ISKCON Krishna Temple at Bhubaneswar witnesses hundreds of Devotees and Visitors on the auspicious day of Janmasthtami

By Smita Pattnaik

Bhubaneswar, 28 August 2013:  The City of Temples, Bhubaneswar, is famous for numerous temples and devotional institutions and installations. Among them the ISKCON Krishna temple is famous for spreading Krishna consciousness. A large number of devotees visited the temple during celebration of ‘Janmashtami’ – the auspicious birth ceremony of Lord Krishna.

As per the rituals, the festival begins at dawn with mangal aarti, followed with decoration of the Krishna’s idol with bright & colourful clothes, flowers, camphor & basil leaf garlands and dazzling ornaments. Then the first darshan of the day is allowed to the devotees.

Throughout the day, numerous programmes are arranged to keep the devotees immersed in thoughts of Krishna. Bhajans are sung & mantras are chanted in the temple and special competitions for school children to depict the deeds of BAL Krishna.

Devotees take Prasad in the Govinda’s Prasadam in the afternoon. The programmes and bhajan kirtan goes on for the whole day. The temple gets crowded with hundreds and thousands devotees and members of ISKON.

In the evening, a special Pravachan is held upon the birth of Sri Krishna. People eagerly waits till the midnight, when clock struck 12, and numerous conches, shells, bells, drums start ringing to welcoming the Baby Krishna on Earth.

As per the rituals at the temple, Avishek ceremony starts as soon as Baby Krishna takes birth. The lord is bathed with Panchamrit – a mixture of curd, milk, gangajal, honey and ghee. Ladu gopal is decorated with new garments, ornaments, flute, peacock-feather. Maha-arti is performed by lighting 108 auspicious lamps made of mud.

Devotees offer Pushpanjali to Lord Krishna. Lord is offered with 56 types of delicious sweets known as Mahabhog. At last the Sayan Arti is performed to make the Deity sleep.

The day after Janmashtami is celebrated as Nanda Utsav. Bal Gopal idol is kept in a cradle in the temple premises for the darshan of the general public. Devotees in large number come along with offerings to see the new born baby.

On the occasion, free Prasad is distributed among all devotees and visitors. In the evening the Dahi Handi Utsav is celebrated. Small children gather under Dahi Handi and form a human pyramid to catch and then break an earthen pot (a matki ) hung high in the air with the help of a rope. They are known as Govindas or BalGopals.

This sport marks the legends about Krishna stealing butter or dahi from handis.

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