Mumbai: The three-day celebrations of ‘Janmashtami’ to mark birth of Lord Krishna began on Wednesday in temples with religious fervour and tradition. The famous temple of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at Girgaum Chowpatty here offered 5,243-fruit ‘bhoga’ in a unique way to mark the occasion.
The number 5,243 corresponds with the number of years the God appeared on the earth, ISKCON’s spiritual leader Radhanath Swami Maharaj said in a statement here. A ‘maha aarti’ was performed this morning and distribution of 5,243 fruits commenced, ISKCON spokesperson Lucky Kulkarni said.
“There will be ‘maha aarti’ and ‘maha abhishek’ of Lord Krishna at midnight on August 25 where 1,008 bhogas will be offered which will include variety of sweets, cooked vegetables, juices, rice and a variety of other dishes,” he said, adding the celebrations will continue till August 26. The Girgaum ISKCON temple on its premises has made a replica of Tompkins Square Park of New York where ISKCON founder Acharya Shri A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Shrila Prabhupada started discourse during his stay in USA in 1965.
The dresses of Radha and Krishna this year are designed with the opulent gold hand-embroidered zardosi (sewing with gold string) on pure silken velvets in royal colours. Quoting scriptures, Radhanath Swami claimed that 5,243 years ago on Janmashtami, the Lord appeared on the earth at midnight. It also has a deeper significance, he said, as midnight is the time of maximum darkness and from the moment the Lord appeared the darkness started diminishing.
“Similarly our heart is dark being afflicted by multiple anxieties and miseries. But in the darkest hour of our life, when we turn to the Lord and he appears in our heart, all the darkness recedes and the light of eternal hope starts streaming in,” he said. Another ISKCON temple at Juhu is expecting five lakh devotees.
Noted designer Rohit Verma has prepared the deity’s dress in off-white and gold, according to temple spokesperson. Besides, the famous Shree Krishna temple near Andheri Sports Complex has organised a special pooja at midnight tonight to mark the birthday celebrations of Lord Krishna. Another Krishna temple at Wadala has also planned colourful Janmashtami celebrations during the next two days in which thousands of people are expected to visit for ‘darshan’ of Lord Krishna.