One of the most awaited and most celebrated festivals in the Indian calendar is the birthday of Lord Krishna, popularly called Krishna Janmashtami. This festival falls on the auspicious eighth day of the month Shraavana, which corresponds to the months of August-September in the Gregorian calendar. It is the believed that at the stroke of the mid-night on this day, the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva, the eighth Avatar of Lord Vishnu, took birth on this earth. Devotees across the globe celebrate this day with great fervour and joy, and devotees gathered at Sathya Sai Grama at Muddenahalli also welcomed their Sai Krishna on this blessed day.
This year’s Krishna Janmashtami on September 2, 2018 was commemorated in the most illustrious manner. Bhagawan was welcomed into the Premamrutham Hall escorted by the Nadaswaram band, boys chanting Vedas, and an idol of Lord Krishna that was taken in procession. Bhagawan blessed the decorated cows to everybody’s delight by feeding them, and thus played the part of Gopala, the tender of cows. Swami also blessed the children who had gathered outside the Premamrutham hall dressed like Krishna, Balarama, and Gopis, bringing back the memories of Vrindavana where Lord Krishna played with His childhood comrades. Bhajans were in progress as Bhagawan entered the Hall from the main entrance.
A tastefully decorated idol of Lord Krishna adorned the stage and a statue of Kamadhenu was also placed near the Krishna idol, as per Swami’s command.
As a lyrical gift to the Krishna Avatar who loved music, a bouquet of Bhajans and songs were presented by the girls and boys students of Bhagawan. He listened to each one of them intently and was visibly lost in the bliss of their euphonic rendition. Thereafter, the Vishnu Suktam was chanted by both the Sri Sathya Sai Prashantiniketanam Girls’ Pre-University College, and undergraduate girls students. Sri B N Narasimha Murthy addressed the gathering, and narrated the story of how Lord Krishna protected the Pandavas and how He made Karna realise that though his life seemed unfair to him, it did not justify his choice of holding up for the side of Adharma.
Following this, Bhagawan delivered His Krishna Janmashtami discourse, extolling the virtues of Lord Krishna and how Krishna lived an ideal life, which should be emulated by everybody. Bhagawan exhorted the students and devotees to learn from Lord Krishna’s life and follow His ideals. At the end of the Discourse, Bhagawan instructed the Bhajan Group to sing the Bhajan—Govind Krishna Jai, Gopala Krishna Jai.
Mangala Arati was offered to Bhagawan and the morning programme came to an end.