Bhakti is a joyful process. The joy of bhakti achieves its peak during the Vaishnava festivals celebrated with full gusto in the association of devotees. The month of August this year is blessed with four important festivals for devotees of Lord Krishna and will be filled with a lot of exuberance.
- Sri Balaram Jayanti (7th August): The elder brother of Lord Krishna, Lord Balaram, appeared on this day. Lord Krishna used to lovingly call Him Dauji, meaning elder brother. He is son of mother Rohini. On a deeper spiritual level he expands into the spiritual world to render service and give pleasure to Lord Krishna. He is also the guru-tattva and provides guidance by which a conditioned living entity can attain love of Godhead.
- Sri Krishna Janmastami (15th August): Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, chose to descend on this day to exhibit his supremely attractive pastimes. He appeared in Kamsa’s prison cell to mother Devaki and Vasudeva and was taken to Gokul by the arrangement of His own yog-maya potency. Devotees fast on this day till mid-night absorbed in Krishna-katha and Krishna-kirtan all the while.
- Srila Prabhupada Appearance Day (16th August): Srila Prabhupada, Founder Acharya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, appeared in Kolkata on the day after Janmastami which is also celebrated as Nandotsava. The day is significant as a prominent figure in the Vaishnava history appeared in the world on this day. Srila Prabhupada was a unprecedented emissary of the message of Godhead. He spread the Hare Krishna Mahamantra in many countries around the world and filled people everywhere with joy and wisdom.
- Srimati Radharani Appearance Day, Radhastami (29th August): Srimati Radharani, the eternal consort of the Lord, appeared on this day on an effulgent lotus flower. Srimati Radharani is the mother of the universe, the spiritual mother of all souls. And the concept of mother is the most sacred symbol—that of purity, selflessness, caring, sharing, nurturing, and love. In the Hare Krishna Mahamantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare; Hare refers to Radharani. Hare Krishna Mahamantra therefore is a desperate cry for the mercy of Srimati Radharani and Sri Krishna.
Do find time to celebrate these important festivals with friends and relatives by absorbing in Krishna or drop by an ISKCON temple to take part in the festivities.