On Tuesday, August 11, just two days before Auckland went into Alert Level 3 lockdown, Shri Radha Krishna Temple on Eden Terrace celebrated the most awaited festival of the year, Shri Krishna Janmashtami.

It’s an auspicious occasion for all. Shri Krishna is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu who was born on earth to restore peace and dharma in the dwapar yug. Janmashtami is observed on the eighth-day of ashtami of the Krishna paksha in the month of Shravan.

The temple celebrated one of the world's most widely observed spiritual festivals Shri Krishna Janmashtami also known as Gokul Ashtami. Preparations were in full swing a week before the celebration. Temple was open all day. People offered flowers, fruits and sweets and took blessings. Janmashtami, celebrations started with bhajans from 7.30 pm onwards by the Pushpanjali group followed by RK Mandir group until after midnight.

Krishna’s ritualistic pooja includes 16 steps which are part of the shodashopachara pooja was conducted by Acharya Shri Dr Devrambhai Raval. The idol of Shri Krishna was placed in a cradle after the pooja. At midnight we replicated baby Krishna in a basket taken by Vasudev from Mathura to Gokul. It seemed like we had Lord Krishna amongst us. The atmosphere was absolutely divine. 

Maha Aarti was performed after midnight by hundreds of devotees present at the temple. Devotees lined up to have one glance of Lord Krishna in the decorated cradle. Devotees broke their fast by traditional and favourite foods of Lord Krishna: panjiri, makhan, malpua, kheer, moong curry etc. which was prepared by the catering team.

The catering team handed out prasad to every devotee visiting the temple on the day who couldn’t stay till midnight. We thank each and every devotee who came and who made various offerings at the temple. We are also grateful to all the committee members into making this celebration a grand one.

The day ended with an announcement of lockdown level 3 from Wednesday midday.

Devotees gather at Krishna Janmastami celebration on Tuesday, August 11, evening (Supplied Content)

“We urged everyone to strictly follow the guidelines given by government officials regarding Covid-19. Together we will win over Covid19. Stay home if possible, maintain social-distancing, wear a mask, wash hands frequently. Stay healthy and safe” Pandit Devrambhai Ravalsaid.

The holy month of Shravan ended on August 19.

The temple will be closed until further notice. For updates, please like the Radha Krishna Mandir Facebook page, or if you have any enquiries, you may kindly ring Acharya Shri Dr Devrambhai Raval on 3794463.