Atlanta, GA, September 22, 2023: Gaudiya Vaishnava Association (GVA) celebrated Shree Krishna Janmashtami on 6th September and Nandotsava on 9th September in Alpharetta with great pomp and joy. The organization founded and guided by His Divine Grace Shreela Bhakti Swarupa Tirtha Goswami Maharaja operates with the sole objective of spreading spiritual awareness all over the world, and to propagate, preach and promote the only means of deliverance – the chanting of the Holy Names of God, Shree Krishna.
Under the guidance of the founder acharya, the actual festival started a week before with Shree Balarama Jayanti (the Appearance of Lord Shree Balarama, who is the elder brother of Lord Shree Krishna). The GVA center was decorated with a forest theme portraying Shree Vrindavana Dham, the place where Shree Krishna and Shree Balarama appeared more than 5000 years ago. The cut outs of various forest animals and scenes from Shree Krishna leela were beautifully arranged along with lots and lots of flowers. It was an outstanding decoration effort put in by the devotees with great love for Shree Krishna and Shree Guru. For both the occasions GVA conducted extended celebrations on the corresponding weekends to accommodate guests who could not attend the actual weekday celebration.
On August 30th the program started with mahamantra kirtans by devotees followed by Maha arati and distribution of delicious prasadam. On the 2nd of September guests had the opportunity to perform puspanjali to Shree Shree Krishna Balarama deities while witnessing ecstatic kirtans by young devotees. Elaborate arati was performed and grand prasadam feast was served to all. September 6th was the most auspicious occasion of Lord Shree Krishna’s appearance, who spoke the glorious Bhagavad Geeta to Arjuna in the Kurukshetra war. At 6 pm, the program started with melodious kirtans followed by Guru arati and Sandhya arati.
Respected Shreela Maharaja’s special Janmashtami lecture was televised for the guests that demonstrated the ascendancy of Shree Krishna as the Supreme Lord of Lords.
Devotees performed various bhajans in praise of the Lord’s arrival while simultaneously the guests had the great opportunity to perform Pushpanjali and mini arati for Shree Bala Gopala deity who sat in a beautifully adorned Jhulan. At 12 midnight a Maha arati was performed to the deities in an elaborate way to commemorate the Lord’s appearance and then the devotees lovingly served the guests with prasadam. The celebration continued on the weekend (Saturday, September the 9th) too and attracted more than 160 guests. The day after the arrival of Shree Krishna is celebrated as Shree Nandotsava, where His father Shree Nanda Maharaja conducts a grand utsava to mark his son’s appearance by arranging delicious feast and distributing charity.
The event started off with the singing of the Hare Krishna mahamantra while the guests performed mini arati and devotedly got to swing the Jhulan with Shree Bala Gopala. A video lecture of Respected Shreela Maharaja enlightened the attendees about the Chatursloki Geeta from the 10th chapter of the Shreemad Bhagavad Geeta.
As a mark of respect for one of the greatest Gaudiya Vaishnava Acharyas of the last century, GVA also observed the appearance of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Thakura Shreela Prabhupada, famously known as the founder of ISKCON. Shree Guru arati, Shreela Prabhupada arati and Maha arati for the Lordships were performed amidst wonderful kirtans. Lastly, to everyones’s astonishment, small children who were dressed up as baby Krishna, gopas and gopis came upstage and presented nice slokas and songs that enthralled the guests. On all these festival days guests received the flower garlands that were honored by the deities as Their blessing. A huge pandal was set outdoors to serve the guests with sumptuous prasadam.
The festivities are to be continued on the 16th of September where young Gurukula children of GVA will perform Shree Krishna Leela drama, and recitation of Shree Brahma Samhita while the GVA youth team will present Shreemad Bhagavad Geeta, and bhajans.
GVA conducts Shreemad Bhagavad Geeta classes for the adults and Gurukula/Youth classes for the young every Saturday evening in their center at 4040, Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, Georgia. GVA welcomes everyone and admission is free. Interested persons are welcome to contact GVA at 1-888-9GVA-USA or visit online at www.bhagavatvani.org.