The birth of Shri Krishna Bhagwan was celebrated with great devotion at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, on Monday 22 August 2011. The day, traditionally known as Janmashtami, began with an Annakut offered to the deities in the Mandir, where guests and devotees arrived throughout the day for darshan.
The evening assembly was held inside the Haveli, where the programme began with dhun and bhajans sung by Shukmuni Swami extolling the beauty of God. Munivatsal Swami spoke eloquently in Hindi about the importance of Janmashtami, offering insights into the childhood episodes of Krishna Bhagwan.
Thereafter, youths performed colourful dances depicting the life of Shri Krishna – known as Krishna Leela. Anandswarup Swami, head sadhu of Swaminarayan Akshardham, Gandhinagar, who is visiting the UK with Munivatsal Swami, continued by narrating insightful episodes from the life of Krishna Bhagwan while portraying his qualities and those of his devotees.
The finale of the evening – marking the birth of Krishna Bhagwan – was celebrated with the arti followed by the swinging of the 'paranu' (birth-cradle) by all the devotees, with the traditional devotional singing of 'Sona-na Bor Jhule Nand-Kishore'.