New Delhi: Just like mere mortals, Lord Krishna will have to do with subdued celebrations this birthday. As the entire world deals with the tough Corona times, and the festive season knocks on our doors.
August 12 this year’s Krishna Janmashtami is already here. And millions are waiting to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna.
Given the social distancing norms in place, less personal interaction is a must for preventing the spread of the deadly virus. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) as such has decided to celebrate “Janmashtami” virtually this year.
Speaking to IANS over the phone, Chanchalapati Dasa, Senior Vice-President, Iskcon-Bengaluru and Vice Chairman, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, said, “As you know, the country is engulfed in gloom and despair in this pandemic situation and our temples have thousands of visitors every day and on this auspicious occasion the numbers will go up to lakhs.”
“So we were wondering how we could spread the joy of Krishna Janmashtami which aims at ending negativity which is currently all around us.”
As Vrindavan is a major part of Lord Krishna’s childhood, the Iskcon temple there would be holding a grand Abhishek of the God followed by all day long Bhajans-Keertans by the Vaishnav Acharyas in the temple hall and they would be telecast live. However, the main event on a larger scale would be at Iskcon-Bengaluru.
The virtual celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday would be marked by a series of events catering to people of all age groups. “Iskcon is known not only for its spiritual and religious activities but it is also a centre for cultural activities. We believe in cultural revival and bringing it together on one platform to celebrate Krishna and his Leelas,” Dasa said.
“Early in the morning, we will have ‘Nauka Vihara’ – Krishna going on a boat at the crack of dawn followed by a Grand Abhishek and Bhajans. The Abhishek will consist of Pancha-gavya, Pancha-amrita, varieties of aushada (herbal water), varieties of phala rasas (fruit juices), sandal water, varieties of deepas (lamps), pushpa vrishti (showering of flowers), chaamara seva and Jhulan seva (swing festival)”Chanchalapati said
“Next would be various panel discussions like “The Inspiring Journey and Message of Iskcon-Bengaluru”, “No One Shall Go Hungry” etc. The panel discussions would include various well-known people of the country like Hema Malini, Anupam Kher, celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor,” he added.
The virtual celebration would also include a special talk on “Monks in a Metro” in which the people can connect with the Leaders of Iskcon-Bengaluru, and ask questions on the life of Lord Krishna and his message.
On the cultural front, Iskcon has arranged for various musical concerts by well known Bhajan singers Anuradha Paudwal and Anup Jalota and some other musicians. Apart from this, there would be classical dance performances that depict the transcendental pastimes and qualities of Lord Sri Krishna.
Iskcon will also send a message to the public curated by spiritual leaders and mahants of famous Krishna temples of the country.
For the children, Iskcon has arranged for Krishna Storytelling by storytellers and also Bhajans and Kirtans by children at Iskcon-Bengaluru apart from online games and activities.
“Our message at this time would be, in this world, there are always miseries like old age, death, accidents, pandemic etc but Krishna says in the Gita that if we align our life according to him, we would experience and explore a higher kind of pleasure called spiritual pleasure”Chanchalapati said
Janmashtami, which marks the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, is celebrated on the Ashtami (eighth day) of Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Shravana or Bhadra (in the Hindu calendar.