September 11, 2009
Gokulashtami, also known as Sri Krishna Jayanthi is celebrated at many of the Amrita campuses. Traditional rituals like Uriyadi and pole-climbing are organized with jubilant student participation. At Amritapuri, students are fortunate enough to be able to participate in the celebrations in the presence of their beloved Chancellor Amma. (see report and photos)
Given below is a student account of the recent 2009 celebrations at the Coimbatore campus.
This year, Sri Krishna Jayanthi celebrations on campus began early. Sahasranama Archana was followed by Nagara Sankeerthana wherein a group of students and faculty took an idol of the Lord across campus singing His glory. Later, at 8:30 am, richly decorated floats, modeled like those one sees during the annual Republic Day parade in the capital, grandly marched past, depicting various stages from the life of Sri Krishna. Accompanied by little girls and boys dressed as Krishnas and Gopikas, the floats made their way through the tree-lined avenues of the campus, stopping at various points, where students sang and danced as if they were in Brindavan.
Later students participated in competitions in dance, music, skit, quiz, elocution, essay-writing, painting and Rangoli, all on the theme of Sri Krishna. In the early afternoon, an exuberant display of the traditional arts was seen during Uriyadi and pole-climbing. Prize distribution at 4.30 pm may have marked the end for many of the five thousand students who had thronged the roads and halls, participating in the celebrations filled with music, dance and bhajans. But not for all. As the students dispersed with Sanskrit shlokas still on their lips, several stayed back to attend the late evening discourse and bhajans.