The fascinating story behind Janmashtami
Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu represents love, wisdom, and intellect. He is the perfect epitome of power, intelligence, patience, and care. The teachings by Lord Krishna have the ability to cure your problems forever. And this is not just a religious thought nor we are talking about magic and wonders, here we are talking about the thoughts or what we say mantras of life that can help you say goodbye to all your issues forever. His teachings help us learn why challenges and struggles shape the ultimate meaning of life.
But do you know how Lord Krishna was born? The fascinating legacy behind Krishna’s birth is widely celebrated as Janmashtami in India. Janamashtami is celebrated with passionate fervor by devotees in India and abroad alike. Captivating decked temples, Raas Lilas and Dahi Handi competitions are prepared to commemorate the anecdote of Lord Krishna aka ‘Laddu Gopal’.
The Birth Tale of Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna was born on the eighth day known as Ashtami of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapad according to the Hindu calendar. According to the myth, the goddess of earth ‘Bhudevi’ was tormented recognizing the growing sin of the humans and thus prayed to Lord Vishnu to do something about it. In return, God promised that he shall himself take a human form and end all the evils of the earth. And thus the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu was born in the human form Krishna.
Krishna was the son of Devaki and Vasudeva. While Devaki’s older brother ‘Kansa’ has imprisoned his father to acquire the throne of Mathura. Kansa was a highly ambitious person who for his own good was willing to go strengths of inhuman practices. Thus, it was prophesied that to end the cruelty of Kansa, he shall meet his doom by the eighth son of Devaki. Terrified by the prophecy Kansa immediately captured and imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva. He cruelly slaughtered every child that was born and by the time the seventh child was about to be born, Devaki fakes her miscarriage and miraculously the child was transferred to the womb of Rohini.
When Devaki’s eighth son was about to be born, a miracle happened. Kansa was fallen into a deep sleep and Vasudeva with the child easily escaped the prison. Knowing that once Kansa is awake the life of the newborn will be in danger, Vasudeva took the little infant to Gokul, crossing the treacherous waters of river Yamuna, which made way for him to safely pass. Upon reaching Gokul he gave the infant to his friend Nanda and Yashoda and took their infant daughter back with him. Reaching the prison, everything turned back to normal and Kansa came to slaughter their newborn baby. Realizing that Devaki has given birth to a daughter and not a son, Kansa spared her life yet kept them imprisoned anyway.
Krishna grew up with his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda, who raised him as their own. During his adolescent years, Krishna performed various miraculous acts doing good for humanity. Years later, Krishna visited Mathura and killed Kansa as per the prophecy.
How Janmashtami is celebrated across India?
For the last 5,200 years, his devotees celebrate his birth anniversary as Janmashtami. And while Lord Krishna was born in Mathura the place is also known as Krishnabhumi. Though, Janmashtami is celebrated with great joy across India, the most popular remains of Mathura. Here, Raas Lila’s are organized that recreate the flirtatious side of Krishna’s teenage days and showcase his bravery with great valor. By the end of the night, the celebration is ended with a crescendo which is believed to be the time of Krishna’s birth. Janmashtami in Mumbai is known as Dahi Handi. A competition is held where a large bowl of butter is hanged at a difficult height and competitors form a human pyramid to break the earthen pot. The competition is held to celebrate Krishna’s fondness of buttermilk due to which he is also recognized as ‘Makhanchor’.
All the Hindus keep fast in the morning and break their fast on the next day after midnight. Devotees worship Lord Krishna by singing songs, some shlokas of the Lord are also sung by the people. The idol of Lord Krishna known as ‘Laddu Gopal’ is decorated with new sparkling clothes, mukut, and other astonishing pieces of jewelry. Jhulanotsav and Ghatas are the two elements of the festival. Krishna followers hang swings in their houses during Juhlanotsav and place God’s idol on it.
Additionally, some decorated Jhankis take place in major Hindu Temples to put a unique aspect of the festival. The next day of Janmashtami is known as Nanda Utsav, people prepare 56 food items known as Chappan Bhog and offer them to Lord Krishna’s Idol. Once the prayer is over, the food is distributed as Prasad among the devotees.