Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami is celebrated every year on the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha or dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada according to the Hindu calendar. People celebrate Janmashtami to commemorate the birth of Krishna. Various Hindu approaches and traditions are practiced around the world in different countries to celebrate this day. The Janmashtami festival reminds Hindus of Vishnu’s triumph of good over evil. Krishna is considered to be a warrior, hero, teacher and philosopher by Hindus. Krishna’s birthday is celebrated eight days after Raksha Bandhan in the month of Sravana and celebrations are spread over two days.
Celebration of Janmashtami
The actual celebration of Krishna Janmashtami takes place during the midnight because it is believed that Lord Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule of his maternal uncle Kansa. In the whole of India, it is celebrated with devotional songs, people keep the fast whole day, several temples were decorated beautifully dedicated to the life journey of Krishna. Mainly, the Janmashtami celebration at Mathura and Vrindavan is very special as he had spent his life there. The image of Krishna at midnight is bathed in water and milk then he dressed in new clothes and worshipped. Sweets are first offered to God and then distributes as Prasada.
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Also, on this day people used to hang pots of butter and milk in the streets on the poles, men form pyramids to reach and break the pots. It is famous as Dahi Handi. This predicts Krishna’s childhood days when he used to play with the cowherd’s boys and stole curds hung out of reach by their mothers. So, he was also known as ‘Makhanchor’ the one who steals butter. People used to sing, dance in groups.
Importance of Janmashtami
The verses in the Bhagavad-Gita (narrated by Lord Vishnu) teach us that whenever there will be a predominance of evil and decline of religion, I will reincarnate to save the good and destroy the evil. The significance of Janmashtami is to encourage goodwill and to discourage bad will. The Krishna Janmashtami celebrates togetherness and victory of good over evil. This holy occasion brings people together and signifies unity and faith.
The following are some of the key takeaways from this special day.
- First Teacher: Mother
The role of the mother as the first teacher is responsible for the female developing her authentic identity and embracing her sacred feminine. Once the child is born, the mother is both teacher and guide, the Gurdev Mata.
- Knowledge Sharing
One of the most important learnings from this special day is to not only learn but also to implement the good-things. What we learn and should be shared and preached with our near and dear ones.
A great learning and lesson from this day is that If you do what you enjoy, you would definitely enjoy what you do.
- Risk-Aversion Vs Risk Taking
The one who dares to wins, fortune favors the brave. This age-old saying reminds us that taking a well-calculated risk may result in the fulfillment of the goal. It is a well-known fact that as human beings, we are inherently risk-averse. “Health is Wealth”
- Team Work
Dahi Handi celebration encourages working in a team, thus signifies the importance of teamwork. The age-old saying reminds everyone about the importance of good health in every aspect of life. Poor health has adverse effects on the preparation level.