Redbridge Hindus to mark the birth of Krishna with colourful festival

A girl dressed as Krishna celebrating the Janmashtami Festival. Picture: PA/Andrew Matthews

A girl dressed as Krishna celebrating the Janmashtami Festival. Picture: PA/Andrew Matthews - Credit: PA WIRE

Hindus in the borough are set to mark the symbolic birth of a popular avatar.

Vinaya Sharma, of VHP Ilford Hindu Centre, Cleveland Road, Ilford, spoke to the Recorder about the beginnings of Lord Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, ahead of Krishna Janmashtami celebrations on August 25.

Accdording to scriptures, the deity “appeared” to his mother Devaki in a prison cell after she was locked up by evil king Kamsa after a prophecy predicted the birth of her eighth son would result in his demise.

Kamsa killed Devaki’s sons but was unable to kill Krishna following a plot to smuggle him out of prison. Krishna kills Kamsa when he grows up, according to the Hindu story.

Speaking of the avatar, Vinaya said: “Whenever the evil in the world becomes too much, people pray to him and he gives them relief by destroying the evil.

“He was a complete avatar and his message is so relevant to today at the moment. His message was if you do something there will always be a reaction – any action has a reaction.”

She added: “You don’t do something because you want X, Y or Z, you do your duty and attribute it to God.”

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Devotees will be fasting throughout the day and performing pujas – prayer rituals – before youngsters reenact the birth story and worshippers break their fasts after midnight – the time when Krishna was born.

Vinaya attributed Krishna’s popularity to him being relatable, especially as a child.

“He’s very popular,” she said. “He was a naughty child and mothers can relate to him, sisters relate to him, brothers relate to him – every person can relate to some aspect.”

In the lead up to the celebration, spiritual leader Swami Anand Giri will give talks – or bhagwat katha – about the deity at the temple.

He will be speaking everyday at 8.30pm from August 20 to August 28.