The founder and initiator of Atmiya Vidya Mandir, His Divine Holiness Hariprasad Swamiji Maharaj, in His spiritual discourses, explains that the cultural milieu and religiosity of India is exceptionally abundant with festivals and auspicious days which not only infests zest and fervour in us but also specify ideal aspects of life. Janmashtami is one such festive occasion which Indians from all the corners of the world celebrate with great ethos and fervour. In this respect, Atmiya Vidya Mandir is no exception where all festivals are celebrated with much gusto and participation. On the auspicious date of 19th August 2022, the celebrations began with the customary Bhajan Sandhya at the school’s prayer hall which was bedecked with special lighting and floral arrangements. The stage was set perfectly with all musical instruments to offer musical tribute to mark the grand occasion of Bhagwan Shri Krishna’s birth anniversary.

After the self-study classes in the night, the ardently excited students started pouring in along with their teachers, mentors to witness this worshipful event. The main aarti was preceded by a beautiful choir of devotional bhajans sung in the melodious voices of students of grades fifth, sixth and ninth. The entire performance was coached and supervised by music maestro and teacher Himanshu Sir. As the host of the event, Mukesh Sir enlightened and spirited the attendees in the prayer hall with devotional enthusiasm by highlighting the importance, history and significance of the celebration. His hosting infused with legendary references added a tone of festivity and boosted enthusiasm of everybody. As the time for main aarti approached, Himanshu Sir created a musical crescendo involving the students and all devotees present there with a resonating chant of ‘Jay Kanhaiya Lal ki’.

The consecrated altar was also beautifully decorated for the occasion with added adulations. A hindola was made wherein Shri Krishna’s idol was fancifully placed to provide an endearing sight to the faithful devotees. The main aarti was devoutly performed by the teachers and students together, creating an atmosphere of reverence and excitement as they welcomed the occasion of Shri Krishna’s birth on earth, infusing positivity and destroying all traces of negative vibrations. This was followed by prasad distribution, where mouth-watering panjari was offered to everyone, adding a palatal delight to the festive atmosphere.

However, this was just the beginning of the fervour and celebration. The next day, dahi handi festivities took hold of the entire campus and music and cheers heralded the fiesta of the matki phod event that is yet another ritual and customary in all Janmashtami celebrations. This renders gala time for the students who were preparing to emulate the characteristic trait of Bal Krishna and his gwala friends, who would attempt naughtily to climb tops to steal makkhan which Yashoda Maa effortfully, yet unsuccessfully, sought to hide from Bal Krishna. Students of all batches, who had been preparing the pyramid formations for long, now had finally the moment to put their practice to use and compete to break the highest hanging matka. The event was dutifully conducted in supervision of sports teachers and housemasters to ensure safety and due precaution. The event provided a fun outlet for all students who cheered and danced to the tunes of “Govinda ala re” as they strived to break the matkis in their pyramid formations. This setting of cheer, excitement, religiosity and sport was further enhanced by participation and company of teachers and marked presence of Principal Vijay Sir and Vice Principal Ashish Sir, along with all members of AVM family.

Thus, such celebration and festivity not only create an urge in the students to adopt and appreciate our culture and religious ceremonies but also inspire them to learn and emulate lives of human incarnations (of Bhagwan Ram, Bhagwan Krishna, Lord Ganesh) who remain epitome of high morals and exemplify how to be an ideal son, a faithful friend or an ardent learner.

Seema Ma’am