Lord Krishna is said to be one of the most powerful human Incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born 5,200 years ago in Mathura in a prison in the custody of King Kansa. His birth was in the era when there was turmoil all over, Freedom was denied, Evil was everywhere when there was a threat to his life by his Uncle Kansa. Immediately, after his birth, he was taken to Nand (Vasudev’s Friend). Lord Krishna is known for his Mischievousness, Love, Author, and Narrator of the Bhagvat Gita. The main purpose of his birth was to free Earth from the Evilness of Demons. He played an important role in Mahabharata and came up with the theory of “Bhakti” and “Good Karma” which is beautifully narrated in Bhagvat Gita. Krishna, however, at the end killed King Kansa.
Lord Krishna played various roles during his stay in this world. He was Arjuna’s Charioteer, Excellent Statesman, Master musician, Giving lessons to Narada. The music of his Flute won the hearts of the Gopis, Radha and everyone else. He was a cowherd in Brindavan and Gokul, killed many demons, Performed Rasa Lila, He taught the truth of Yoga, Bhakti and Vedanta to his devotees. He had mastered all the sixty-four fine arts. For these reasons, he is known as the Manifestation of God.
Krishna Janmashtami/ Janmashtami/Gokulashtami
Krishna Janmashtami is an Annual Festival to Celebrate the Birth of Lord Krishna (The 8th Avatar of Lord Vishnu). It is believed that he was born in Mathura, at the Midnight on the Ashtami (8th Tithi or Day) of the Bhadrapada month (Between August & September according to the Gregorian Calendar). This month is very auspicious as all the festivals follow Janamashtami. It is the month during which the Vara Mahalakshmi festival is also celebrated followed by Ganesh Chaturthi, Vijaya Dasami, Bali Padyami & Nakara Chaturdashi. It is mainly celebrated in Mathura and Brindavan where Lord Krishna spent his whole life and in the Non-Sectarian communities located in places like Manipur, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh.
On this day, Dance Drama events called Raas-Lila or Krishna Lila, Devotional Singing through the Midnight (When Krishna was born), Recitation of Bhagwad Gita, fasting a day before and breaking it at the midnight when Lord Krishna is believed to be born(Vrat), Night Vigil(Jagran), fest on the following day(Mahotsav) are the part of the Janamashtami Festival. In North India, the breaking of Dahi-Handi(The formation of Human Pyramid to break the pot hung high up) is very popular. Children also dress themselves as Lord Krishna and the devotees prepare various delicacies and are given as Nivedhanam. The tradition of Raas-Lila is very famous in Mathura. These dance, drama, and celebrations begin Ten days before the Festival in Mathura and Brindavan. Many Pilgrims from all over the world come to attend this festival.
Krishna Janamashtami is Celebrated in Different Ways Across the World
Mathura: Janmashtami is celebrated for a month. All the Temples and deities in Mathura are decorated. Colorful cradles with flower ropes are seen in Temples, Houses welcoming Lord Krishna
Dwarka: The festival at Jagad Mandir is celebrated in a grand way. All the devotees go to the temple for Darshan at Midnight.
Vrindavan: All the houses in Brindavan are temples because Lord Krishna lived his life there. Raas Lila is enacted.
Maharashtra: The Dahi Handi is very famous in Maharashtra where people form human pyramids to break the pot. This event remembers Lord Krishna stealing butter from the pots hanged at the ceiling of all the houses in his childhood.
South India: Rangoli, Sri Krishna footsteps are drawn from the entrance of the house to the pooja rooms which shows Lord Krishna entering their house and showering them with blessings. Kids in the house on this day dress like Lord Krishna.
In Karnataka, Pots with fruits are hanged in front of Sri Krishna.