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Rato Macchindranath Jatra ( Buṅga Dyah ) 2016

Historical and popular Rato Macchindranath ready to be pulled and worshiped by followers after a Devastating Quake the year before it was pulled.

Buṅga Dyaḥ Jātrā (Newar: बुंग द्यः जात्रा), Rato Macchindranath Jatra is held once in a year. In kathmandu valley there are two Machhindranath jatra held. One is held in Asan, Kathmandu and other in Lalitpur, Nepal. In Asan, this jatra is known as Seto Machhindranath; which is also held once a year. Machhindranath jatra is one of the greatest religious event of Newar people in Kathmandu valley and hence, the longest chariot festival celebrated in Nepal.


There is no such deity probably in any religious pantheon on the earth as folklorishly popularized as Rato Machhindranath. There are many fascinating legends and myths hidden behind this deity. Similarly, the deity has many names called out as well, such as Buṅga Dyaḥ, Karunamaya, Bodhisattva, Rato Machhindranath etc. Some might wonder on what made this deity so popular ? One of the most strongly supporting elements in its composition of its popularity is that it has been a long tradition to worship Rato machhindranath as the God of Rain and Food Grain.

Origin: Karunamaya Jatra ( Macchindranath Jatra )

Among many Lokesvaras that emerged in Nepal, the place of Bungadyo who is also called Raktalokitesvara Karunamaya is of special importance. Bungadyo is still now worshipped as deliverer or benefactor of mankind or giver of rain.

Bungadyo was brought to Nepal from Assam by King Narendradeva, Tantrik Bandhudatta Acharya, Rathchakra Lalit and Karkotak  Naga. The procession of this Bodhisattva is taken in a chariot every year after doing the ritual of Nhawan (ritual bath). Separate guthis were created for this Karunamaya jatra Another special attraction of Bungadyo Jatra is the demonstration of Bhoto (vest made of preeious  jewels) in which even the King of Nepal takes part. Every 12 year Bungadyo is taken to Patan from Bunga by crossing the river. The Bungadyo jatra is especially connected with the  Buddhist culture. First of all, a special musical instrument is played throughout the city of Patan to inform the coming of Bungadyo jatra. Bungadyo is worshipped and sutras are recited to propitiate the god of compassion for all. Guthiyars of various places recite verses and sutras in the name of a host of gods or demons. There are various trusts and income sources in the name of Bungadyo Jatra is observed  in the form of a great festival.

While talking about Karunamaya, mention must be made of Chakawadyo Chakawadyo is called Minnath. Minnath is also called Jattadhari Lokesvara. Chakawadyo is a deity who liberated Triloka (earth, heaven and hell ). There is a story in Purana about Chakawadyo. This god was created round the time of Amsuvarma. There is a story which says that the festival of the chariot   procession of Chakawadyo is taken before the chariot precession of Bungadyo Therefore, Chakawadyo is given importance equal to one given to Bungadyo.

Adinath Lokesvara of Chovar is one of the four Karunamayas of Nepal. Newars call Adinath Lokesvara in the name of Chovahadyo. The name Anandadi Lokesvara is given to Chovahadyo because this deity blesses the devotees with god health and mental peace. In the past, the charvot procession of Chovadyo is taken out every year. But now, only Nhawan Jatra is done by worshipping with auspicious silver- made Kalash(flask).

Among the four noted Karunamayas, Nala Karunamaya was one. He is also called Sristikanta Lokesvara. This Karunamaya is honoured as the creator of the world.

There is a story about the origin of this Karunamaya in Purana. One of the four Karunamayas was lost. Nala Karunamaya was found later. The festival of Nala Karunamaya started in 1935 A.D. Full Moon Day of Phalgun. On completion of this, procession of Nala Karunamaya is taken out by the ritual of Dasakarmavidhi (ten sacraments).

The most important four Karunamayas of  Nepal is Aryaavalokitesvara of Janabaha, Kathmandu. He is also called Seto (White) Machhendranath. This Karunamaya is especially known and  honoured as a deity  capable of liberating all sentient beings. There are legends connected with Janabahadyo (local name of Seto Machhendranath). It is said that an idol of vihar or bahal at Jamal, Kathmandu, was taken to Janbaha, and installed there. A great  vihar was constructed there to install the idol. Later, it was called  Kanakchaitya Mahavihar. Nhawan of Janbahadyo is observed Jon the Astami of Poush. Dasakarma vidhi is performed. Like Bungadyo, the chariot procession of Janabahadyo is taken out on Astami, Nawami  and Dashmi of Chaitra to symbolise the travel to heaven, earth and hell. Hence, Janabahadyo has a special importance of its own.