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Brisbane’s Indian community celebrates Janmashtami 2015
Krishna Janmashtami was organised by the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on 5-6 September at the Brisbane Temple in Seventeen Mile Rocks.
Devotees thronged to the temple to get a glimpse of the Krishna idol resplendent in all its finery. Numerous stalls selling food, books, fineries and crafts also added to the jovial mood of the occasion.
There were special activities for children such as face painting, mehendi, and skits as well as chanting, kirtans and bhajans in praise of Krishna for devotees. The supporters came from all walks of life and not only celebrated the birth of Krishna but also the multicultural harmony that is prevalent in Brisbane.
Tarnya Smith MP, Member for Mount Ommaney in Brisbane’s south-west and the Queensland Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, graced the occasion with her presence.
“I was delighted to receive the invitation,” she told Indian Link. “I think it is so important for the community to come along and get a greater understanding of cultural heritage and religious backgrounds of the multicultural community that we have in Mt Ommaney.”
On being asked about the significance of Hinduism in today’s world, Tarnya Smith said, “I have heard about Lord Krishna and today being his birthday it is one of the most important days of the year. I think we have a lot to learn from this particular religion, especially the way that it promotes harmony and peace.”
Devotional music playing in the background added to the whole spirit of the evening, while several addresses informed devotees about Vedic philosophy and the importance of yoga.
Another creative and fun activity entailed going round on a spiral made up of 108 tiles laid on the ground while chanting “hare krishna hare krishna, krishna krishna hare hare; hare rama hare rama, rama rama hare hare”.
The program was followed by a scrumptious feast which offered a variety of vegetarian delicacies such as fried patties, tamarind chutney, cottage cheese and dessert. The event volunteers made it a huge success by taking care of all the logistics, serving food and prasadam, managing parking spaces and answering all queries with a smile on their face and a Hare Krishna on their lips.
Indian Link also spoke to one of the organisers of the event, Sakhi-Rai Das, who informed us that in the past four years that the event has been celebrated at this venue, the number of people attending it has increased tremendously. We were also told about various community initiatives that ISKCON undertakes such as Food for Life, which provides food to the needy through a network of charitable organisations. Sakhi-Rai also spoke about the positive image that the Hare Krishna movement has in the Australian community. He also feels that the chanting and dancing is the fun part of the ISKCON philosophy and that the society is appreciated by the Australian community because of its peaceful and harmonious outlook.