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ISKCON Temple Shree Krishna Janmashtami

Geetha Patil

Janmashtami, the festival that commemorates the birth of Lord Krishna was celebrated with great fervor at the ISKCON Boston temple with hundreds of devotees. The festival is observed on the ‘Ashtami’ (eighth day) of the month of Bhadrapada (September-October), as per the Hindu Calendar which was September 03, 2018 from 6:00PM to 1:15AM. It is believed that Lord Krishna, who was born roughly 5000 years back, is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

On the occasion of Shri Krishna Janmashtami, temple shrine was decorated with beautiful flowers, fruits, lights and other decorations. Devotees thronged to temple to participate in the Krishna Janmashtami from all over New England area to be part of the biggest gathering in the temple. In the first part of Janmashtami program, melodious Kirtans (Call & response singing) were sung by devotees followed by guest acknowledgements from 6:00PM to 7:00PM. Devotees rushed for a special Jhulan Yatra (Swing event) of Baby Krishna with Radha. In the second part of Janmashtami, between 8:00PM to 9:45PM, the temple priests performed Vedic rituals of Shree Krishna Janmashtami.  Firstly, they performed Radha Krishna Abhishekam by sponsors, that is bathing of deities in various purifying sacred liquids like milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, sugar, oil and fruit juices, and others. By offering the Abhishekam representing five elements, the devotees ask the deity to purify those elements within themselves as well as the corresponding five senses: vision (water), taste (earth), hearing (fire), smell (ether) and touch (air) followed by Sayana Arati (Call & response singing). In the second part, they performed Radha Gopivallabha Abhishek to the statues of a deities with utmost devotion while also chanting mantras. The principle behind Abhishekam is total surrender to and love to the deity. It is believed that bathing the Murti, or statue helps the devotees cleanse and purify their own minds. Mataji Indulekha, Shree Brajendranandana Das and Shree NiskinchanNitai Das lead the Abhishekams with all the Vedic rituals.

In the third part of the Janmashtami program, from 9:45PM to 11:15PM, Ms. Mellisa and Ms Karuna Randolph performed stunning Odissi Dances. The spiritual tempo of the music and their perfect mudras, abhinaya, agile footwork and grace was a treat to watch. Stories of Lord Krishna’s Pastimes were narrated very clearly and entertainingly by Ms Atulya Mata Ji to the devotees especially to the children.

In the last part of Janmashtami program, more Kirtans were sung and created a unique spiritual atmosphere in the shrine and made the devotees to immerse in the devotional world. Midnight Maha Arati was performed by the priests and devotees together with greatest devotion. Dedicated volunteers of ISKCON Temple prepared and served the Maha Prasadam to all the devotees with much love and devotion.

A huge crowd of devotees was managed very nicely by Charan Renu Das. Vishakha Priya Mataji managed the entire event very meticulously. Temple President, Shree Vanamali Das Ji thanked all the devotees for their active participation and making this event a grand success. He also thanked the sponsors and families for their kind support to the temple events. He acknowledged with great appreciation the time and services of all the dedicated volunteers.

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