Hindu Celebration Stresses Unity

June 29, 2009

Author: Jessica Whitfield

Source: The Daily Texan


Almost 150 members of the Oriya community gathered at the Austin Hindu Temple on Sunday to celebrate the Festival of Chariots, an observance of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra.

Jagannath serves as the presiding deity of the state of Orissa on the East Coast of India, and symbolizes universal brotherhood, equality and inclusiveness, according to Hindu beliefs.

Although the festival is thousands of years old, this is the third year it has been celebrated in Austin. For Hindus and the temple’s congregation, the rich tradition serves as both a religious commemoration and social event. DK Ray, Austin Hindu Temple member, said that the festival celebrates Hindu culture and unites the community.