By Prasoon Tiwari
Sri Krishna Janmashtami or Krishnashtami, also known as Gokulashtami, is the birthday of one of the most popular deities of Hinduism, Lord Sri Krishna. Janmashtami 2013 date is August 28. Lord Krishna is the 8th incarnation of the Lord Vishnu. He destroyed evil and helped in maintaining peace on earth.
Janmashtami Fast Dishes
There are different types of dishes made on the occasion of Janmashtami for those who keep a fast. Since Lord Krishna is very fond of milk and butter products, different types of dishes made from the same are prepared like kheer, pedhas or other sweets. Devotees break their fast at midnight after the birth of Lord Krishna by offering prasad to the Lord.
Nirjal Janmashtami Fast
The religious followers of Lord Krishna celebrate the festival of Janmashtami by keeping nirjal fast, meaning fasting without having even a single drop of water. They believe that by keeping this type of fast they will come closer to God.
Other devotees who can't follow such a strict fast observe fruit fast having only milk and fruits during the fast. Devotees observe strict discipline while fasting.
They refrain from having cereals and salt on the day of the festival. They also feel keeping such fast is the only thing that they can offer God. Fasting is accompanied by singing devotional songs and mantra chanting.
So on the occasion of Janmashtami this year, offer your prayers to Lord Krishna and make all your wishes come true.
The Legend behind Janmashtami
In Dwapar age when offences and exploitations were crossing limits, Earth appeared in front of lord Brahmaji as cow. Brahmaji, Earth and other deities called in Vishnnuji. Earth urged Vishnnuji â€œI have been exploited. Offences on earth are crossing limits. Please help me."
Lord Vishnnuji replied I will take birth from the womb of Devki in Braj Mandal. All deities should disguise as human being into the Yadav Kul in Braj mandal.
Listening this all deities and Earth took birth into the Yadav Kul.
In Dwapar age, King Agrasen used to rule in Mathura. His son name was Kans. Kans grabbed the throne forcefully and threw the king into the prison. Kans's sister marriage was arranged with Vasudav from Yadav Kul.
When Kans was bidding farewell to Devki, a forecast alarmed Kans. According to forecast the eighth son of Devki will kill Kans. Hearing this Kans picked up his weapon to kill his sister on the spot. Kans left Devki on the request of Vasudev. Vasudev also gave him assurance that he will hand over every child right after the birth. Kans threw them into the prison.
Suddenly Naradji appeared and asked the Kans that how he would recognize the eighth son of Devki. The counting may start from the first pregnancy or last pregnancy. Hearing this Kans got confused and decided to kill all offspring of Devki. Kans killed all babies of Devki one by one. When the eighth pregnancy of Devki was approaching, Kans put the couple in a special cell amid tight security.
When lord Krishna took birth on the Ashtami of Krishna Paksha in Rohini Nashatra light begun to illuminate. Lord khrishna directed Vasudev to carry him to Nanda's home and bring Nandaâ€™s newly born baby-girl here and handed over to Kans.
When Vasudev got ready to carry Khrishna, his handcuffs got unlocked, doors of prison got unlocked and all security guards got unconscious. When Vasudev entered into Yamuna, the level of Yamuna began to rise to touch the feet of lord Krishna. Vasudev reached at Nanda's home. He put lord Khrishna down besides the Yashoda and came back to prison carrying baby-girl. The doors of prison got locked, his handcuff also got locked and security guards came into their consciousness and baby-girl began to cry.
When Kans came to know about the birth of the girl, he tried to kill the girl but girl turned into a deity and told Kans that "Oh Kans! What will you get killing me? Your assassinator has taken birth in the Gokul.
Janmashtami Pooja Items
There are certain special items required for Krishnashtami pooja. Important pooja items are listed below:
- Lord Krishna's idol with cradle and conch
- New clothes, flute and ornaments for Lord Krishna
- Pooja thali containing a bell, diya, rice, elaichi(cardamom), supari, paan leaves, roli, small container filled with water, sindoor, incense sticks, flowers and ghee.
- For Panchamrit -milk, curd, gangajal, honey and ghee.
- A book containing shri Krishna's arti.
The list of items may vary according to pooja process performed by different people.