Janmashtami is a Hindu spiritual festival that marks the birth of Bhagwan Shri Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu. The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha celebrated this year's Janmashtami festival through a webcast on August 12, 2020, from 8:00-10:00 PM in local time zones across North America. Thousands of families joined the celebration from their homes.
On the special day of Janmashtami, devotees strive to engage their senses and mind on Bhagwan and Guru. By continually focusing one's mind in this way, one remembers the greatness of Bhagwan above all worldly troubles. This knowledge helps conquer the highs and lows in life, enabling a person to reach a mental state of calm or Stithpragnata. Bhagwan Shri Krishna imparted this wisdom to Arjun on the battlefield in the Mahabharat, within the Bhagavad Gita. This priceless, 5000-year-old message is relevant amidst life’s most challenging of situations.
The webcast program illustrated teachings from the life of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. Pujya Swamis recounted lessons of true friendship, humility, tolerance, and righteousness from His life through creative and engaging discourses. Children and youths relayed their favorite incidents of Bhagwan Shri Krishna’s life, spiritual excerpts, and other qualities of Bhagwan Shri Krishna that they personally appreciated.
His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj emphasized, in his blessings, the importance of keeping Bhagwan on our side by taking refuge in His manifest form. Recollecting divine incidents from His life can inspire positive virtues and strengthen one’s devotion. Taking ultimate refuge in Bhagwan can make one fearless.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the strength of faith has become vital, the Janmashtami virtual programming highlighted the necessity of spiritual living. The program reaffirmed the message that Bhagwan is the all-doer and ever-present to protect His devotees, just as Bhagwan Shri Krishna protected His devotees in times of need. Continuously remembering this thought can bring peace and solace to one's life.