The festival of Janmashtami, marking the birth of Shri Krishna Bhagwan, takes place during the holy month of Shravan – considered to be one of the holiest months in the Hindu calendar. The occasion was celebrated with great piety in the presence of Ghanshyamcharan Swami (Senior Sadhu from BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Surat) at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Wednesday 28 August 2013.
The day began with a ceremonial offering of food to the deities in the Mandir, where visitors and devotees arrived throughout the day to pray and offer their respects, and to swing the murti of Shri Krishna in the ‘paranu’ (birth cradle).
The life and messages of Shri Krishna were elucidated in an enlightening programme held in the assembly hall in the evening. The programme began with the singing of devotional songs extolling the prominence of Shri Krishna. Gnanpriya Swami, visiting the UK from India, elaborated upon the key teachings from the life of Shri Krishna and explained their relevance today.
Ghanshyamcharan Swami spoke of various aspects of Shri Krishna’s life – from his childhood episodes through to the personality and virtues exhibited in the Mahabharat.
The finale of the evening – marking the divine birth of Shri Krishna – was celebrated with the arti followed by the swinging of the paranu accompanied with vibrant and devotional singing.