19 Aug 2022

Janmashtami : History And Celebration

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Krishna Janmashtami, also known as Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, is an annual Indian festival that commemorates the birth of Krishna, the eighth manifestation of Vishnu. The name Krishna Janmashtami means “Occasion of the birth of Krishna.”. It is celebrated in Bhadrapada Masa on the eighth tithi (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight), according to the Hindu lunisolar calendar. The Gregorian calendar’s months of August or September coincide with this. It is a significant holiday, especially in the Hindu Vaishnavism tradition.

The ritual includes fasting (upavasa), a night vigil (Ratri Jagaran), a festival (Mahotsav) the next day, as well as dance-drama recreations of Krishna’s life as described in the Bhagavata Purana (such as Rasa Lila or Krishna Lila).

illustration of happy Janmashtami. Lord Krishna

History Of Krishna

Krishna is the son of Devaki and Vasudev Anakadundubhi. He was born during a time of utter chaos. During this time, rampant persecution,freedoms of any kind were restricted and even denied. His life was also threatened by his uncle, Kansa. Right after his birth, in Mathura, Krishna was taken by his father across the river Yamuna. He was taken to Gokul, where he was put in the care of Nanda and Yashoda, Vasudev’s brother and sister-in-law. 

Dahi Handi during Janmashtami in Mumbai
Matki fod (Breaking The Pot) signifies the love Krishna had for Makkhan (white butter)

Celebrations On Janmashtami

Janmashtami is celebrated predominantly in India. Over the years, it has become more prevalent in other parts of the world, due to migration and adoption of the culture. The celebrations include fasting, staying awake all night and singing devotional songs, eating certain dishes and above all rejoicing in his birth.

The night prayers are called Jagran where people decorate a palki, a baby’s crib to show the birth of Lord Krishna. It is extremely vibrant and stunning to look at. In the event you have forgotten the ingredients or elements to your dish, you can buy them from the Milkbasket app and get them at your doorstep by 7 AM.

International Society For Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

This is a society that was founded by A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in the year 1966, in New York. It is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organisation. ISKCON has its core beliefs built on Hindu scriptures, primarily the Bhagavad Gita. The premise of the group revolves around Bhakti Yoga, which translates to the bhakts (devotees) devote their time, thoughts and prayers to pleasing Lord Krishna, who they believe to be the Supreme One. It is estimated that ISKCON has over 1 million followers worldwide.

During Janmashtami, the ISKCON devotees hold many events and celebrations that lead up to the day of the birth of Lord Krishna. The movement became prevalent in India, Russia (post Soviet Union) and other former soviet aligned countries.
So go ahead, get all your supplies this Janmashtami for your fasting, prayers, guests and celebrations at Milkbasket, delivered by 7 AM at your doorstep, so you can enjoy the festivities with ease!

Idol of god krishna shining with a lamp light. The background is black and blurred. Photo taken with low light.

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