By Bala Mishra
â€śKrishna is a name of the Supreme. It means "all- attractive." Anything that might attract you has its source in the Supremeâ€ť. - Unknown
Krishna Janmashtami in 2013 is on August 28. Krishna is perceived by most Hindus to be an avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu. It is believed that all other deities are manifestations of him. Krishna is considered to be a warrior, hero, teacher and philosopher by not just Hindus but people across the world.
Sri Krishna Janmashtami Festival is the celebration of the birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, on earth. He is considered to be the Lord's most glorious incarnation. This festival is also known as Ashtami Rohini, Gokulashtami, Krishnashtami and Sri Krishna Jayanthi.
This festival occurs on the eight day of the dark half of the month Shravan of the Indian calendar. Eight days after the full moon of Shravan, is celebrated as the festival of Janmashtami,. The first day is Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami. The second day is called Kalastami or more popularly Janmashtami.
All the temples of Krishna are decorated beautifully for the occasion of Janmashtmi and people after worshipping Lord Krishna at home home visit the temples to witness the beautiful decorations. The decorations are solely dedicated to Lord Krishna. Huge Jhakiyan that describes the events of Lord Krishna's life are designed in a mesmerizing manner.
The Ritual of this glorious festival Janmashtami differs from place to place. Some general ritual are followed everywhere though. It is believed that Krishna was born at midnight and it is at this time that the true festivities commence. Food is prepared from milk and curd Krishnaâ€™s favourite. Some Hindus fast for the first day of Krishna Janmashtami, choosing only to eat after the midnight celebrations. Dances and songs are used to venerate this supreme God. In Temples images of Krishna are bathed and placed in cradles, whilst the shankh (conch shell) is played and bells are rung. Holy mantras are also chanted to venerate Krishna
In Southern India women draw patterns of little children's feet outside the house to symbolize Little Krishna entering to bless it. Varieties of sweets are made during this occasion. Among them, laddus and payasam are the most common sweets.
In north India the festival is celebrated with especial fervor. The temples at Vrindavan and Mathura witness a colorful, even boisterous celebration on this occasion, and festivities at these places may extend for several days. Devotional songs and dances mark the celebration. The Raslila is performed to recreate incidents from the life of Krishna and commemorate his love for Radha.
In Mumbai and other cities of Maharashtra popular ceremony known as 'Dahi Handi' takes place where the pot containing curd or butter or milk is broken by the youths. Dahikala or Govinda, is the festival of tying pots of yogurt and milk, and breaking them.
The festival is celebrated with great joy and communal togetherness by devotees all over the world All because as a revolutionary, promoter of brotherhood, savior of mankind, he was friend with animals, environment, nature, respectful to women, promoter of brotherhood; he was regarded by his devotees as the ultimate deity. A God in all forms he truly represented the universe. His devotees commemorate his earthy presence by celebrating his Janmotsava every year with great zeal and enthusiasm.