Krishna Janmashtami in Nepali (कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी) is a festival observing the birthday of lord Krishna. This festival is also known as Krishnashtami, Saatam Aatham, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti. Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated on Asthami tithi, the eighth day of the dark half or Krishna Paksha of the month of Bhadra in the Nepali calendar of Bikram Sambat. The festival falls in August- September of English Calendar.
Who is Krishna?
Nanda and Yasoda Maiya brought up Vasudev and Devaki, but him. Krishna’s childhood is full of fun and love. His youth is romantic and example of love and friendship with Gopis and Gopinies. He was married to Rukmani. His beloved Gopini was Radha.
Krishna has very important role in Holy Battle of Mahabharata. He was the Chariot Rider of Arjun. He was the main character who supported Pandavs against Kauravs to win the holy war. His holy advices are known as Bhagwat Gita, where he teaches Arjun about Dharma and Paap (Sin). He did not physically take part in the battle, but he was the heart and soul of Pandavs. The pandavs had never won the war without his help.
He is worshiped with so many names: Krishna, Murari, Hari, Gopal, Shyam, Nanda Lala, Makhan Chor and hundreds of other names. In fact, Krishna said “you just remember me, whatever name, I will be with you, if I know you are calling me”. He is named Krishna because he is Dark. Krishna in Sanskrit is Dark (Black). He is regarded as inventor of Basuri/Murali (flute). He was fond of playing flute. He always had flute in his hand. He played his flute in Brindhaban and Mathura. It is said, the vibration of his music is still floating in the environment of those places.
Reason to celebrate Krishna Jansathami
In Bhagavad Gita Krishna says, “Whenever there is predominance of evil and decline of good doings (religion), I will reincarnate again and again to end the evil and to save the Dharma (good)”. Krishna Jayanti is cel ebration of victory of good and Dharma over devil and bad power. We celebrate this day to to remember that when the pot of sin is filled, there is an end to the devil, God will come to rescue. Krishna Janmasthami reminds us those stories of battle between good and evil and tells us that the good always wins.
The tale of Mahabharata has a lot to do with the life of Lord Krishna. During the Dharma Yuddha or righteous war between two Pandavas and Kauravas, Lord Krishna played the charioteer of Arjuna. He was counselling Arjuna on various segments of life like Dharma (righteous path), Karma (deeds), Theistic Devotion, Yogic ideals, salvation, knowledge, etc. because Arjuna was in emotional turmoil in killing his brothers and cousins. The verses mentioned in this book is often called a life guide or spiritual dictionary. Lord Krishna stated that whenever there will be prominence of evil deeds in this universe, he will reincarnate in various looks and attire to show the path of right and peace to people. The sole reason of celebrating this festival is bringing people together so that principles of unity strengthens.
Dahi Handi is another important aspect of this festival that is observed in the second day of Janmashtami. As a kid Lord Krishna was named “Makhanchor” or the one who steals butter. He used to steal butter from every household of Gokul. Dahi Handi is an event where the same butter stealing activity of Lord Krishna is narrated. An earthen pot or handi is filled with butter, clarified butter or ghee, dry fruits, and milk is suspended at a considerable height with help of ropes. All the local young guys gather to make a human pyramid and climb on each other to reach the handi and break it. This is an activity that teaches the team work principles.
Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated all around the world by all Hindu, There is tradition to observe a fasting till midnight. They enchant Slokas from the “Bhagwat Gita” and sing religious songs (Bhajans). The temples of Lord Krishna are decorated and bhajans and kirtan are sung or played. The Krishna Mandir in Patan Durbar Square, Narayanhiti Krishnamandir and other temples of lord Krishna are the centers for festivities in Krishna Janmaasthimi. On Krishna Janmashtami numerous devotees flock to the ancient Krishna temple in old Patan Durbar Square to keep vigil through the glorious night of his birth. As they sit huddled together their bodies rocking in humble obeisance, the women chant the many names of the Lord,’Narayan, Narayan’ and Gopal, Gopal’. Some sing ancient hymns, others clap their hands, while some pray. Crowds of men and women edge their way slowly up narrow steps through the seated devotees to the temple’s dark interior to where the main idol stands. There they offer flowers, coins and food and wait for a glimpse of Krishna Janmastami festival at Krishna Mandir the idol. After the temple priest gives them ‘prasad’ they make their way home.
Beautiful cribs holding a small idol of the “Balgopal” (baby Krishna), the makhan chor, are installed in all Krishna temples. Krishna lila (drama) is performed during this festival.