Located on the east coast of India, Puri is one of the four destinations of the Char Dham (the most revered Hindu pilgrimage sites in India). Completing a pilgrimage to all four Char Dham temples, starting with the Jagannath Temple in Puri, is considered by Hindus to be an important step to achieve moksha (salvation, or liberation).
The Jagannath Temple is one of the most famous and sacred temples for Hindus in India. Each year in June or July, Lord Jagannath’s devotees participate in a festival called Rath Yatra (the Chariot Festival). During this festival, a 45-foot-tall, 65-ton chariot is built for the deity and pulled by rope throughout the city by thousands of devotees. The English word “juggernaut” has its roots in this festival!
Priyanka and her mother traveled to Puri to participate in this pilgrimage. In the months leading up to their journey, Priyanka had met some Christ-followers in her hometown and had been exposed to Jesus’ stories and teachings. She had been learning a lot about Christ but was not sure what to believe. Was Jesus any different from the dozens of other gods she had grown up worshiping?
As Priyanka and her mother entered the temple and saw crowds of people prostrating before the deity, Priyanka had a revelation from Jesus. Instantly, the words of Psalm 86:8 came alive in her heart: “There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.” Priyanka became convinced that Jesus is the One True God and that apart from him, all other worship is futile. She realized that people could never be reconciled to God by going on pilgrimages, giving money to the temple priests, or prostrating in front of the deity. She knew that only through Christ can we experience reconciliation with God. Priyanka returned home from the pilgrimage with a new fondness for Christ in her heart.
WAYS TO PRAY:
PRAY THAT more Hindus would have life-changing encounters with Christ as they set out on pilgrimage and search for God.
PRAY THAT Christ would make His light shine in Hindu people’s hearts to give them the knowledge of God. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
PRAY THAT Hindus would realize that we cannot attain peace with God through our own efforts; we can only accept God’s gift of eternal life. (Ephesians 2:9)