Janmashtami is celebrated as thebirthday of Lord Krishna, the re-embodiment of Lord Vishnu who gave usthe vital message of Bhagwat Gita- theguiding principle for every Hindu.Janmashtmi is celebrated with fullenergy all over the country. It iscelebrated in various parts of India tomark the birth of Lord Krishna. It isobserved on the eight day of the Shravanmonth according to the Hindu calendar.
The main objective of Lord Krishnas birth was to free Mother Earth from the wickedness of demons.Playing an important part in Mahabharata (legendary battle in Kurukshetra) and propagating the theory of bhakti and good karma were other important objectives.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami is one of the important Hindu festivalbeing celebrated all across India. This festival is celebrated withmuch pomp and gaiety. According to antecedents, Sri KrishnaJanmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar ofLord Vishnu. The festival is observed on the eighth day of the darkhalf i.e., Krishna Paksh, Shravan Maas as per Hindu calendar whenthe Rohini Star is ascendant.
The people of Mathurawere extremely unhappywith the wicked king Kansawho put his father, kingUgrasen in prison anddeclared himself the king ofMathura. It was to put an end to hisevil ways and other demonsthat Lord Vishnu decided totake birth on Earth in humanform.
According to Akashvani(heavenly voice) at thewedding of his belovedsister Devki, Kansa got toknow that the eighth childof his sister will take birthto kill him.So, in turn he rushed to kill his sister. Kansagave up the idea of killing after being assured byVasudev that he will handover all his children tohim.
He put them in Prison.Kansa killed all the sixinfants as soon as theywere born.The seventh child(Balram) was saved dueto divineintervention, when hewas transferred fromDevkis womb to that ofRohinis (other wife ofVasudev
Lord Krishna was born in aprison cell in the captivity ofKing Kansa.He took birth in divine formwith lotus like eyes,his palmsbearing the signs of a lotusand discus.He had a swastika sign onhis sole. Wearing a yellowcolored silk cloth, adorned withprecious diamond earrings anda crown made of emeralds.
Soon after the birth, a chain of events astonished Vasudev, when he saw the gates of the cell flow open and all the guards fast asleep. He immediately thought of Nand ,his close friend in Gokul and decided to handover his child to him in order to save him from the clutch of Kansa.
The night of birth was witnessed by heavy rains which led to River Yamuna being in floods. As soon as the feet of Lord immersed in the river, the flow became normal and Yamuna made way for the Lord. Sheshnag, the serpent formed an umbrella to save the new born baby from rain.
Vasudev kept his child next to fast asleep Yashoda and took the baby girl lying with him back to Mathura. The baby girl is believed to be the sister of Lord Vishnu. On hearing the news of birth of the eighth child of Devki and Vasudev, Kansa rushed to the prison-cell and lifted the baby girl to kill her despite pleadings from Devki. However, instead of hitting the stone, the child flew up in the air and announced that the annihilator of Kansa was born and in safe hands. Krishna later grew in Gokul and finally killed his maternal uncle, King Kansa.
Rituals and Customs Observed during Janmashtami Fasting: The most common ritual observed all over during Janmashtami is fasting by devotees on the day of the festival. Devotees fast for the entire day. People prefer to have only milk and milk products as they were the favourite of Lord Krishna. Some people also prefer to have as ‘Farari’
Rituals and Customs Observedduring Janmashtami Some devotees of Lord Krishna go to the extent of keeping Nirjal fast- It involves fasting without having a single drop of water. There are other ardent followers , who keep the fast for two days in the honour of Lord Krishna.
Devotional Songs and dances Another popular ritual is singing of songs (bhajans) in the praise of Lord Krishna. Bhajans are an important custom of the midnight celebration during the festival. Dances are also performed by devotees depicting the various events of Lord Krishna.
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