A Magical night…
I have heard the story of the birth of Lord Krishna many times in the span of my lifetime, and for as long as I remember it has never ceased to fascinate me. Every person tells the story differently and every time I find myself wide-eyed and learning something new. Chinmaya Mission Sydney’s Annual Krishna Janmashtmi celebration was one such event and on Friday the 23rd of August at Chinmaya Sannidhi Ashram in Castle Hill left over 500 keen devotees of Lord Krishna enthralled and amazed.
Our resident spiritual teacher, Swami Shrikaranandaji (Swamiji) along with our priest/devotee Jaganath-ji started the beautiful event with a beautiful puja. We were all allowed to perform the special abhishekam (Bathing of the Lord) with our families and rock the cradle of Baby Lord Krishna. While the abhishekam was going on the Chinmaya Veda Chanting students chanted various beautiful Vedic mantras. This started us all devotees on the journey of devotion. Our talented adult music group; Chinmaya Swaranjanali kept the momentum going with soothing and serenading tunes throughout the night. Following the ceremony our sevaks managed and guided the devotees in an orderly fashion to our fabulous outdoor marquee for the rest of the program.
Even with the cold night, the performances warmed us all. With around 120 wide eyed children in attendance, the Sydney Chinmaya Balavihar classes were exemplar in portraying Lord Krishna’s love and leelas. We started the night with a soothing instrumental music performance and some chanting by our Strathfield Chinmaya Balavihar children. The vibrations that followed set the mood for the rest of the night.
Lord Krishna loved us, stole our hearts and had us dancing and swaying away. Our Castle Hill Chinmaya Balavihar Kindergarten class charmed us with their cuteness and showed the audience that Lord Krishna loves all of us through a narration of “Krishna Loves you’. Lord Krishna then stole the hearts of the Gopis who reluctantly provided him with butter with an enactment of “Krishna’s Butter Bash” by our Junior Year 2-3 Balavihar students. Our senior Balavihar kids and students from the Mathew Pearce Public School Chinmaya Hindu Scripture classes graced us with wonderful dances which made our hearts and bodies sway with joy and love for Lord Krishna. Our teenagers rounded up the entertainment with a wonderful concert style performance of Achutyam Keshavam Bhajan.
But wait that was not all, after all; what is a birthday without cake? Thanks to our wonderful Sevaks Jessie and Aarti we had two beautiful cakes to offer to the Lord. One of our youngest children, along with Swamiji cut the beautiful cakes as we sang Happy birthday to Krishna in Sanskrit and English. The children then enjoyed breaking the symbolic Matki filled with surprise treats, as the Sevaks ensured everyone had a go at breaking the pot. When the pot broke, the treats were shared by all as Lord Krishna would do with his friends. Dinner Prasad was then served to everyone who came thanks to the mammoth effort of all the families involved in preparing and serving the dinner prasad. The night continued with more beautiful bhajans by Chinmaya Swaranjali, followed by Bhagavad Geeta Chanting and a special talk on significance of Lord Krishna and His Leelas finally leading us to Grand Birth of Lord Krishna at midnight with Maha Vedic Aart, rocking of the Jhoola and Maha Prasad at midnight concluding the event.
Organizing such a large-scale event successfully undoubtedly requires an army of dedicated volunteers and a tireless committeeheaded by our beloved Swamiji. I would like to take the opportunity to convey my heartfelt thanks, and a virtual standing ovation for their hard work and inspiration in making this event a huge success. Chinmaya Mission Australia aims to spread maximum happiness to the maximum people for the maximum time, and Krishna Janmashtmi on Friday the 23rd definitely did that. Through such events we try to share our knowledge, culture and devotion to the people of Sydney in a safe, welcome environment.
To find out more about any future events and classes, please follow us on Chinmaya Mission Australia – Sydney.
If you were interested in purchasing any of the children’s books mentioned in this article, please visit our Ashram at 38 Carrington Road Sydney, Castle Hill (across the The Hills Showgrounds Railway Station).
Chinmaya Mission exists to share the timeless knowledge of the Ancient but modern Hindu Scriptures (Vedanta) to any and all who seek it. Vedanta provides us the practical means for inner transformation and growth so we can conduct our life with equipoise and confidence; reaching heights of happiness and success we never knew were possible!
We aim to make these timeless and universal principles available through the various activities of Chinmaya Mission Sydney, including classes for:
- Shishu vihar – Tiny tots Classes (0-4 years) – (Weekends)
- Balvihar – Children’s Classes (5-12 years) – (Weekends)
- Junior Chyk – Teen Classes (13-17) – (Weekends)
- CHYK – Youth Classes (18-35) – (Weekends, evenings, online)
- Adult study Classes (Evenings, weekends, during the day on weekdays, online)
- Ladies (Devi) Classes (During the day on weekdays)
- Senior citizens programs (Saturday evening, during the day on weekdays)
Contact Nandagopal on 0408 445 941 or Chinmaya Mission Ashram on 02 8850 7400.
For more photos on the Krishna Janmasthami Festival visit:
By Mahitha Ramakrishna