The day when the legend of all the eras took birth – ‘Krishna Janmashtami’, is a much-awaited auspicious time of the year. This festival is also known by other names like Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, or Srikrishna Jayanti. Krishna Janmashtami observes on the eighth day every year after the full moon of Shravan Maas. As per scriptures; Lord Krishna took birth at midnight on the Ashtami, Krishna paksha in the Hindu month of Bhadrapada. This year, it falls on Monday, 30 August
You must know: Must know facts about Janmashtami
Why Is Janmashtami Celebrated?
The tales from ancient times say that Lord Krishna was born inside Mathura jail on a dark, windy, and rainy night. The eighth son of Devaki is to be the destroyer of the demon king Kansa. As Kansa was aware of this prediction; he used to kill every newborn baby of Devaki but unfortunately missed on the eighth baby. The moment Krishna was born; the doors of the jail opened on their own and his father Vasudev carried the baby secretly to Gokul.
On their way, they faced many hurdles like a deep-sea and a huge snake. But, miracles happened and the baby reached safely to the cowherd’s family. Lord Krishna exchanged him for a newborn girl; who was taken back to Mathura. Vasudeva returns to the prison with the girl. When Kansa learns of the birth, he rushes to the prison to kill the child. But when he arrives; the infant ascends to the heavens and is transformed into the goddess Yogamaya. She tells Kamsa, “O foolish! What will you get by killing me? Your nemesis is already born somewhere else.”
Meanwhile, Krishna was raised as a cowherd, leading an idyllic childhood. As he matures, he becomes a skillful musician, wooing the women of his village with his flute-playing. Krishna took birth to represent mankind’s aspiration to embody all that is divine.
How To Observe Krishna Janmashtami
The occasion is observed especially in Mathura and Vrindavan (Brindaban), the scenes of Krishna’s childhood and early youth. The birth of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami is celebrated with pomp and fervor throughout India. Devotees usually observe fasts, sing devotional, chant, Dahi handi, and many more.
On Janmashtami, a lot of devotees of Lord Krishna observe a fast for the whole day and night. The fast must break at midnight where people prefer to have only milk and milk products as they were the favorite of Lord Krishna. Some also observe the ‘Nirjala’ fast which involves fasting without having a single drop of water.
Chanting forms the main attraction on Janmashtami. If you must have observed, the hymns and songs sung for Lord Krishna tend to be quite melodious and peaceful. Devotees indulge in continuous chanting all day long. They chant mantras and shlokas to please the Lord. Chanting 108 names of Lord Krishna is another ritual that takes place in various temples.
Songs and Dances
Song and dance mark the celebration of this festive occasion. At midnight, the statue of infant Krishna is bathed and placed in a cradle, which is rocked, amidst the blowing of conch shells and the ringing of bells. Raslilas is performed to recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and to commemorate his love for Radha.
Maharashtra Specialty – Dahi Handi
People belonging to this region are hardcore followers of Lord Krishna. The custom of Dahi Handi rules all the limelight. Thousands of people come out on the streets on Janmashtami to enact the “Dahi Handi ” (stealing of curd) episode from Krishna’s childhood. Large earthen pots with butter are kept at great heights in the middle of the roads, and pyramids of volunteers try to break the pots to win prizes.
The Birth Place Of Krishna – Mathura
In Mathura, Krishna Janmashtami observes with great grandeur and devotion. The most popular and grand celebration witness at the Dwarkadhish Temple; where Krishna is given a ritualistic bath in milk and curd. Jhulanotsavas are happening all over Mathura during the month of Shravana. The Ghatas and the temples are such elegantly and elaborately decorated; that these exude splendor and magnificence all throughout the month. The city of Mathura immerses in prayers and the sound of the conch and bells fill the air. Hordes of devotees gather in this holy city to welcome Lord Krishna. Innumerable delicacies such as Kheer, Laddoo, and Butter are offered in elegant platters to please the god.
The Childhood rejoice – Dwarka
The town of Dwarka in Gujarat, Krishna’s own land, comes alive with major celebrations as hordes of visitors flock to the town. Rows of lights lit everywhere; kirtans and bhajans are sung. Sermons deliver and devotees worship Lord Krishna in his infant form. Thousands of people go to Dwarka to visit the temple and participate in the fair. After visiting the main temple, devotees go to Shankhoddhar Beyt.
According to legend, Lord Krishna was very fond of milk and milk products like butter and buttermilk. He was also fond of Sweets like Kheer, Pedhas,etc. Therefore devotees all over make sweets during the festival to please the Lord.
Interesting Facts On Janmashtami
- According to research or you can say unexplainable powers some of our ancestors claim that Krishna was born on 19th July 3228 B.C.E.
- The term Krishna in Sanskrit means ‘black’. As he had a dark skin tone.
- Lord Krishna was a cowboy and his family had a setup for cultivating dairy products.
- Lord Krishna is worshiped with Radhaji on this day as she is said to be his true love.
- Besides, some people also worship Shri Krishna’s brother Balaram as well as sister Subhadra on the day of Janmashtami.
- Mathura has around 400 temples dedicated to Nandgopal.
- Lord Krishna is known by around 108 names in the world.
- Raas Leela is the most famous dance performance of Lord Krishna that is still observed in India.