SPEECH: Krishna Janmashtami

On behalf of Labor I extend my best wishes to Hindu communities in Australia and around the world on the celebration of Krishna Janmashtami. Janmashtami marks the birth date of Lord Krishna, the eighth divine incarnation for Hindus. Lord Krishna's beginnings, as a young child who enchanted worshippers with his musical skills and political wisdom over 5,000 years ago, are detailed in Hindu scriptures. Among the strong messages Lord Krishna taught is to discharge one's duties without attachment to the fruit of its action, a message that transcends religion. On this joyous occasion Hindu communities, families and friends will often decorate their homes and shrines with colourful signs and attend the temple for special programs which run until midnight. One of the most popular parts of the celebration is to adorn the cradles of the child form of Lord Krishna and gently swing the cradle throughout the day. Voices ring to the sound of bells ringing, singing melodious Sanskrit hymns in honour of Lord Krishna during the day until midnight. We're fortunate to have such a wonderful blend of different faiths and religious celebrations in Australia, in our modern, multicultural nation. In the differences of our faiths, we all share the values of the desire for peace in uncertain times, the love for life and land, and the hope for a prosperous future, united as one with many stories: our Australia.

Tony Burke