In times of crisis, a toast to the spirit of perseverance

By Aniruddha Dasa

Celebrating Janmastami can bring solace to those suffering from the economic and the social turbulence caused by the Covid-19 emergency 

You may ask whether in these uncertain and isolated times we should be celebrating Janmastami at all?

It’s interesting, don’t you think, that 5,000 years ago Lord Krishna’s parents Vasudeva and Devaki faced a similar dilemma. Devaki’s brother Kamsa was a ruthless and violent dictator. He felt threatened by a prediction that his sister’s eighth son would bring about his downfall. He threw Devaki and Vasudeva in prison. Before Balarama and Krishna appeared, Kamsa murdered the first six of Devaki’s new-born children.

Why do you think Krishna’s parents kept trying for children when they could predict the unfortunate outcome for each of their first six? Devaki and Vasudeva refused to give up because they knew that no matter what the circumstances, they could not stop their service to the Lord. Their life had a higher purpose, much bigger than their own suffering. Lord Krishna’s Appearance heralded hope and joy for the planet in its darkest hour and attracted millions of souls to connect with Him. Devaki and Vasudeva’s perseverance benefited the entire universe? Ultimately their decision brought immeasurable joy to the hearts of uncountable generations of devotees.

Following in their footsteps, in our own small way, we feel that celebrating Janmastami will bring solace to many who are suffering from the economic and the social turbulence of the Covid-19 emergency. In spite of the ongoing restrictions, we’re determined to maintain efforts to host a joyous celebration of Krishna’s Appearance. Just like so much in our lives has been adjusted to the ‘new normal,’ Janmastami will change, but the spirit remains the same. We invite you to participate with that same enthusiasm! This year’s program includes offering two new sets of beautiful dresses and elaborate flower decorations to the Deities—like always! Darśana will be online.

You’ll have the best seat in the house when you live stream our Janmastami program, including the abhisheka of Radha-Krishna and the midnight arati. Log on at

Children’s cultural performances will be broadcast online. The festival schedules are responding to changing Covid-19 regulations. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest information at our What’s On page.

The author is Temple President at ISKCON, Melbourne

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