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» Informational Articles » Festivals » Shri Krishna Janmashtami festival

About Krishna Janmashtami

Janmashtami

Shri Krishna One of the most celebrated and popular festivals with zeal and fervor all over the country is the Shri Krishna Janmashtami. This festival is also popularly known as the Janmashtami festival, Krishna Janmashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Shree Jayanti, Gokulashtami, Krishnashtami, and Saatam Aatham.

Krishna is a popular deity in Hinduism. He is worshipped as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is the god of protection, sympathy, tenderness, joy and love, and one of the most respected gods in India.

According to the lunisolar Hindu calendar, Hindus celebrate Krishna’s birthday every year on Krishna Janmashtami, which is at the end of August or the beginning of September in the Gregorian calendar.

He is a central figure in the Mahabharata, Bhagavata, Brahma, and Bhagavad Gita.

The name "Krishna" is derived from the Sanskrit word Ka, which is mainly an adjective meaning "black", "dark", "dark blue" or "all attractive". The waning moon is called Krishna Paksha and is related to the adjective meaning "dark". The name is sometimes interpreted as "extremely attractive."

Why is Krishna Janma (Birth) known as Janmashtami?

The word ‘Jamna’ means birth and ‘Ashta’ in Sanskrit means eight and the number 8 has much significance, as Lord Krishna was the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, He was the 8th child born to Devaki Mata and He was born on the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha in the Holy month of Shravana.

When Is Krishna Janmashtami in 2021? (Date)

This year the Krishna Janmashtami and ISKCON Janmashtami falls on Monday, August 30th, 2021. The year 2021 marks the 5248th birth anniversary of Lord Krishna.

Janmashtami Tithi Timings

Ashtami Tithi Begins on the 11:25 PM on Aug 29, 2021
Ashtami Tithi Ends on 01:59 AM on Aug 31, 2021
Nishita Puja Time - 12:16 AM to 01:02 AM, Aug 31

Krishna Janmashtami Puja Muhurat

Particular Date & Day Time starts Time ends
Tithi Aug 29, 2021 11:25 PM
Nishita Puja Timing Aug 31 12:16 AM 01:02 AM
Tithi Aug 31, 2021 01:59 AM

Note: Parana Time (time to break your fast) is after 09:44 AM, Aug 31

ISKCON Krishna Janmashtami Puja Muhurat

Particular Date & Day Time starts Time ends
Tithi Aug 29, 2021 11:25 PM
Nishita Puja Timing Aug 31 12:16 AM 01:02 AM
Tithi Aug 31, 2021 01:59 AM

Note: Parana Time (time to break your fast) is after 09:44 AM, Aug 31

Rudra Centre Puja Services Performed Krishna Janmashtami Maha Puja On 11th August, 2020

Rudra Centre Puja Services conducted Krishna Janmashtami Maha Puja which started with Sankalpa and Aarti. Prayers were offered to Goddess Laxmi & Lord Ganesha & Vishnu for Abundance, Protection & Good Health. This was followed by Abhishek of Laxmi, Ganesh & Bal Gopal. Recitation of Krishna Gayatri Mantra & Japa of Krishna Sahasranamam & Srimad Bhagwad Gita Paath elevated the entire Maha Puja. Placing and worshipping of Bal Gopal in Paalna (swing) filled the devotees with spiritual bliss and joy.

Why Do We Celebrate Krishna Janmashtami?

Why Do We Celebrate Krishna Janmashtami

Lord Krishna is one of the main deities in Hinduism. We celebrate the Janmashtami festival to rejoice in the birth of Lord Krishna. He is known for his compassion, love, righteousness, and quick wit. Lord Krishna is depicted as the main character in the holy ancient scriptures like the Puranas, Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, and the Bhagavata Purana. In the North, Lord Krishna is worshipped in almost every household. Lord Krishna’s devotees all across India celebrate Janmashtami with joy and devotion; especially the Vaishnavas, celebrate this day with enthusiasm and merriment as Lord Krishna is their major God of worship. Post-midnight,The idol of baby Lord Krishna is bathed, adorned with new clothes, and put in a cradle. Devotees sing devotional songs about Lord Krishna, especially about the new born beautiful Lord Krishna. Offerings of sweets, flowers, and flower garlands are made and, with joy, the Lord is welcomed. Many devotees paint tiny footprints outside the main entrance leading to their house, which signifies the welcome for Lord Krishna to step into the houses of His devotees. Devotees break their fast by sharing the sweets and fruits which were offered to Lord Krishna as prasad. The Vaishnava community all over India celebrates Krishna Janmashtami with complete dedication.

Lord Krishna Story

Lord Krishna Story

The beauty of our ancient stories is that they were never created in a particular place or time. The Ramayana or Mahabharata is not just an event that happened in ancient times. These are happening every day in our lives. The essence of these stories is eternal.

The birth story of Lord Krishna also has profound meaning. In this story, Devaki is the symbol of the body, and Vasudev is the vitality, that is, vitality. When the body presents prana, Ananda, Shri Krishna, is born. But the ego (Kamsa) tries to destroy happiness. Kamsa, Devaki's brother, shows here that the self and the body exist together. A happy and joyful person will never create problems for anyone, but sad and emotionally injured people often hurt others or create obstacles in their path. People who feel that they are being treated unfairly will also be unfair to others because of themselves.

The greatest enemy of the ego is happiness. Where there is happiness and love, the ego cannot stand, it must bow its head. A person of high social status has to bow his head in front of his children. When a child is sick, no matter how strong a person is, he will start to feel a little helpless. When faced with love, simplicity and happiness, the self easily disappears automatically. Lord Krishna is the epitome of happiness, the simple essence and the source of love.

Kamsa's imprisonment of Devaki and Vasudeva shows that when self increases, the body becomes like a prison. When Lord Krishna was born, the prison guards all fell asleep. The guard here is to protect the senses of the self, because when it wakes up, it becomes outward. When these feelings are introverted, inner happiness arises in our hearts.

MakhanchorShri Krishna is also called Makhanchor. Milk is the essence of nutrition, and curd is the refined form of milk. When the curd is stirred, butter forms and floats on top. It is not heavy, but light and nutritious. When our intelligence is stirred, it becomes like butter. Then knowledge arises in the mind, and a person builds up in the self. Even if he lives in this world, he remains detached, and his heart will not be disappointed with the things or behaviors of the world. Makhanchor is a symbol depicting the glory of Lord Krishna’s love. This is the charm and skill of Lord Krishna, who can steal even the most introverted people's thoughts.

 peacock feathers on Lord Krishna's head

The meaning of peacock feathers on Lord Krishna's head:

A king is responsible to all his subjects. He assumed these responsibilities in the form of a crown. But Lord Krishna performed all his duties easily-like a game. Just like mothers never feel that taking care of their children is a burden, Shri Krishna will not feel burdened because of his responsibilities, he can easily take on these responsibilities in the form of peacock feathers (also very light) full of different colors.

Lord Krishna is the charming and happy stream in all of us. When there is no irritability, worries, or desires in the mind, only we can achieve deep relaxation. Only in deep relaxation can Krishna be born.

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Lord Krishna Timeline

Birth

Lord Krishna Birth

Krishna was born in the Yadava clan of Mathura by Devaki and her husband Vasudeva. Devaki's brother is a tyrant named Kamsa. At Devaki's wedding, according to Puranic legend, Kamsa was told by a fortune teller that Devaki's child would kill him. Sometimes it is portrayed as an Akashwani announcing Kamsa's death. Kamsa arranged to kill all of Devaki's children. When Krishna was born, Vasudeva secretly took the baby Krishna across the Yamuna River and exchanged with him. According to the legend of the Panagia, when Kamsa tried to kill the newborn, the exchanged baby appeared as the Hindu goddess Yogmaya, warning him that his death had reached his kingdom and then disappeared. Krishna grew up with Nanda and his wife Yasuda near modern Mathura. According to these legends, Krishna's two brothers and sisters also survived, namely Balarama and Subhadra. Krishna’s birth day is called Krishna Janmashtami.

Childhood and Adolescence

Childhood and Adolescence

Krishna's childhood and youth legend described him as a cowherd, a prankster boy, earning him the nickname Makhan Chor (Butter Thief), and the protector who stole the hearts of the people of Gokul and Vrindavan. For example, the text states that Krishna raised Govardana Mountain to protect the residents of Vrindavan from devastating rain and floods.

Other legends describe him as the magician and playful lover of the gopis (milkmaid) of Vrindavan, especially Radha. These metaphorical love stories are called Rasa lila and are romanticized in the poems of Jayadeva, author of Gita Govinda. They are also at the core of the traditional development of Krishna bhakti who worships Radha Krishna.

Krishna's childhood embodies the Hindu concept of Lila, where play is for fun and enjoyment, not for sports or profit. His interaction with the gopis in the rasa ball or Rasa-lila is an example. Krishna is playing his flute, and no matter what they are doing, the gopis will immediately come to the Yamuna River to sing and dance with him. Even those who cannot be there in person can join him through meditation. He is the spiritual essence and eternal love in existence, and the gopis metaphorically represent the prakriti material and impermanent body.

Adulthood

Adulthood

The legend of Krishna then describes his return to Mathura. After quelling Kamsa's several assassination attempts, he overthrew and killed the tyrant, his uncle Kamsa. He restored Kamsa's father Ugrasena as the king of Yadava and became the chief prince in the court. In a version of the Krishna story, as Shanta Rao recounted, after the death of Kamsa, Krishna led Yadavas to the newly built city of Dwaraka. Since then Pandawa has risen. Krishna became friends with Arjuna and other Bandawa princes of the Kuru Kingdom. Krishna plays a key role in Mahabharata

Bhagavata Purana described the eight wives of Krishna -Rukmini, Satyabhama, Jambavati, Kalindi, Mitravinda, Nagnajiti (also known as Satya), Bhadra and Lakshmana (also known as Madra) appearing in sequence. This is a metaphor in which each of the eight wives symbolizes different aspects of him. Vaishnava’s texts mention that all gopis are Krishna’s wives, but this is a spiritual relationship. The spiritual symbol of Krishna who is full of love for everyone who devotes himself to him.

In the Hindu tradition related to Krishna, he most often appears with Radha. In Hindu tradition, all his wives and lover Radha are considered to be the incarnation of the goddess Lakshmi, Vishnu's consort. The gopis are considered to be the manifestations of Lakshmi or Radha.

Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad Gita

Kurukshetra War and Bhagavad Gita

According to the epic "Mahabharata", Krishna became Ajuna's coachman in the Kurukshetra War, but on the condition that he personally would not raise any weapons. On the battlefield, he saw that the enemies were his family, his grandfather, his cousins and relatives. Arjuna was moved. He said that his heart would not allow him to fight and kill them. He would rather give up the kingdom and put down his Gandiv (Arjuna's bow). When a person faces a war between good and evil, Krishna advises him on the nature, ethics and morals of life, the impermanence of matter, the eternity of soul and goodness, duties and responsibilities, the essence of true peace and bliss. And different types of yoga to achieve this state of bliss and inner liberation. This dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna takes the form of a discourse called "Bhagavad Gita".

Death and ascension

Lord Krishna Birth

According to Indian literature, the legendary Kurukshetra War resulted in the death of all of Gandhari's 100 sons. After Duryodhana's death, when Gandhari and Dhritarashtra visited Kurukshetra, Krishna visited Gandhari to express condolences, as described by Stree Parva. Feeling that Krishna deliberately did not end the war, Gandhari said angrily and sadly: "You are indifferent to Kurus and Pandavas when they kill each other. Therefore, O Govinda, you will become the killer. My own relatives! According to Mahabharata, the Yadawa people broke out in a battle during a festival and eventually they killed each other. A hunter named Jara mistakenly took Krishna for a deer and shoots an arrow that injured and killed Krishna, then Krishna forgave Jara and died afterwards. The pilgrimage (tirtha) site in Bhalka, Gujarat marked the place where Krishna is believed to have died. Chapter 31 of Volume 11 of the Bhagavata Purana stated that after Krishna’s death, due to his yogic absorption, he returned directly to his transcendent abode. The waiting gods such as Brahma and Indra could not trace the path Krishna took when he left his human incarnation and returned to his abode.

Lord Krishna Principle

When the heart is opened, when love flows from it and flows into it, the sense of security will prevail. Safety comes with freedom. There is no need to pretend. We can be ourselves. We don't want to impose our will on anyone. We accept and embrace everyone, we include people, and we allow them to be themselves because we are accepted and embraced by God.

The result was the formation of Maha-raas on the blossoming meadows on the banks of the Yamuna River, known as Madhuvan. Maha-raas, the incarnation of Vishnu, Krishna playing the flute, surrounded by a group of dancing milkmaids, is a symbol of absolute spontaneity. There is no formal relationship that determines Krishna's feelings for the milkmaids. It is not bound by social restrictions, but is created by simple, naive, and unmotivated emotions.

As long as the milkmaid loves Krishna unconditionally, he will multiply himself and dance with everyone, making everyone feel completely and completely loved. But when they became possessive and refused to share him with others, Krishna disappeared, filling these women with despair. When realizing the dawn and they begged for forgiveness, Krishna returned to Madhuvan to dance the dance of love. The Maha-raas takes place outside the village, in the forest, at night, far away from familiar surroundings. Yet the women feel safe. They feel unthreatened by the law of the jungle. They have faith in Krishna and no fear.

When Krishna played the flute in the jungle, love rather than force prevailed. The weakest, the least suitable, were not afraid. They can sing, dance and thrive in joyful indulgence. And all this is surrounded by waves of love and beauty.

Krishna attracts our minds and helps us in times of crisis. He changed our world from a battlefield to a garden. He takes us to Madhuvan. There, we find Krishna, the cowherd of Bhagavad Gita, who attracted our hearts and awakened the desire for celebration. The senses are excited, the heart rejoices with love, the mind is full of wisdom, and we naively obey his music and take a place in his Maha-raas.

In the Rigveda, desire is the source of creation. Because the spiritual world (Narayana) longed to know oneself, Brahma blossomed from Vishnu's lotus, and the Brahma’s world came into being. Therefore, Kama or desire is a living, giving power.

When there is no desire, Narayana will not wake up, and Shiva will not open her eyes to see Prakriti's glory. The goddess will certainly not be recognized. There is no Maya, no Brahamanda, no subjective reality, no human observation of nature, no flowering of human consciousness, no Purusha. The separation of the two metaphysical realities is described as destruction.

Kama incites life. Yama ignites death. Kama ensures that death is not permanent; Yama ensures that life is not permanent. Kama awakens the senses and makes Brahma succumb to the power of Maya; Yama ensures that all actions are rewarded, thereby maintaining Karma's records.

The symbols of Kama and Yama can be found on the image of Vishnu. Vishnu holds four symbols in his hand: Shankar (conch), Chakra (wheel), Gada (mace) and Padma (lotus). Shankar symbolizes communication; chakras mark the wheel of time; Gada's demands for discipline; Padma the nectar of joy. Shankar and Padma are symbols of water; they affirm life and love and are therefore associated with Kama. Chakra and Gada are symbols of fire; they affirm natural rhythms and cultural rules, and therefore are related to Yama. Kama and Yama protect lives together. Kama and Yama together form Vishnu.

Vedic wisdom is the knowledge that enables people to get rid of animals and discover humans. Get rid of fear and discover faith. For this, we must succumb to the idea of spiritual reality, succumb to Purusha, which exists outside of our nature.

Shiva means "Sham mangalam karoti iti Shiva", which means to create auspicious things. It is similar to the word Krishna, which means "Aakarshanam iti Krishna", which means to attract. We need to invoke the state of consciousness of Lord Krishna or Lord Shiva, not their physical form, which is just a symbolic description of their attributes.

Therefore, when we worship Lord Krishna, we also pray for his blessings; seek the state of consciousness that we must reach, the aakarshanam energy field that we surrender to.

Krishna Janmashtami Story

Krishna Janmashtami Story

According to the ancient Holy Scriptures, Krishna Janmashtami story is worth knowing as the birth of Lord Krishna is an adventurous and surprising event. In ancient times there was a malicious King named Kamsa. He had forcefully taken over the throne from his father who was a noble king of Mathura named Ugrasen.

King Kamsa along with few other demon Kings tormented Mother Earth. Tired of the torture, Mother Earth once took the form of a cow and visited Lord Brahma. She narrated Her plight to Lord Brahma and asked Him to help Her. Lord Brahma in return turned towards Lord Vishnu for help. After listening to the plight of Mother Earth, Lord Vishnu assured Her that He would put an end to Kamsa’s rule by taking birth as Lord Krishna.

Meanwhile, on the other hand in order to increase his kingdom and gain more power, King Kamsa married his sister Devaki with Vasudeva who was the ruler of Yadu. With a wicked intention of taking over King Vasudeva’s clan, King Kamsa made grand arrangements to gift his sister with extravagant endowments in order to impress and gain trust of ruler Vasudeva. But almighty had some great plans aligned. After the marriage was done, a fortune teller told King Kamsa that he would be killed by one of Devaki’s offspring.

Terrified with this news, King Kamsa raised His sword to slay His sister but King Vasudev pleaded to Kamsa and asked him not to Kill Devaki. King Vasudev promised Kamsa that he would kill each of his and Devaki’s children as soon as they were born. Kamsa did not kill Devaki but instead, imprisoned her and her husband Vasudeva. As promised by Vasudeva, the couple would offer their off-spring to King Kamsa as soon as it was born and Kamsa would kill the offspring with absolute cruelty.

When Devaki delivered her eighth child, King Vasudeva woke up to the bright light and the heavenly voice of Lord Vishnu, who told him that his eighth child was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu Himself, and this child would put an end to the reign of Kamsa. Lord Vishnu’s voice guided Vasudeva to take the newly born Lord Krishna across the River Yamuna and to safely place him in the house of the Gopis tribe leader, Nandraja, who lived there with his wife Yashodha. Many hurdles came as Vasudeva was carrying Lord Krishna over his head in a cane basket while crossing the river. Finally, as instructed, Vasudeva successfully placed Lord Krishna in the house of Nandraja and, in return, took Nanda's daughters.

As soon as Kamsa heard that Devaki had given birth to a child, he rushed to the prison and found out that it was a baby girl. Devaki pleaded not to kill the child, as, according to the prophecy, her son would kill Kamsa. Ignoring her plight, Kamsa leaned forward to lift the child. As soon as he approached the baby, it turned into Goddess Durga and warned Kamsa that his end had already come and the blessed one was already born. Goddess Durga said that Kamsa would be punished for all his wrong doings. Soon after saying this, Goddess Durga disappeared.

This is how Kanha, Lord Krishna, grew up in Gokul in the Gopa tribe with foster parents Nandraja and Yashodha, away from the chaos of Mathura. After his pastimes in Gokula, Lord Krishna, along with his brother Balrama, eventually killed the arrogant Kamsa.

Celebrations Across the Country

Celebrations Across the Country

Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, Janmashtami is also known as Gokulashtami and celebrated as Dahi Handi. The Dahi Handi is a replica of Lord Krishna's childhood mischief of stealing his favorite, butter, from the pots of Gopis. Various groups of people travel to different localities in their cities/towns to form human pyramids and attempt to break the earthen pot which is filled with curd, milk, butter, fruit, and water and hung at a challenging height. The enthusiasm and mood are vibrant.Devotees also worship the Lord Krishna and sing His praises.

Gujarat and Rajasthan:

Lord Krishna is believed to have set up his kingdom in Dwarka in the state of Gujarat. In Dwarka, on Janmashtami, Makhan Handi, which is like the Dahi Handi tradition, is celebrated.

Devotees visit the Nathdwara or Dwarkadhish temple. Folk dances and bhajans of Lord Krishna are sung at temples. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, Dayaram's light-hearted poems are popularly recited and sung. Farmers of Kutch, in Gujarat, decorate their bullock carts, sing and dance in happiness and organize Lord Krishna processions.

Northern India:

In the North of India, the celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami are at their highest in the Braj region, like in Mathura, where Sri Krishna was born, and in Vrindavan, where the Lord grew up, as per Hindus. The temples of Krishna are decorated with lights and devotees throng the temples to immerse themselves in Lord Krishna's devotion or bhakti. Till the midnight hour, when Lord Krishna is said to have been born, devotees wait in the temples to welcome the Lord with the chanting of Lord Krishna's name and bhajans. The tradition of 'Raslila' performances by groups in the Northern states of India is popular on Krishna Janmashtami and devotees throng to see them. Songs of Sri Krishna's childhood pranks and Radha-Krishna's love story, accompanied by musical support, are an integral part of the Raslila dance and drama performances, which are enjoyed by the enthralled audience who clap to the beats of the songs in participation. The meaning of Raslila is' lila '-play of delight and ras-essence.

Eastern and Northeastern India:

The Vaishnava communities in the eastern and northeastern states of India celebrate Lord Krishna in the most dedicated manner on Krishna Janmashtami. The dance forms of Sattriya, Borgeet, Bhakti yoga, and Ankia Naat are developments of the Vaishanava culture which are enthusiastically performed on Janmashtami. These dance dramas are mostly about the Krishna-Radha Raslila (also Rasleela). In the state of Manipur, the Raslila is also called Manipuri Ras and is performed passionately on this auspicious day. Likol Sannaba is a game played by children among the Meetei Vaishnava community in Manipur.

Almost in every place, devotees keep fast, night vigil, gather in temples, pray to Lord Krishna. The recitation of the Bhagavata Gita and the Bhagavata Purana are essential inclusions. Dressing up small children in costumes of Lord Krishna and Radha is common. Celebrations in Assam also include praying and worshipping Lord Krishna at Namghars (community centers) on Janmashtami, and the tradition of singing the Nam and sharing the prasada of the Lord is also followed.

Odisha and West Bengal:

Krishna Janmashtami in Odisa is also known as Sri Krishna Jayanti or Sri Jayanti. The celebrations in Puri, famous for its Jagannath Temple, and Nabadwip (West Bengal) are an occasion to be experienced. Reciting the tenth chapter of the Bhagavata Purana, which describes the life of Lord Krishna, fasting, staying awake past midnight are traditions which are followed. The day after Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated as 'Nanda Utsav', which is in honor of the foster parents of Lord Krishna, Nanda and Yashoda, and is celebrated with fervor and joy by devotees who cook various sweets to offer to the Lord.

South India:

In the South of India, Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated by the name of Gokulashtami or Sri Krishna Jayanti. In Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the celebrations comprise of chanting and reciting of Shlokas, the Bhagavat Geeta, chanting of Krishna's name, fasting, special sweets and savories, mostly made at home, are offered to Lord Krishna, keeping awake till midnight, etc. Among the food offered, Sweet Seedai, Verkadalai Urundai, and Seedai are musts in Tamil Nadu. Houses have kolam (rice flour batter designs) painted on the floor. Little footprints starting from outside the main entrance of the house to the kitchen are also popular on this day. Children are dressed as Krishna and they go around the neighborhood visiting houses. The festival is celebrated in the evening, leading up to midnight, when songs about Krishna are sung and puja performed after the fast is broken.

Outside India:

Fiji has Hindus too, whose ancestors hailed from the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in the name of Krishna Ashtami and the uniqueness is that it is an eight-day celebration, culminating on the day of Krishna Janmashtami.

During the eight days, groups of people gather in temples or at homes in the evening to recite the Bhagavat Purana and sing songs dedicated to Lord Krishna. Krishna Janmashtami is a holiday in Fiji.

In the neighboring country of Nepal, the population is comprised of almost 80% Hindus. They celebrate Krishna Janmashtami by fasting, singing Krishna Bhajans, reciting the Bhagavat Geeta. Krishna temples and shops are decorated with artistic decorations and images. The Hindus of Pakistan celebrate at the Sri Swaminarayan temple in Karachi, where Lord Krishna's sermons are read and people participate in singing Krishna bhajans.

Other than this, the previously part of the British colony countries, like Trinidad, Guyana, Jamaica, and Tobago in the Caribbean islands, have a reasonable Hindu population who celebrates Krishna Janmashtami. The Dutch colony of Suriname, which has Hindus, also celebrates Janmashtami. Most of these countries have ancestors who settled in these countries from Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh. ISKCON temples celebrate Krishna Janmashtami with festivities, puja, aarti, bhajan, kirtan, and the distribution of prasadam among devotees, on an elaborate scale.

Krishna Janmashtami Puja Vidhi

Essential observances

Krishna Janmashtami Puja Vidhi
  • Wake up early in the morning in the time of Rohini nakshatra which starts at 6:39 am.
  • Take bath and wear new clothes.
  • Clean the house and decorate it. At the entrance gate, place a toran and decorate with rangoli.
  • Draw tiny footsteps of lord Krishna leading inside the house.
  • Decorate your puja altar also.
  • Fast the whole day. You can keep a strict fast without water, or do a ritual fast having fruits and sattvic items like sabudana khichdi, kuttu ka atta, milk products, etc.
  • Krishna’s birth is at midnight. So, start your puja at this time.
  • Light a ghee lamp.
  • Do Abhishek of idol of Lord Krishna with milk, curd, ghee, honey and Gangajal.
  • Decorate him with beautiful clothes, jewelry and crown.
  • Offer him sandal paste, perfumes and flowers.
  • Offer him butter, sugar candy, tulsi. For prasad make kheer, milk sweets, panchamrit and his favorite dhaniya panjiri.
  • Put him on a swing.
  • Sing bhajans.
  • Play the Shankh sound and bells to herald his arrival.
  • Chant his mantra “Om Kleem Krishnaye Namah” 108 times.
  • Read Bhagwad gita and Bhagwad purana from the 10th chapter.
  • Recite stories of his life.
  • You can break your fast after this ritual.

Complete Puja Vidhi Guide

  • You can observe fast on Janmashtami. If possible, try to observe fast without water or any eatables the whole day. If it is difficult for you to observe a long day fast, you can have fruits and milk as they are considered to contain sattvic elements.
  • Clean the place where the Krishna Janmashtami puja is going to be performed, decorate the place with flowers, dhoop, incense sticks and other decorative items.
  • Place the idol of Lord Krishna, lit a ghee lamp, place a cradle (not mandatory), install a Vishnu Yantra besides the Krishna idol. Place a bunch of Tulsi leaves besides the idol of Lord Krishna. At the stroke of midnight at the given tithi, give holy bath to the idol of Lord Krishna with some Panchamrita.
  • Decorate the idol with colorful embellished clothes, a peacock feather, flute and offer flowers.
  • Light a ghee Diya and incense sticks and chant “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” mantra on a Tulsi mala.
  • Apply some Tilak prepared from sandalwood.
  • Distribute Prasad amongst family and friends.
  • The Prasad that we offer during Janmashtami generally include dahi-poha and gangajal, a few people also offer kheer, sweets, fruits and besan ladoo as Prasad.
  • You can also chant Vishnu Strotram and meditate with the mantra “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”
  • You can also perform a Krishna Puja under qualified Brahmins. Kalash Sthapana, Panchang Sthapana (Gauri Ganesh, Punyavachan, Shodash Matrika, Navgraha, Sarvotabhadra), 64 yogini Pujan, Shetrapal Pujan, Swasti Vachan, Sankalpa, Ganesh Pujan and Abhishek, Navgraha Pujan and 108 chants of each planetary mantra, Invocation of major Gods and Goddesses in Kalash, Japa of Krishna Gayatri Mantra 5100 times, Japa of Krishna Sahasranamam 51 times, Srimad Bhagwad Gita Paath, Placing and worship of Bal Gopal in Paalna (swing) followed by Puja, Aarti and Havan to complete the rituals.
  • You can wear a Ten Mukhi and a Nineteen Mukhi Rudraksha beads as they are ruled by Lord Krishna and Narayana, respectively. Wearing these Rudraksha beads on this day purifies your inner self and strengthens your will power. They work like a shield on one's body and the wearer get immense protection from negative energies, evil eye and psychic attacks.
  • Donate clothes, food grains, umbrellas, hand-fans, pitchers filled with water and any other items to Brahmins.

How To Celebrate Krishna Janmashtami At Home?

Dahi Handi

Krishna Janmashtami celebrations can be performed beautifully at your home too. Krishna Janmashtami is performed at midnight as Lord Krishna was born on the night which was windy, dark and stormy.

One just needs to look at the Janmashtami tithi and ensure that the Krishna Janmashtami puja is performed at the correct time. In order to perform the Krishna Janmashtami puja at home, you require the Janmashtami puja samagri. The Janmashtami pooja items include Krishna idol, a cradle (not mandatory), incense sticks, ghee, fresh white and blue flowers, fruits, a lamp, fresh hung curd, fresh flower garland, colorful embroidered clothes, panchamrit, and Prasad.

Dahi Handi Festival Information

Dahi Handi

Dahi Handi is a festival which is celebrated on the next day of Krishna Janmashtami. This year, the Dahi Handi falls on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Maharashtra, in India, celebrates the occasion of Krishna Janmashtami as' Dahi Handi'. The meaning of the word 'Dahi' is curd and 'Handi' means pot. In Dahi Handi, an earthen pot is filled with curd, milk, fruit, butter and water and hung at a height in all areas of the cities/towns/villages of Maharashtra. A human pyramid, mainly comprised of young boys, makes an attempt to break the pot. This event is a replication of what Lord Krishna used to do in his childhood and youth when he, along with his group of friends, used to steal freshly made butter churned by the Gopis from the pots. The Dahi Handi pot sometimes has prize money for the group who manages to break the pot as an incentive. The people who come in groups to form pyramids and claim the Dahi Handi are called 'Govinda' (one of Lord Krishna's names) or Govinda Pathak. The groups, or'mandalis' as they are called, start practice of forming the pyramid weeks prior to the day of Dahi Handi, strategizing on who should be on which layer of the pyramid, etc.

Dahi Handi

The human pyramid is formed with the maximum number of people in the base layer, which generally has the sturdy ones from the group. The middle layers have people below them on whose shoulders they are perched and people standing on their shoulders to form the layer above.

The pyramid is structured to reach the height at which the pot is hung, and generally, a small boy climbs up the human pyramid to the top and attempts to break the pot. As the pot is broken, the liquid mixture spills on the Govindas. The dismantling of the pyramid is also done carefully, layer by layer. It is a tradition to distract the Govindas in the pyramid formation by throwing water at them, to pose a challenge to the attempt, which is done by the crowd from the local area.

On Dahi Handi day, the mandalis go from one area to another intending to break the maximum number of pots. When they reach a particular locality, the people shout out "Ala re ala, Govinda ala", which is done with the mood of fun. This fun event of Dahi Handi requires focus, coordination, physical and mental strength. Often, the mandalis have a part of their group playing music and dancing. The same Dahi Handi is celebrated in the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh as' Ullotsavam'. The term Utlotsavam means, in Telugu, 'Utti', which is a fibrous mesh to hang pots, and 'Utsavam', meaning festival. The day after Krishna Janmashtami, the event of Utlotsavam is celebrated with fanfare at the renowned and famous Tirupati Venkateshwara Temple, where the deities of Sri Krishna Swamy and Sri Malayappa Swamy are first taken out in a procession, which goes all around the divine temple, and later placed in front of the temple where Utlotsavam takes place, with the divine deities witnessing it. The event has two groups of young people from the local area participating in it. The Utti is hung on a long wooden pole which is 25 ft long and has oil and sticky substances smeared all over it. The two groups endeavor to grab the pot which has prize money in it.

 

What the Legends Say

Dahi Handi

Hailing from the Yadava clan of Mathura, Lord Krishna was the eighth son of Vasudeva and his wife Devaki. Devaki's evil-minded brother, Kamsa, toppled his own father, King Ugrasena, and assumed the stately administration. Later, a celestial prophecy predicted that the eighth child of his sister Devaki would take his life. Scared to death, Kamsa had his sister and her husband Vasudev behind bars and awaited the birth of an eighth child who would be known as Krishna. Kamsa killed the six children before his attempt to kill the seventh. It was an apparent miscarriage, a clandestine shifting of the infant to Rohini as Lord Balarama. When Krishna was born, Lord Vishnu appeared in front of Vasudev and told him to carry baby Krishna to Gokul, where he would be fostered by Yashoda and her husband Nanda. Vasudev did what was told him and kept the baby secretly at Nanda's residence after crossing the River Yamuna, which was turbulent at night. He returned carrying Nanda's daughter. Kamsa tried to kill the baby girl, thinking that it was her eight-year-old son who would kill him. But the girl morphed into Goddess Yogmaya, the divine servant of Lord Vishnu, and foretold the death of Kamsa.

 
Dahi Handi

After his pastimes in Gokula, Lord Krishna, along with his brother Balrama, eventually killed the arrogant Kamsa. The festival is marked with enthusiasm, love and divine spirit across the country. The devotees observe a fast and stay up till midnight, when the Lord is said to be born.

Beautiful pictures of Lord Krishna are installed on the walls of homes, in swings and cradles in Krishna's temples. The worshippers congregate in homes and temples in order to recite devotional melodies, perform dances and read the verses from the Holy Bhagvad Gita. Dramas on the pastimes of Lord Krishna are the cream of the celebrations in Vrindavan, Mathura, Manipur and other parts of the country. One of the most attractive festive activities is Dahi Handi, where a group of young people imitate the Lord's pastime by creating a human tower to break a pot of butter suspended atop. This was done by the Lord when His mother kept the butter pots out of his reach. The Lord, along with his cowherd friends, towered up to bring the pots down.

 
STATE OF COUNTRY MAJOR PLACES CELEBRATIONS
Uttar Pradesh Gokul, Vrindavan and Mathura Festive celebrations
Gujarat Dwarka Dwarkadhish Temple visited
Maharashtra Mumbia, Pune Performing Dahi Handi
Eastern India Odisha, Puri, Nabadwip Fasting and reading Shrimad Bhagvatam's 10th Canto
Jammu Entire region Kite flying
Assam Entire region Rituals and sharing prasadam
Manipur Imphal Celebration by ISKCON
South India Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other Floor decorations, devotional songs, recitations of Holy Bhagvad Gita, rituals and sweets preparations.
 

Spiritual Items Associated with Lord Krishna And Janmashtami

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Special Pujas For Shri Krishna Janmashtami

Bal Gopal Puja

Shri Krishna Janmashtami Maha Puja

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