By Parijata devi dasi
The festivities at Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari temple (ISKCON Juhu) are reputed to be one of the largest Krishna Janmashtami celebrations in world. An estimated million people attended the two day festival at Hare Krishna Land at Mumbai.
This year the Supreme Lord adorned outfits designed by none other than fashion icon and designer Manish Malhotra. Manish is reputed as the King of Indian Fashion. In 2007, Manish had designed outfits Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari, Sri Sri Sita Rama Laxman Hanunam and Sri Sri Gaura Nitai on the occasion of Radhastami - Sri Krishna’s consorts Sri Radha’s appearance day. Thereafter he expressed his desire to design designer outfits for Janamshtami - Lord Krishna’s appearance day.
For this auspicious occasion, Manish used red silk and velvet with heavy gold sequin work and hand embroidery. He mentioned that this was his offering to the Lord on His appearance day.
In 1970s, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, founder of ISKCON, struggled hard to acquire the property at Juhu, Mumbai where the present Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari temple stands. True to his promise to Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari he build a beautiful marble temple for Their Lordships. It was his desire and dream that prominent citizens of Mumbai visit the temple and render some service to the Lord. He had mentioned that ‘iBombay is my office.’ This year the Kalash Abhishek which is bathing ceremony of the Lord with kalash (silver pot) saw more than 800 renowned citizens of Mumbai including corporate, businessmen, professionals, government officials and film personalities performing abhishek for the Lord and take part in the Janmashtami festivities.
Every year when thousands of citizens of Mumbai wait in queue for long hours and undergo several austerities to participate in the festivities, we understand that Srila Prabhupada’s dream to engage the citizens of Mumbai in service of Sri Sri Radha Rasabihari has long come true.