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Sacred Site Visit Program Launched for Peace Month

Written By David D'Angelo on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | 8/18/2009

Peacemakers Circle Launches Visits to Sacred Sites and Festival Celebrations for Peace month

The Peacemakers Circle is hosting a series of visits and faith observances together with partner religious organizations and groups leading up to September 21 as part of its cause to promote peace through interfaith dialogue and understanding.

To launch this project, members celebrated Krishna Janmashtami with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) last Friday, August 14.

Janmashtami is the feast of the Birth of Sri Krishna, one of the most famous Gods of Hindu religion.

A group from the Peacemakers’ Circle composed of Christians, Muslims, and Multi-Faith practitioners joined the International Society of Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON at Bunyo st, Makati in celebrating Janmashtami last April 14. ISKCON is part of the Vaisnava Hindu sect that is devoted to Bhakti or devotional yoga to Krishna.

Legend has it that Sri Krishna was born over 5,227 years ago on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and end atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa. Bhagwan Krishna was born on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana or Savana (August-September according to the Christian Calendar). Krishna’s story is depicted in the Srimad Bhagavatam and the well – loved Bhagavad Gita, one of the books from the epic Mahabharata.

Janmashthami celebrations are conducted during a 48 - hour period and includes fasting, singing of the glories of Krishna, reading from the Srimad Bhagvatam, and a staging of dramas and dances depicting the life and pastimes of Krishna..

During the ceremonies, the Krshna deity is bathed with Panchamrit (a mixture of milk, ghee, oil, honey and Gangajal) several times during the day. The Panchamrit is later distributed as Prasad to the devotees along with other sweets.

The celebration reaches its peak at midnight, with the birth of Lord Krishna, with lots of hymns and aarti (light and candle offerings) taking place with the blowing of the Conch (shankh), and rocking the cradle of the Lord’s deity.

*Contact the Peacemakers Circle for the schedules of visits to sacred sites and lectures of other religions or faith groups for the month of August and September through 920-7622 or email peacemakerscircle_uri@yahoo.com


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