Krishna Janmashtami 2023: Festivals are an essential part of Indian culture. It brings people together and promotes unity and diversity. Krishna Janmashtami is one of the main festivals in India, and it is observed with lots of enthusiasm to honor the birth of Lord Krishna. Falling on the eighth day of the Bhadrapada month, this festival is also known as Gokulashtami. In 2023, the auspicious day of Krishna Janmashtami will grace the calendar on the 7th of September, a Thursday, and will be celebrated across all Indian states.
Krishna Janmashtami is a time when devotees come together to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, who descended upon Earth to defeat the demon Kansa, the brother of Devaki. The festival's significance lies in its commemoration of divine intervention to restore righteousness and protect the innocent. The rituals and traditions associated with Krishna Janmashtami symbolize the triumph of good over evil.
The Puja Vidhi (ritual) of Krishna Janmashtami is a cherished tradition, focusing on the cradle-bound deity, Laddoo Gopal. Here's a step-by-step guide to performing the puja:
Take a bath to purify yourself and put on clean clothes to start the day.
In the evening, decorate the wooden chowki or cradle that will hold the idol of Lord Krishna for the puja.
Place the idol on the palna to begin the puja, then begin your meditation.
Make an arghya (water offering) and padya (water offering) to the deity's feet.
Execute the achaman, which involves offering and drinking water.
Give the idol a panchamrit bath, which is a concoction of milk, curd, honey, ghee, and gangajal.
Make prasad using the Panchamrit ingredients.
Dress up the idol in new clothes and accessories before applying Chandan paste.
Crown the deity and present it with jewelry, a peacock feather, and a bansuri.
Oil lamp, flowers, Tulsi leaves, and burning incense should all be present.
Give the Lord Krishna a tambulam (betel leaf package), Makhan (butter), and Mishree (sugar crystals) as bhog.
Perform a parikrama (circumambulation) while singing Kunj Bihari's aarti.
Finish by offering a prayer for the safety and protection of the family.
According to Hindu scriptures, Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva in Mathura on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of Bhadrapada. Kansa's reign of terror led to the prophecy of his demise by the hands of Devaki's eighth son. Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, fulfilled this prophecy by slaying Kansa, restoring dharma. The festival encapsulates the triumph of good over evil and the restoration of cosmic balance.
Krishna's birth occurred during the Krishna Paksha (waning moon phase) of the Asthami tithi, in the Rohini Nakshatra of the Bhadrapada month. These astrological details shape the timing of Krishna Janmashtami, and Krishna himself embodies the protector of dharma against chaos and adharma.
Krishna Janmashtami is marked by a variety of rituals and customs, which vary across different regions in India:
Devotees fast throughout the day, breaking it at midnight, the presumed time of Krishna's birth.
Chants and devotional songs fill the air, especially in Krishna temples.
Skits portraying Krishna's life, Raas Leela, and dances retell his leelas (divine activities).
Sweets like Makhan and various milk-based delicacies are offered to Lord Krishna.
Passages from the Bhagavad Gita are recited to reflect on Krishna's teachings.
Krishna Janmashtami resonates globally, celebrated with diverse customs:
North India witnesses Raas Leela performances and kite flying.
Manipur's Radha-Krishna Raslila dance drama showcases love.
West Bengal and Odisha honor Krishna with fasting and worship.
Gujarat celebrates with the Makhan Handi ritual and folk dances.
Maharashtra's Gokulashtami precedes the Dahi Handi festival.
South India adorns homes with Kolam and offers butter, betel, and fruits.