Janmashtami Puja Vidhi and Janmashtami Vrat Katha - Know About Janmashtami Festival

KRISHNA JANMASHTAMI: CELEBRATING KRISHNA'S COLORFUL FACTS OF LIFE

Remember your childhood days enacting special skits of Lord Krishna and Radha? How about listening to naughty pranks played by Bal Krishna with gopis? Well, the stories of Lord Krishna are immortal in the life of every Indian. That's why; Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated grandly in all Krishna temples. The real festive mood of Krishna Janmashtami rejoices in Mathura, Dwarka, and Varanasi.
Janmashtami Puja Vidhi and Janmashtami Vrat Katha

Meaning of Krishna Janmashtami

Janmasthami commemorates the birthday of Lord Krishna. It falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) during the month of Shravan (August-September). Normally, it falls a day after Raksha Bandhan. Janmashtami is celebrated for two days. The first day celebrates the birthday of Lord Krishna with special fast, prayers and devotional songs. The second day is celebrated 'Gokul Asthami' or 'Dahi-Handi'

Janmashtami Festival

Midnight Merriment
The main 'Janmasthami' festivities begin at midnight. This is the actual time that Lord Krishna was born. There are hymns, aarti, blowing of the conch, and cradle rocking. A miniature size idol of Krishna is bathed with Panchamrit—a mixture of milk, ghee, oil, honey and Gangajal.

Janmasthami Fast
Ardent devotees of Lord Krishna keep a special 'Janmasthami' fast for two days. Normally, they stay away from all kinds of foodstuff. They prefer to have milk and milk products, as they are the favorite items of Krishna. They break this fast at midnight. Some of them keep 'Nirjal' fast, where they fast without a single drop of water.

Chanting of Krishna's Mantra
Devotees chant mantras and shlokas all day long during Janmasthami to please the Lord. They highlight his feats and his divine characteristics. Chanting of 108 names of Lord Krishna in various temples. The popular mantra is 'Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna'

MELODIOUS KRISHNA BHAJANS AND DANCE
Devotees sing with her hearts singing bhajans in the praise of Lord Krishna. Bhajans are an important custom of the midnight celebration during the festival. They also dance to depict various episodes of Lord Krishna.

Krishna Leela—Enactment of Krishna's Journey
In places like Gokul, Mathura, and Vrindavan, special plays are performed by both professional and amateur theatre groups based on Krishna' birth and his childhood days.

Janmashtami Sweets
According to legend, Lord Krishna loved milk and milk products like butter and buttermilk. He used to relish sweets like kheer, pedhas etc. Therefore devotees all over make sweets during the festival to please the Lord.

Dahi Handi
This usually takes place on the second day of Janmashtami. On this day, an earthen pot containing a mixture of milk, dry fruits, ghee is hung around 20-30 feet high in the air with the help of a rope. Silver coins are hung along with the rope, which is later distributed as prizes to the winners. Enthusiastic young men, form a human pyramid by standing one on top of the other, trying to break the pot. They chant the popular 'Ala re ala, Govinda ala' during the pot breaking ceremony.

Janmashtami Tableau
This is an important festive feature of Janmashtami. Known as Jhanki (tableau) and cribs depicting various stages of Lord Krishna's childhood. These are miniature representation of a village made of clay, humans are represented by dolls dressed up as kids, men and women with lehengas, chunnis, dhotis and kurtas.

Janmashtami Puja Vidhi: Method of Worship

1. Before we start the worship spread a red cloth in chowki
2. Then Put idol of baby Krishna on chowki over a plate
3. Now Light earthen lamp before the idol stage
4. Also light dhoop stick before the idol
5. Now Pray to lord Krishna that (“O Lord Krishna”! Please come and receive puja”).
6. Then offer Ganga Jal bath to lord Krishna idol
7. After bath then offer clothes to Lord Krishna
8. Give asana to Lord Krishna and offer ornaments
9. Now do panchopchar puja of the idol after offering ornaments
10. And then offer earthen lamp before the idol
11. Also offer dhoop stick to the idol
12. Now use sandal or roli as tilak to the idol
13. And Also offer raw rice over tilak
14. After tilak offer Makhan mishri and other sweet, vog before the idol
15. Don’t forget to put holy basil leaf especially in the sweets and vog.
16. Then Offer Ganga Jal to idol to drink
17. After offering Ganga Jal now offer seent to the idol
18. Now doing all these processes put flower garland and flowers to the idol
19. Now meditate on Lord Krishna like this (Baby Krishna down on a people tree leaf. His body has infinite creation and he is sucking his thumb)
20. Also contemplate his name mantra Krishna ( Krish means “to attract” and Na means “ permanent” the bliss of Liberation. Who attract all creatures towards bliss or liberation is Krishna and I bow to that Krishna and I pray him to give me full devotion in his feet)

Janmashtami Puja Vrat Katha: Story of Janmashtami

In the Dwapar era, the Bhojwanshi king Ugrasena ruled in Mathura. His militant son Kansa removed him from the throne and became king of Mathura himself. Kansa had a sister Devaki, who was married to a Yaduvanshi chieftain named Vasudeva. Once Kansa was going to deliver his sister Devaki to her in-laws. On the way, there was a voice in the sky- 'O Kansa, in the Devaki whom you are carrying with great love, your time dwells in it. The eighth child born from this womb will kill you. ' Hearing this, Kansa set out to kill Vasudev. 

Then Devaki humbly said to him- 'I will bring the child from my womb to you. What is the benefit of killing a brother-in-law? ' Kansa accepted Devaki and returned to Mathura. He puts Vasudev and Devaki in jail.
Vasudev-Devaki had seven children one by one and Kansa was killed as soon as the seven were born. Now there was going to be an eighth child. They were vigorously guarded in prison. where Nanda's wife Yashoda was also going to have a child.

Seeing the sad life of Vasudev-Devaki, he devised a solution to protect the eighth child. At the time when a son was born to Vasudev-Devaki, at the same time a girl was born from Yashoda's womb, which was nothing but 'Maya'. In the cell where Devaki-Vasudev was imprisoned, suddenly there was light and in front of him appeared the quadrilateral god holding conch, chakra, mace, Padma. Both fell at the feet of God.

Then God said to him- 'Now I take the form of a newborn baby again. You send me to your friend Nandji's house in Vrindavan at this time, and hand over the girl who is born to him to Kansa. At this time the environment is not favorable. Still, you don't worry Awake guards will fall asleep, the gates of the prison will open automatically and the swollen Yamuna will give you a way to cross. '

At an equivalent time, Vasudev, leaving a newborn baby-form Shri Krishna in the soup, left the prison and crossed the unfathomable Yamuna and reached Nandaji's house. There he put the newborn to sleep with Yashoda and came to Mathura with the girl. The prison gates closed undone. Now Kamsa gets information that Vasudev-Devaki has been born a child.

He went to the prison and snatched the newborn girl from Devaki's hand and tried to slam her on the earth, but the girl flew into the sky and said from there - 'Oh fool, what will happen to kill me? The one who killed you has reached Vrindavan. He will soon punish you for your sins. '

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