Krishna Janmashtami -24th August 2019
Krishna Janmashtami is the commemoration of the birth of Lord Krishna. It is also known as Janmashtami, and this occasion is celebrated with grand enthusiasm. This vital day falls on the eighth day or Ashtami of the Krishna Paksh or the dark fortnight of the lunar month of Bhadau. No one really knows precisely when this festival originated. Perhaps a thousand years back, this celebration found its space in the Hindu culture. One could really come across numerous legendary tales and fables that encircles the birth of Janmashtami.
The most widely believed view is that Lord Krishna is the eight incarnation of Lord Vishnu or the Hindu trinity. The Hindus know from the Mahabharata epic that the birth of Lord Krishna took place to destroy the demon Kangsa who also happened to be his maternal uncle. It is stated that Lord Vishnu comes to save humanity from the hands of demons and evil whenever an imbalance develops in the universe in terms of peace and prosperity.
Scholars and Historians say that Lord Krishna was given birth in a cellular prison during the Dvapara Yuga to Vasudeva and Devaki. However, Vasudeva had to cross the Yamuna river on a stormy night to pass on his child to a friend in order to protect the child from the evil hands of Kangsa. Maiya Yasodha and Nanda of the Gokul region in Mathura became the foster parents of Lord Krishna.
Lord Krishna was a fascinating child, and his talents were noticeable right from childhood. The people started considering that this small boy by the name of Krishna was sent amongst the commoners to protect them all tumultuous circumstances.
It can be said that this festival originated in Gokul initially, covering the Mathura region and later on spreading throughout the state of Uttar Pradesh. Furthermore, even now, after thousands of years, the whole nation celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna as he is the representation of faith, friendship, love, and peace.
Reasons for the celebration?
The story Mahabharata has much to do with the life of Lord Krishna. Throughout the righteous war or locally known as Dharma Yuddha between the Kauravas and Pandavas, Lord Krishna was the charioteer for Arjuna. He was advising Arjuna on several sections of life such as Dharma (the righteous path), Karma (actions), Theistic dedication, Yogic paragons, liberation, knowledge, etcetera because Arjuna was in an emotional turmoil by having to kill his fellow brothers and cousins.
The verses quoted in this book is frequently called either a spiritual dictionary or a guide to a righteous life. Lord Krishna declared that whenever there is a prominence of evil deeds in this universe, he would reincarnate in various forms and attire to display the path of righteousness and peace to the people. The main reason for this celebration is to bring people together in order to strengthen the principles of unity.
Dahi Handi is another essential aspect of this celebration. It is observed on the second day of Janmasthami. As a child Lord Krishna was named 'Makhanchor' which means the one who steals butter. He went around each and every household in Gokul stealing butter. Dahi handi is an event that depicts the same butter stealing action of Lord Krishna gets narrated.
An earthen pot known as handi is filled up with ghee or clarified butter, butter, milk, and dry fruits. It is then suspended at a substantial height with the help of ropes. All the young local guys gather to make a human pyramid and climb on top of each other to reach the earthen pot and break it. This is one activity that is intended to teach the principles of teamwork.
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