PRAY FOR JANMASHTAMI BOMB VICTIMS
(20 August 2006)
bomb was thrown on 16th August 2006 during the festival to celebrate
the Birth of Lord Krishna at a Temple in Manipur in India which
killed at least five and injured several others. The attacks took
place on the same day as the largest Hindu Festival outside India
which was being in held at Bhaktivedanta Manor in Hertfordshire
that attracts 75,000 over two days.
is sad that at almost exactly the same moment when Hindu children
were holding hands to pray for victims of terror at 2pm in our temple
in UK, terrorists were exploding bombs in our temple in India to
kill and maim, said Gauri Dasa, President of Bhaktivedanta
Manor ISKCON temple in Watford which was hosting the largest Hindu
festival outside India. We had organised this prayer to show
our solidarity to all those who are suffering, but the terrorist
agenda seems to disregard all humane considerations.
in the name of religion is a real challenge for countries like India,
Britain and the USA,” commented Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general
of the Hindu Forum of Britain. “At a time of heightened security
and unease, separatist rebels in Manipur targeted a peaceful community
offering prayers to God. This is deplorable and shameful, and the
international communities need to rally behind India in its fight
festival which attracts over 75,000 people over two days is marked
by costumes, bazaars, plays, singing, dancing, multimedia shows,
meditation walks and other shows. The highlight of the festival
was to be a human chain to pray for the victims of terror and war.
of the pilgrims who travelled from Birmingham said "I was very
moved when at midnight the whole festival quietened and we found
someone to hold hands with. There was silence and the prayer started.
I closed my eyes and thought about the war victims in the world
and those who died and were hurt at the Krishna Temple in India."
old, Shivali Patel from Croydon, whose mother and father are the
one of the 1300 volunteers helping at the festival said. "I
found my mum and held her hand tight, I then found my brother Rajiv
and held his hand. We then prayed hard for everyone in the world
who is suffering."
Manor ISKCON temple, originally gifted to the International Society
for Krishna Consciousness by the late Beatle George Harrison. The
Manor is nestled in 77 acres of beautiful countryside outside Watford
and hosts the largest Hindu festivals in the UK. It has become one
of the most important sites of pilgrimage and has a high standard
of courses, workshops, civic marriages, cow protection, worship
and a monastic facility.
Founder of ISKCON, His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
had travelled at the age of 70 from India to the west, built over
100 temples, initiated over 10,000 disciples and started a movement
which has reached millions of people worldwide and re-established
the ancient teachings of India for people of all denominations and
nationalities. His translation of the Bhagavad-gita, held sacred
by one billion Hindus worldwide, is the most widely distributed
and read edition in the world.
is the popular name for the festival held to celebrate the birth
of Lord Krishna. This festival is celebrated throughout India. People
mark this occasion by decorating their homes and temples with symbols
depicting the life of Krishna. Special sweets are prepared in honour
of Lord Krishna and children dress up to resemble the boy child,
Krishna. Miniature cribs containing images of the baby Krishna are
also a major feature of Janmastami.
ceremony of Janmastami involves priests chanting holy mantras and
sprinkling the Deity of Krishna with charanamrit (holy water from
the River Ganges) and anointing the Krishna Deity with milk, ghee
(clarified butter) or honey. Conch shells sound at midnight which
is the precise moment of the birth of Lord Krishna. At this time
the worshippers break their fast and the feasting begins.
BIRTH OF LORD KRISHNA
to scriptural accounts, Lord Krishna, the eighth son of Vasudeva
(father) and Devaki (mother), was born in the sacred city of Mathura,
in northern India. Devaki was sister to the ruling monarch of that
time, a tyrannical despot named King Kamsa. Prophets had predicted
that the eighth son of Devaki would one day kill King Kamsa, thus
freeing his subjects from his tyrannical reign of terror. Taking
the prophecy to heart, the evil king decided to imprison Krishna's
parents, murdering each child at birth until the arrival of Krishna.
birth was surrounded by auspicious omens. By divine intervention,
Vasudeva his father somehow managed to sneak the newborn baby out
of the prison and past the prison guards who were asleep. Krishna
was taken to a friend's house and raised by local villagers in idyllic,
rural surroundings. Krishna eventually left his rural lifestyle
and fulfilled the prophecy by slaying the cruel king, Kamsa.