The Krishna Janmashtami festival was celebrated in the Datta Peetham with fervor and devotion. At dawn, Pujya Swamiji performed special prayers and Pujas to the small golden Krishna statuette which has been worshipped in the family for generations. In the prayer hall, a ornately decorated stage was specially erected with a marble Krishna idol seated in the centre. After Pujya Swamiji's Puja was over, the Veda students of the Ashrama Veda school performed Krishna Puja and chanted the famous "Vishnu Sahasranama" The marble idol of Lord Krishna was expeditiously brought from a house in Guntur city. This house was gifted to the Peetham about five years ago and a day before this year's Krishna festival, Pujya Swamiji instructed to remove the marble idol from that house and bring it to the Peetham. Sri Swamiji said "The Krishna wants to come from there to Mysore".
Devotees of Guntur brought the Krishna just before the celebrations were to start. The donor of the house, who was present in Ashrama on that day was over joyed that the statue from their gifted house will be in Mysore Ashrama.

After the Pujas were over, Children of the Ashrama, who were decorated like Gopikaas performed dance and Raas Kreeda around the Krishna idol and Pujya Swamiji, The whole event was captivating.

Pujya Swamiji in the benedictory address spoke

"Lord Krishna established an empire of United India right from cape Kanyakumari up to Himalayan Mountains. However, he did not aspire to rule over the empire, but coronated Dharmaraja as the emperor. This is an example of the liberal attitude of the Lord whose power is unparalleled. Moreover, Krishna the Perfect Master taught the Bhagavadgita (The Song Divine) - the quintessence of spiritualism. Also He propagated the superb system of musical service as an easy path to divinity. Krishna is the Teacher of spiritual teachers. He is the Universal Teacher. I vow to follow the Master - Lord Krishna" Moon rises at midnight on the 8th day of the dark fortnight of the month Shravana (Bahula Ashtami-Sravana Masa) as per the lunar calendar. Krishna, born at such time at midnight - enlightens us all, removing the darkness of our ignorance. The star Rohini is very favourable to the moon. The power of attraction of the moon will be the highest during this period of the star. Having taken incarnation at that time, Krishna attracted not only the mankind, but also the cows, by his divine music and miraculous benevolent grace. For this reason, it is highly auspicious to make offerings to moon at midnight during the festival of Krishna Ashtami. Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu strengthened righteousness to be effective for the entire Treta Yuga (The second age). Krishna, the next incarnation was born at the end of Dwapara Yuga (The third age) and laid a firm foundation of righteousness for the benefit of mankind in the fourth Age, Kai Yuga (the present one). Even during the incarnation of Rama, Lord Vishnu made preparations to His next incarnation as Krishna. Let us look at some examples. (a) A bridge was constructed from Rameswaram (South India) to Sri Lanka. Anjaneya brought a big mountain for this purpose. Lord Rama said the construction was completed, Anjaneya placed the mountain on the bank of the river Yamuna as directed by Rama. The mountain prayed to him to be used in the service of Rama and He conveyed His request to Rama. The Lord said, "Let the mountain remain there. I will use it at the end of the next age Dwapara". This is the Govardhana mountain which Lord Krishna made use of to protect the cows and cowherds. (b) As directed by Krishna, Anjaneya made several favours to Arjuna and Bhima, (brothers of Dharmaraja). The incarnation of Krishna is called the Perfect one i.e. Purna Avatara. Krishna blessed many with the Darsana (vision) of His Viswa Roopa (Cosmos form). Those who sought His grace in the three ages - Kruta, Treta and Dwapara were reborn as contemporaries of Krishna, who blessed them with boons. An emperor protects only his subjects. However Krishna liberates all His devotees, even sinners and demons. He is Bhakti Saamrajya Chakravarthi i.e., the emperor of the realm of devotion. His grace is limitless. There is an intimate link between the master and servant; between the Supreme Soul and His power of illusion (Maya); between the teacher and the disciple. However, the power of attraction of Krishna is matchless. It was enjoyed by one and all. Throughout His Divya Leela (divine play), whether among the cowherds in His childhood, or among the several people and rulers, Krishna was ever unaffected by any event - such was His detachment. Here is a practical lesson for all that one must maintain equipoise even in the period of crisis. In the other incarnations, God liberated the wrong doer by killing. However, Krishna showed the gradual path to salvation both to the good and the bad ones; to cleanse the evil effect of their sins, by righteous conduct, unmindful of suffering. Thus people were purified by His grace. Though Krishna did not wield any weapon, the Pandavas won the war. In the beginning, Arjuna stated that he preferred to lose everything. He wanted to avoid the war as he was unwilling to kill the opponents who were his friends and relations. Krishna taught him the pious principle that "it is not winning the war that is important, but fighting well for the righteous cause". Ultimately Arjuna met with success. On the other hand, Duryodhana tried to grab the empire by any means - fair or foul. His evil doomed him. Thus Krishna demonstrated by several practical examples that a good work never goes unrewarded and the sinner shall be punished. It is only Krishna who propagated the music of flute - Venu. The kind Lord's divine melodies were rapturous. Every one enjoyed the ecstatic bliss of his spiritual music of Saptaswaras. Krishna rescued the suffering and fulfilled the desires of the seeker. Swamiji enquires a devotee "Oh! How are you? Your wife and children are OK?" These enquiries are made by Swamiji with a purpose. Generally a householder is attached to the family ties and responsibilities. He feels at home if such topics are referred to. Thereafter Swamiji draws the devotee's attention towards the Guru and Guru seva. The devotee is pleased and satisfied that Swamiji evinces interest in the welfare of his family. The best Teacher made the best preaching to the best disciple. This is what we infer from Krishna's teaching of Bhagavadgita to Arjuna. Sri Swamiji sang a few songs on Krishna in enrapturing, melodious, inspiring tunes. [At the end of the session, Swamiji explained the five types of children one may have by quoting a mythological story. The moral of the story is one must be duty conscious, righteous and detached in his day to day activities. Morality only leads us to liberation.] Jaya Guru Datta

 

Photos of the Event

Pujya Swamiji gave Sacred butter to Devotees

The Marble Krishna was installed in the Ashrama Park

Mangala Arati to Lord Krishna after the Puja

Raskreeda dance by Ashrama children dressed as Gopikas and characters from Maha Bhagavatha

Manu Datta, dressed as Little Krisha tries to steal butter and milk hanging in a pot

Pujya Swamiji giving fruits to Ashrama animals on Krishna Janmashtami day