Mellowed Celebration But Jubilant: Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Sri Krishna Janmaashtami 2021

“When I go to the temple I feel the peace, enjoy meeting people” -Sony Gupta. “Be selfless.”

Adherents of Hinduism in and around Gothenburg gathered at the Govindas, the temple-cum-restaurant, on Chapmans Torg by the River Göta. The celebrations were not as they were before pre-Covid-19 years because of the prevailing pandemic, Covid-19. Yet more than fifty devotees gathered on the last Monday of August 2021 to celebrate the Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the appearance day of Lord Krishna.

This year the regular devotees including the managers of the temple activities brought about 108 dishes, most of them were cooked at their homes, as an offering to the deities in the temple. After the lecture, chanting, prayers, and abhishekham to Lord Krishna, the offerings to the deities were distributed to the devotees as prasadam, the sanctified food, in addition to the fruits and flowers.

Last year the Sri Krishna Janmaashtami was observed with social-distancing measures due to the coronavirus pandemic and this year the number of people was also restricted due to it. The devotees were ecstatic in celebrating the festival at the temple.

“I felt like home being here. It was not that big in India but when I saw people here, though it was a closed invitation, for worshipping, it was overwhelming. I made prasadam. I did not miss my family. I did not miss India,” said Sony Gupta, software engineer, Volvo Cars, who had moved to Sweden from India this year. She said festivals of Hinduism are celebrated in different ways in the country, and differs from one area to another area but the important point is to celebrate. She said she is theist and secular. God in any form, or without form, is recognized in the world and worshipped. For her, there is a force in the world that drives this world, and that force for her is God. “When I go to the temple I feel the peace, enjoy meeting people,” she said. “Be selfless.

Mekhla Mataji read excerpts from the book Krsna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead written by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of International Society for Krishna Consciousness. “… Within the prison, shackled in iron chains, Vasudeva and Devaki gave birth to a male child year after year, and Kamsa, thinking each of the babies to be the incarnation of Visnu, killed them one after another. He was particularly afraid of the eighth child, but after the visit of Narada, he came to the conclusion that any child might be Krsna. Therefore it was better to kill all the babies who took birth from Devaki and Vasudeva.”

“This action of Kamsa is not very difficult to understand. In the history of the world there are many instances of persons in the royal order who have killed their father, brother or whole family and friends for the satisfaction of their ambitions. There is nothing astonishing about this, for members of the demoniac, greedy royal order can kill anyone for their nefarious ambitions.”

“Kamsa was made aware of this previous birth by the grace of Narada. He learned that in his previous birth he had been a demon of the name Kalanemi and that he had been killed by Visnu. Having now taken his birth in the Bhoja family, he decided to become the deadly enemy of the Yadu dynasty; Krsna was going to take birth in the family, and Kamsa was very much afraid that he would be killed by Krsna, just as he had been killed in his last birth.”

“He first of all imprisoned his father, Ugrasena, because he was the chief king among the Yady, Bhoja and Andhaka dynasties, and he also occupied the kingdom of Surasena, Vasudeva’s father. He declared himself the king of all such places.”