ISKCON planning a simple and a ‘socially-distanced’ Janmastami this year


As this year’s Janmastami approaches, the traditional celebrations that mark Krishna’s birthday may will not be as grand as it usually does.

For the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Janmastami is one of the most important days in the calendar and each year, around the world they celebrate it as if Krishna himself was present. But this year, due to the pandemic they’ve decided to keep the celebrations simple.

This year Janmastami falls on Tuesday, August 11, in North America. And ISKCON temples here will be hosting a simple, socially distanced Janmastami programs where guests and devotees are invited but can only stay for a short period of time and only pre-packed meals are served. All guidelines by local governments such as masking will also be strictly followed.

On the brighter side, ISKCON temples will be broadcasting services live for anyone to join around the world. Broadcast of kirtan music (sacred chants); darshan of the Deities (sacred temple images) and abhiseka (traditional Deity bathing ceremony) will be streamed Live on various social media platforms.

“While the pandemic is a setback and we are cutting down on the grand celebrations, it is now an opportunity for each and every household to invite Lord Krishna into their homes and celebrate this festival with their families,” said Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON spokesperson.

ISKCON is known for its work to systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate the communities it serves in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.

Best known as the speaker of the Sanskrit text “Bhagavad-Gita,” Krishna is revered by all Hindu denominations and students of yoga. He is of special importance to the Vaishnavas, who consider Krishna to God, the “Supreme Personality of Godhead”.

In his Janmastami message to ISKCON, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said, “ISKCON has been spreading the divine message of Lord Krishna enshrined in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita offers practical solutions to everyday challenges and inspires one to serve the people and society. The increasing popularity of Bhagavad Gita throughout the world reflects its universal appeal. My best wished to ISKCON and every devotee of Lord Krishna for a soulful Janmastami celebration.”

The sacred Sanskrit writings from India explain that God is the most beautiful and eternally youthful person—an intimate friend who is equal to all. Krishna comes into this world to teach humanity how to be happy by re-establishing our connection with the supreme person.