India celebrates Lord Krishna’s birth with religious fervour amid COVID-19 restrictions


New Delhi: Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, India celebrated Janmashtami, the birth of Lord Krishna, with much fervour. However, temples were seen following strict guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.

It is believed that Shri Krishna, who is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born on Earth to restore peace and Dharma in the Dwapar Yuga. His birth is celebrated as Janmashtami, which is also known as Gokulashatami. Janmashtami is usually observed on the eighth day or Ashtami of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Shravan or Bhadrapad.

This year, the celebrations for Janmashtami began on August 11. As per the Hindu tradition, Krishna is believed to have been born in Mathura at midnight, therefore, temples in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura were decked up with lights and conducted Krishna puja at midnight on Wednesday. The celebrations are continuing in the temples as devotees and priests were seen offering prayers, dancing and singing devotional songs.

Usually, on Janmashtami, temples witness lakhs of devotees, who come to seek blessings of Lord Krishna. However, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the country celebrates major festivals. Delhi’s ISCKON temple and Laxmi Narayan temple did not witness much crowd. Those who visited the temples were seen wearing facial masks.

Several people virtually joined the celebrations as the ISKCON temple in Uttar Pradesh’s Vrindavan live telecasted the puja rituals. Foreign devotees helped in decoration and making arrangements for Janmashtami at Sri Radhe Kunj Ashram in Chaitanya Vihar of Vrindavan.

Meanwhile, devotees offered prayers and sung devotional songs at Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple in Mathura. ‘Mangal aarti’ followed by ‘Mangal Abhishek’ and another aarti were offered at the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple in Mathura on Wednesday morning.

People offered prayers to Lord Krishna and danced to the tunes of devotional songs on the occasion of Janmashtami at ISKCON temple, East of Kailash in the national capital.

Several politicians like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityantha and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan offered prayers to Lord Krishna on the occasion of Janmashtami. Chouhan along with his wife also offered prayers at the Lakshmi Narayan temple in Bhopal.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal visited ISKCON temple in East of Kailash to seek blessings of Lord Krishna.

Ayodhya a city that holds great religious significance in the Hindu mythology for being the birthplace of Lord Ram, celebrated the birthday of Krishna with religious fervour.

To mark the festival of Krishna Janmashtami, Lord Krishna’s idols in different temples of Ayodhya were decorated in festive attires with traditional garlands and ornaments adding to their charm.

Large number of devotees thronged the temples that were beautifully decked up with colourful balloons and festive lights.

Religious hymns and soulful prayers reverberated through the city as the residents awaited the midnight moment to mark the birth of their beloved ‘Krishna’.

Men, women and children were seen standing in queues with offerings of sweets and flowers for taking a glimpse of Lord Krishna.
On Janmashtami, believers observe the day by keeping fast and praying at the temples. (ANI)