International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temples all over the world organized day-long celebrations to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna popularly known as ‘Janmashtami’ amidst religious fervor and hope that the pandemic would now end soon.
However, the celebrations that included Maha Aartis, chanting of Mantras, Havans, and religious discourses, were shown online on the temple website, Facebook, and YouTube as the temple authorities cautioned the devotees not to throng to the places of worship given the current pandemic.
"The main function of Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna would be held at the stroke of midnight in all the ISKCON temples tonight after performing Maha Abhishek and Maha Aarti," said Lucky Kulkarni ISKCON Spokesperson
At the Radha Gopinath Temple at Girgaum Chowpatty in South Mumbai, the authorities have organized ‘Shringar Darshan’ which showcases spectacular dresses adorned by Lord Krishna and Radha Rani on the occasion. The unique dresses were specially made and designed by Rekha Mafatlal and her team.
There are two traditional dresses made for deities of the Radha Gopinath temple. ‘Lappe ka kaam’ or work of appliqué which is also called as gota, would be donned by Lord Krishna during the night adorning the royalty of the universe with a fine blend of contemporary English colours making it perfect for the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai. The Day Dress for Krishna & Radha is an extraordinary beautiful royal outfit with zardozi designs, temple pattern, with a vibrant color scheme, concentric lights giving the jaal effect, geometric feeling, where the Rhombus becomes bigger, Starry Swarovski stones and golden frame designs on the dress.
In the dresses, the design makers have tried to capture the mood of the festival of the lord rising with all his glitter and glamour in the dark rainy night of Ashtami, very much like how we would like the Lord to shine back in our lives in this dark and gloomy times of the pandemic.
“Celebrations at the Radha Gopinath ISKCON temple in Mumbai started with Mangal Aarti for Lord Krishna at 5 am this morning followed by Tulsi Arti & Guru Puja. The temple organized Katha and Kirtan throughout the day and Sandhya arati at 7 pm followed by Maha Abhishek at 10.00 pm for Lord Krishna and then finally Maha Aarti at midnight," said ISKCON Spiritual leader Radhanath Swami Maharaj.
Similar programs were organized by ISKCON temples all over the world, including temples Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune in India. Devotees also celebrated Janmashtami in their homes by offering puja and Bhog to the Lord.
The temple authorities offered Bhoga to Lord Krisha comprising 56 variety of ‘Pakwaan’ preparations during the day and 108 variety of other preparations during the night.
“5248 years ago when Krishna was born at 12 midnight, the atmosphere outside was tense, it was dark, uncertainty prevailed, there was fear of King Kansa. The situation today, when Janmashtami is being celebrated, is somewhat similar, Uncertainty still prevails, there is a fear of this pandemic, the atmosphere is dark … in terms of economy, the health of people. The hope now is welcoming Krishna back in our lives”, said Radhanath Swami Maharaj.