Krishna Janmashthami Festival

Dr. Ram Dayal Rakesh

In the Gita, Lord Krishna says, “Whatever you do, do for my glory. All things were made by me and in me are there all things. To this end am I born to establish righteousness.”
This is not a gossip but the gospel of the Gita, which is very useful for everybody.

This festival is celebrated every year in the memory of Lord Krishna , one of the eighth incarnations of Lord Vishnu. He was the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva. This festival as the birthday of Krishna is celebrated on the eighth day of the dark lunar fortnight in the month of Bhadra( August). He was born of Devaki and Vasudev when they were put in the prison of the tyrannical king, Kansa. In the words of Somnath and Asha Dhar:
“The azure-blue cowherd god, Krishna, is the most loved and adored of all deities in Nepal.He is one of the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the deity of Preservation.” (Somnath and Asha Dhar :Nepal: Land of Gods, Goddesses and Demons P.79)

Krishna is the hero of the Mahabharat. He fought the great-war in favour of the Pandavas to prove that truth would prevail at the last in this world. Satyamev Jayate was the slogan of his life. Krishna-Arjun dialogue at the battlefield of the Kurukshetra, recited through the Gita is also memorable He was a great lover also. He is known as macho-lover because he was also a favourite hero for sixteen thousand gopinis (cowherd).

The Legend

According to legend, Krishna was born inside a prison in Mathura, India where his parents Vasudev and Devaki were held captives by his uncle Kansa. There is also a legend that at the time of auspicious occasion of Devaki and Vasudev, there was a bhavishyabani( celestial voice) was herd which warned Kansa a demon king of Mathura , and also the brother of Devaki, that her son would kill him. This has been supported by this saying also:
“When Devaki’s brother Kansa was taking her to her husband’s place after her marriage, an oracle from the skies announced that Devaki’s eighth child would cause Kansa’s death.” (Shyam Dua: Famous great Indian Festivals: P.47)

King Kansa became fearful and killed her six sons as soon as they were born. The seventh son, Balram, and the eighth son, Krishna, survived miraculously from the clutches of Kansa.
It is also believed that on the occasion of the birth of the eighth child, the prison doors were opened themselves and the guards fell asleep, Vasudeva took the newly- born child to Gokul.
He was brought up by Nanda and Yashodh there. So his birthday is celebrated with fan and fare every year on this auspicious occasion. In each and every village temple His idol is made and worshipped by his devotees. The temples are decorated artistically and tastefully. Several episodes and events and activities are depicted on the wall of temples.

Many cultural shows are also organized on the occasion. Krishna Leela and Ras Leela are also organised in which one can witness many people enjoying whole night.
This festival is observed with offerings, worships, recitation of holy scripts and lighting oil lamps. His devotees especially women, observe fast and paid homage to Him by dancing and singing his bhajans in the day on this occasion and continue throughout the night. Krishna, dark, charming, and dashing, is popular among the old and the young alike. His flute and melodious music renders divine enthrallment.
He is known by many popular names Gopal, Bansihdhar, Madhav, Madhusudan, Krishna is revered as the God of love, justice, truth and savior of mankind from demonic forces.

Lord Vishnu is recognized by his four arms holding Sankh (conch shell), Chakra ( a wheel like weapons), Gada( club-like weapon), Padma( lotus flower) and Garud, his vehicle( mythical bird). Jeaneane Fowler writes:
“What is so special about Krishna is that he can be worshipped in any forms previously mentioned, as a baby, as a youth, as a lover,as a lord, or even as the great God Vishnu.Again it depends on the name of the individual in which way he or she wishes to pour out devotion to this versatile God.” (Jeaneane Fowler:Hinduism: P.33)

There are many fascinating stories about his childhood and youth ,which appeal to Hindus of all ages.He is the ultimate Lord of the Universe. Once Yasoda, Krishna’ foster mother wanted to punish him because he was very naughty in his childhood.So he is approprietly called Natkhat Krishna. Sometimes He used to steal butter from his own house as well as other neighbour’s house.
It so happened that once he put mud in his mouth. She wanted to see his mouth open there she saw the whole universe. She was bewildered to see it. He was not an ordinary boy. She tried to punish him on many occasions but she failed every time.

Once she tried to catch him and tie him up, but he could not be caugh because her neighbours always complain about his naughty activities. Jeaneane Fowler has rightly remade about his divinity in the following lines:
‘Even as an infant,however, Krishna ,unlike Ram, is depicted as being thoroughly aware of his total identity with Vishnu and there is never any suggestion of duality between the two.
He is sufficiently aware of why his foster mother is unable to bind him and allows her to do so only out of pity.” (Jeaneane Fowler: Hinduism> p.32)

Krishna was the lover of Gopinis who are supposed to be 16,000 but His beloved was Radha whom he used to love from the bottom of heart His love affair with Radha was not only physical but divine. His love was the symbol of the love of the human soul for God and God’s love for human kind. It symbolises the height of devotional love. I would like to quote here:
“This day celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu. Celebrations on this day are in preparation for the midnight hour that traditionally marks the bird of the Lord Krishna. Special displays of pictures by affluent devotees who narrate many of the well-known incidents in Krishna’s life.” (Jim Goodman: Guide to Nepalese Festivals P. 52)

Source : TRN,