Janmastami which is also celebrated as Gokulastami (Krishnastami) is the major annual festival for Vaisnavas. The festival is celebrated on Astami Thidi which takes place in August or early September. Traditionally devotees fast until midnight, until the hour of Lord Krishna’s appearance ( Midnight 12 ) spending the time by performing devotional activities in honour of this most auspicious occasion.
Puja on Janmastami :
Puja is perofrming to Lord krishna with flowers, and recieting 108 names (Sri Krishna Astotharam) or chanting the name of lord Krishna and his leelas. The flowers are offered to Lord with chanting Mantra “Idam Pushpam ” and changing the dieties 108 names OM KESHAVAYA NAMAH, OM NARAYANAYA NAMAH, etc.
Festival Activites Performed on Krishnastami:
- Cooking 108 different delicious food is being offered to the Lord at midnight. (All the foods and drinks are then served to all the guests ).
- Darshan (viewing) of the Lord in His specially Decorated Murti (statue) form on the flower-laden altar.
- Abhiseka (Bathing) is performing to Lord using fruit juices and milk products.
- Bhajanas (Devotional songs) sung in Traditional Tunes.
- Dramas Re-Enacting the pastimes of Lord Krishna.
- Dance in the Traditional Indian style, sometimes with modern innovations, portraying the Lord’s pastimes.
- Readings from the scriptures, particularly the Lord’s unique birth and Events leading up to and following His arrival.
- Kirtana (Group Chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra) this is a daily affair in temples but on this Special festival day devotees consider to do more kirtana of Lord Krishna.
- The Lord who plays a flute and enjoys family and village pastimes with His most intimate and loving devotees. Although, being God, He is Lord of all the worlds.
- His eternal blissful pastimes in His own home, Vrndavana. This is the essential religious sentiment and mood of Janmastami.
Chanting of Krishna Mantra:
“Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”
“In this age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress other than the chanting of the holy name, the chanting of the holy name, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord.”
Whenever you chant this mantra, always keep its meaning in mind. Chant this mantra with devotion and faith . While repeating his mantra request the God almighty to take away all your sorrows, pains and failures and give you joy and bliss. You can chant it anytime, anywhere.
Offerings and Leelas of Lord Kirshna:
Sri Krishna Jayanti is celebrated with plenty of sweets like laddus (yellu oonde), chakli, cheedai, payasam (kheer), and plenty of milk products especially butter, which was Sri Krishna’s favorite childhood food, are given in offerings. A wide variety of fruits are also offered. The most common sweets made laddus and payasam.
Great indeed are his many Leelas several sages and seers have paid homage to him. Narada, Sri Kulashekara Azhwar, Andal, Tirumangai Azhawar, Nammazhwar have sung glorious verses in praise of Lord Krishna who embodies Shudda Satvam. The Bhagavad Gita coming from the Lord is the absolute truth which has withstood the test of time and has formed the basis and inspiration for many Acharyas and Azhwars.
The life and message of Sri Krishna is the most stirring saga of one of the greatest saviours and propounders of Dharma. Born in the dungeons of Kansa who was out to kill him at the very moment of his birth, Sri Krishna’s life is replete with many such mortal dangers which he successfully triumphs over. He was the unchallenged hero of his times both in terms of his bodily prowess and his intellectual brilliance.
Sri Krishna Jayanti, therefore, signifies not merely the birth of a great and Divine Teacher of mankind in some distant past but the lighting of the spark of the Divine Power in every one of us, which spurs us on to play our dynamic part in this world of practical and hard realities with a sense of high spiritual purpose. Krishna represents the total power of attraction (Aakarshna Shakti) like a magnet of infinite rise. Hence Krishna is the source of joy.
May Lord Krishna Bless You all. Happy Janmastami
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