Krishna Janmashtami (also referred to as Janmashtami or Krishnashtami) is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of lord Krishna. According to the Hindu lunar calendar, Ashtami Tithi of Krishna Paksha (8th day of the dark fortnight) of the month Sravana is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna. According to the Gregorian calendar, Janmashtami falls somewhere in August or September. Janmashtami is followed by Dahi Handi on the next day.
What is Janmashtami?
Janmashtami (Saatam, Aatham, and Gokulashtami) is a festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. The eighth avatar (incarnation) of the God Vishnu is Lord Krishna. It is an important festival, particularly in the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism.
According to Hindu mythology, Krishna was born in an area of chaos. Thousands of years ago, in Dwapar Yug, Kansa, the brother of Devaki, planned to kill the lord Krishna as a precaution in view of a prophecy of the Mahabharatha that foretold Devaki’s eighth son would eliminate Kansa. So Devaki and Vasudeva were put in jail and tied with chains by Kansa as a precaution. Freedoms were denied, and evil was everywhere to keep an eye on Krishna’s birth.
It was midnight of a dark fortnight, every evil guard in jail was asleep when Krishna was born, and Vasudeva’s chains were remarkably loosened. An inspirational entity requested Vasudeva to take the child to Nandagaon and exchange him with the daughter of Nanda and Yashoda. Then Vasudeva put his newborn baby in a basket and proceeded to reach Nandagaon. Vasudeva had to cross a great Yamuna river in harsh weather to exchange Krishna. Devaki and Vasudeva wanted to save the child from the hands of Kansa. While crossing the Yamuna river, the snake with five heads called Sheshnag came and spread his head to protect the little Krishna from heavy rain.
What are the Janmashtami Traditions?
People in India celebrate Janmashtami by engaging in fasts and vigils through the night for Krishna, who is regarded as the god who was born at midnight. After midnight, forms of baby Krishna are bathed, clothed, and then placed in a cradle. The devotees then break their fast by eating food and sharing sweets. According to the Bhagavata Purana, the Dance-drama enactments of the life of Krishna known as Ras Lila or Krishna Lila. Many northern Indian communities organize Rasa Lila also.
How to do puja on Krishna Janmashtami?
The household is cleaned and decorated before Krishna Janmashtami. During this time, the devotees are woken up early in the morning and take ritualistic baths. The puja altar is set up ideally in the puja room. Anyone who wants to organize in a bigger manner can also organize in the hall. Sri Krishna’s idol is the main attraction of this puja. Some people use the regular idol or picture they have in puja rooms, while some buy a new image or statue of the god annually for the puja.
Sri Krishna’s idol is the central attraction of the Krishnashtami puja. Some people use the regular idol or picture they have in their puja room. Some people buy a new image or statue of Krishna every year for the puja. Based on the type of material on which Krishna’s statue is made, you can set up a holy bath ritual for this idol or can simply decorate the God statue with flowers, clothes, and ornaments.
In some Hindu communities, people draw pictures of little footprints leading from a doorway leading to the puja area. This symbolically represents Sri Krishna’s little feet bringing him into the family to bless the home’s puja and inhabitants. Krishna’s visit to each house during the puja is said to fill said home with prosperity and happiness. Offer a lamp and fragrant incense to the Lord. Offer Chandan and kumkum. Also offer special homemade prasad. Curd yogurt, ghee, butter, and other dairy products and milk-based sweets are especially popular as offering to Lord Krishna.
Do not forget to offer berries and other fruits. Chant the lyrics of Krishna and sing some shlokas and mantras about Krishna. Shove camphor and conclude the puja. Offer the prasad to the attendees and family members as a recommended token of Krishna’s blessings.
After puja, people offer prasad to Lord Krishna. Now someone will have questions like what are the traditional dishes offered to Lord Krishna? If you have questions like this, check the list below.
Janmashtami Special Disesh offers to Lord Krishna.
- Coconut Barfi / Nariyal Barfi
- Taler Bora
- Maakhan Mishri
- Besan Laddoo
- Dhaniya Panjiri
Janmashtami Celebration in India
Janmashtami is one ritual that takes place with great fervor in Mathura Dwarka Gokul Vrindavan and so on. Raas Lila or Krishna Lila and Dahi Handi is also part of the celebration.
What is Dahi Handi?
Dahi Handi is also know as Gopal Kala. This is an entertainment and competitive event associated with Krishna Janmashtami. Communities hang a clay pot filled with yogurt (dahi), butter, or another milk-based food on a convenient or tall height. Young men and boys form teams, make a human pyramid, and try to reach or break the pot. As they do so, people come up around them, sing, play music, and cheer.
What is ISKCON?
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), otherwise known as the Hare Krishna movement. This organization was founded on July 13, 1966, in New York (United States) by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. Now there are around 550 ISKCON temples and millions of devotees worldwide.
And now even after 1000 years, the whole country celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna as he is the epitome of love, faith, friendship, and peace