St Louis Iskcon celebrates Janmastami

web56ST LOUIS: International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated Krishna Janmashtami, appearance day of Lord Krishna, at its facility in St Louis with great pomp, devotion and enthusiasm on August 9.
A bigger event was planned at the Mahatma Gandhi Center in Ballwin on Saturday, August 18 starting 4pm. Both the events were well attended and successful Janmashtami is deemed most auspicious occasion by Krishna devotees and Viashnavas when the Lord descended about five thousand years ago to get rid of evil, protect his devotees and re-establish the religious system. Krishna, which means all attractive, is the most opulent Supreme Person who excels in possession of beauty, strength, intelligence, fame, riches and renunciation.
The center in St. Louis is located at 3926 Lindell Boulevard. The building, over 100 years old, is an excellent facility which has humbly served as home for the temple deities and is a fantastic place for regular worship. The daily schedule includes multiple and meticulous offerings of food, flowers and auspicious elements with very specific glorification prayers to the previous spiritual masters and the Lord. Each worship is invariably interlaced with congregational chanting of the Holy Name which produces transcendental vibrations that help purify our hearts and remind us of the Holy presence in ourselves.
Every Sunday evening the temple hosts the signature Krishna-Fest program which is free and open to everyone. The event starts at 4:30 pm with deity worship and ecstatic chanting of the Holy Name in the background. Accompanied with musical instruments like kartalas and mrdanga, the earnest calling of the devotees to their Lord reaches a crescendo immersing everyone in the nectar of sound vibration. Dancing in jubilation to these transcendental musical notes, one is guaranteed elevation to the natural spiritual position, becoming oblivious of material existence. This unique way of engaging all senses into the service of Lord is very typical of ISKCON’s every event.
The acoustic feast is then succeeded by an hour long philosophical discourse from ancient and timeless Vedic scriptures such as the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. The Saint Louis ISKCON center participates in community outreach programs and is a member of St. Louis inter-faith organization. It hosts weekly Bhakti Yoga Club events at Washington University giving an opportunity and accessibility to the aspiring intellects to explore Vedic wisdom and culture.
In addition, there are weekly Bhakti-Vriksha programs in various homes which help facilitate a systematic and structured study of scriptures while establishing deep friendships along the way. On Sunday evenings, the Krishna-Balaram school offers classes to youth and children, assisting to cultivate wholesome character and conduct in the next generation.
The center regularly makes arrangements for visitors who offer expert guidance on wide-ranging topics like work-life balances, conflict resolution, fear and anger management, positive relationships, group meditation etc.
To continue to propagate this essential divine mission with a 100 year old building, the temple management team has initiated a series of capital renovation projects to maintain and improve its facilities and is actively seeking generous sponsors.

Ashwin Patel

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