Today, the festival of Krishna Janmashtami has started worldwide and will last for three days. The tradition of this grand festival is dated to the Gupta Empire era (4th/6th-century CE) when it is believed that Krishna was born. There are many stories belonging to Krishna’s life, but his childhood stories are super famous among the people. He is the role model of Childhood characters. The birth of Krishna is also known as Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami in Hinduism. According to Hindu beliefs, he is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu who appeared to protect mankind from the demon named Kansa. He is said to be the master of 16 arts. Along with this, his purpose as an ideal and great spiritual personality is still relevant today.
So, In today’s article, we will explore the personality of Krishna, some facts about Krishna’s related traditions, the Divine Trinity concept, the Eighth incarnation, and the methods of celebrating Janmashtmi.
The Celebration of Krishna’s birth is celebrated not only by India but by people of many countries who believe in him and worship him. In recent years, many people from around the globe have become interested in Hinduism, specifically the Bhakti tradition. Thousands of devotees of Bhagavan Krishna in the Western world have joined the Hare Krishna movement. Approximately a million congregational members belong to ISKCON worldwide. (The Hare Krishna movement in America today has a large number of followers. It was the Calcutta-born Indian missionary Swami Prabhupada who came to America in 1965 and started it.)
According to ISKON's official site, "The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), otherwise known as the Hare Krishna movement, includes five hundred major centers, temples, and rural communities, nearly one hundred affiliated vegetarian restaurants, thousands of namahattas or local meeting groups, a wide variety of community projects, and millions of congregational members worldwide. Although less than fifty years on the global stage, ISKCON has expanded widely since its founding by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda in New York City in 1966. ISKCON belongs to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradāya, a monotheistic tradition within the Vedic or Hindu culture. Philosophically it is based on the Sanskrit texts Bhagavad-gītā and the Bhagavat Purana, or Srimad Bhagavatam. These are the historic texts of the devotional bhakti yoga tradition, which teaches that the ultimate goal for all living beings is to reawaken their love for God, or Lord Krishna, the “all-attractive one”.
When we contemplate Krishna, we only see a smiling child, with a peacock feather on his head, and a flute in his hands. His face always gives a message of joy. His blue aura face attracts. We never feel his serious posture, not even when we remember the tales of war with demons. His smiling face is always friendly to our soul.
Know who Krishna is, in the words of Sadhguru
Jagadish “Jaggi” Vasudev, known by the honorific title Sadhguru, is an Indian yoga guru and proponent of spirituality. He helped to understand many spiritual symbols, spiritual personalities, and their journeys. Also, he helped to understand Krishna’s personality through his many written quotes. Here are some words taken from his quotes about Krishana, as a personality.
“Krishna is an irrepressible child, a terrible prankster, an enchanting flute player, a graceful dancer, an irresistible lover, a truly valiant warrior, a ruthless vanquisher of his foes, a man who left a broken heart in every home, an astute statesman and kingmaker, a thorough gentleman, a yogi of the highest order, and the most colorful incarnation of the Divine. The essence of the early part of Krishna’s life was that he turned a whole community blissfully mad about him. With his enchanting looks, inimitable smile, flute, and the dance in his step, he drove people into a new kind of frenzy they had never known before. From the day Krishna was born, people were trying to kill him. Though he went through many extreme situations, he romped through his life. This has made Krishna an integral part of the cultural ethos of Bharat. Even when he went to war, Krishna wore a peacock feather. Krishna was not a vain man but absolutely committed to making every aspect of his life into a celebration. Whether it was his emotion, mind, action, or clothes – he always wanted to be at his best for everyone around him. This is love. Krishna was acknowledged as Dharmagopta, the emperor of Dharma and righteousness, but he never ruled any kingdom, though he had the power and capability to do so.”
Concept of Divine Trinity in Hinduism
In Hinduism, assimilating spirituality, there is the concept of Trimurti of Masculine and Feminine equally. The Masculine concept refers to the three faces of God- Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The lord Brahma is considered the first power of the universe and responsible for creation and knowledge. Vishnu is the second power, which protects and transforms the universe. And the third power icon is Lord Shiva, who is known for Ultimate Reality, Moksha, Karma, Time, Arts, Dance, Yoga, Meditation, and the Destroyer of Evil.
Simply, you can understand the aim of these trinities are Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. In Hinduism, this is the eternal way of living, in which the spirit of birth, upbringing, karma, and salvation are included.
Krishna was the eighth incarnation of Vishnu…
Lord Vishnu, who represents the universe’s protector face, has the responsibility to protect, so he came to earth 9 times and will come again to save humanity on Earth ten times. In this sequence, it is believed that Krishna was the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, who took birth in terrible adverse circumstances. Nevertheless, his life has been instructive to mankind in various forms, and his personality represents the higher intelligence of humans by nature.
The stories related to Krishna’s life are divided into childhood, adolescence, and the later stage. At every stage of his life, he was aware, intelligent, and intellectually powerful. He fought and won many challenges since childhood. His life became a role model for mankind because his work was related to the upliftment and well-being of mankind.
According to Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita, there is always a good reason for everything that happens. There is always a reason or cause behind anything that happens in life. Moreover, he stated that all of us are children of the one creator, God. There is only one supreme power in this world, and only he has the power to rule it.
Can we celebrate Krishna Janmashtami at home?
Yes! Anyone can celebrate the Janmashtmi by following some simple rules. Due to Lord Krishna’s midnight birth, Janmashtami is celebrated for two days.
- On the Ist Day of Celebration, devotees keep fast for 24 hours. Only satvik food is allowed to be consumed during vrat or sadhna. Garlic, onion, or other vengeful food should not be consumed Janmashtami. People, who can not keep complete fast can have milk, juice, curd, or fruits on this day.
- For the Celebration, people clean their houses and decorate their homes and puja space during Janmashtmi. For example, they set up Lord Krishna’s swing or Krishna Jhula, earthen pots, and rangoli and can make a beautiful poster of Lord Krishna. They put fresh flower pots, garlands, and green leaves to make the worship place energetic and gorgeous.
- They prepare many sweet dishes, primarily from milk, curd, fruits, and chickpeas grain.
- Also, people can make traditional dishes to offer to Lord Krishna. When Krishna was a child, he loved butter and was also called “Makhan Chor.” That’s why people don’t forget to offer them sweet butter.
- On the 1st day of the celebration, at midnight, 12’oclock, devotees offer their prepared food (Prasadam) Tulsi leaves (Holy Basil Plant), fruits, and other seasonal holy things. After offering, they chant “Radhe-Krishna” or “Hare Ram-Hare Krishna” or other Sanskrit Shlokas. Also, they sing Krishna-related songs and celebrate devotionally with their families. Some people read the Holy Book “Bhagwat Geeta” on this day.
- On the next morning, again they can repeat the process of worship and break the fast with Prasadam (offered food to Lord Krishna).
- On this day, people invite their families and friend for taking Prasadam. Also, they visit the temple to take blessings of the Lord.
- On the 2nd day of Celebration, some communities take turns hanging a clay pot filled with yogurt (dahi), butter, or another milk-based food. In this game, young men and boys make a human pyramid, reach for the pot, and attempt to break it. People surround them, sing, play music, and cheer them on as they do so. It is a public spectacle and an old tradition.
- In Indian families, there is a tradition for small children to be decorated as Krishna and Radha Rani.