The birth celebrations of Shri Krishna Bhagwan were devoutly observed on Thursday 25 August 2016 at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
Shri Krishna is an avatar of Vishnu and a popular deity for Hindus around the world. He manifested on earth thousands of years ago on the Hindu calendrical day of Shravan vad 8.
Devotees and visitors began to arrive at the Mandir from the morning to offer their prayers and respects as well as gently swing the murti of Shri Krishna that is ceremoniously placed on a birth cradle on this day.
As per tradition, a grand offering of food (the ‘annakut’) was arranged before the shrine of Radha-Krishna.
In a special evening assembly, sadhus narrated the life and teachings of Krishna Bhagwan, while youths sang eloquent kirtans extolling his personality and virtues.
Tyagratna Swami discussed the spiritual teachings of Krishna Bhagwan that were encapsulated within many divine episodes from his life. Prabuddhmuni Swami also addressed the congregation, explaining Shri Krishna’s mission to eradicate evil and instil piety in the world. He also spoke of the devotion that the gopis (female devotees) expressed for Shri Krishna and urged worshippers to imbibe this devotion to God today.
A montage of previous Janmashtami celebrations in the presence of Pramukh Swami Maharaj and Mahant Swami Maharaj in London brought together the spiritual messages and teachings.
The finale of the evening – marking the divine birth of Shri Krishna Bhagwan – was celebrated with the arti followed by the joyous swinging of the cradle accompanied with vibrant devotional singing.