Yesterday a motley group of people assembled at Iskcon Temple,Bangalore to explore Janmashtami celebrations in the city. A quick tour of Iskcon gave a glimpse of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and Iskcon’s Hare Krishna movement. The chanting of ‘Hare Krishna and Hare Ram’ , the soulful bhajans at the Radha Krishna temple, the glittering idols amidst colorful fragrant flowers, the flickering brass lamps added a divine touch to the cultural walk.
Then began a tour of homes that usher in Krishna’s birthday in style. Our first stop over at a traditional Tamil home gave us a glimpse of Iyengar traditions. The walkers were welcomed with a smile and served with delicious usili and sweets.
They heard the stories of Krishna’s midnight birth and his adventures. The cradles all decked up with fruits and savories looked delightful- after all baby Krishna was arriving.
Numerous krishna idols- some depicting Laddu Gopal, Krishna the musician playing the divine flute or the lover boy performing Raas Leeela with his numerous gopis-milkmaids and Radha – heritage displayed with pride at owner’s home.
The tour showed a different aspect of celebrations at each home. While some lovingly enticed Krishna with sweetmeats and snacks, some brought him alive printing Krishna’s naughty footprints on the house floor.
The Indian hospitality was in full flow – the walkers went home with a smile laden with gifts and sweetmeats.