MUMBAI: Temples and households will celebrate Janmashtami, the festival of Lord Krishna’s birth, with fasting and feasting on the intervening night of Saturday-Sunday.
The Krishna Vatika Devasthan in Gokuldham, Goregaon, has multiple shrines dedicated to various deities as well as the navgraha or nine planets. “We have bedecked the Krishna temple with lights and flowers,” says spokesman Susheel Poddar. “On Saturday, there is a cultural programme from 8pm to midnight followed by aarti at the hour of Krishna’s birth. A beautiful jhaanki (pictorial tableau) about Radha and Krishna will be displayed for a whole week. On Janmashtami, 4,000-5,000 devotees will arrive for darshan, and will receive prasad of peda and panjiri.”
Both branches of ISKCON in Juhu and Girgaum Chowpatty are preparing prasad offerings of 1,008 items. “We are crafting silken robes, floral jewellery, garlands and lavish prasad. Verses from Jaydev’s ‘Geet Govind’ have been embroidered in golden sequins upon Krishna’s morning ou-tfit in keeping with a tradition followed in Puri Jagannath temple. The afternoon festive dress has multi-coloured chequered petals with golden floral patterns,” says ISKCON Chowpatty spokesperson Lucky Kulkarni.
In ISKCON Juhu, five lakh ‘donas’ or bowls made of dry leaves have been requisitioned for devotees who will visit from Friday onwards. “Large vats of sattvik halwa are being cooked as prasad for fasting devotees. Celebrations are comparatively muted this year owing to the floods that struck Kolhapur, Sangli, and parts of north India. Our shrines are diverting much of their Janmashtami funds towards preparing khichdi and halwa prasad for flood affected families,” says ISKCON Juhu spokesperson Parijata Devi.
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