Depicting majestic religious fervour, Krishna Janmashtami is a Hindu festival, celebrating the birth of the God Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. This festival falls on Ashtami, the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha as per the Hindu lunar calendar in the month of Shravana.
Lord Krishna is considered to be a widely-worshipped god in Hinduism. Considered as the supreme god, he is revered as a being full of compassion and love. There are innumerable stories, folklore, and anecdotes that showcase Krishna as a supreme being since his childhood.
One moment he is a prankster and a lover, and in another, he is a ferocious king, a guru and a mentor. These various shades of his character are what makes his devotees fall in love with him.
The festival of Janmashtami, dedicated to him, is celebrated with great fervour in Mathura and Vrindavan. However, it is a PAN-India festival and is celebrated all over the country in states like Delhi, Assam, Manipur, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and many other parts of the country.
Lord Krishna was born in a time when the world was a chaotic place and freedom was denied to the people.
Mother Earth was unable to handle the burden of sins which were committed by innumerable rulers and kings. So, the earth went to Lord Brahma to appeal for her safety and peaceful continuation of life. Lord Brahma, who is known as the creator of the world turned to the Supreme God, Lord Vishnu for his help who, in return, assured him that soon he will soon be born on the planet to get rid of all the evils.
Then, it was on the day of Devaki and Vasudeva’s marriage that a godly voice echoed through the sky prophesying that the eighth son from their marriage would be the cause of Kansa’s annihilation and will eventually end all the tyranny on Earth. Thus, Kansa, Devaki's brother, became alert and ensured that none of their children lives. But he failed and eventually was killed by their eighth son, Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna has also been worshipped as the Svayam Bhagavan. Did you know that he is also the source of inspiration for various performance arts such as Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, Odissi, Manipuri dance forms?
The psychedelic charm of Krishna is somewhat more observed in places like Vrindavan, Jagannath, Odisha, Dwarka and Junagadh in Gujarat. Furthermore, he has been given many names such as Madhusudan, Navnitachora, Parthasarathi, Madhava, Yadhunandana, Nandalal, Radhaavallabha, Yogeshwara, Govinda and more.
It has been said that there are around 108 names by which Lord Krishna is known and worshipped in various places and traditions.
It is from the 1960s that the worship of the Lord has gained momentum and encompassed the western world as well. This has become possible mainly owing to the efforts of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness).
1. Fasting and Jagarans. On the day of Krishna Janmashtami, people indulge in fasting, praying, singing and sharing sweets with each other. The whole environment depicts bliss, celebrations and enthusiasm. People also participate in night vigils (jagarans) relishing the bhakti of their lord.
2. Krishna Lila. In many temples, Krishna lilas are organized depicting the life of Lord Krishna. People come to see and experience the way Lord Krishna was. Especially, on the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami, the temples are decorated with great zeal. There are processions, bhajans, kirtan, and Satsang which is organized at many places to celebrate the birth of the eighth avatar of Vishnu.
3. Traditional Dresses for Janmashtami. For Janmashtami people dress in their best ethnic attires. These mainly consist of Kurta and Pyjama for boys and lehenga-choli or ethnic suits for girls. However, boys and girls who participate in the plays dress themselves up as Krishna and Radha.
4. Traditional Food. Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with great fervour and there are many delightful delicacies prepared on this occasion such as Malai Peda, Makhan Misri & Panjeeri, Shrikhand, Seedai, Murukku, Thatai & Vella Aval, etc.
For Janamashtami people dress up in their best ethnic attires. These mainly consist of Kurta and Pyjama for men and lehenga-choli or ethnic suits for women. However, those who participate in the plays, dress themselves up as Krishna and Radha.
Krishna Janamashtami is celebrated with great fervour and there are many delightful delicacies prepared on this occasion such as Malai Peda, Makhan Misri & Panjeeri, Shrikhand, Seedai, Murukku, Thatai & Vella Aval, etc.
11 August 2020
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