ISKCON Houston’s Sri Krishna Janmastami Celebrations A Huge Success


By Ganga Narayan Das          

HOUSTON: ISKCON Houston celebrated Krishna Janmashtami with much fun and fare on 28 August at the stricking of midnight. The presiding deities Sri Radha Nilamadhava welcomed more than 4000 eager guests. The temple room was packed with guests saying to the kirtans sung by His Grace Ajamila Das, a renowned kirtaneer from Toronto Canada. We also had the auspicious presence of His Holiness Gunagrahi Dasa Goswami. His Holiness travels extensively in Argentina and nearby Americas, sharing his wisdom and helping individuals on their spiritual journey. The temple room and altar were decorated with choiciest flowers, drapes and lights.


ISKCON Houston Janmastami 2013 Celebrations. Photos: K R Thejas & Nagalla Nagaraj

Sri Sri Radha Nilamadhava had adorned a beautiful new outfit namely Devaki Nandan (Yellow and Purple color dress) specially designed and custom made in Vrindavan, India. Festivities started at 6:30pm on August 28 and the devotees steadily prepared their consciousness to welcome Sri Krishna in their hearts. Krishna was born to Mother Devaki at midnight. So, in that same spirit, devotees undertake austerities like fasting the whole day, and engage in devotional services all the while eagerly look forward to the appearance of Krishna in their hearts.

Swinging Bala Gopal on Janmastami.

Swinging Bala Gopal on Janmastami.

While the festivities within the temple room were going strong, a queue formed outside the temple with people patiently waiting their turn to do abhishek (spiritual bath) of a beautiful Bal Gopal deity. As per traditions, a conchsell was used for the abhishek. People would then proceed to gently rock an exquisite craddle of Bal Gopal.

No festival is complete without a sumptuous prasadam! And Krishna’s birthday would be no exception. The highlights of the menu were vegetable bahaar and paneer kurma.

Picture of the moment when alter is opened at midnight Maha Arati on Janmastami.

Picture of the moment when alter is opened at midnight Maha Arati on Janmastami.

The birthday of Krishna is very special for the devotees of ISKCON for yet another special reason – it is also the appearance day of their founding acarya, His Devine Grace A.C. Bhakiti Vedanta Swami, called as Srila Prabhupada. The apearance day of Srila Prabhupada falls on the next day of Krishna Janmashtami, August 29. It was because of the desire of one old man in his late 60s that we now witness a spiritual revolution world-over. Surving two heart attacks on board the ship to the US, Srila Prabhupada, aged 69, arrived at the shores of Boston in 1965 with two trunks full of his translated books, an umberella, some clothes for change, $40 and carrying within his the instructions of his spiritual master to spread the message of Lord Caitanya to the Western world. So members of ISKCON hold great feelings of gratitude for Srila Prabhupada and celebrate his appearance day with exhuberant joy.


Comemorating Krishna Janmashtami, ISKCON Houston also celebrated a social gathering on September 1, inviting various local artists and art schools from Houston and surrounding areas. Children displayed their talent and it was heart warming to see these tiny tots eagerly embracing and preserving our culture. The venet ended with a comedy drama based on our scripture called, “Kali’s Nightmare”. The direction was pure genious, the costumes looked very professional and the message sunk very deep. We thank all the participants for their time and energy in making this festival a grand success.