HAPPY KRISHNA JANAMASTHAMI
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 Truly speaking; 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. It does not die with the death of the body. 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, remain inspiring us humans. Such is the importance of incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Krishna. As per scriptural knowhow, whenever there is prevalence of evil, the Lord Vishnu incarnates to destroy the evil doers and establish the natural law with peace and tranquility besides to establish the prevalence of Dharma and eliminate Adharama.
‘Yada yada hi dharmasya
glanir bhavati bharata
tadatmanam srjamy aham’
WHY INCARNATION BY LORD VISHNU?
When prevalence of evil is at its worst
When irreligious & immoral rule the roost
When there is no respect
For hpholding the principles of natural justice
When voices of righteous souls are gagged with force
When human rights and values are overlooked woefully
When ignorant are rewarded only
When people with sagacity are ignored willfully
When people are disgruntled colossally
When people without moral conduct are respected unduly
When egocentric tendencies are pampered fully
When even blood relations are imprisoned by their own offspring unreasonably
When divinity and spirituality lose its sheen
When saintly advices are not paid any heed
When arrogance is allowed to fester
When commoners are put to shame by their masters
And forced to submit to their whims
Thus forced Tthem not to pray Omnipotent and Omniscient
When seers’ Yajna are defiled to much extent
By throwing rubbish and filth on the fires so sacred
When sages and opposition voices are muted arrogantly
When even just-born kids are done to death mindlessly
Because of fear of these children
Growing and becoming a cause of their own death
When general masses are uncared
And left at the mercy of evil marauders
Thence our Lord Vishnu descends from His Abode Vaikuntha
And incarnates for destroying the evil from the world at large
In order to deliver the pious and the virtuous
Thus He annihilates the evil which has made a residency
As irreligious and unreasonable ones; wolves in the sheep’s clothings
Thus re-establish the principles, of morality and fair-play.
This most auspicious event happened at the stroke of midnight
At Ashtami Tithi with Rohini Nakshtra that night
Something quite mystic happened
There appeared Lord Vishnu dressed in shining attire
And carrying His weapons including Sudharshan Chakra
In the imprisonment of evil King Kamsa
On request from mother – Devaki & father – Vasudeva
He turned Himself as a baby to be hidden from evil Kamsa
This way, the birth of Krishna took place in Yadu dynasty
Kamsa knew in his heart of hearts, really
That nobody can undo the purpose of Lord Vishu incarnation
Since the will of God always prevails on all occasions.
Lo and behold, the violent and vigilant guards remained in deep sleep
Oblivious what transpired in the guarded dungeon just nearby
Whilst heavy downpour made the Yamuna fully swollen
Vasudeva put the baby Krishna in a basket on his head
With Sheshnag providing a shelter from rain
Yamuna swelled still further on
Wishing to touch the feet of the Supreme Lord
Then Krishna offered His Divine Feet for Yamuna’s touch.
After reaching Nandgaon
Vasudeva exchanged the baby Krishna
Brought back Yashoda’s daughter named Yogmaya
He was back to his prison cell without being noticed by anyone.
At Nandagaon, Krishna performed many of His Mystic plays of Leelas – unique ones
Showed His mystical prowess at Mathura and finally at Dwaraka
He mesmerized Gopis with His flute play– at the musical best
Attracting even the cows herds in hoards.
Gayatri Mantra was initiated to the Krishna by Guru Gargamuni
And Vedic arts and sciences by Guru Sandipanimuni
At Mathura He killed many demons
To ward off the demons threats
Thus stopping threat looming large
Of many a ferocious demons.
During His childhood days
And thereafter during his life time
His role as destroyer of evil is well-known to everybody
Mahabharta epic provides us the testimony.
He married many queens
Rukimni being the most beautiful one
Love of Radha & Krishna is etched in folklores
Will ever remain in our memories till ages
As the pious Love of Divines.
Lord Krishna acted as a Charioteer of Arjuna
The greatest archer (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 kith and kin 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
Evil doers met their doom
Thus had the results of their wicked karmic deeds
Proving that bad Karma leads to bad end
And with them the wickedness that pervaded,
Thus Kamsa met his death at the hands of Lord Krishna
A victory of good over evil was ensured
A lasting lesson for us mortals to follow indeed
May Lord Krishna’s blessings be showered on all of us
By gracing us with wisdom
And spread the message of goodness for us mortals.
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 was carried across the River Yamuna by Vasudeva after his birth in the confinement of Kamsa.
Krishna Janmashtami has been variously described as: Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Shrikrishna Jayanti, Sri Jayanti, Krishna Janma, Gokulashtami, Sri Krishna Jayanti, etc.
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 evil thus 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.
THE BIRTH OF LORD KRISHNA IS LACED IN MYSTICISM
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 accompanying the married sister to her in-laws home. The procession was passing merrily while Kamsa was driving the chariot. The atmosphere was surcharged with joyous/ecstasy.
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.
Subsequently, first six children of Devaki and Vasudeva were killed by King Kamsa sooner they were born after the news of their birth was conveyed to him. While Kamsa’s relatives and friends tried to dissuade him from doing so but he did not listen to anyone. Then there was a news of miscarriage of seventh child but actually seventh child was transferred to Rohini as Balarama – just secretly – a Mystical potency of God.
AN ATMOSPHERE OF PEACE ON THE BIRTH OF KRISHNA
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 also 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. Vasudeva 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.
MYSTERIES OF KRISHNA’S JOURNEY FROM MATHURA TO GOKULA
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 Gokula and warned about his looming death. Thereupon, Kamsa sent his various ferocious demons to kill Krishna who were all killed by Krishna.
KAMSA’S PERSECUTION RECKLESSNESS STARTS
Kamsa comes to know about the birth of 8th child and further information that he is taken to Gokula made him furious. He got exasperated and lamented; now the cruel death will not be far away he thought. Yet he wanted to do everything in order to eliminate the child.
IMPORTANCE OF CELEBRATION OF BIRTHDAYS
Significantly, the celebration of birthdays for everybody is a must since it reminds us not only our self-worth but also we realize the purpose of our lives. It also gives us realization how much our friends our relatives and other well-wishers love us. We reciprocate in the same measure the wishes and wellness showered on this day for us. Therefore, it is not only the birthdays of Messengers of God we should celebrate but also of ourselves, friends and relatives.
NEED OF INCARNATIONS
The demons kings were very harsh in their behavior towards their subjects. They inflicted all sorts of punishments on them including not allowing them to worship their deities and carrying out various rituals as enshrined in the scriptures. The demon kings wanted that people should obey them, pray them and remain slave to them. All this and more hardships made the world at large troubled spot. This necessitated and impelled deity of earth – Mother Earth (Bhumi) to go to the Lord Brahma in Brahmaloka with tears in her eyes to reduce the burden of evil doers and the heinous sins being perpetrated by the demons from the earth. Lord Bhrahma, Lord Shiva along with all Demi Gods accompanied Mother Earth for invoking Lord Vishnu to come to their succor. All prevailed upon Lord Vishnu to appear as the son of Vasudeva and all other Demi Gods to appear on the Mother Earth in different forms to assist Lord Vishnu in His new Avtar in one form or the other.
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 named Trnavarta with mystic powers. 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.
WHAT THE GENERAL PUBLIC DO ON THIS PIOUS DAY
Devout keep 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 at homes and temples and everyone wants to have a 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 Krishna 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.
• Rasa Lila (Dance) with gopis at Vrindavana to the tune of the flute.
It is very vividly 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. For this to become reality we have to be Krishna Conscious.
Bhagwad Gita discourse which Lord krishana had with Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra (A DHANUSHDHARI OF REPUTE) enlightens us with the following besides other things:
• You have the right to work but never to the fruit of the work. You should never engage in action for the sake of reward, nor should you long for inaction.
• Whatever happened, happened for the good, whatever is happening is happening for the good and whatever will happen will happen for the good.
• Change is the law of universe, you can be millionaire in an instant or a pauper in an instant.
• The soul is eternal.
• You came empty handed and will leave empty handed when you die.
• Lust, anger and greed are the three the gates to self-destructive hell.
• Man is made by his belief, as he believes, so he becomes.
• When meditation is mastered the mind is unwavering like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.
• Doubts are our enemies.
• We are kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to lower goal.
• We are all one since all are God’s creations.
• Let go off attachment – our attachment to the worldly possessions is the cause of miseries.
• Give without expecting anything in return.
• Man is his own friend or enemy by his karmic deed or misdeed.
• Steadiness equipped with Yoga one controls the mind.
• A person can attain supreme state of freedom from the karma by self-control, and disregard for the material possessions.
• It is better to do one’s own duty better, even though it may be below our merits which we actually deserve.
• The five factors of our actions are: place of action, the doer, the sense organs, numerous efforts and the divine law which govern all other factors.