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Krishna Janmashtami 2018 - A Story of Lord Krishna's Birth | Shrinathji Temple, Nathdwara

Krishna Janmashtami 2018

Krishna Janmashtami for the year 2018 is celebrated on 2 September & 3rd September.

The festival celebrating the birth of Shri Krishna, known by various names such as Shri Krishna Jayanti, Janmashtami and Gokulashtami is an important festival in the Hindu calendar. This festival has been celebrated on the eighth day after the full moon in the month of Shravan.

As the festival is known by different names so also it is celebrated on two different days by different Hindu sects. This year In 2018, Janmashtami will be celebrated on 2nd September followed by Janmashtami puja, fasting, and celebrations.


Why Do We Celebrate Janmashtami? 

The first day is known as Krishnashtami or Gokulashtami and the second day is known as Janmashtami. Lord Krishna is worshipped as the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu.

He is one of the most popular and widely worshipped deities among all Hindus throughout the world. At a time when there was darkness prevailing over the globe about 4000 years ago, the people prayed the Almighty to relieve them from evils, pains, cruelty, and miseries asserted by antisocial elements. The prayers and holy activities resulted in the incarnation of a divine life on earth that was Little Krishna born to Devaki in the jail of Mathura. 

Krishna Janmashtami celebrates the birth of one of the most famous Gods of Hindu religion, Bhagwan Krishna, on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana or Savana. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the 'Rohini' nakshatram (star). It is generally celebrated in the month of August-September according to the Christian Calendar. Legend has it that Sri Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa.


On the very day of his birth, he made use of his superpower and opened the jail doors, encouraged Vasudeva (his father) to move him out of jail, built way through overflowing Yamuna River in reaching Nandbaba's home in Gokul safely. The people christened Little Krishna with endearing names including Yashodanandan, Kanha, Gopal, Kanhaiya, Makhanchor, etc. right from the infant stage due to his superpower demonstrated in all walks of life; what our Rishis and Munis have described as Leelas.

The devotees of Lord Krishna either read the Leela Charitra and his teachings through Shrimadbhagwadgita. Lord Krishna grew up to become King Krishna who moved from Gokul to Mathura and later to Dwarka. It is said that Dwarka was a city built of gold which submerged under the sea over the years after Lord Krishna left for heavenly abode.

The journey of Lord Krishna right from birth to death spans little over 100 years. He was instrumental in winning the famous Mahabharata battle against the Kauravas depicting the win of good over bad. He was worshipped by all the sections of the society except the devils during that time. He crushed devils with his supernatural actions and freed the community from pestering given by them. His teachings through Shrimadbhagwadgita are being taught in educational institutions even today to get rid of negativity and make the people calm, composed, and satisfied. The path of love and affection carved by him provides lifelines to his devotees even today. Lord Krishna incarnated on Earth to cleanse the environmental, social, and political nuances.


Rituals and Customs Observed during Janmashtami 

Fasting: The most common ritual observed all over during Janmashtami is fasting by devotees on the day of the festival. Devotees fast for the entire day and break it after the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight. People prefer to have only milk products as they were the favorite of Lord Krishna. Some devotees of Lord Krishna go to the extent of keeping 'Nirjal' fast- It involves fasting without having a single drop of water. There are other ardent followers, who keep the fast for two days in the honor of Lord Krishna.

Janmashtami is celebrated in Different Region

The festival of Shri Krishna Janmashtami has been celebrated with great devotion throughout India. The celebrations have special significance in Mathura, Vrindavan, Dwaraka, and Nathdwara the places associated with the life and activities of Shri Krishna. Devotees fast for twenty-four hours on the eve of the festival and break the fast at a midnight-the time at which Shri Krishna was believed to have been born. The image of infant Krishna is bathed and is cradled in the midnight time. The conch shell is blown and the devotees celebrate the birth of Shri Krishna by singing devotional songs and by dancing with great joy.

How Janmashtami is Celebrated in Nathdwara

People not only from the internal regions of Rajasthan but also from Gujarat and Maharashtra, visit Nathdwara to witness Lord Krishna’s seraphic festival. Here, important arrangements are made by the temple trust for security at the police and administrative level. The temple is decorated with attractive light decoration for the festival. The entire city of Nathdwara reverberates owing to the melodious sound of the drum, trumpet, and clarinet at the main entrance of the temple. A series of congratulatory exchanges began pouring in a month earlier from the Ashtami of Shravan of Lord Krishna.

According to the confirmation order, Shri Krishna Janmotsav is not celebrated as a public exhibition in the night, but on the second day, as the Nandamahotsav, that is, by affirming 'Nand Gher Anand Bhayo, Jai Kanhaiya Lal Ki’ in the presence of Tilakayat Maharaj Shree and his family, Brajvasi Sevakgan, Mukhiyaji (Headman), and Lord Shrinathji along with spattering milk and curd while dancing in front of them.

On the occasion of Janmashtami, Lord Shrinathji (Shri Krishna) is given a bath with Panchamrit during the tableau of Mangla. Tilakayat Rakesh Maharaj does the Aarti of Lord Shrinathji after the tableau of Mangala and then bathes him with ghee, honey, powdered sugar, etc. CCTV cameras are installed in the premises in the context of safety. Proper arrangements of water, light, and sanitation etc. are made to facilitate the arrival of Vaishnavas. Accommodation is available for the visitors, and hence the central inquiry and reservation office of the temple and the operation of all the cottages are arranged to keep the office open for 24 hours for the convenience of the Vaishnavas.