The day when Lord Krishna took birth is called as Janmastami. The Janmastami festival is celebrated by millions of people every year all over the world. During the birth of Lord Krishna, the whole atmosphere became filled with prosperity and joy. The trees were laden with fruits and flowers.
The rivers were overflowing with water, and the lakes were beautifully decorated with lotus flowers. The birds in the forest began to sing with sweet voices, and the peacocks began to dance. The wind blew very pleasantly, carrying the aroma of different flowers. All the people’s minds became filled with peace and joy.
The denizens of the heavenly planets began to sing, offer prayers and dance on the auspicious occasion. The heavenly residents being pleased also began to shower flowers. At the seashore there was the sound of mild waves, and above the sea there were clouds in the sky which began to thunder very pleasingly.
Amidst such a wonderful atmosphere, Lord Krishna in order to protect his devotees took birth as the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudeva, bringing boundless joy to both of them.Srila Prabhupada on Lord Krishna’s appearance“Although the Lord appears on schedule, namely at the end of the Dvapara-yuga of the twenty-eighth millennium of the seventh Manu in one day of Brahma, He has no obligation to adhere to such rules and regulations, because He is completely free to act in many ways at His will. He therefore appears by His own will whenever there is a predominance of religiosity and a disappearance of true religion.” – BG 4.7, PurportSri Krishna Janmashtami Celebrations begin at ISKCON, Mysuru from early morning 4.15 am onwards and continue up to 1 am the next day. Sri Krishna Balarama, the presiding Deities of ISKCON Mysuru are be bedecked in a special decoration for the occasion. Darshan is open throughout the day. The special attraction during Janmashtami celebration is the elaborate Maha-abhisheka to Sri Krishna Balarama which begins at 10 pm and culminates with Maha Mangala arati & Sankirtana at 12 Midnight, coinciding with the time of Krishna’s birth.
As part of the Janmashtami celebrations, throughout the day many singers perform Sangeethotsava seva during festival in the main temple hall. In the evening, a devotional musical concert and a special dance drama is arranged based on pastimes of Lord Krishna. A special feature of the festival is the HARINAM MANTAP, were thousands of visiting devotees are introduced to the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra.
Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Person, Krishna Himself, appearing as His own devotee, to teach us that we can gain full enlightenment simply by chanting the holy names of the Lord. Gaura Purnima means “golden full moon,” signifying that Lord Chaitanya was “born” during a full moon, and the Lord blesses everyone with the soothing, moonlike rays of His sublime teachings.
Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu advocated a universal religion for everyone, a scientific process of spiritual awakening and gave an opportunity for spiritual emancipation to all regardless of religion, caste, creed or colour. He inaugurated the Sankirtana movement – the congregational chanting of the Holy Name of Krishna in the form of the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra –
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare HareHare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare
Five hundred years ago, He predicted that the chanting of Lord Krishna’s Holy Names would spread throughout the world. This prophecy was fulfilled by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON and the eleventh in the disciplic succession (parampara) of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
At ISKCON, Mysuru on day of Gaura Purnima, to commemorate the festival, devotees go for a Nagar Sankirtan, chanting holy names of Lord Krishna, in the early morning hours. The evening festival starts from 6 pm onwards with Tulasi Puja followed by an elaborate a grand 108 Kalasha abhishekam to the Deities of GauraNitai (Lord Chaitanya and His associate Nityananda) along with Arati & Sankirtan. The special feature of the evening celebrations is a special play on the Life and teachings of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu performed by students of FOLK group.
According to the Vedic system, the birthday of the spiritual master is celebrated as Vyasa-puja. Srila Vyasadeva has very wonderfully compiled all the Vedic literatures and thus he is the original spiritual master for anyone following the Vedic way of spiritual realization. The spiritual master carries the message of Vyasadeva throughout the world and is thus known as the representative of Vyasadeva. Thus the spiritual master’s auspicious appearance day is celebrated as Vyasa-Puja.
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda, at the advanced age of seventy, suffering two major heart attacks, traveled under great hardship from India to America and established the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in 1966 at New York. In twelve short years, he circled the world fourteen times; started temples, ashramas, schools, and farms on six continents; wrote more than seventy books; and literally introduced millions of people to the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra.
Today, in every country round the globe we can see devotees chanting the maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare – Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and following the rules and regulations of devotional service as directed by its founder Srila Prabhupada, as lovingly called by his disciples.
In appreciation of his divine work, his disciples, followers and admirers fill their hearts with gratitude by glorifying his humanly impossible achievements and reinforce & reaffirm their faith on their bonafide spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, on his auspicious appearance day.
Srila Prabhupada on why devotees celebrate Vyasa Puja
“Actually there is no difference between hearing directly from Krishna and hearing directly from Krishna via a bona fide spiritual master like Vyasa. The spiritual master is the representative of Vyasadeva also. Therefore, according to the Vedic system, on the birthday of the spiritual master the disciples conduct the ceremony called Vyasa-puja.”(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 18.75, purport)
A bona fide spiritual master coming in this line of succession descending from Vyasadeva is considered a representative of Vyasa deva. Srila Prabhupada is the 32nd acharya in this disciplic succession and his disciples observe his appearance day as Vyasa Puja. For the devotees of ISKCON this is the most important festival of the year. Devotees fast till noon. Various items are cooked for offering to the spiritual master, who in turn offers it to Krishna. Devotees read homage offerings written by them to glorify Srila Prabhupada. A grand abhisheka is performed and prasadam is distributed.
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