Though unborn and eternal, the Supreme Lord, of His free will and causeless mercy, incarnates to deliver the pious and annihilate the miscreants. Lord Krishna appeared as the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, but had His childhood pastimes at Gokula, Vrindavan.
Janmashtami is celebrated very gorgeously in Mayapur. The Bhagavatam classes focus on the transcendental tattva, janma and karma of Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, during the week ending with Janmashtami. On the eve of Janmashtami, an adhivasa ceremony is performed in the evening to invoke auspiciousness and help devotees prepare themselves for the next day’s festival.
On Janmashtami day, the mood of a great festival sets in at Mayapur. There is a virtual flood of thousands of visitors and guests that traffic control to keep people always on the move is organized. A variety of cultural programs entertain the guests. The altar is beautifully decorated with colorful flowers. A new outfit is offered Sri Sri Radha Madhava. They are marvelously dressed with a variety of flowers, jewels and ornaments. Devotees wait eagerly to take darshan of Them. The Srimad-Bhagavatam class is given by two or three devotees, separately in English and Bengali.
Devotees bring water from Ganga to bathe Radha Madhava during their abhisheka ceremony. Following Srila Rupa Goswami’s directions, special “samskaras” for Krishna such as nama-karana (“name giving”), vidyabhyasa (“inaugurating His education”), upanayana (“initiation”), etc. are performed with our devotees performing the samskaras.
A grand abhisheka is performed at midnight for the small Radha Madhava Deities while bhoga offering of more than 400 items are offered to Their Lordships with devotion. A maha-arati is performed and Radha Madhava give darshana in another new outfit. The devotees honor anukalpa-prasada (ekadasi prasada) after midnight.