Hindus worldwide celebrate today as Krishna’s birthday, so “Happy Janmashtami” to PP readers who are marking the occasion.
According to Indian tradition, Krishna was born approximately 5000 years ago, although modern-day historians have estimated that the period of ancient Indian history described in the semi-mythological Mahabharata was more accurately around 3500 years ago. Festivities are held at Hindu temples around the world, including major temples in Britain such as the Swaminarayan temple in Neasden and Bhaktivedanata Manor near Watford. The late George Harrison left the latter building to the associated Hindu sect when he passed away and they usually hold large-scale festivities every year, involving tens of thousands of visitors during the course of several days and including music, free food etc. I’ve been to these annual events many times and they always have a nice, relaxed atmosphere, especially if the summer weather at the time is warm and sunny.
Some suitable music: Here is the late Pakistani Sufi singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performing a “bhajan” [Hindu hymn] which mentions Krishna. The title of the hymn means “With every breath I take, I chant the name of my Beloved”, and a full English translation of the lyrics has been provided beneath the video below.
“With every breath I take, I chant the name of my beloved;
I know of my heart, and God knows of the heart of my beloved.
This is my salutation and this is my prayer.
One lover was in the temple and another in the mosque;
But to me, immersed in the joy of love, both seemed the same.
Chanting on the rosary of love, the name of Shyam [Krishna], I became him.
I am worthless, except that I surrender to the name of my beloved, all the time.
My beloved is not to be blamed, it is no fault of his;
I became infamous only because of talking to myself.”
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Filed in: Hindu,Religion