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Grand Diwali and Annakut at ISKCON of Houston

Diwali at ISKCON of Houston

Diwali at ISKCON of Houston

 

Iskcon-in-6

HOUSTON: ISKCON of Houston extravagantly celebrated Diwali, or Dipavali, on October 19th showcasing their magnificent deities, Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava. This festival commemorates the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after valiantly defeating the demon, Ravana, saving the people of Lanka from his reign of terror. The altar was decorated by hundreds of candles that illuminated the temple room during the special candlelight arati, that was attended by over 1,500 revelers. The ecstatic chanting of the Lord’s holy names lifted everyone’s spirits into ecstatic festive mood.

Candlelight Aarti at Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava altar.

Candlelight Aarti at Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava altar.

Annakut at Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava altar.

Annakut at Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava altar.

Govardhan Puja, or “Annakut” was celebrated the day after Diwali, and was met with another wave of devotees. On this day, Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill for the protection of his devotees from Lord Indra’s torrential rainfall upon the inhabitants of Vrindavan. This pastime was celebrated by the abhishek of Sri Giriraj, by bathing him in lavish liquid items such as milk, honey, variety of juices, ghee, and more. This sweet concoction of liquids would be served as “Charanamrita” to everyone. Thousands of food preparations adorned the altar, and was thereafter served as prasadam. Govardhan Puja was met with great satisfaction by all the attendees who savored the great tasting prasadam, and the wonderful kirtan.

Crowd on Friday festival.

Crowd on Friday festival.

 

Govardhan Hill Crowd Sunday Festival.

Govardhan Hill Crowd Sunday Festival.

 

Prabhupada on parikrama

Prabhupada on parikrama

On Sunday evening, the temple held Diwali cultural program, when the devotees began with chanting and dancing of the Lord’s holy names, or “Harinam”, in a parade across the temple grounds and onto the streets, while carrying Srila Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada visited the newly completed apartment complex and soon to be completed Goswami Academy building. Shortly after, the attendees of Sunday Feast were treated to a Govardhan Puja Musical by the children of Sunday school. Enacting the pastime of the lifting of Govardhan Hill, the children of Sunday school were met with great praise and appreciation. To celebrate this festival, the devotees of the temple replicated Govardhan Hill with various sweet dishes such as cake, cookies, and cupcakes. This was followed by many devotees circumambulating, or “Parikrama”, around this replicated Govardhan Hill while engaging in kirtan.

Visit us: 1320 West 34th Street in Houston. There is a Sunday Feast – happens every Sunday at 5:30 PM
www.Iskconhouston.org

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