Krishna Janmashtami is a Hindu
festival celebrated with great devotion and valour in India. Taken from the
Sanskrit language the word, means ‘Lord Krishna’s birth (janm) on the ‘eigth
day’ (ashtami) of Shravan maas (month) according to the Indian Calendar. Lord
Krishna was born in extraordinary circumstances in the 8th month
from his mother, Devaki (a rare event). His father was Vasudev. It was
predicted that Devaki’s brother, Kansa would be killed by her 8th
son. Hence, on the night of Krishna’s birthday, there were very tumultuous
rains. Vasudev was able to save his son from the clutches of Kansa because he
had killed all their earlier children. Vasudev exchanged him with Yasodha’s
female child Krishna. According to the Bhagavad Purana, Lord Krishna was born
not by sexual union but by the divine ‘mental transmission’ from the mind of
Vasudev into the womb of Devaki.
Later, the prophecy proved
correct and Kansa was killed by the Lord, who is believed to be the incarnation
of Lord Vishnu. Lord Krishna temples are situated at Vridhavan, Mathura in U.P.
and Dwarka in Gujarat as the most pious ones.
In U.P. and Maharashtra, Gujarat and other parts of the country, the
festival is celebrated with lot of fun and rituals. Dahi Handi, Krishna Janm,
etc. are to name a few.
It is a two day event. On the
first day, preparations for the birth are carried out till midnight when he is
born. The next day the celebrations of his birth are enjoyed.
Dahi Handi is a vessel made of
mud filled with dahi, meaning ‘curd’. It may even be well grinded milk called
‘Makkhan’. Boys all over the state of Maharashtra bravely climb on one another
to reach the top to reach and break the handi and eat the dahi. Though this is
politicized, but the best part is the unity it signifies.
Uttar Pradesh, Lord Krishna is
dressed in beautiful clothes and born in well decorated ‘Paalna’.
Lord Krishna beloved is Radha
though he was married more than a ten thousand times. He befriended Arjun
during Mahabharata to fight his family as his Karma. The festival marks the
victory of goodness over evil.