Krishna Janmastami celebrated in New Hampshire

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To-be-priest young hymn singers/ Photo Becky Field

By BNS correspondent, New Hampshire

Sree Krishna Janmastami 2016, the 5243rd birthday celebration of the Hindu divinity Lord Shree Krishna was observed organizing a public function in Concord, the capital of New Hampshire on 25th of August, 2016. A day long celebration, marked with a variety of programs, was organized by the Hindu devotees in the state of New Hampshire.

Talking to BNS, Radhika Acharya, the chief of the organizing committee said, “through such programs and activities, we can empower our young generation and encourage them to explore our cultural values.”

Devotees thronging the pooja event
Devotees thronging the pooja event/Photo: Becky Field

The 5243rd birth anniversary of Lord Krishna was observed by performing religious Pooja  by a dozen of Hindu priests and Pundits along with number of hymns dedicated to Lord Shree Krishna by the local artists from Concord and Manchester.

The Pooja committee brought to fore half a dozen of local new and emerging priests from the community, primarily youth, with the objective of highlighting them as the icons of cultural & spiritual preservation.

Amidst recitation of holy texts by priests, Devi Khanal, the coordinator of the Pooja function preached the audience about the importance of observing Krishna’s birth day.

Following the preaching, Lord Krishna’s birth was celebrated with the blessing from priests. The baby Krishna was carried in cradle by Vasudeva across the hall of audience for their viewing. Devotees in the hall offered flowers and jewelries invoking peace, prosperity and happiness in their life. In seven day long Bhagwat Mahapuran, the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated on the fifth day so as to commemorate the reincarnation of the almighty to destroy the evil prevalence on earth.

To-be-priest young hymn singers/ Photo Becky Field
To-be-priest young hymn singers/ Photo: Becky Field

 Talented young Bhajan groups sang various Bhajans dedicated to Lord Shree Krishna. The Hindu devotees spent their day chanting prayers and devotional songs, dancing, lighting oil lamps-Diyo, and burning incense-sticks.

Amidst the function, organizer honored four dedicated local social workers during the occasion for their years of altruistic contribution to the local and Bhutanese community at large.

In the program Tilak Niroula and Rajesh Chuwan were honored with a sacred scarf and appreciation letter for their hard work in producing and broadcasting the only Nepali TV program called “Hamro Aawaz.” from Concord TV.

Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire has been producing ‘Hamro Aawaz’ since March 2014 so as to raise awareness about the challenges and successes experienced by the Bhutanese community in New Hampshire and beyond.

Tilak Niroula, the program host stated, “The Program airs via Concord Television on public access Channel 22 once a week, and are always available to stream on Concord TV’s website and other social networking sites of the Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire. Prior to this, ‘Hamro Aawaz’ received ‘Premiere Production Award 2013-2014’ by Concord TV on July 2014.”

Similarly, Hari Maya Khatiwada Adhikari and Sagar Khatiwada were publicly honored in the same program for their outstanding contribution in educating local Bhutanese children in music and arts.  Adhikari and Khatiwada have master’s degree in music and Tabala respectively from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), India. After they migrated to Concord in 2015, the couple started teaching music through Himalayan Heritage, a program initiated by Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire.

Priests and Pundits offering prayers and pravachan/Photo: Becky Field
Priests and Pundits offering prayers and pravachan/Photo: Becky Field

Popular Nepali Musicians from Boston, Shyam Nepali, Ranjan Budathoki, and Nandu Sankar and a dozen of local artists performed globally celebrated Nepal folk music to the attending mass.  Likewise, Pravin Khanal, a ninth grader from West High School in Manchester, NH, briefly introduced Lord Shree Krishna in the program.

Speaking to the function, Bhagirath Khatiwada, the Program Director in Bhutanese Community of NH appreciated all the donors for their continued support and offered his vote of thanks on behalf of the organizing committees to the participants, volunteers, priests, pandits, guests artists, and all the devotees who attended the program.

The program was supported by the Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire and emceed by Bhola Siwakoti aka Puranaghare, a poem writer of the community.

With additional inputs from Bhagirath Khatiwoda in Concord, NH