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The month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar is considered to be one of the holiest of the year. It hosts many different festivals, and one of the most significant is known as Janmashtami, marking the birth of Shri Krishna Bhagwan.
The occasion was celebrated with great devotion at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London on Friday 10 August 2012. The day began with a ceremonial offering of food to the deities in the Mandir, where guests and devotees arrived throughout the day to pray and be blessed.
The life and teachings of Shri Krishna were presented in an enlightening programme held in the assembly hall in the evening. The festivities began with the singing of devotional songs extolling the eminence of Shri Krishna. The audience then enjoyed a short video presentation of the celebrations which had taken place in the presence of His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj in Ahmedabad, India earlier that day.
A fascinating drama enacting an episode from the Mahabharat artistically depicted the peaceful and compassionate nature of Shri Krishna as he patiently endeavoured to avert war and broker peace among the feuding Kaurava and Pandava clans.
Shrutiprakash Swami, a senior and learned sadhu visiting from India, then elaborated upon the inspiring and timeless spiritual messages Shri Krishna has imparted to the world.
The finale of the evening – marking the divine birth of Shri Krishna – was celebrated with the arti followed by the swinging of the ‘paranu’ (birth cradle) amid devotional singing.