KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI (Wishing you all Krishna Janamashtami)
May Lord Krishna’s blessings be showered on all of us
NEED OF INCARNATION
Lord Krishna Himself has enunciated in Bhagwad Gita that whenever there is excessive evil/sin in the society; when there is prominence of repressive and regressive forces besides prevalence of irreligious practices, He appears on this planet to eliminate or minimize the scourge of evil from the society besides protecting the pious and righteous people. His form may be different in different ages but He takes birth or incarnates and shows the right course to the people at large with His thoughts and actions.
Lord Vishnu is the cause of creation and He incarnated as Krishna to eliminate demonic forces prevalent in the society at large. It has rightly been said that God is omnipotent and omniscient besides He possesses innumerable names: Lord-Allaha-Rama-Krishna-Jehova-Budha-Akalpurakh but truth prevails; He is the ONE. He has personal and impersonal aspects. To exemplify this; a drop of water has the same chemical and physical properties as water from huge reservoir of water. One or Many hardly makes any difference. Our body which we love the most is impermanent. Our soul and the Super Soul are permanent. God incarnations and saints lives which have been enumerated in different scriptures have made it amply clear about the importance of God Consciousness through their discourses and other mystic actions which remain inspiring us. Such is the importance of incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Krishna.
Krishna Janmashtami has been variously described as: Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Shrikrishna Jayanti, Sri Jayanti, Krishna Janma, Gokulashtami, Sri Krishna Jayanti, etc.
The birthday of Sri Krishna is celebrated every year. As per the astrological calculations and scriptural details, the date of Krishna’s birth, which is known as Janamashtami is 18 July 3228 BCE. Lord Krishna lived upto 18th February 3102 BCE. He is the 8th Avtar of Lord Vishnu. This festival is celebrated on the 8th day of Krishna Paksha (dark night) between the months of August – September every year.
Krishna belonged to the Yadu dynasty descending from Soma. He was the 8th son of Princess Devaki and Vasudeva (son of Surasena). Krishna Carried Across the River Yamuna by Vasudeva
After the marriage ceremonies, while Kamsa was taking his sister Devaki and brother-in-law Vasudeva in the cheriat, he felt very happy. There is a custom of brother accompaning the married sister to her in-laws home. The procession was passing merrily while Kamsa was driving the chariot. The atmosphere was surcharged with joy.
As ill luck would have it, there was a prophecy from the sky: “Kamsa, you are such a fool! You are driving the chariot of your sister and your brother-in-law, but you do not know that the 8th child of your sister will kill you. “. Kamsa was dumbfounded and could not control his anger and therefore wanted to kill Devaki (the daughter of Devaka) but Vasudeva intervened and promised that they will give all their newborn children to Kamsa after their births and agreed to stay in his jail cell. They were thus imprisoned under the supervision of guards. Vasudeva also commented that Kamsa being a greatest warrior and should not kill his own sister. He also told Kamsa that we are dying every moment that passes and death is evitable for the one who is born. Thus he pacified Kamsa through his (Vasudeva’s) flattery.
Afterwards, Kamsa imprisoned his own father (Ugrasena) and declared himself as the King besides usurping the power of King Surasena (Vasudeva’s father). He expanded his power to other parts too through his prowess.
There afterwards, first six children of Devaki and Vasudeva were killed by King Kamsa sooner they were born. While his relatives and friends tried to dissuade him from doing so but he did not listen to them. Then there was a news of miscarriage of seventh child but actually seventh child was transferred to Rohini as Balarama – just secretly.
When Krishna was born, there was an atmosphere of peace, auspicious stars were visible in the sky besides there were all positive signs. The demigods were very pleased and began to shower flowers. Then Lord Vishnu appeared before Devaki and she felt very elated. Vasudeva was very happy after seeing the shine on the face of the newborn – such opulence and effulgence. The demigods had already informed them that Supreme Personality of Godhead would be born from the womb of Devaki. He was really convinced that the newborn was the Godhead Himself. He began to offer prayers. He was of the firm belief that now Kamsa will get justice for his sinful acts. He thus prayed and requested Him to save them from the hands of Kamsa. Devaki requested Him to take the form of an ordinary child so that no harm is done to him.
Afterwards, a mystic thing happened, all the prison locks got opened, all the guards slept and there was a heavy rain. On the birth of eighth child, Lord Vishnu ordained that the child be taken to Gokula to Nanda and Yashoda. There upon, Vasudeva took infant Krishna with him, crossed the river Yamuna and reached Gokul. After leaving infant child at Gokula, he brought back Yashoda’s daughter named Yogmaya back to his prison cell. Due to the grace of Lord Vishnu, nothing went amiss. The birth of Krishna, and activities are all transcendental and one who understands it is spiritually rich person. His birth is according to His time and place besides the need of such an eventuality. Even the planetary systems were adjusted auspiciously at the time of Krishna’s birth.
Foster father Nanda Baba and mother Yashoda of Lord Krishna were very happy while they were celebrating the birth of their newborn son with great pump and show. There was an atmosphere of joy everywhere. Yashoda always thought Krishna as her dear son and not anything else – they all enjoyed the childhood pastimes of Krishna thereafter.
The news of the 8th child was given to Kamsa. While Kansa was about to kill Yogmaya, she vanished from his hands and thundered that his killer was in Gokul and warned about his looming death. Thereupon Kamsa sent his various ferocious demons to kill Krishna.
KAMSA’S PERSECUTION STARTS
Kamsa comes to know about the birth of 8th child and further information that he is being taken to Gokula made him furious. He got exasperated and lamented; now the cruel death will not be far. Yet he wanted to do everything in order to eliminate the child.
- Kamsa sent Putana who was known for killing small children by her sinful methods, to kill child Krishna. Krishna killed her after suckling her breast.
- King Kamsa sent demon names Trnavarta with mystic power. He was eliminated by Krishna without much difficulty.
- A demon named Bakasura attacked him and his cowherd friends. Krishna killed him.
- Serpent Aghasura was killed after playful acts of Krishna and his friends with him.
- Dhenukasura attacked Krishna and his gops. He killed the demon.
- Demon Pralambasura sent by King Kamsa was killed by Lord Krishna.
- Demon Kesi in the form of a horse was killed by Krishna.
- While visting Mathura, Lord Krishna killed the wrestler named Canura by hurling him to the ground while wrestling.
- Finally Lord Krishna dragged the demoniac King Kamsa and threw him on the ground, struck im with His fist repeatedly and killed him. That was the end of the evil along with Demon King Kansa.
Devout fast on this day and remain awake till midnight at the time when Krishna was believed to have born. The image of Krishna as an infant is kept on the cradle or swing both in homes and temples and everyone having dharshan makes the swing to move. This is considered an auspicious thing.
Devotees sing songs and make merry besides exchanging gifts and flowers. In temples satsang and puja is also held.
Janamashtmi is celebrated differently In different parts of India. In Maharashtra, Dehihandi is celebrated where buttermilk is kept in a pot and kept at a convenient height. Different parties try to break this earthen pot so as to win this contest. This event is undertaken to remember the event of stealing of buttermilk by Krishna in his childhood from Gopi’s homes. The participants in this event are called Govindas.
In Mathura (the birth place of Krishana), Gokul and Vrindavan the festival is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm. People gather in large number and offer their prayers to Him. Even in Dwarka in Gujarat where Krishna established his kingdom, people visit Dwarkadish temple. Bhagavata Purana, the part dealing with the pastimes of Krishna are recited besides offerings of betel, fruits, flowers etc done by the devotees.
Gokulashtami is celebrated with great fervor in South India too. In Tamil Nadu, the people decorate the floor with kolams (decorative pattern drawn with rice batter).
Besides Lord Krishna’s mysticism and Leelas are always enjoyed by the devotees.
- Lord Krishana dance upon the heads of the serpent Kaliya thereafter Kaliya realized his mistake.
- Protected the people from the heavy rains on the village Vrindavan by lifting Govardhan hill on his little finger.
- Rassa Lila (Dance) with gopis at Vrindavana to the tune of the flute.
It is opined in Bhaghwad Gita that those who know about the birth, His appearance and all activities of Lord Krishna become eligible to be transferred to spiritual world. JAI SHRI KRISHNA.
When sin is in excess,
When there is sharp decline in religious practices,
When irreligious people rule the roost,
Our Beloved Lord descends from His Abode,
On the earth to deliver the pious ones,
And to annihilate the evil doers,
As well as to re-establish the principles,
Of religion and fairplay all around.
Born in the midnight,
To mother Devaki & Vasudeva in the confinement,
Of Damon king Kamsa,
On 8th Day of the dark half of the month of Sravana,
Took place the birth of Lord Krishna,
The holiest month of the year,
Of traditional Hindu calendar,
The ferocious guards remained in deep slumber,
Oblivious what transpired in the guarded dungeon just near,
Whilst heavy downpour made the Yamuna fully swollen,
With Sheshnag providing a shelter from rain,
Yamuna swelled still further,
Ready to touch the feet of the Supreme Lord,
Lord offered His Divine Feet for Her touch,
What a TOUCH this DIVINE TOUCH must have been!
Watched with curiosity by Gods & Demi-gods from Heavens,
Then Yamuna water receded to its minimal,
Making the passage of Vasudeva easier to Gokula,
Thence He did His Divine Leela in Vrindavana,
Nandagram, Mathura and finally Dwaraka,
He mesmerized Gopis with His flute musical best,
Attracting even the cows herds in hoards,
Gayatri Mantra was initiated to the Lord by Guru Gargamuni,
And Vedic arts and sciences by Guru Sandipanimuni,
At Mathura killed many a demonic kings,
To ward off the demons threats,
Thus stopping threat looming large,
Of many a ferocious demons.
During His life time,
He married many a queens,
Rukimni being the most beautiful ones,
Love of Radha & Krishna is etched in folklore’s,
Will ever remain in our memories,
As the pious Love of Divines.
Acted as a Charioteer of Arjuna,
The greatest dhanushdhari of all times,
Was the role of His in the Kurukshtra war!
Where Lord Krishna displayed His stupendous Universal Form,
When Arjuna was in doubt to fight war,
Against kiths and kins of his own,
Then the Supreme Lord delivered His famed Bhagavad Gita,
“The Song of God”,
Containing essence of Jnana,
All encompassing knowledge – Gyana.
In the war that ensued,
Demons were destroyed,
And with them the wickedness that pervaded,
A victory of good over evil was ensured,
A sweet lessons for us mortals to follow indeed.