Krishna Janmashtami

Krishna Janmashtami, also called Krishna Jayanti, is the annual celebration day of the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth divine incarnation of Lord Vishnu in this world. Lord Krishna was born at midnight. It falls on the 8th day of the dark fortnight of the Bhadrapada month (August-September). At Mathura, the birthplace of Lord Krishna, special spiritual gatherings are organized, and pilgrims from all over the world attend these festive gatherings.

Janamashtami is one of the biggest Vedic festivals. On the day of the festival, people do fasting and spend the day focused on Krishna, meditating and chanting the Hare Krishna mantra and other prayers or songs devoted to Lord Krishna. Temples are decorated, bells are rung, the conch is blown, kirtans are sung, and Sanskrit hymns are recited in praise of Lord Krishna. You can also decorate your homes with Krishna items to enhance the celebration. They also orchestrate plays and enactments of the birth and pastimes of the Lord. 

The festival is observed at midnight, the time Sri Krishna was born. Fasting, puja, offerings, arati, dance, and devotional songs mark the occasion. At midnight when Lord Krishna takes birth, devotees commemorate this with a midnight arati (आरती) ceremony. After that, the devotees break the twenty-four-hour fast with a sattvic vegetarian feast.

This climax at night represents our overcoming the darkness of ignorance and reaching the state of purified spiritual knowledge and perception.

Krishna Janmashtami Celebration

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in myriad forms throughout India. In North India, Manipur, and Assam, Rasalila, a dance sport associated with Sri Krishna’s life, is organized.

In Maharashtra, Dahi Handi is organized, where the teams called ‘Govinda’ form human pyramids to break the Handis—an earthen pot containing yogurt—suspended at a challenging height.

In South India, children are dressed in the attire of Sri Krishna, and the houses are marked with a toddler’s footprint, symbolizing the presence of Bala Krishna or the child Krishna.

Birth of Lord Krishna

According to Vedic scripture, Lord Krishna appeared when the moon entered the house of Vrishabha at the constellation of the start Rohini, on Wednesday, the 8th day of the second fortnight of the month Shravan. This corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha according to the Barhaspatyamana, in the year of Visvavasu in 3227 B.C.

The lilas (divine pastimes) of Lord Krishna are known to every Hindu and are also written in Bhagavatam, Pancharatras, Mahabharata, and other Vedic scripture. As the 8th Avatara, Krishna has certain objectives to fulfill. These are

  1. To destroy the wicked demons
  2. To play the leading role in the great war fought on the battlefield of Kurukshetra (where he delivered his wonderful message to Arjuna, which is later known as Gita)

His enchanting form with flute in hand is worshipped in myriads of homes. It is a form in which devotion and supreme love are poured out from the hearts of countless devotees in India, Nepal, and the West. Millions of spiritual seekers worship Him and repeat His Mantra “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya.”

Krishna has played various roles during His stay in the world. He was Arjuna’s charioteer. He was an excellent statesman. He was a master musician; he even taught Narada the art of playing the veena. The music of His flute thrilled the hearts of the Gopis and everyone else. He was a cowherd in Brindavan and Gokul. He exhibited miraculous powers even as a child. He killed many demons. He revealed His Cosmic Form to His mother, Yasoda. He performed the Rasa Lila, the secret of which can only be understood by devotees like Narada, Gauranga, Radha, and the Gopis. He taught the supreme Truth of Yoga, Bhakti, and Vedanta to Arjuna and Uddhava. He had mastered every one of the sixty-four fine arts.

Regarding Sri Krishna’s message, Vivekananda Swamiji says two ideas stand supreme: ‘The first is the harmony of different ideas; the second is non-attachment.‘ Sri Krishna is synonymous with the harmony of different spiritual ideals culminating in One.

The Bhagavad Gita delivered by Him stands as a universal scripture accommodating diverse spiritual ideals of the world. The Lord says, ‘Whosoever worship Me through whatsoever path, I verily accept and bless them in that way. Men everywhere follow My path (4.11). Let us follow the path that suits us best and attain the spiritual ideal.

Why Hindu

We, a group of youths born into Hindu families, were raised in the rich culture of Vedic Sanatan Dharma, embracing its cultures and traditions. Post-graduation, recognizing the immense value of our Sanatan Dharma for humanity, we initiated the "Why Hindu" project. With guidance from our elders, we aim to create awareness about Hindu Dharma, delve into Vedic scripture, explore Vedic mantras, and elucidate the significance of festivals. Through this endeavor, we strive to share the profound teachings of our heritage, fostering understanding and appreciation for the timeless principles of Sanatan Dharma.

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