Incredible India, the country known for its diverseness of culture and heritage and for its vividness of tradition. Since times unknown, India has been celebrating various auspicious days. These days have utmost significance in the ancient history. The traditions and rituals followed in this country are unmatched. Deities are worshipped by a lot of devotees. Faith in god can be seen at its peek. One such day is Krishna Janmashtami, celebrated to signify the birth of Lord Krishna. It is generally celebrated in the month of July or August on the eighth night of Krishna paksh (or the dark fortnight). The idols of Lord Krishna are decorated and revealed at midnight. It is believed that he was born at midnight and thus, the celebration starts after it.
Krishna, Kanhaiya, Nandgopal, Vasudev, Gopal. Whatâ€™s in a name? He will still be worshipped as the supreme being. He is also known as the God-child (because many times he is represented as a child). He is considered to be a form of Lord Vishnu. Krishna, is generally recognized by the pale blue color seen on all his idols. It represents the wheatish complexion he possessed. Sometimes, he is also known as Murali because of the flute he used to hold in his hands. Janmashtami is celebrated as the day of his birth, which, again was an interesting incident. Krishna was born in prison. He was the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudev.Â A prophet predicted the death of Kansa (Devakiâ€™s brother) by the hands of her eighth son. Thus, he imprisoned her with her husband. He killed the first six children whereas the seventh one was thought to be a miscarriage. But actually, the child was secretly transported to Rohini. After these seven children, Krishna was born. His life was in danger, and therefore he was secretly taken to his foster parents (Yasoda and Nanda) who raised him.
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Janmashtami is celebrated all over India in various ways. The Indians keep a fast. Also, maakhan and mishri is distributed to the devotees because that is considered to be his favorite. It is a national holiday. The most famous ritual performed is the â€œdahi handiâ€. It is a delight to watch. The people are filled with enthusiasm. An earthen pot filled with buttermilk is tied to a height. The main aim is to crack that pot and spill the buttermilk all over. For doing so, a human pyramid is formed. The person at the top breaks the pot with a coconut and hence the buttermilk is spilled. At some places, the â€œdahi handiâ€ is a competition and the team who crack maximum number of handis is rewarded. It is particularly popular in Maharashtra. Lord Krishna used to steal butter from houses and to symbolize this, footprints are made out of flour in southern India. Devotional songs are sung on this occasion. Some people also visit Gokul, Mathura and Vrindavan because these are the places where Lord Krishna grew up. Various other rituals can be seen in different parts of the country.
Krishna Janmashtami is another example of the triumph of good over evil. A famous proverb says,
â€œWhenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter.â€
Some say that Krishna was born to rule out the darkness or rather, the evil. The sole purpose of his birth was to eradicate the evil that was prevailing. Lots of sacred verses are written on him. They describe how mischievous he was and yet how powerful. We hope Krishna Janmashtami 2013 brings hope in everyoneâ€™s heart. Because someone has correctly said :-
â€œThree grand essentials to happiness in this life are
Something to do,
Something to love,
And something to hope for.â€