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Wednesday, August 20th, 2003

St. Petersburg, Russia


Birth of Lord Krishna

Today we celebrate of the birth of Lord Krishna. At the morning darshan, Srila Gurudeva explains how Sri Krishna is directly Nanda-nandana: the son of Nanda Maharaj.

Although Krishna is born to Vasudeva and Devaki, we understand from Srila Rupa Goswami that that Krishna is the Yuga Avatar, and that when Vasudeva carries baby Krishna to Vrindavan, he goes to the house of Nanda Maharaj, where Yasoda has given birth to two babies, a girl (Yogamaya) and a boy, Krishna, who is the real Svayam Bhagavan, or God Himself, in Person. The Yuga Avatar carried by Vasudeva then enters into the body of Svayam Bhagavan, the son of Nanda Maharaj (Nanda-nandana).

Throughout the day, in the temple room, many of the sannyasis accompanying Srila Gurudeva on the tour take turns reading from the Srimad Bhagavatam about the wonderful pastimes of Lord Krishna.

In the afternoon, NTV, the Russian TV station that broadcasts nationally and to forty other countries, including India, films a four-minute segment of Srila Gurudeva blessing the Russian audience, as well as scenes from the arati, cooking in the kitchen, and a dance sequence.

We have a big midnight arati to mark the moment when Krishna is born, and, since all the devotees have been fasting all day, everyone looks forward to the stupendous ekadasi feast that has been prepared in Krishna's honor. I can't even begin to describe the tremendous number and variety of delicious dishes and tasty treats. Suffice to say, all the devotees take this special Krishna-prasadam to their full satisfaction.

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