August 6, 2011 in Hindu Holidays
When is Janmashtami 2014 – Well the Date for Janmashtami 2014 is Sunday 17th August.
Note – At lot of places in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh people are celebrating the festival(Fasting) on 29th of August. Do check for the exact dates.
Krishna Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी, Krishnashtami is celebrated by Hindus as the birthday or Lord Krishna. August 28 is celebrated as Janmashtami by Vaishnavas whereas Gokulashtami date for Smartha sect is on August 28 same day as Vaishnavas.
According to the Hindu Calender Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in Bhadrapada month on Ashtami tithi which happens to be the 8th day of Krishna Paksha’s dark half. It generally falls between 10th of August to 10th of September.
यह उत्सव भगवान श्री कृष्ण के जन्मोत्सव के रूप में मनाया जाता है. यह उत्सव कृष्ण पक्ष की अष्टमी को, भाद्रपद माह में मनाया जाता है. २०१३ में यह पर्व २८ अगस्त को श्रधा पूर्वक मनाया जायेगा. स्मार्त संप्रदाय के लोग इस पर्व को २८ अगस्त २०१३ को मनायेगे.
The Hindus celebrate this festival with great fervor and gaiety as it happens to be the birthday of Lord Krishna. It is a very popular festival all over India. The Vaishnavites call it Srijayanthi or Krishnashtami. The smartas call it Gokulashtami, and in the northern part of India it is known as Janmashtami.
According to the Puranas, Sri Krishna was born on the 8th lunar day (ashtami) in the month of Sravana at midnight. Sri Krishna is held in high esteem as a deity and is the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Legend of Janmashtami
Mathura was led by Kansa a wicked king, who was also the uncle of Sri Krishna. He had a sister Devaki, who was married to Vasudeva. It was predicted that Sri Krishna would be born to Devaki and would kill the wicked king Kansa. This enraged Kansa and he had all the male child of Devaki killed, after imprisoning Devaki and Vasudeva. But since the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu was bound to kill Kansa, Sri Krishna was born in midnight. All the other children born to Devaki, except Balaram were killed.
The day Krishna was born it was raining heavily and there was thunder and lightning. Vasudeva came out of the jail with the child and found that the guards were in hypnotic sleep. With the help of Seshnag, the Cobra which protected the child from the torrential rains, Vasudeva managed to save the child from the cruel clutches of Kansa. Yashoda living across the Yamuna river had delivered a female child. Since she was also in a hypnotic sleep, Vasudeva exchanged the child and placed Sri Krishna near her and took away the female child. Kansa tried to get rid of the child but the child vanished into thin air by predicting that the person who was going to kill him was already born. Finally, Sri Krishna kills Kansa.
Celebration of Janmashatami
It is day of prayer and bhajans (religious songs). Holy mantras are read out. People visit the temple and offer their prayers to Sri Krishna. And pull the string of the cradle in which the image of Sri Krishna has been placed. Sweets are prepared in the houses and special dishes are cooked for the feast after the day long fast. Plays are organized and small children dress up like Sri Krishna. The festivities are held at Gokul, which is located on the banks of river Yamuna, which is 7 miles from the city of Mathura. This is where Sri Krishna was exchanged for another child belonging to Yashoda, who is the wife of Nanda.
Ritual of Janmashtami
The festivities actually begin at midnight and reach their peak at midnight, when the birth of Sri Krishna takes place. Hymns are sung, arti is performed and conches are blown. The cradle in which the image of Sri Krishna is kept is rocked. The idol of Sri Krishna is bathed with a mixture of ghee, milk, honey oil and Gangajal known as Panchamrit.. Later on the Panchamrit is distributed among the devotees along with sweets. Some fast on the first day and break it at midnight. Others fast for both the days.
People fast a day before his birthday and break the fast after his birth. They feast after the fast is broken. A clay image of Sri Krishna is made and kept in the house and worshiped. Several dishes and sweets are offered to the God and then consumed by the members of the household. A cradle is laid out and either a small child dressed up as Sri Krishna is kept in it or an idol of his. It is pulled by a string and rocked.
Janmashtami is indeed a day when adults and children offer their prayers to Lord Krishna. It is day when evil was surmounted and goodness prevailed.
Below are some of the bollywood songs which are popularly layed on the occassion of Krishna jan –
- Much Gaya Shor Saari Nagri Re – Khuddar(1994) Sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar
- Yashomati Maiya Se Bole Nandlala – Satyam Shivam Sunderam(1978) sung by Lata Mangeshkar
- Jag Mein Sundar Hain Do Naam By Anup Jalota
- Shyam Teri Bansi Pukare Radha Naam – Geet Gata Chal(1975) sung by Aarti Mukherjee
- Haathi Ghoda Paalki Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki – Shri Krishna Leela(1971) Sung by Asha Bhonsle and Dali Dawjekar
Given below are 4 mantras or slokas for lord Sri Krishna’s worship -
ॐ देवकी नन्दनाय विद्महे वासुदेवाय धीमहि,
तन्नो कृष्णः प्रचोदयात् ।
वसुदेव सुतं देवं कंस चाणूरमर्दनं ।
देवकी परमानंदं कृष्णं वंदे जगद्गुरुं ॥
ॐ क्लीं कृष्णाय गोविंदाय गोपीजन वल्लभाय स्वाहा ।
मूकं करोति वाचालं पङ्गुं लङ्घयते गिरिम् ।
यत्कृपा तमहं वन्दे परमानन्दमाधवम् ॥