It is the time to celebrate the birthday of the naughty and mischievous nanhe natkhat – Janmashtami. Born to Vasudev and Devaki in Mathura, the Bal Gopal represents all that is innocent, playful and cheerful. Krishna is believed to be the eighth avatar of Vishnu and is the most beloved deity among the Vaishnavas.
Janmashtami is celebrated on the eighth day (ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada and is known by different names in different states. It is known as Krishna Janmashtami, Gokulashtami, Saatam Aatham, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti and Ashtami Rohini.
Krishna was born in dark times when injustice was at its peak.
The story goes that witnessing the atrocities of the rulers of the earth, the mother earth was sad and urged Brahma, the creator to help her. Brahma turned to Lord Vishnu for help, who promised him that he would soon return to the earth to put an end to the tyrannies of the earthly rulers.
Kamsa was the ruler of Mathura and was very atrocious and unjust. When his sister Devaki was married to Vasudeva, a prophesy was made which warned him that their eighth child would destroy him. On hearing this, Kamsa imprisons Devaki and Vasudeva, and kills the first seven children born to the couple. On the birth of the eighth child, however, Vishnu appears to Vasudeva and helps him transport Krishna to a family of cowherds – Yashoda and Nanda – where he grows up to be the mischievous youth wooing gopis with his flute playing. He eventually slays Kamsa and then goes on to help Arjuna during the Mahabharatha.
During Janmashtami, the devotees observe fasting and prayer, and celebrate this festival with great zeal and fervor by organizing dahi handi, ras leela and jagran. Dahi handi is the most popular activity that is performed during Janmashtami. Devotees form a human pyramid and try to break a pot full of curd/ makhan to commemorate the stealing of makhan by Krishna in his childhood. Ras leela is the enactment of birth and childhood of Krishna in a dance-drama form. Devotees also observe jagran, singing hymns and devotional songs through the night to commemorate the birth of Krishna at midnight.
Yera family wishes you all a very Happy Janmashtami!!
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