With great devotion, the Hindu community came together to celebrate Janmashtami, honoring the birth of Bhagwan Shri Krishna, on September 7, 2023. This auspicious event took place amidst the three-month-long ‘Festival of Inspirations’, marking the inauguration of the BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham, a beacon of ancient Hindu values set against the backdrop of the contemporary world, which stands as an inspiration of ancient Hindu values.
The program consisted of incidents capturing Bhagwan Shri Krishna’s life, enriched with profound wisdom, playful innocence, and divine deeds, enlightened attendees, guiding them through His revered teachings.
The evening was graced with profound spiritual discourses. Pujya Shrutiprakashdas Swami delved into the Shrimad Bhagvad Gita, highlighting the transformative power of seeking refuge in God. Drawing parallels from the epic Mahabharat, he emphasized the unwavering protection bestowed by God upon those who surrender to Him, emphasizing the importance of trust in divine wisdom during moral dilemmas.
Renowned scholar, Mahāmahōpādhyāya Pujya Bhadreshdas Swami cited another verse from the Shrimad Bhagvad Gita – Esha Brahmi Sthiti in contemplation of how transcendence of material desires, embracing equanimity and aligning oneself with Aksharbraman, results in the attainment of brahmi stiti, the state of utmost equilibrium and oneness with God. Using the analogy of the ocean’s calm surface amidst the deep, tumultuous waters, he imparted the significance of achieving inner peace and balance, citing His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj as a living testament.
Sadguru Pujya Ishwarcharandas Swami, referencing the Vachnamrut, shed light on the unparalleled devotion the gopis held for Bhagwan Shri Krishna, illustrating how Bhagwan Swaminarayan’s teachings can be incorporated into our daily lives. illustrated the deep affection and devotion that the gopis, female devotees of Bhagwan Shri Krishna, had for him. He spoke on how we can all imbibe lessons from these incidents to strengthen our devotion to God.
The epic tale of the Mahabharat was dramatically re-enacted, emphasizing Arjun’s choice of Bhagwan Shri Krishna’s divine strength over sheer military might, symbolizing that true victory lies in unwavering faith in God. Following a dance depicting Bhagwan Shri Krishna’s childhood story, the celebration concluded with various Janmashtami traditions. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj swinging a beautifully adorned hindolo, with the murtis of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. The night was crowned with devotional songs celebrating Bhagwan Shri Krishna’s boundless love and compassion. Finally, youths formed a human pyramid recreating Bhagwan Krishna’s playful act of breaking pots to get butter in his childhood.
The event welcomed esteemed guests, including New Jersey Assemblyman Wayne P. DeAngelo, who expressed heartfelt appreciation for the warmth and outreach of the community. Dr. Hari Eppanapally of Elysium Ventures and Andrew Dinsmore from U.S. Senator Chris Coons’ office in Delaware were also honored at the celebration.
For more information and photos of the event, please click the following link.