Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Celebrating Janmastami - The mood of the festival
Radhapada - Wed, 20 Aug 2003 08:18:26 +0530
Since you are all on the topic of separation I would like to ask the assembly of learned and experienced Vaisnavas on what is the mood of celebrating Janmastami as a raganuga sadhaka. In ISKCON we used to celebrate it with a big bash of cooking, partying and a blow out prasadam feast at midnight. I have observed that in Sri Vraja dhama within the Goswami temples the mood is much more subdued. Is it because of financial resources, or is there an underlying mood that 'although we are celebrating Sri Krishna's appearance, our Lord is not visible to our eyes'. Can I hear some insights?
Advaitadas - Wed, 20 Aug 2003 13:06:27 +0530
Is it because of financial resources, or is there an underlying mood that 'although we are celebrating Sri Krishna's appearance, our Lord is not visible to our eyes'.
No it is not a question of financial resources, because, if need is there, the Gosvamis temples can host big celebrations. Look at Radharamana's appearance Day abhishekha in Radharaman Temple on Vaishakhi Purnima! It is indeed the mood of viraha, 'the Lord is not visible to us, even on His birthday', that prompts the sober mood. Hence also the fasting. The boom bang of Iskcon's celebrations may be, like most of their activities, a preaching strategy. I have heard other voices in India, though, saying that Janmastami is a day of rejoicing.
adiyen - Wed, 20 Aug 2003 13:40:42 +0530
QUOTE(Advaita Das @ Aug 20 2003, 07:36 AM)
I have heard other voices in India, though, saying that Janmastami is a day of rejoicing.
Yes, EM Forster's 'Passage to India' has a whole chapter on Janmashtami set in Rajasthan I think, and it's a huge celebration to end the book on a high note (Forster's positive view of India). Probably it describes the scene in a Pushti Haveli...I checked, he translates the singing as Hymns to Tukeram. It's set in a Maharaja's palace.
But thank you, Advaitaji, for that insight into quiet meditative Janmashtami in Braj. I found it very enlightening.
Madhava - Wed, 20 Aug 2003 16:27:08 +0530
I believe this deserves a separate thread.
Radhapada - Wed, 20 Aug 2003 17:12:26 +0530
Thank you Adwaitaji. I have also heard in regards to Janmastami, I believe it was from Anuradha (a long time western resident of Sri Radha Kunda), that for many of the Vaisnavas there, every day there is an intense bhajan day with so much chanting, lila smaranam, katha, ect. It's not that devotees kick back most of the days and then on Janmastami make a super endeavour of their devotional activities.