Monday, September 2, 2013

Janmashtami - Celebration to Remember the Wordly Facade of Lord Krishna

Janmashtami Also known as Krishnasthami, it is an annual celebration of Hindu deity Lord Krishna, the eight avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is celebrated by Hindus and is observed with great pomp and show in particularly in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and in some parts of Caribbean. It is celebrated in the eight day of the Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). Mischievousness, adorableness, compassionate friendship and romanticism are the major aspects of him which are celebrated on this particular day. 

Janmashtami memorializes the worldly facade of Lord Krishna. It is one of the biggest religious festivals in the world celebrated approximately by 930 million people around the world with 2 million alone in the US. To devotees, it’s the completion of running year and commencement of a fresh year. Homes and streets are ornamented with beautiful decorative, all the people of Hindus community and also of other communities comes together to celebrate this annual event.

In various parts of India, kids dress like Krishna whether to take part in some fancy dress competition or to break the ‘matka’ during a societal celebration. People fast all through the day and show their affection and fondness to the Lord and break fasting at the midnight, it is celebrated with devotional songs, dances, pujas, aarti, blowing of the conch, and rocking the cradle of the baby Sri Krishna. Actually, the celebration takes place during midnight as he was believed to be born on a gloomy, fiery, and blustery night.

 Key Places for Celebrations in India:

Mathura and Vrindavan: Mathura is the birth place of Krishna and is one of the major places for Janmashtami celebration. He was grown up in Vrindavan. A total of 8 lakhs visitors visit this city during this celebration. The major celebration takes place in the actual place of Lord’s birth which is now turned into a mammoth temple, Krishna Janma Bhoomi Mandir. The birth of Lord is celebrated with Pooja, bathing with milk and curd and then rocked in a cradle. Raasleelas (dance drama which is offered by professionals and amateurs), Jhanki (it depicts the activities of Lord like Janmlila, Shankarlila, Putanalila and Naglila), Jhulanotsav (swings are set to welcome his birth) and Ghatas (temples and all other decorations including Lord’s attire are done with a selected or same colour) are carried out after the birth ceremony. Kheer, Laddoo, Shrikhand etc. are deliciously prepared on this day. Securities are tightened at various temples of Mathura and Vrindavan during this celebration.     

Numerous residents of Mumbai come alive to celebrate the Janmashtami with larger than life ceremony; every Mumbaikar (resident of Mumbai) celebrates this festivity with great enthusiasm. ‘Dahi Handi’ event is organized at various venues and societies which are also attended by Bollywood personalities. Enchanting the tune ‘Govinda ala re’, the participants for the event prove their mettle by breaking the ‘Matka’ which is places at the top of the by lanes of metropolis. They form like a human pyramids and stood up on top of one another to break it. The participant efforts are dissatisfied by the people congregated in the venue by wetting them with water. The idea behind this event is the boy-hood trick of stealing butter from a suspended earthen pot by Lord Krishna.

Manipur: It is celebrated by Manipuri as Krishna Janma; disciples congregate at various temples including ISKCON, International Society for Krishna Consciousness Temple and Govindaji Temple. Raasleelas are performed by them, in Manipuri style.

Apart from Mumbai, and Mathura it is well celebrated in Northern and Western India, South India etc. It is celebrated with equal zest and joy in all of India chanting ‘Hare Rama Hare Rama Hare Krishna Hare Krishna’.