Janmashtami Celebration in NewEngland in 2009

Date:  15 August 2009
Time:  9am – 7pm
Venue: Residence of Sri Rajesh and Smt Nithya Rajesh, Woburn, MA
Event: Akhanda Nama satsang to celebrate Krishna Janmashtami.

The Akhanda Nama stated at 9:30am with prayers to the Holy Padhukas of Sri Sri Swamiji and Mahamantra kirtan.  The 8 hour session of Mahamantra kirtan concluded at 5:30pm with Sri Sri Swamijis Kaliyayum bali kollum kirtan.

At 5:30pm, a Guru kirtan (Govindapuram yendru selveno) and a kirtan on nama (Namavai paaduvom) were sung.  With this done, the stage was all set to welcome the birth of Lord Sri Krishna. Printed material of Sri Krishna jananam from Srimad Bhagawatam in English and Sanskrit were handed out to all the devotees present.  Smt Nithyaji told in a nutshell, about what was going to be read. As each sloka was read, the devotees repeated thus not missing an opportunity to read the holy text. During the recital, Sri Narayanan explained the significance of the 10th Canto of Srimad Bhagawatam. The following was highlighted

“Thinking of Srimad Bhagawatam and listening to its recital will burn down all the sins.  This holy epic was composed to instill Bhakti in the the mind of the readers. But our minds are already impure with so many other thoughts. They have to be cleaned out first before filling them with Bhakti.  The stories of Lord Krishna and his leelas will bring Bhakti to our hearts. So one would expect a chronological order in the holy epic beginning with Lord Sri Krishna’s birth in the first canto.  But Krishna Jananam is described in the 10th Canto. This is because recital of all the previous 9 cantos will remove the impurities in the mind and make it pure and the 10th Canto is used to fill the minds with Bhakti.

But today, we have jumped directly to the 10th Canto without reading the other 9 Cantos. This is because we have opted to take shortcut. The 8 full hours of Mahamantra Chanting has removed all the impurities in our minds and made our minds pure and ready for Bhakti to take seat.”

As the sloka describing Lord Sri Krishna’s birth was chanted, (Tam adbutam balakam..), flowers were showered on Sri Krishna and Sri Sri Swamiji’s divine padhukas followed by offering of neivedhya and harati.

Admist the chanting of ‘Jai Jai Govinda Jai hari Govinda’ by the gopas and gopis at Woburn,  Little Krishna was carried in a bamboo basket with Lord Aadisesha guarding it and carried to gokulam and placed in a cradle there. The devotees sang the song ‘Manikam katti’ to put Balakrishna to sleep.  The next morning which was Nandotsavam was marked by chanting of the verse ‘nandastyatmaja utpanne..’ from Srimad Bhagawatam. The devotees rejoiced the arrival of by offering butter to him. A cradle keeps rocking and never stays in a place. Similarly the mind keeps rocking from one place to another and cannot remain constantly in one place. Manasa Ravi then sang a wonderful bhajan requesting Lord Krishna to come to the hearts of all devotees (which is similar to placing Krishna in a cradle).

Following this, Sri Sri Swamijis kirtans namely
1. chunnam ittu kolam poduvom
2. uchi kondai anindhavan
3. thaiyya thigu thigu
were sung. The Gopis then took harati for the new born.

Prasad was distributed to the 20 gopas and gopis.

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