The day of the advent of the Lord who combines in one birth the excellences of inward and outward aspects of life is celebrated as Janmastami, Krishnastami or Krishna Janmastami-the eight day of the waxing moon. Significantly Krishna was also the eighth child of his parents-born in a prison to release his parents from imprisonment. Symbolically, he releases the people of the world from the fetters of Maya.
Ramakrishna Math, Hyderabad, always in the forefront of celebrating spiritual occasions, marked the day-21st august 2011-with multifaceted significant events to recollect and recreate the glories of Lord Krishna. The day began with mangalarati and meditation on the life of this unique purna avatara. Then from 8 am to 11 am the serene atmosphere of the Math reverberated with the melodious chanting of the Gita-Lord Krishna's immortal words to his dear disciple Arjuna to help him face with fortitude the travails of war / conflict, relevant even today for every person who is at a crossroad of life without being able to decide which road to choose. In spite of pouring rain, a large number of devotees participated in the chanting.
The evening program began at 5 pm with a thought-provoking lecture by Swami Anupamanandaji on the life and message of the Lord whose life from birth onwards has been a series of object lessons.
This was followed by arati of Sri Ramakrishna in the main temple. At 6 pm the venue shifted to the puja mandapam where an enticing picture of the child Krishna stealing butter with a mischievous expression on his face touched the heart of the devotees. For the next two and half hours a string of bhajans on the Lord were sung by Revered Jnanadanandaji which the devotees joined with fervor and zest. The tempo was such that it induced a high state of consciousness in those present and the picture of Krishna became a living presence. This was supplemented by small children dressed as Krishna and gopis (Radha) who danced along with the bhajans. The whole place was a "mart of joy-mojar kuti" as Sri Ramakrishna used to say.
The program ended with dinner Prasad at 8.30 pm. More than 850 devotees participated in the whole programme in the evening.
- Dr Sumita Roy