Chariot Festival @ Walthamstow Kali Amman Temple 2011
The Chariot festival is considered as an important part of ceremonies of each temple and is considered as a special and sacred occasion. Chariot festival being unique among all Jatras is the grandest festival of the supreme divinity who has manifested hereself in the Kali Yuga to emancipate humanity and to relieve them from their sufferings.
A glimpse of Maha kali Amman on the chariot is considered to be very auspicious and saints, poets and scriptures have repeatedly glorified the sanctity of this special festival. The sanctity of the festival is such that even a touch of the chariot or even the ropes with which these are pulled is considered enough to confer the results of several pious deeds or penance for ages.
The concept of the chariot has been explained in the Kathopanishada in the following words-
Atmanam rathinam viddhi sareeram rathamevatuBuddhim tu saarathim viddhi marah pragrahameva cha. The body is the Chariot and the soul is the deity installed in the chariot. The wisdom acts as the charioteer to control the mind and thoughts.