Divinity and Joy of celebrating Krishna Janmashtami 2023

The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami across the world. One of the most common and most loved stories every child would have heard from his grandparents in their early childhood is that of Krishna. Remember watching Shri Krishna by Ramanand Sagar on Door Darshan or DD National? The Nostalgia of that series never died because the story of Krishna and his life journey through different episodes across the weeks not only touched our hearts but also touched our souls and the recollection of the same lingers in our minds to date. Krishna is not just a name, a form, a deity but an essence, a fragrance of life that stays throughout once you know him.

Krishna Janmashtami

The occasion is celebrated every year with immense devotion among the devotees of Lord Krishna. People celebrate it as a festival of bliss in different forms of Prayers, Bhajans, Mantras, Meditations, Chanting, or Reading of the Sacred Text of Shrimad Bhagavatam or the Holy Bhagwat Gita to remember Krishna’s holiness on this day and spread his word for divinity and love.

Enchanting tale of Krishna’s birth

When evil, darkness, or ignorance takes over the world, Lord Vishnu descends upon the earth and incarnates into the world as Shri Krishna for the protection of the righteous and the destruction of the evil. Born to Devaki and Vasudeva in the city of Mathura inside the bars imprisoned by the evil brother of Devaki, Kamsa (Kansa) for fear of his death by the newborn of Devaki and Vasudeva. To protect the newborn from the Kamsa, Vasudeva carries the little born across the stormy and dark night across the river Yamuna to reach the abode of Nanda and Yashoda in Gokul. Vasudev’s act of selflessness and love to protect Krishna and hand over his child for the higher good.

Innocence of Krishna’s Childhood

The saga of the mischiefs of Krishna’s childhood is a delightful chapter of his presence in Vrindavan. Many folklores describe the timeless antics of Krishna as a child, be it stealing butter (Maakan) from the homes, playing mischiefs with the Gopis, his playfulness with his friends, his melodious and mesmerizing flute, his closeness to the cows. All of these display his affection and deep connection with everything around him and his pure unconditional love for the people around him. This deep connection with nature and everyone around is what is celebrated this day.

Mythology of the Occasion

Krishna Janmashtami is also called Gokul Ashtami in some places. On this day, the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated at midnight on the time of his birth. Devotees across observe fast as devotion to the Lord Krishna, as a symbol of their love and devotion. Bhajans and chants are held in temples and sacred places to celebrate the event with immense joy and togetherness. Sacred texts and Hymns are also read at places in groups to purify the mind with everything Krishna has conveyed through his life and ways of living.

Rituals and Celebrations

One of the popular rituals celebrated across the country is the Dahi Handi ritual where pots of butter hung on a tall rope are broken in a group. The pot is surmounted at a height on a rope, and groups of people form circles around in a pyramid-like structure and the one at the top of the pyramid gets to break the pot(handi). This culture simulates the playfulness of Krishna with his fellow mates where Krishna along with his friends used to form human pyramids to steal the butter which was hung high in the neighborhood homes. Today, as remembrance teams are formed to form larger human pyramids and break a Handi thus also representing teamwork, unity, and playfulness.

Singing and Dancing

Krishna expressed himself in a lot of ways and one of his favorites was singing and dancing with the Gopis. Playing the flute was another of his pastimes which invoked such love and devotion that people and everything around him would be mesmerized by the melody of his flute. Even nature, animals, and birds around would surrender to his tune of love. Devotees gather together and sing praises of Lord Krishna in the form of bhajans and kirtans and the whole atmosphere is filled with the essence of devotion.

Krishna Leela

On the occasion of this holy occasion, Raas Leela’s are performed at several places. Raas Leela’s are reenactments of Krishna’s dance with his beloved Gopis. Devotion is just another form of pure love. Krishna personifies the love in each of our hearts. The story of his birth transcends time and space and fills our hearts with pure love. The tale of his birth is as enchanting as his life saga. These Raas Leela’s depict pure love and take us to the realm of Krishna’s divine plays.

Embracing Divine Love

People bring Baal Krishna which is the childhood form of Krishna lay them on a cradle or swing. Baby Krishna idols are made and decorated in beautiful dresses and placed in the cradle before the Pooja. In the evening or midnight pooja’s all the family members swing the cradles with beautiful bhajans and songs, as their offering to Krishna in the form of love. Devotees also prepare delicious sweets made of milk or butter as an offering to celebrate the birth of Krishna as he was fond of items made from Milk. You can read more about celebration here.

Krishna’s teachings

Krishna emphasized following one’s Dharma. Detachment and Surrender in everything that we do is something that he emphasized throughout his life and actions. As per Krishna, complete involvement in anything that we do is of prime value and leads to Dharma. Doing all our duties without any expectation or attachment to the output is what helps us live a fulfilled life and reach our maximum potential. Krishna did not discriminate between rich or poor, a friend or enemy, a common man or a kind. Through his actions more than his words he had lived a life which exemplified his timeless teachings. To read more stories on Mythology click here.

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