Shri Krishna Janmashtami

The eighth day of the Bhadrapad’s Krishna Paksha is celebrated at Krishna Janmashtami. This year it is on Monday, 14 August 2017.

krishna

Krishna Janmastami is the birthday of Lord Krishna. The day is celebrated by observing the fast since early morning till midnight. Devotees are breaking their fast at midnight after customs of Shri Krishna’s birth. On this day, people are describing Lord Krishna’s divine characteristics by singing songs. The people are visiting Lord Krishna’s temple and offering prayers. In Mathura (India) this festival is celebrated as the most precious festival. Many pilgrims are coming here at the time of Janmashthmi to visit the temples.

Janmashtami, an auspacious Indian festival is marked as day of celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth “avatar” or reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu, the Hindu God gave us the vital message of the Bhagwat Gita – the guiding principles for every Hindu. The day is celebrated with full vigor all over the country. Janmashtami, observed on the eighth day Krishna Paksh of the Bhadrapadha month according to the Hindu calendar, falls in month of August/September according to the Gregorian Calender. This Year Janmashtami celebrates on Monday, 14 August 2017. The temples of Mathura (place of his birth) and Vrindavan witness a vibrant celebration on this day. To recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and to perpetuate his love for Radha, a special kind of dance drama is performed called as Raslila.

Why Krishna was born in Rohini Nakshatra?

The Lord has ordained in the Gita (4/78):

“Yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya glanir bhavati Bharat;
Dharma sansthaapanaarthaaya sambhaavami yuge yuge.”


i.e. I incarnate whenever Dharma declines and evil predominates, to establish Dharma and vanquish evil.

“Yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya glanir bhavati Bharat;
Dharma sansthaapanaarthaaya sambhaavami yuge yuge.”


i.e. I incarnate whenever Dharma declines and evil predominates, to establish Dharma and vanquish evil.

He incarnated in Mathura (Uttar Pradesh) to destroy the evil King Kansa and other evil elements who were harassing sacred people. He also had to fulfil his pledge given to Devki and Vasudev. When they married Kansa heard a declaration that the couple’s eighth son would be his defeat. Kansa imprisoned the couple and killed the first seven sons born to Devki to prevent this. When Shri Krishna was born Vasudev placed him in a cradle and took the baby child through the river Yamuna. Thus the Lord survived and eventually killed Kansa.

Krishna is the God which is stated and backed up in the Vedic scriptures and by various authorities. Lord Brahma in Brahma Samhita says, “Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Being. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and he is the prime cause of all causes. In the Bhagavata Purana Krishna becomes the chief object of devotion. After describing various incarnations of the Lord such as Rama, Balarama, Vamana, Narsimha, and Vishnu, Srila Sukadeva Goswami states, “All of the above mentioned incarnations are either absolute portions of the Lord, but Lord Krishna is the original Personality of Godhead”. Lord Shiva in Gita Mahatmya, states that “only one God – Krishna, the son of Devaki” (Verse 7).

Why Krishna was born in Rohini Nakshatra?

In the Padma Purana it is stated, “By scrutinizing reviewing all the revealed scriptures and judging them again and again, it is now concluded that Lord Narayana is the Supreme Absolute Truth, and thus he alone should be worshipped”. Similarly it is said in the Skanda Purana, “In the material world, which is full of darkness and dangers, combined with birth and death and full of different anxieties, the only way to get out of the great entanglement is to accept loving transcendental devotional service to Lord Vasudeva. This is accepted by all classes of philosophers”. The position of Krishna as God is confirmed by great personalities like Narada, Asita, Devala, Vyasa, Parasara, Brahma and Shiva. Finally Krishna Himself confirms this fact in the Bhagavad-Gita to His friend and devotee, Arjuna. He clearly says that He is “the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods” (BG 5.29), that “there is no truth superior to Me” (BG 7.7) and – “I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me” (BG 10.8).

Lord Krishna is the symbol of devotional love. Lovers down the age are signified with the divine love of Radha and Krishna. But, Janmasthami is not the day for lovers. The day is remembered for our interesting mythological incident. Lord Krishna’s birthday is celebrated all over the city with splendor and devotion.

Homes and temples are beautifully decorated. Another decorative feature is the Jhanki depicting the life of lord Krishna. There are five main “jhankis” of Janmashtami which depict the entire sequence of events from Lord Krishna’s birth to his being discovered in Gokul. They include the birth of Krishna in jail, Vasudev carrying Krishna to safety across the river Yamuna amidst thunder and lightning, Vasudev’s return to the jail, Kansa killing Yashoda’s daughter and finally the little Krishna in the cradle in Gokul. “Jhankis” are created out of dolls dressed up as kids, men and women with lehangas, chunnis, dhotis & kurtas. In the evening bhajans are sung which end at midnight, the auspicious moment when Lord Krishna was born. Thereafter arti is performed, prasad distributed and flowers showered on the idol.

Why Krishna was born in Rohini Nakshatra?

Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, where his parents lived in captivity of the evil Kansa and him as a young boy came and vanquished his maternal uncle Kansa to ascend the throne and free his parents, celebrates Janmashtami with great enthusiasm. The main celebrations are performed at the Dwarkadhish temple,Mathura in the form of Jhulanotsava and the Ghatas during the entire month of Shravan. The ghatas are a unique feature of the month long celebrations. During the ghatas of a particular colour the whole temple is covered with decoration in the same colour. Even the Lord dresses up in the same colour.

The twin cities of Mathura-Vrindavan take on a festive look and spirit of devotion runs high among the people. It was on the banks of the Yamuna River where Lord Krishna played during his childhood and indulged in pranks and tricks with his friends and the gopies. There are about 400 temples dedicated to Lord Krishna in this sacred city and the major festivities are held at the Banke Bihari, Rangaji, Shri Krishna Balram temple and Gopinath temple. The Raslila of Braj is thematically the basis of many performing arts. The idol of the infant Krishna is bathed at midnight and is placed in a cradle. Devotional songs and dances mark the celebration of this festive occasion all over Northern India.

Why Krishna was born in Rohini Nakshatra?

Rituals Performed on this day

1. People fast on this day, usually a water less fast.

2. They spend the day immersed in Shri Krishna’s glory by reading, reciting and singing his divine leela especially in the evening in mandirs.

3. At midnight, the Lord’s birth hour, arti is performed. He is also installed in the form of ‘Lalji’ (child form) in a swing and devotionally offered many sumptuous food dishes. ‘Makhan’ (butter) is especially included since Shri Krishna loved this in childhood. The traditional prasad is ‘Panchajiri’ – made of five ingredients: powdered ginger, ‘suva’, coriander, sugar and ghee. Other ingredients include poppy seeds (khaskhas) and dessicated coconut shavings.

4. Different varities of ethnic dishes are prepared in Hindu homes. These dishes may vary from culture to culture. After arti, devotees jubilantly sing and hail kirtans extolling the Lord’s incarnation:

5. “Nand gher anand bhayo, Jai Kanaiyalal ki ..
Hathi, ghoda, palkhi, jai Kanaiyalal ki…”

6. “Bawa Nand tane darbar, nobat vaage re …
Hari pragatya taaranhaar, nobat vaage re ”

Why Krishna was born in Rohini Nakshatra?