Sunnyvale Temple celebrates Janmashtami

janaSUNNYVALE, CA: Sunnyvale Temple celebrated Sri Krishna Janmashtami on August 27. Thousands of devotees thronged to witness the birth of their beloved Nand Lala. Sri Krishna was the eighth Avatar of Vishnu, born on the eighth day of the month, Ashtami, at midnight on the Rohini nakshatra. Gopala was the eighth child of Devaki and Vasudev.

Giridhari is known to have eight main Gopis in Vrindavan, and eight main wives. The number eight is associated with Maya Prakriti (the great illusion of creation), as mentioned in Chapter 7 of the Bhagavad Gita, “Ashtadha Prakriti”.

The celebrations started at 10 am with Kalasha Sthapana. At 6 pm there was a Puja. This was followed by Bhajans at 7pm. The daily Arti followed at 8pm. Abhishekam of the Lord was done with Vedic chanting.

Singers performed Anjali with Bhajans for the rest of the night. At midnight was the grand arrival or Bal Gopal, received with great reverence and devotion. Bal Gopal was then dressed and placed in the ‘jhula’ (swing). The priests performed a beautiful Aarti of the Lord that concluded the Janmashtami celebrations.

A lot of us have heard the birth story of Sri Krishna. He was born in a prison cell where his parents Devaki and Vasudev where kept under captivity by Kamsa. When Sri Krishna was born all the prison guards fell asleep and the doors got unlocked. Vasudev then took baby Krishna across the river Yamuna to his friend Nand Baba’s home in Gokul and kept him next to Yashoda. Vasudev took the baby girl born to Yashoda back with him to the prison.

The name ‘Krishna’ means the most attractive, the dark one, and one who is blissful by nature. Krishna also has a deeper meaning. The essence of Krishna is the supreme consciousness, that’s in each one of us, and in all of creation. The complete manifestation of this consciousness was the Avatar, Sri Krishna. The spiritual meaning of Avatar, the realization of this consciousness within, is the incarnation of Paramatma.

The following day, August 28th, the temple received thousands of devotees coming to get darshan. Everything was orderly and organized for the crowds to flow smoothly. Each devotee gave obeisance to Bal Gopal adorned in the ‘jhula’, the priests gave prasad and dinner as always was provided to all by the temple.

The temple also received three idols that have arrived from Rajasthan: Salasar ke Balaji (Hanuman), Khatu ke Shyamji, and Jhunjhunu ki Ranisati dadi.

Vinita Dubey Pande
India Post News Service

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