Happy Janmashtami! This post is late and unfortunately this time I have no photos to upload but let me tell you something you already know – it was breathtakingly beautiful.
The best part was that I got to take my grandmother and uncle with me. I have been so eager for them to come and see the empty halls that become beautiful with the presence of Krishna, His associates and His devotees. It truly is the Lord’s mercy because I am always keen to take my grandmother out on festivals but I don’t always get the chance to do so.
Anyway, we couldn’t stay very long so we just planned to take darshan. And I also desperately wanted some of that glorious charnamrit! Yum yum. So we entered the hall, and I was feeling good to be amongst devotees again after so long in this festive atmosphere. Then I started to hear the kirtan that was going on, and my heart started to swell. We took darshan of Krishna and I found tears in my eyes. How does this happen? Everytime I go to the hall feeling normal and fine and when the kirtan starts and Krishna appears before me in His infinite glory, I am just taken in. Then I want to stare and stare and beg Him to love me even though I know He does. I wanted to stay there forever. It just felt so amazing to be there!
Darshan ended quickly as there was a really big crowd so we had to keep moving. Then we got amazing prasadam and I got my long desired charnamrit! Ooh I can taste it now. I never liked it before but now I am just crazy about it! It’s the best!
There were many devotees doing seva like handing out gifts, prasadam, and keeping everyone’s shoes/sandals in a bag. It was so endearing to see little kids of 10 years doing their bit to help out. The Lord is so merciful that He has engaged them in serving Him like this. When we were taking back our sandals, this one devotee did something so sweet. The person volunteering to give back sandals emptied out the bag and so our sandals were on the floor. My grandmother turned over my sandals and I wore them and the next thing I knew, I saw a devotee bending down turning over my grandmother’s sandals and helping her wear them! She didn’t really need the help but he thought she did and without hesitation he proceeded to help her. Now this was truly amazing for me to see because since I have OCD, the idea of touching shoes and sandals, that too someone else’s, really puts me in an anxious state. And here was this devotee of the Lord, looking to serve another devotee. And he wasn’t worrying about germs. He didn’t care that they were someone else’s sandals. To him, he just wanted to serve and help. My grandmother too was touched by the act. I was simply amazed. It’s really true what they say about kind deeds – no matter how small they are, they sure do go a long way. I have no idea who that devotee is but may Krishna bless his heart.
This Janmashtami reminded me that I needed to spend more time with Krishna and it also gave me something to think about with regards to my OCD. Sometime ago, I was praying for good health and I felt like something inside me said that on Janmashtami, the birth of Krishna, I will also have a new birth. I took this to mean that all my health problems will go away since that’s what I was praying for at the time. But now I’m starting to think perhaps it was more a spiritual rebirth. Maybe the idea of rebirth was just in my head and not really the Lord promising me something, but on Janmashtami, I realized that I still have a connection with Krishna even though I haven’t spent a lot of time with Him lately and He is still resting in my heart. I haven’t felt an emotional connection with Him in a long time, and that was just a such nice gift from Him on Janmashtami. Moreover, it was really crazy the things I had to do that day! Like walking barefeet! That is something I haven’t done in a really long time because obviously I dread the idea of germs even on my feet. But the Lord gave me enough strength to do it. And later, a flower they gave us at the program fell on the floor, and of course, I dread picking up things that have fallen on the floor. Even if I pick them, I try not to touch the part that touched the ground. But this was a flower. Plus it was used in Krishna’s service. If anything, instead of becoming dirty, it would purify me. So I picked it up and didn’t bother about which side had touched the ground. Again, my strength comes from Krishna. He says in the Gita that He is the strength of the strong, and the only way I can be strong is through Him. So you see, He helps me in these ways to get over my fears, and from time to time, he rekindles our relationship tirelessly, despite the countless number of times that I put the flame out. And I know that He will always do so for us, out of His unconditional love.
I hope all of you had a blessed Janmashtami too. Share your Janmashtami stories in the comments section if you please 🙂