A Jubilant Janmashtami Celebration at ISKCON of Houston

Iskcon 1in

HOUSTON: Janmashtami, Lord Krishna’s appearance day on earth, was celebrated on Saturday September 5 at ISKCON of Houston. More than 5,000 guests attended this devotional festival. Many came donned in their finest, colorful sarees and well pressed dhotis for the biggest birthday bash. The temple grounds held a variety of entertainment for everyone.

There was a booth for ladies to get elegant henna plus a children’s area where kids played games and practice their artistic skills by coloring a picture of Krishna. Devotees assisted with putting tilak on guests and distributed chandan. In Guaranga Hall, the enthusiastic youth held cultural programs such as dance acts and performances relating to Krishna’s pastimes. Furthermore, guests also gleamed at having the opportunity for abishek and julan of Bal Gopal deities.

Next to the Gauranga Hall, free sumptuous prasadam was served to all.   The pillars on the altar were draped in strands of rich colorful roses, yellow spider mums, white gladiolas and red Apples intertwined in fresh greenery with hints of baby breath. Strands of strung green limes and yellow lemons also hung above the deities. Tall 4′ foot vases stood on the altar filled with green apples.  Two large elephant figures stood at each side of the beautifully adorned deities. The decor accented Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava’s outfit and  Their ornaments. Their outfits were bedecked with sequins and jewels that every color imaginable glimmered. The deities radiated magnificently with the decor and amorous atmosphere from the many kirtans held throughout the evening.

As the night went on, the crowd at the temple slowly increased for the grand midnight aarti of Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava. Prior to the midnight arati, the ecstatic kirtan made everyone  – both young and old, to dance happily. This was followed by a wonderful Lord Krishna’s appearance pastimes on earth described by His Holiness Gunagrahi Das Goswami.

Iskcon 2in

As midnight approached, devotees chanted “Nand Gher Anand Bhayo, Jai Kannaiya Lal Ki”. It became more ecstatic as the clock ticked down to midnight. Then, as soon as the curtains opened, the crowd gasped and roared at the astonishing sight of Sri Sri Nilamadhava in their night outfit which was a mix of dark green and orange jeweled beautifully.  Just as they were all watching the beauty of Their Lordships, another beautiful kirtan was lead and took everyone to a new high. This lasted for another hour before the devotees slowly left the temple to honor prasadam.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmet proclaimed Saturday, September 5, 2015 as Krishna Janmashtami Day in Harris County.

On Sunday, August 6, the celebration continued for the Founder Acharya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada’s Appearance day or Vyasa Puja celebration. The temple was fortunate to have several of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples share their offerings and heartfelt gratitude to their spiritual master.  Many including children also shared their warm wishes and gratefulness to their spiritual preceptor. A special cake was offered to Srila Prabhupada, in the shape of the ship, the Jaladuta, which he boarded to come to the west to spread Krishna Consciousness.

We can attempt to explain the experience in so many words, but the best way is to have you experience it one day! Come see us!

Iskcon of Houston is located at 1320 West 34th St. in Northwest Houston.

Visit at: www.iskconhouston.org and connect with them via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – Iskcon of Houston.