The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a sect of Hinduism.  On August 24, 2019 ISKCON Milton gathered at Grace Anglican Church mark the first appearance of Lord Krishna, who first appeared 5200 years ago.

The festival is known as Janmashtami.  “It’s a time for merriment and celebration,” Bhakti Yoga Dasa explained.  Yoga Das, was one of the organizers of the evening’s event. The hall was packed with attendees seated on folding chairs, and the floor.  “It’s a time for exchanging gifts, and people go to temple,” Yoga Das said.  The hall where the ceremonies took place was lined with tables full of books about ISKON.

“We believe that from time-to-time our Lord appears in the material world to his devotees,” Yoga Dasa explained.  Ceremonies included dancing, chanting, and a drama performance by children.  There was a talk given on how to rise beyond adversity.

Celebrations began at midnight the previous night.  Yoga Das spent time at the temples in downtown Toronto.  Activities differ in North America because of the activities offered.  “We do different types of programs that deal with different age groups.  The programs include classical Indian dancing, and a Sunday school offered every Sunday and Bhakti Yoga.  The ceremonies climaxed with a bathing ceremony, which began with honoured guests.  It finished with a communal vegetarian feast.

ISKON has been offering Sunday Love Feasts at their temples from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every week.   Those feasts are hosted at Grace Anglican Church in Milton.   For more information visit their website at: www.iskconmilton.com

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