Janmashtami – Krishna’s arrival to restore goodness

Krishna Janmashtami, commonly referred to as just Janmashtami, is a famous festival commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna. As per ancient history, Lord Krishna was born on the 8th day of the Krishna Paksha of the Shravan month. Krishna is one of the most popular figures in the Vedic culture and is revered all over the world. Krishna is a multifaceted character who is adored as a teenage folk hero, skilled warrior, cunning diplomat, and ruthless tactician all in one. Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated all over India and Nepal and in countries such as Fiji, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Suriname. Devotees observe fasting and do pooja on this day to gain the blessings of Lord Krishna. 

When is Janmashtami 2021?

The 2021 Janmashtami will be celebrated on 30th August.

  • Shri Krishna Jayanti Date – Monday, August 30, 2021
  • Nishita Puja Time – 11:59 PM to 12:44 AM, August 31
  • Ashtami Tithi Begins – 11:25 PM on August 29, 2021
  • Ashtami Tithi Ends – 01:59 AM on August 31, 2021
  • Mid Night Moment – 12:22 AM, August 31
  • Chandrodaya Moment – 11:35 PM Krishna Dashami
  • Rohini Nakshatra Begins – 06:39 AM on August 30, 2021
  • Rohini Nakshatra Ends – 09:44 AM on August 31, 2021
  • Dahi Handi on Tuesday, August 31, 202

How is Janmashtami observed all over the world?

If health allows, refrain from having food during the fasting period. Only a single sattvic meal, preferably as lunch, should be consumed on the day before. The fasting continues through Ashtami day and ends the following morning after the tithi is over. If there are health issues, devotees can observe partial fast by not consuming grains during the period of fasting. Lord Krishna is worshipped, and prayers are offered. In some places, a cradle with infant Krishna’s idol is placed and swung, symbolizing his birth. Conducting processions is another common observance. It is common to have children dressed up as little Krishnas enacting various instances from Krishna’s childhood to be part of the procession.

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Dahi Handi or Uriyadi is a unique sport held as part of the Janmashtami celebrations. It commemorates the occasion of little Krishna stealing butter. An earthen pot containing butter, buttermilk, milk fat or milk is hung at a height using a rope. The youth who participate in the sport make a human pyramid by climbing atop each other to reach the pot and then smash it using a stick. This helps develop team spirit and brotherhood among the young people.

Fasting and Pooja Vidhi for Krishna Janmashtami

The fasting period starts from sunrise on the day of Janmashtami and ends post-sunrise the following day. The person who observes the fast should eat satvik food a day before the fast, i.e. on Saptami. The devotee should wake up early in the morning, preferably during the Brahma Muhurta (4 am). After the bath, recite Om Namo Bhagavate Namaha for some time. If you have an idol of Bal Krishna, decorate it with fancy clothes and jewelry and celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. Take the oath to fast by taking water and flowers in your hands and worship Bal Krishna by adhering to all the rites and rituals.

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The devotee has to maintain physical and mental discipline during the period of fasting. In the afternoon, mix black sesame seeds with water and take a bath again. Make a maternity home for mother Devaki. Pay respects to Devaki, Vasudev, Baldev, Nand, Yashoda, and Lakshmi. Take a bath before midnight. Put a red cloth on a pedestal and install a statue or picture of  Lord Krishna on it. Offer panjiri – the traditional prasad associated with this festival – and white butter to Bal Krishna. Do not forget to use Gangajal and Tulsi leaves while worshipping. Offer Krishna a bhog of 52 food items the next day. Once you have offered the items to Bal Krishna, you can end your fast and eat food.

What is the importance of observing Janmashtami?

Lord Krishna is among the most celebrated characters in ancient history. He is also one of the most recent incarnations of God. As per Vedic history, Lord Krishna is the ninth – and as yet last – the avatar of God Vishnu. Decoding the astrological/astronomical signs recorded at the time of his birth puts the date of birth of Lord Krishna as 18th July, 3228 BC. And, he is supposed to have lived until 18th February, 3102 BC. Vishnu took birth as Lord Krishna to free the world from evils and to guide people towards the path of Dharma. He is one of the central characters in the historical epic of Mahabharata. It was Lord Krishna who narrated Bhagavad Gita to invigorate a demoralized Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. His day of birth is seen as the day of restoring goodness.

Sreekrishna Janmashtami is celebrated to encourage goodwill and to bring people together, signifying unity and faith. It is believed that fasting on this day is capable of giving the fruits of many other fasts. All kinds of the suffering of human beings can be overcome with the worship of Krishna. Any devotee who observes this fast with a true heart and mind attains greatness. The Janmashtami fast also comes across as a boon for childbirth, happiness, prosperity, and the growth of offspring. People who have a weak Moon placed in their Kundli can get benefits by doing a special puja on Janmashtami.

Krishna Janmashtami History

Lord Krishna was the eighth child born to Devaki when she was imprisoned by her brother Kansa. He was born in the city of Mathura and spent his childhood days in places like Gokul, Vrindavan, Nandgaon, Barsana, Dwarka and many others. Devaki’s brother Kansa had imprisoned Devaki along with her husband after the revelation that his death would come at the hands of the eighth child of the couple. Going paranoid with fear, Kansa killed every child born to Devaki till the seventh.

When Krishna was born, Vasudeva, the father, took baby Krishna to Gokul and left him on the doorstep of Nanda and Yashoda place. In exchange, Vasudeva brought their baby girl (Goddess Durga). When Kansa attempted to kill this baby girl, Durga attained her original form and warned Kansa of what was coming to him. Lord Krishna grew up in Gokul with his brother Balram. Upon attaining adulthood, he returned to Mathura and killed his uncle Kansa thereby freeing his parents Vasudeva and Devaki, from his clutches. The sole objective of Lord Krishna’s birth was to free Bharath from the clutches of adharma. He played an important role in the war of Kurukshetra and propagated the theory of bhakti and good karma, which has since been recorded under the title Bhagavad Gita. His birth is seen as a blessing to humanity and is celebrated every year by followers of Vedic culture all over the world.

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