The yadavas had always been a fun-loving lot. And like most fun-loving people, they took it to extremes finally when one day one of them disguised himself as a pregnant woman and his companion asked a passing sage what the sex of their unborn child would be. The rishi didn't see the humor in it, and suggested that it would be a mace, and that it would wipe out the clan. Sure enough it did, and when the last bit of that mace formed the point of a hunter's arrow, it killed the last one of 'em all, perhaps the greatest mortal that ever was. And Dwaraka went under.
A lot of people in the world would wish that the rest of the world had gone under then, too. Krishna was perhaps the last time that being human looked so good. In a world where 1.5 billion of 5.5 billion live under 1 dollar a day and where peace is more difficult to find than God, ISKCON has been trying its bit at alleviating the misery of being human. And as it has grown into a huge organization today, this is 10 days of extra-effort across the globe.
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is celebrating the Sri Krishna Janmashtami festival from the Balaram Purnima to the Sri Krishna Janmashtami Nandotsavam for a 10-day period, starting the 4th of this month. Incidentally, this also happens to be the 25th anniversary of the ISKCON branch at Medchal.
ISKCON invites all the people of Hyderabad to celebrate this festival with them amidst the special pujas performed here continuously, and enjoy the classical and devotional music of R Sathyanarayanan (on the 4th), and concerts by Anup Jalota and K J Yesudas' (on the 12th).
A self-taught classical singer, Maharajapuram R Sathyanarayanan will perform on the first day of the celebrations. He is the great grandson of the renowned musician late Maharajapuram Vishwanatha Iyer. After starting training at the age of five, he has emerged a multi-faceted artist who performs Carnatic vocals with a harmonium. He can give concerts in Carnatic and Hindustani, and also render ghazals, bhajans and light music. He has given over 60 performances as of now, and in various parts of India. He is soon coming out with a cassette of Urdu ghazals called "Talash". At an age of 21, he has conferred upon him titles like "Gaathra Shiromani", "Gaathra Nidhi" and "Sangeet Gaathra Samrat".
The festival will have special programs everyday, such as the Maha Shringar Darshan, the Bhagavatam Katha, the prasadam distribution, Sankirtanas, the Raja Bhoga Aarathi, the Sandhya Aarathi, lectures and Maha Prasadam feasts.
The Jalota-Yesudas Concerts
On the 12th, Anup Jalota will start the program with bhajans. Jalota is popularly known as the "Bhajan Samrat" of India for his unending string of hit bhajan albums. He is credited with spearheading a mini-cultural renaissance in India by repopularizing the infinite beauty of spiritual music through this genre of devotional music. It is primarily due to his attempts that the mellifluous strains of bhajans can be heard every morning in homes throughout India.
Born and brought up in Lucknow under the expert guidance of his father Purshottam Das Jalota, himself a renowned bhajan singer, it is no wonder that Anup Jalota has now proved to be the exception to the rule in the Indian entertainment industry that religious music doesn't sell like other forms do.
Yesudas will be next with classical devotional songs. Yesudas' success in the dual spheres of both popular music and classical music is unparalleled. If his awards-list justifies his achievements, then here it is - he has been awarded the prestigious Padmasri by the President of India, and has myriad other accolades to his credit. A few of them are 6 National Awards, a Filmfare Special Award, the Sur Singar Samshad Award, 6 Kerala State Awards, 8 Tamil Nadu State Awards, 5 Karnataka State Awards, 4 Andhra Pradesh State Awards and 1 State Award from Bengal.
Entry to these programs is free, and breakfast and lunch will be distributed as
prasadam by ISKCON during these ten days.
Please contact ISKCON at 928-5226/460-2030/460-2040 for further details.