ISKCON observes Janmashtami celebrations in Chicago

Sri Krishna Janmashtami being celebrated at the ISKCON temple in Chicago Sept. 6, 2023. PHOTO: Asian Media USA

The International Society of Krishna Consciousness, ISKCON, celebrated Janmashtami at one of the oldest Krishna temples in US, located on Lunt Ave., Chicago, Illinois, Sept. 6, 2023.

The anniversary of the founder acharya of ISKCON, Srila Prabhupada, was also celebrated on the following day, September 7. The two-day celebration was attended by over a thousand Chicagoans from various cultures, a press release from Asian Media USA, said.

The festival was attended by the Consul General of India, Somnath Ghosh and his wife, Anindita Ghosh.

Consul General Ghosh urged the devotees to pray to the Lord “to become better devotees to serve mankind.”

Bhailal Patel of Parikh Worldwide Media which publishes Desi Talk, said, “This is the first temple of Chicago and was established in 1972 in Evanston.”

Sri Sri Kisora-Kisori were the first deities of Radha Krishna in the Midwest that were brought in 1972 through the efforts of Srila Prabhupada and his disciples. The temple also celebrated its 50th anniversary this year in June.

“Our world today needs this spiritual knowledge to find the deep internal satisfaction and happiness that we are all looking for.” said the temple priest, Nama Ruci das.

The altar was decorated with fresh flowers and vases. The main deities on the altar, Sri Sri Kisora Kisori, were dressed in embroidered brown and blue dresses. Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra were on the altar to the right and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai on the left. The deities wore garlands of roses and blue orchids in the morning and pink lotuses at night. On the right of the altar was a swing for Lord Krishna and a deity of Srila Prabhupada was on a large simhasana (royal seat) across the temple hall.

Radhanath Swami, one of the prominent spiritual leaders, said, “Krishna comes into this world out of his compassion for all living beings.”

Romapada Swami, one of the leaders in ISKCON, requested the devotees to imbibe the teachings given by Lord Krishna by studying the Srimad Bhagavatam.

Devotees observed the festival by fasting, bathing the deity (Abhishek), by performing kirtan and reading from the Bhagavad Gita. A Mangala aarti (a ceremonial welcome of the Lord before sunrise), darshan aarti, chanting, drama and Maha aarti at midnight, were highlights of the program.

Songs glorifying the pastimes of Krishna were sung. The devotees wore traditional dhotis and colorful saris and played traditional musical instruments like harmonium, mrdanga and kartal. A vegetarian feast was served to the devotees.



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