Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Janmashtami (also known as Krishnastami
is the birthday
of Lord Krishna,
of Lord Vishnu,
believed to have
He was born to Vasudev and Devki, who
were imprisoned by Devki's evil brother Kansa and was brought up by Nand and
Yashoda. The birth of Lod Krishna is believed to be symbolic of our
imprisonment in worldly illusions, where He took birth with us and led us to
salvation and peace, vanquishing all evils depicted by Kansa in the story.
thousand years ago in Mathura in 'Dwapar Yuga'. It is celebrated in the
August/September months, on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksh or the 8th day of the
dark fortnight in the month of Bhadon and is celebrated over two days. The
first day is Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami. The second day is called Kalastami
or more popularly Janmashtami.
This celebration is said to be revealed
originally by the Sri Krishna himself to Yudhishthira, the eldest of Pandavas,
as mentioned in the Bhavishyottara Puran.
People fast on this day, usually a waterless fast.
They spend the day immersed in Shri Krishna's glory by reading, reciting and
singing his divine leela especially in the evening in mandirs. Temples of Lord
Krishna are decorated most beautifully and children are adorned as Lord Krishna
and Radhika, his spiritual beloved. Krishna Leela or the plays depicting scenes
from Krishna's life, especially childhood, are performed. At midnight, the
Lord's birth hour, arti is performed. He is also installed in the form of
'Lalji' (child form) in a swing and devotionally offered many sumptuous food
dishes. 'Makhan' (butter) is especially included since Shri Krishna loved this
in childhood. The traditional prasad is 'Panchajiri' - made of five
ingredients: powdered ginger, 'suva', coriander, sugar and ghee. Other
ingredients include poppy seeds (khaskhas) and dessicated coconut shavings.The
most popular ceremony of Dahi-handi (breaking a pot full of milk and its
derivatives} takes place on the second day.
Ceremony of Dahi-Handi
this ceremony a large earthenware pot is filled with milk, curds, butter, honey
fruits etc. and is suspended from a height between 20 to 40 feet. Sporting
young men and boys come forward to claim this prize. To do so they construct a
human pyramid by standing over each other's shoulders till the pyramid is tall
enough to enable the topmost person to reach the pot and claim the contents
after breaking it. Normally, currency notes are tied to the rope by which the
pot is suspended. This prize money is distributed among those who participate
in the pyramid building.
This ceremony replicates Krishna's love for milk and butter. In his childhood,
the Lord Krishna along with his mates used to raid the houses of his neighbors
in search of milk and butter.