Every year, Sri Krishna Janmashtami is commemorated with the performance of cultural programmes, story-telling, skits and singing, apart from meditation by Children Sunday Satsanga at the Noida Ashram and Dhyana Kendras of Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (YSS). This year, too, it was celebrated at YSS Noida Ashram and Delhi Kendra on September 9 and September 3, respectively.
YSS Noida Ashram
On September 9, 2018, a part of the YSS Noida Ashram auditorium was covered with a pandal to accommodate the children and their parents for a special celebration - Sri Krishna Janmashtami. Nearly 80 children from the Ashram's Children Sunday Satsanga (CSS) and from Paramahansa Yogananda Swarna Bal Vatika (PYSBV), along with an equal number of parents and devotees attended this programme.
Inside the pandal, Brahmachari Vinayanandaji put chandan tilak on the foreheads of the children with the aid of a flower to commence the celebrations. Just before this, the children had performed their Energization Exercises. Sitting together in front of a beautiful image of Lord Krishna decorated with a garland, they joined a prayer and chanting session.
A devotee volunteer shared the significance of the day with the little yogis, who enjoyed the session by engaging in the question-and-answer session. Much to the surprise of those present around them, they even provided the various names of Lord Krishna and what these names implied.
The next part of the commemoration was the performance of skits, dance and songs by the children. A five-year-old girl performed Kathak invoking Lord Krishna. Children performed a skit with a devotional theme titled ‘Saccha Sauda’ (an excellent sale). The realistic portrayal of the characters brought the audience to tears. Other presentations by the young devotees included a bhajan 'Kabhi Ram ban ke... kabhi Shyam ban ke,' the chanting of the Gayatri mantra, the performance of a play on 'Maya ka prabhav' (the impact of delusion) and a dance of Krishna and Radha along with the Gopis.
The programme was appreciated by Brahmachari Vinayanandaji in his address to the participants and the audience. He shared with them tales of Lord Krishna. He also shared with the children the medicinal value of the divine plant of Tulsi, which was gifted in attractive pots to the children at the end of the programme.
Another highlight of the celebrations was the rendering of a soulful bhajan by Swami Vasudevanandji. He was joined by the entire audience of young and old, who offered pushpanjali of rose petals at the feet of Lord Krishna along with this devotional singing.
Children were ushered to take prasad of makhan mishri specially brought from Mathura, the birthplace of Krishna. Guru langar was served to them in the dining hall.
YSS Delhi Kendra
Janmashtami was celebrated at YSS Delhi Kendra September 3, 2018. Attended by nearly 50 children, the commemoration included a cultural programme, meditation and chanting.
Children performed two skits drawing upon stories from Gurudeva Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda's the Autobiography of a Yogi relating to Lord Krishna; 'Mukunda ne karaye Bhagwan Krishan ke Darshan' and 'A vision of Lord Krishna from Mejda.'
A group of little ones sang a cosmic chant, another group performed bhajans and others presented a dance performance on Meera Ma's Bhajan 'Gopala.' A short quiz was also conducted for the children.
Brahamchari Sheelanandaji attended a part of the programme and interacted with the little ones. He urged them to keep Lord Krishna with them always - as a big brother or as a best friend.
The annual Janmashtami gift is looked forward to by the children, and this year they received a flower pot to keep on their home altars.