Mayapur, Sept. 3: Festivities and enthusiasm marked the Janmashtami celebration at the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) head quarter in Nadia’s Mayapur on Monday. Grossly fifty thousand devotees and visitors attended the festival braving the poor weather in major part of the day. The festival, that marks the birth of Lord Srikrishna, will be concluded on Tuesday with celebration of appearance day AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who established Iskcon in 1966 in New York City on the occasion of Janmashtami. A number of cultural, devotional and spiritual programme were arranged on the occasion, said Iskcon’s media spokesperson Subroto Das.
In a letter to the Iskcon, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his good his best wishes to the people on the auspicious occasion. In a message he stated: “I convey my best wishes to the whole ISKCON family, as it prepares to celebrate the Janmashtami festival. I am sure that the festival will fill the minds of all devotees with spiritual fulfillment and greater enthusiasm for service of humanity. May Lord Krishna bless our lives with peace, prosperity and happiness”? The Janmashtami festival as well as Srila Prabhupad’s appearance day were celebrated with pomp in all the 700 centres of Iskcon across the globe.
The mega celebrations had begun a week ago as devotees got engaged in various activities to welcome their Lord. On 2nd Sept evening, Adhivas and non-stop began. On Monday the entire Chandradaya temple was exquisitely decorated with colourful flowers and tulsi leaves. The auspicious celebrations of Janmashtami had begun with “Mangal Arti” in the afternoon. Later at 10pm the “Mahabhisheka” of the Lord had began using flowers, perfumes, honey, ghee, yogurt, fruit juices followed by “Mahaarti” at 12.00am midnight. Bhaktivedanta Academy students performed Vedic mantras throughout the day.
On his appearance day, Lord Krishna at Iskcon was offered 108 types of delicacies like luchi, kachauri, rice, bajiya, sabjis, dal, pulao, halwa, malpoa and multiple varieties of sweets prepared of milk. The cooking was done by devotees with lot of care and devotion as it is believed that the Lord gleefully accepts the feeling of love from the devotee. Since the devotees fast for all day long, the “Mahaprasadam” distributed to the devotees, pilgrims in the 12past midnight.