– Article by Ms. Pariti Gayathri
The annual Hindu festival of Shri Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, commemorates the birth of Krishna, Vishnu’s eighth avatar. It falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in Shravana or Bhadrapada (depending on whether the calendar chooses the new moon or full moon day as the last day of the month), which corresponds to August or September on the Gregorian calendar.
On the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha (Moon’s setting phase) or the 8th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada, If someone offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water to Me with devotion, I happily partake of the item provided with love by My devotee in pure consciousness. completing the puja or the next morning. The breaking of the fast is called “Paran” in Hindi, which means the successful completion of the vow. Paran can be done after 5:58 AM on August 31st. Before breaking their fast or Vrat, devotees should keep the Prarna time in mind.
Janmashtami Vrat Ritual:
On Janmashtami, worshippers usually fast for the entire day and only break it at 12 a.m. with fruits and prasad, which is first offered to the Lord. Sweets are made and distributed to friends, family members, and others. During this time, devotees sing, dance, and worship the Lord while reciting Krishna bhajans.
Shri Krishna Janmashtami Puja Vidhi
पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति |
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मन: || 26||
patraṁ puṣhpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayachchhati
tadahaṁ bhaktyupahṛitam aśhnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
In Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Lord Shri Krishna Says “If someone offers a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water to Me with devotion, I happily partake of the item provided with love by My devotee in pure consciousness.” Pure dedication and the motive behind the prayer satisfy the Lord. As a result, he will listen to your real and heartfelt prayers even if a complicated method is not followed.
But for those who want to follow Vidhi here is how it can be done
• To begin, make or buy a cradle and place Lord Krishna’s idol within.
• Invoke the Lord with the greatest devotion and a pure mind, heart, body, and soul. Pray to him with folded palms for him to accept your puja.
• Then, using water (from the holy Ganga Jal), clean his feet and perform the Abhishekam. You can also bathe the Lord with milk and water.
• Wipe the Lord’s idol with a clean, unused cloth and dress him in new clothing. After that, tie a mouli thread to Laddoo Gopal.
• You can also present the Lord a janeyu thread, which is sacred.
• Apply Chandan or sandalwood on the Lord, and then outfit him with new jewellery items that are easily accessible in the market with Krishna clothing.
• Place fresh flowers in front of him, light incense sticks, and pray to God.
• Invoke the Lord and surrender to him with Bhakti
• You can then serve the prasad or naivedhyam you made at home or the sweets you purchased. Lit the dhoop, incense sticks followed by Tamboolam which includes paan, supari, fruits and money.
Aarti of Shri Krishna
While ringing a bell, incense, ghee lamp, water, cloth, flowers, yak-tail fan, and peacock fan are all offered to the Deity during Arati. The Arati objects are pleasing to the eye and represent our tribute to the Lord of all the elements in His creation for His satisfaction. The conch shell blown at the beginning and end of each Arati drives away inauspicious elements. Arati must be accompanied by the singing of the Hare Krishna mantra.
Krishna’s birth, here’s how the story unfolds
Shri Vishnu begged Goddess Yogmaya (a manifestation of Mother Goddess) to assist him in his mission before the birth of Lord Krishna. As a result, Goddess Yogmaya was born in Gokul in Yashoda and Nanda’s home. Shri Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev in Mathura at the same time (a couple held captive in a dark prison by Kansa).
Vasudev took baby Krishna to Gokul thanks to heavenly help. On an eventful night, rains pelted Mathura and the surrounding Braj area. Vasudev placed the infant in a basket and carried it over his head as he crossed the Yamuna to see his friend Nanda in Gokul. Meanwhile, Shri Vishnu’s faithful servant, Shesh Nag, emerged to shield the baby from the rains by extending its five-headed hood. Vasudev exchanged the babies when he arrived at Nanda’s house.
As a result, when Kansa learned of Devaki’s eighth kid’s birth, he abducted the infant. Kansa proceeded to kill the infant girl, oblivious to the fact that it was not Devaki and Vasudeva’s eighth child. As he raised his weapon in the air to kill it, the infant slipped from his grip and appeared in the sky, revealing her actual identity. Kansa eventually made repeated attempts to locate baby Krishna, but he was eventually punished for all of his wrongdoings.
Every time Adharma emerges and creates great damage, Lord Vishnu arrives on Earth. Krishna is born in a chaotic environment. It was a time when persecution was common, freedoms were restricted, and evil reigned supreme. As a result, he reincarnates many times to restore Dharma. Lord Krishna killed his maternal uncle, the tyrant Kansa. He also provided the Bhagavad Gita to humanity for its benefit.
It is a significant Hindu festival, especially in the Vaishnavism tradition. The Janmashtami celebrations include dance-drama enactments of Krishna’s life according to the Bhagavata Purana (such as Rasa Lila or Krishna Lila), devotional singing through the night when Krishna was born, fasting (upavasa), a night vigil (Ratri Jagaran), and a festival (Mahotsav) the next day.
It is particularly celebrated in Mathura and Vrindavan, as well as in Major Vaishnava and non-sectarian communities throughout India, including Manipur, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and all other states.
In Maharashtra, Janmashtami (also known as “Gokulashtami”) is observed in cities such as Mumbai, Latur, Nagpur, and Pune. Every August/September, on the day after Krishna Janmashtami, Dahi Handi is celebrated. People shatter the Dahi Handi, which is a festive tradition. Dahi Handi translates to “earthen pot with yoghurt.” The celebration takes its name from popular regional folklore about a baby Krishna.
According to the story, he would go out looking for milk items like yoghurt and butter, and people would store their supplies high up out of reach of the baby. Krishna would come up with all sorts of inventive solutions to shatter these high-hanging pots, such as forming human pyramids with his buddies. This story is shown in countless reliefs on Hindu temples throughout India, as well as literature and dance-drama repertoire, and it represents the blissful innocence of children, as well as the belief that love and life’s play are manifestations of God.
The celebration Nandotsava follows Krishna Janmashtami, which commemorates the occasion when Nanda Baba delivered presents to the community in honour of Krishna’s birth.