God of Rain’, is popular with many names. Karunamaya, Loknath, Bungadhhyo, Bodhisattwa, Padmapani, Awalokeswara etc. to name a few. There is a long tradition to worship this deity as the all-compassionate god of rain and food grain.

Until a few decades ago, before the Kathmandu Valley became a purely commercial hub, it was an agricultural land, which depended upon the rainy monsoon for its important rain crops.

Today, though traditional farming practices have reduced, the pre-monsoon season still sees great worship made to Red Machhindranath. Patan’s streets and palace complexes are made even more evocative by wavering lamp and candle lights, women busily cooking feasts and men gathering strength to pull the chariot of the ‘Rain-God’.

As Lord Machhindranath views his followers from the high seat of his chariot, its four wheels, representing the four powerful Bhairab, receive rice and vermilion powder, the King of Serpents is asked for blessing, and his jeweled vest is shown to the Public on the day of ‘Bhoto Jatra‘.

Nepal, where more than 80% of the people depend upon agriculture. Even to this era of science and technology, majority of farmers depend upon monsoon for cultivation.

In Nepal, monsoon begins in the middle of June and continues till August. But the Nepalese farmers begin to worry long before the monsoon wondering whether they are going to get enough rain or not this year.

So in order to persuade themselves and stay relaxed, they pray to the ‘Rain God’ for better harvest. This is why the first day of the bright fortnight of Baishakh, the first month of Nepali New Year, is regarded as the most propitious occasion for the entire farmers’ community especially of Kathmandu Valley.

The ‘Rato Machhindra Nath Jatra’ begins on the first day of the bright fortnight of Baishakh, the first month of Nepali New Year. The chariot of ‘Rato Machhindra Nath’ is built before the festival and is again disassembled after the festival every year.

A group of enthusiastic, highly skilled and brave people take the responsibility of this tremendous task. They set themselves to the entire duty of carrying the materials and building the gigantic chariot which is as tall as 4 storeyed ordinary building.

It is the same people who pull the chariot and throughout the fixed routes of Patan City.

Beside this, those enthusiastic people Jyapus are also a great passionate for music. In Nepal, there is hardly any festival without music. The very popular drum Dhimaya and Bhushya are the main musical instruments for the festival.

The glorious beat of Dhimaya,one of the most popular newari percussion and the Bhushya, newari brass drags the attention of the people and signifies that the festival has begun or is going on. The music is such an enthusiastic that it suddenly puts the entire mass into a most enjoyable mood and excitement.

Numerous customs and rituals are the lime light of the festival. Bhoto Jatra is one of the highlight of the festival. This Jatra is all about the display of the sacred vest.

It is believed that the Rato Machhindra Nath was entrusted with a jeweled vest after there was a dispute over its ownership. So the vest is displayed three times so that the owner gets a chance to claim it (though this does not happen in real).

The head of the state also attends this ceremony. National holiday is declared on this day.

2014-04-30 15:44 0 Reviews Share

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रातो मच्छिन्द्रनाथको जात्रामा राजोपाध्यायहरु पनि बस्ने गर्दछ जस्लाई सेसे बाजे भन्ने गर्छ । जात्रामा उहाँहरु रथमा चढे पछि मात्र जात्रा सुरु गर्ने चलन छ ।

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याे राेचक जानकारी पनि :

यसपटक राताे मच्छिन्द्रनाथकाे जात्रा जम्मा जम्मी २५ दिनसम्म चल्याे । सम्भवतः यति छाेटाे अवधिसम्म् चलेकाे याे पहिलाेपटक हुनुपर्दछ । अाज भाेटाे देखाएर जात्रा सकिनेछ ।

राताे मच्छिन्द्रनाथकाे रथसँग जाेडिएकाे जातिसम्बन्धी प्रसंग पनि राेचक छ । रथकाे खट बाराही जातिले बनाउँछन् । बेत यँवाल जातिले बाँध्छन् । रथ तान्दा ब्रेक (घकु) लगाउने जिम्मा डंगाेलकाे हाे ।

पाँग्रामा चित्र चित्रकारले बनाउँछन् । फूल ल्याउने काम माली जातिले गर्छन् । साइत हेर्ने जिम्मा जाेशीकाे हाे । मच्छिन्द्रनाथकाे मूर्तिमा रहेकाे मुखमा पेन्टिँग गर्ने काम नेम्कुलकाे हाे ।

महास्नान पनि नेम्कुलले गराउँछन् । महास्नानपछि अाठाैँ दिनमा खुट्टामा रंग लगाउने (चाेख्याउने) काम नापितकाे हाे । मच्छिन्द्रनाथलार्इ धाेती किनेर दिने जम्मा मालीकाे हाे । फूल पनि उनैले लगाइदिन्छन् ।

जावलाखेलमा भात छर्नका लागि भात शाक्य थरीले पकाउँछन् भने त्यसकाे व्यवस्थापन मलेकु जातिले गर्छन् । रथका लागि जंगलमा गर्इ काठ छानेर काट्ने काम बाेसी जातिकाे हाे ।

रथ ३२ हातकाे हुन्छ । रथकाे मुनीकाे घमा ३२ हातकै हुन्छ । पाँग्राकाे घेरा ३२ हातकाे हुन्छ । ३२ लक्षणयुक्त रथकाे जात्रा सम्पन्न गर्न ३२ जाति नै सहभागी हुन्छन् कि भन्ने मलार्इ लाग्छ ।

अन्त्यमा, म पाटनकाे स्थानीय बासिन्दा हाेइन । त्यसैले माथि उल्लेखित कुनै कुरा फरक परेमा त्यसका लागि माफी चाहन्छु । बूढापाकाहरूसँग गरिएकाे कुराकानीका अाधारमा जानकारी पस्किएकाे हुँ ।

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2017-05-25 13:19 0 Reviews



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People attending the bathing ceremony of the Machhindranath at Chobhar, 40yrs ago.

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2018-05-03 12:54 0 Reviews



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