This year’s Janmastami celebrations consisted of a programme of events which included a festive reception marking an anniversary which honoured the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna.
His Holiness Bhakti Narasingha Swami, was the special guest and the main speaker for the festival. Laghu Hari Das entertained in the marqee with a puppet show starring Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani! The various activities throughout the day were enlivening and for many the highlight was the delicious prasadam (vegetarian feast) prepared by resident chef Syama Devi dasi and Bhaktin Prisha.
Lively Krishna Bhajans, readings from the Srimad Bhagavatam, a video presentation of “Vrindavan – The Land of Krishna” and slide shows filled the temple with an exciting atmosphere. After speaking to some guests, who attend regular Wednesday night gatherings, what was repeatedly mentioned by many students was the outstanding Mantra Meditation Practical presented by Rupa Raghunatha das the Temple President, which elated many, as well as the lecture on The Appearance of Sri Krishna, which was given by the Swami.
Janma means “birth” and astami means “eight”. The Vedic scriptures describe how Lord Krishna made His divine appearance on the earth five thousand years ago. Even though janma means “birth”, Srila Prabhupada would most often refer to the advent of Lord Krishna as His “appearance”, as he knew people would misunderstand the word birth, as Krishna isn’t born like us. We ordinary souls, moved by a complex system under Krishna’s ultimate control, take repeated births in the material world, impelled by our deeds and misplaced desires.
But Krishna is above the workings of the material energy. It’s His own energy, and He comes and goes by His own sweet will. Krishna only seems to be born like us.
Being freed from attachment, fear and anger, being fully absorbed in Me and taking refuge in Me, many, many persons in the past became purified by knowledge of Me, – and thus they all attained transcendental love for me. (Bhagavad Gita 4.10)
Krishna is also referred to as the Absolute Truth. If we take advantage of information about the Supreme Person, Sri Krishna, with help from one who knows him well and guided by scripture, we are ultimately exposed to the Absolute Truth where we learn the goal of life, self-realization, and love and devotion in the process of Bhakti Yoga.
Written by Bhaktin Nosana