Chakra Announcements

Phoenix Celebrates Janmashtami In a Grand Way

by Dr Prayag Narayan das Misra, Director-Communications, BhaktiVedanta Cultural Center

Posted September 13, 2005

ISKCON Phoenix celebrated this year's Janmashtami in a grand manner on Friday, August 26th 2005 with a record-breaking attendance estimated at close to 2000. This years highlights included community taking direct leadership and working for more than a month to plan the logistics for the festival, new darshan-flow arrangements that freely allowed easy access for every visitor to the Altar; CCTVs on the temple grounds that allowed more people to watch live feeds from outside; and over 2000 free 6 item-plates of prasadam served in under 6 hours.

Famous Bhajan singer Shri Neetin Kariya from Los Angeles sang to a greatly appreciative crowd for the pleasure of the Presiding deities Sri Sri Radha Madhava Hari. Smt. Shyla Ganesan presented a nice Bharatanatyam offering. The ever-popular Fancy Dress competition and the Krishna Kids Choir were hugely popular, however, another drama "Advent of Krishna" could not be staged due to overlapping of many items as well as paucity of time.

Chief guest Hon'ble Manny Cisneros, Director, Equal Opportunity - conveyed the greetings from Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. Vice Mayor of Chandler, Phil Westbrooks greeted the audience by saying "Hare Krishna". Both VIPS saught guidance from GBC Guru Prasad Swami and asked several spritual questions.

The Hare Krishna maha mantra was so mystical and infectious that Mr. Cisneros even lead kirtan for a few minutes- with entire congregations clapping and chanting Maha Mantra!

The finale of the evening was the same as at every ISKCON center worldwide on this day. Around midnight the Deity doors were opened to the blowing of conches, banging of gongs, and showering of flower petals by over 300 devotees followed by a wonderfully ecstatic Maha arati to welcome the beautiful Lord. The festival drew curtains at 1:30 am.

Photos show: Mother Sandamini dd- cofounder of ISKCON Phoenix cleaning outside the Temple before the event; Hon'ble Manny Cisneros, Director with HH Guru Prasad Swami, GBC; Hon'ble Manny Cisneros and Chandler Vice Mayor Phill Westbrooks with Temple President Jay Gaur Sundar Prabhu and other devotees; Sri Sri Radha Madhava Hari deities.

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