Krishna Janmashtami or Janmashtami is a Hindu festival celebrated to mark the birth of Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu. The festival on the 8th day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in the month of Shraavana, according to the Hindu lunar calendar.
This celebration is symbolic of the number eight. Lord Krishna was the eighth child born to Goddess Devika, it is celebrated on the eighth night of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September).
Krishna Janmashtami will be held on 11 August this year.
Janmashtami Nishita Puja Timings begin from 11:19 PM to 12:04 AM; Parana Time will start at 11:15 AM on August 12, and end the next day at 11:15 AM.
Krishna Janmashtami also is known as Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Janmashtami, Sree Jayanthi and, Srikrishna Jayanti is the celebration of good versus evil. This day symbolizes people’s faith and devotion towards Lord Krishna.
How is Krishna Janmashtami Celebrated
Devotees celebrate by fasting and staying up till midnight, as it is believed that Lord Krishna was born around midnight. On this day the idol of Lord Krishna is dressed in new clothes and is then showered with milk, water, and flowers. Many decorate their houses and temples with lights and flowers. Sweets are offered to the idol and then distributed as Prasad (holy offering) to friends and family. Janmashtami celebrations are the most special at Mathura and Vrindavan as Lord Krishna spent most of his life there.
As Lord Krishna was known as the ‘Makhanchor’ (the one who steals butter), people celebrate this memory by hanging pots of Milk, butter or curd from tall poles in the streets and then form a human pyramid to break the pots. This is an imitation of Krishna’s childhood, as when he used to play with his cowherd boys, they stole curd hung out of reach by their mothers.
Also on this day devotees used to dress up like Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. Many people believe that during this period, donating in the name of Lord Krishna is extremely auspicious.
Significance of Birth of Lord Krishna in India
The verses in the Bhagavad-Gita (a sacred book narrated by Lord Vishnu) say, that whenever there will be a predominance of evil and decline of religion, I will reincarnate to kill the evil and to save the good. Janmashtami ‘s principal importance in fostering kindness and avoiding evil luck. Even Krishna Jayanti honors coexistence. The holy event brings together men, and hence it implies peace and confidence.
The primary aim of the birth of Lord Krishna was to liberate Mother Earth from the wickedness of the demons. Many significant goals include taking an active role in Mahabharata (legendary war in Kurukshetra) and propagating the philosophy of bhakti and positive karma.
Birth of Lord Krishna
Janmashtami is remembered for getting and celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna. The birth of Lord Krishna took place when the various planets were inauspicious places. God is supposed to select a certain date, as to when he should be raised as a human being, and the planetary systems are changed accordingly.
Auspicious Nakshatra (Constellation)
Rohini Nakshatra was predominant around the time of the birth of Bhagwan Krishna, as it is perceived to be very auspicious. This is so because it is under the supervision of Brahma, the creator of Universe. More than 5000 years earlier, Sri Krishna was born in the month Of Sravana.
Born in Dwapur Yug (Iron Age)
According to some historians, in the year of Visvavasu about 3227 BC, also known as Dwapur Yug, Krishna was born on Wednesday, the eighth day of second fortnight in Sravana month. 19th July 3228 BC to be more precise. He existed for 125 years and died on Phalguna ‘s new moon night on February 18, 3102 BC. His demise was the beginning of the new oppressive era known as Kaliyug.
- Krishna Birth – 18th July 3228 BCE
- Krishna Death – February 18, 3102 BCE (the onset of Kali Yuga)
According to the above timelines Lord Krishna lived for 126 years and 5 months. If we had Gregorian calendar at the time of Lord Krishna’s birth it would have been 23rd June -3227 on the Gregorian calendar.
Panchang calculations for 23rd June -3227 and 24th June -3227 gives the following Panchang data for Mathura location.
The dates of festivals in India decided
Indian festivals have no set dates for not adopting the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar method and the Indian Calendar method. The western calendar is known as the Gregorian calendar. It is centered on the sun, in which the period taken by the planet to complete a circle around the sun is one year.
The Hindu calendar was founded in the Vedic times, and it has gone through a number of changes through the ages. It is known as Panchang, which is based on both the sun and the moon. The entire Hindu Calendar is based on “Tithi”. In ancient times, when the discovery of the day and year span was yet to be done, the day of an incident like birth and death was logged on the basis of “Tithi”. So, we celebrate festivals on a fixed Hindu Calendar day.
Difference between Deepavali in South India and Diwali in North India
Diwali, the festival of lights, is observed in India, but the roots, legend, and form it is observed vary. Diwali will be held in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and portions of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in 2020, on November 14. This is recorded on 14 November 2020 in North India. In 2020, Diwali in North and South India is on the same day as Chaturdashi and Amavasya fall on the same day.
It is actually not different because of the same festival being celebrated on two days. But it is celebrated on different days for two different reasons.
In North India, Deepavali is on Amavasya and hence is celebrated on that night when Amavasya falls. The reason is the return of Sita Ram and Lakshman to Ayodhya. In some states, it is about Lakshmi Puja.
In South India it is predominantly celebrated on the day before, i.e the Chaturdasi commemorating the killing of Naraka by Satyabhama and Krishna. Obviously the day of Chaturdasi is a day before Amavasya. And hence the celebration a day before.
Sreekrishna Jayanthi Celebration
The festival is observed in the Hindu calendar on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the month of Shraavana Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) (August – September). Rasa Lila, the dramatic enactments of Krishna ‘s childhood, is a distinctive function in the regions of Mathura and Vrindavan, and in Manipur after Vaishnavism. While the Rasa Lila recreates the flirtatious aspects of Krishna”s youthful days, the Dahi Handi celebrate God’s playful and mischievous side, where teams of young men form human towers to hit a butter pot hanging high and smash it. This festival, also known as uriadi, is a significant occurrence on Gokulashtami in Tamil Nadu. Krishna Janmashtami is accompanied by the Nandotsav festival which celebrates the occasion when Nanda Baba distributed gifts in honor of the birth of the nation.
Famous Temples of Lord Krishna
KRISHNA JANMA BHOOMI MANDIR, MATHURA
Mathura, the birth city of Bhagwan Krishna has situated on the banks of river Yamuna and is approximately 145 km from the capital city Delhi. The town is renowned for being host to the most revered temple of Shri Krishna-the the famous Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir. The temple is the place where the lord is said to have been born thousands of years ago. The place is a big pilgrimage spot for Hindus along with neighboring towns Govardhan, Nandgaon, and Vrindavan.
BANKE BIHARI MANDIR, VRINDAVAN
The twin city of Mathura and Vrindavan resound with the stories of Lord Krishna to date; located 15 km from Mathura, the city has more than 5000 temples dedicated to him. Also identified as Vrinda, the spot received its name from holy tulsi. The area is said to have been a vineyard with tulsi groves hence the term Vrindavan. God spent quite a few years also identified as Braj Bhoomi in Vrindavan. The city has temples that are both centuries-old and new.
GURUVAYUR TEMPLE, KERALA
Situated approximately 33 km from Thrissur, Guruvayur temple is one of the most famous temples of Lord Krishna in South India. It is also considered to be the Dwarka of the Southern region. It is claimed that during Krishnavtaram Lord Brahma worshiped the statue of Lord Krishna and gifted it to Lord Vishnu. Since Bhagwan Krishna left for celestial residence, and the city of Dwarka was drowned, the task of Vayu-lord of winds and Guru was entrusted to seek an appropriate place to set up the holy idol. After a long search, it is said that both Guru and Vayu installed the idol at the temple at the insistence of guru Parshuram.
UDUPI SRI KRISHNA TEMPLE, KARNATAKA
Situated approximately 60 km from Mangalore, the Udupi Sri Krishna temple also known as Krishna Mutt is one of the most popular shrines dedicated to Lord Krishna in the southern region of India. Built-in the 13th century, Sri Krishna temple has an alluring idol of god adorned with beautiful jewels. The idol was installed by great saint Madhavacharya.