Bhagavan Sri Krishna was the Ishta Devata of our Divine Master, Sri Swami Sivananda. He was the Lord of Love. His enchanting form of Muralidhara, with flute in hand, holds the heart of devotee's captive even today. Our Master has written: "Lord Krishna had the Bhava or feeling of mother even for Puthana who came to kill Him and gave her salvation. He gave salvation even to His bitterest enemies, Kamsa and Sisupala who insulted Him openly in the Rajasuya Yajna. Then, what to speak of those who are highly devoted to Him?" A divine lesson indeed for us to learn to bear insult and injury and to forgive those who wish to harm us.
In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna gives his assurance as follows: "Fix thy mind on Me, be devoted to Me, sacrifice to Me, bow down to Me. Thou shalt come even unto Me, truly do I promise unto thee, for thou art dear to Me".
In the book Bliss Divine our Master states that, "the purpose of the Krishna Avatar was not only to destroy unrighteousness but also to reveal to the world, the magnificence of God. Sri Krishna was the symbol of the Absolute, the representation of the mighty sovereign of the universe. In his well-adjusted, symmetrical conduct of life, is portrayed the majestic perfection of God".
Pujya Swamiji said at one of our earlier Janmashtami Celebrations, "Today, as we celebrate the birth of the Lord, it should be our fervent prayer to entreat the Lord to take birth in our own hearts. Then, our hearts will be bubbling with joy, we will enjoy bliss and have the strength to face all the challenges of life".
The 15 August was also auspicious for two other reasons:
It was the Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, one of India's great Rishis who participated in the earlier struggle for India's freedom.Seventy years ago, to this day, India attained independence from British rule.
Our programme on 15 August 2017, included inspiring messages and readings, melodious Bhajans and Kirtans, chanting, slokas from the Bhagavad Gita, classical dances, an audio recording of our Master singing Shri Krishna Bhajans and a video screening. Our Guest artists were: Kumari Siddharthiya Pillay, Kumari Roanna Moodley and Smt Divyalata Parshotam who performed classical and Bharatanatyam dances. Sri Ketan Parshotam and Smt Mahenthri Pillay & Troupe offered Bhajans and Kirtans in praise of Lord Krishna. We express our profound thanks to them.
Three poems, written by our Divine Master on Lord Krishna were read out on this night. Here is one of them.
GRACE MY COTTAGE
O Lord! Take pity on me,
Grace my cottage with Thy Presence;
Then will I relate to Thee
The story of my afflictions.
Why dost Thou still hide Thyself?
Thou art the giver of joy to the saints,
Thou art the darling of Yashoda.
Enthrone Thyself in my heart.
Why comest Thou not to my cottage?
I am waiting and waiting,
I am anxiously looking for Thee,
I am tired and exhausted.
I pine away without Thee.
Bestow Thy vision to me.
Come, soothe my burning heart.
Thus, sayeth Sivananda.
In an audio recording, Pujya Swamiji read about the touching meeting between Lord Krishna and His childhood friend Sudama. The story of Sudama is very popular in the Bhagavata. Pujya Swamiji read in a warm, intimate and conversational style and captured the attention of listeners. When Sudama was going through challenging times, not even having enough money to feed his children, his wife reminded him of his friendship with Krishna and advised that he ask Lord Krishna for assistance. Though initially reluctant to go to his friend for help, Sudama finally agrees to go. He leaves with nothing but some beaten rice tied in a cloth as a present. He remembers that beaten rice is Krishna's favorite and decided to give this as a gift to the Lord. When he arrived at the palace, Lord Krishna received him warmly, He treats him royally and with much love, washed Sudama's feet and sprinkled the water on His head. He sprinkled some also on Rukmini's head. The two friends shared intimate childhood memories. The joy of meeting his old friend was so much that Sudama even forgot to ask his friend for help, this being the main reason for his visit. Such is the joy of pure friendship. Ask for nothing in return!
May Lord Krishna and Sri Radha shower Their divine Grace upon you all! May our Divine Master and Pujya Swami Sahajananda bless you bountifully. May you all attain illumination through the Grace of the Lord!