Janmashtami is celebrated across different parts of India and the world, with fun and fervor. The festival honors the birth of Lord Krishna, who was born on the eighth day of Sravana month, which corresponds to August-September as per the Gregorian calendar. Lord Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, was born in the Dwaparyug with an aim to kill the demon King Kansa and restore harmony and peace in the world. The deity is one of the favorites of Hindus. Lord Krishna is personified as a friend, a guide, a lover or as a child, by his devotee. Janmashtami is an important day for the devotees of Lord Krishna, as the festival celebrates his birth.
The merrymaking is marked by colorful cultural programs and puja. Special pujas are conducted in many Lord Krishna temples of India, as well as homes, as a part of the celebrations. The pooja is done to invoke Lord Krishna and seek his blessings, on the wonderful festival of Janmashtami. While the main puja, including aarti, is conducted in the midnight of the festival, people also organize puja during the daytime, wherein mantras of Lord Krishna are chanted, bhajans and songs are sung. In the following lines, we have given information on the pooja of Krishna Janmashtami.
Puja Items Janmashtami puja is done using the items that are required especially for the festival. It is believed that each puja item has a significance. This is primarily because of the fact that in order to worship the deity in a traditional way, all the puja items are required. Therefore, nothing should be missed out from the list of puja items for Janmashtami. Some of the very important puja items for Krishna Janmashtami include a puja thali, bell, diya (earthen lamp), rice, cardamom, betel nuts (pan supari), beetle leaves, roli, small container (lota) filled with Gangajal, honey, vermilion (sindoor), incense sticks, flowers and clarified butter (ghee). Apart from this, one also requires new clothes and jewelry for the deity as well as a small cradle. The items needed to make the Panchamrit include Gangajal, honey, ghee, milk and yogurt.
Process Special puja is conducted at Lord Krishna temples on Janmashtami. The puja for the festival usually begins early in the morning, when a sacred bath is given to the idol of baby Krishna, using the holy water of Hindus - Ganga jal (water collected from River Ganga). After bathing, the idol is adorned with new clothes (that are decked with precious stone) that are made especially for embellishing it on the auspicious occasion. Yellow, orange and red may be the color of the clothes. Thereafter, the idol is clad with jewelry. The holy place is illuminated with diyas, while the devotees chant mantras and sing bhajans, praising Lord Krishna. Next, the idol is swung in a cradle, during which conches are blown. When the entire pooja is over, the devotees break their fast by having 'panchamrit'. Thereafter, the prasad is distributed among the devotees.
On the occasion of Janmashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna), the devotees of Krishna prepare every favorite dish of the Lord. Then on the midnight of Janmashtami, these scrumptious dishes are offered to Lord Krishna in order to welcome him on the earth. These include varieties of sweets and dairy products. One of them is the luscious Gopalkala. Prepared from beaten rice, cur, ghee and cucumber, this salty recipe is generally prepared in every home where the festival of Janmashtami is observed. It is extremely easy to prepare and hardly take few minutes to be ready to serve. If you also want know how to make this extremely nutritious and scrumptious dish, the recipe is given below.
250 grams Beaten Rice
1 Coconut (fresh)
100 gm Cucumber
2 Green Chilies
1 tbsp Ghee
1 tsp Jeera
1/2 inch Ginger
50 grams Curd
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
Soak beaten rice for 10 minutes.
Grate the coconut, roughly chop the cucumber & finely chop the green chilies and ginger.
Melt ghee in a small pan for the tempering; add the jeera, green chilies and ginger.
Pour over the beaten rice and add in the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Lord Krishna is one of the favorite deities of Hindus. He is worshipped for his immense power, captivating appearance, unique charm and playfulness. For some, he is the hero, a lover or the guide; while for others, he is a child. He resides in the heart of every devotee and fulfills everyone's wish, if he is worshipped with in-depth devotion. Janmashtami is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Krishna. It falls on the eighth day of Sravana month (August-September according to the Gregorian calendar).
The celebrations of Janmashtami are marked by cultural programs, chanting of bhajans and special pujas. Dance drama is performed by professional artists, or chosen kids, wherein the formative years of Lord Krishna's life are depicted. The dance, which is known as Shri Krishna Rasa leela, is one of the significant parts of the celebrations, as the decisive part of life was spent by Lord Krishna, amidst the Gopis in Vrindavan. Read on to know more about Krishna Rasa Leela.
Shri Krishna Raslila
Legend Raslila is a significant phase in the life of Lord Krishna, when he grew up from a child to a young teen. Before setting his trail to Mathura, in order to accomplish the task of his life (to kill his uncle, Kansa), he grew up by playing around with Gopis on the banks of River Yamuna, in Vrindavan. He was immensely loved by the Gopis due to his adorable mischief. The divine love for Lord Krishna was so strong that the Gopis forgot about the rest of the world, when they were playing and dancing with him. The Gopis performed constant smaran (remembrance) of Lord Krishna and were beloved by himself.
Performance The Gopis would dance around with Lord Krishna and often play hide and seek. They would also sing songs in the glory of the deity. They considered themselves superior of other women, because they were privileged with the opportunity to dance with Lord Krishna. To teach the lesson of humility, Shri Krishna would hide himself during Raslila and would reappear only if Gopis plead to come back. While most of the time Shri Krishna stood at the center of all the Gopis, he would at times join hands with them and perform mesmerizing dance. All these delightful actions were often witnessed by the demigods like Gandharva, Yakshas and they would throw flowers from the sky, to shower blessings on the Gopis and the divine Shri Krishna.
Rasa Leela On Janmashtami On the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami, the devotees of Lord Krishna would enjoy the scenes of Rasa leela performed by professional artists. Generally, Brahmin boys aged between 10 and 13 years are selected to enact as Lord Krishna in Raslila. The main theme of the dance drama revolves around the formative years of Lord Krishna. Apart from Raslila, other themes are also chosen for the performance. These may include Janamleela (the birth of Lord Krishna), Shanklarleela, Putanaleela (the assassination of the demon Putana) and Nagleela (the killing of serpent Kaliya). The troupes perform the dance drama with utmost devotion. In fact, Shri Krishna Rasa leela is one of the main forms of entertainment on Janmashtami.
The term, rasa meaning "aesthetics" and lila meaning "act," "play" or "dance" is a concept from Hinduism, which roughly translates to "play (lila) of aesthetics (rasa)," or more broadly as "Dance of Divine Love".
The rasa lila takes place one night when the gopis of Vrindavan, upon hearing the sound of Krishna's flute, sneak away from their households and families to the forest to dance with Krishna throughout the night, which Krishna supernaturally stretches to the length of one Night of Brahma, a Hindu unit of time lasting approximately 4.32 billion years. In the Krishna Bhakti traditions, the rasa-lila is considered to be one of the highest and most esoteric of Krishna's pastimes. In these traditions, romantic love between human beings in the material world is seen as merely a diminished, illusionary reflection of the soul’s original, ecstatic spiritual love for Krishna, God, in the spiritual world.
In the Bhagavata Purana it is stated that whoever faithfully hears or describes the Rasa lila attains Krishna's pure loving devotion (Suddha-bhakti).
Just as a child plays at its own will with its reflection in a mirror, even so with the help of His Yogamāyā Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa sported with the Gopīs, who were like many shadows of His own form.
Apart from the definition above, the term also comes from the Sanskrit words rasa and lila, with rasa meaning “juice”, “nectar”, "emotion" or "sweet taste" and lila meaning "act".By taking this etymologic breakdown of the word literally, "Rasa lila" means the “sweet act” (of Krishna). It is often freely rendered as "the dance of love".
In the tradition of Vaishnavism of ManipurRasa Lila is depicted within classic Manipuri dance, and revolves around the same story of the love between Krishna and the cowherd girls and tells the divine love story of Krishna, svayam bhagavan and Radha, his divine beloved. This form of dance was started by Bhagya Chandra in 1779 and in some parts of India is still performed every year on Krishna Janmashtami (the festival to clebrate Krishna's birthday). According to different traditions, the rasa-lila is performed either by boys and girls, or by girls only. The dance is performed holding dandi (sticks) and is often accompanied with folk songs and devotional music.
The Traditional Rasa Lila performances in Vrindavan are famous throughout the Vaisnava world as an experience of the spiritual world. Rasa Lila performance was started by Swami Sri Uddhavaghamanda Devacharya in the early 15th Century CE at Vamshivata in Vrindavan, Mathura. He was a prominent saint of the Nimbarka Sampradaya, and disciple of the world-renowned Swami Sri Harivyasa Devacarya. The Vani literature of Vraja is the transcription of the songs that were heard by Swami Harivyasa Devacarya and his Guru, Swami Shri Shribhatta as they meditated on the Nitya Lila of Shri RadhaKrishna. These songs describe the eternal spiritual abode of Shri RadhaKrishna, the Sakhis and Nitya Vrindavana Dham - or Nikunja Dham.
As many new devotees of that time could not understand the Vraja language, Swami Uddavaghamanda Devacarya trained his Brahmachari students to play the parts that appeared in the songs in order to get a visual representation of the Lila that was being described. Many were sceptical of this, and attempted to thwart the first enactment. However, at the conclusion of the first Rasa Lila, tradition has it, the Lord Himself appeared and gave the actors his own Crown, and decreed that whenever a qualified actor was to take the part of the Lord, from the moment he put on the crown on his head, it should be understood that he represents the Lila potency of God, and treated with due respect. Shri Radha and Krsna shall be known as Shri Radha Rasavihari.
Since then, the traditional form has remained that actors who are young Brahmacharis will join a group led by the Swami of that group. The music remains the typical Dhrupada style of the Vraja Acharyas who penned the songs they heard to the accompaniment of Sitar and Pakhawaj and the songs are sung in Vraja Language, a parent to modern Hindi.
Recently, many people have changed the traditional music to popular music. Yet there are a dedicated few who seek to preserve the traditional form of devotional art known as Rasa Lila.
One of the most popular art forms in India, rangoli (kolam) is drawn at the entranceway in most of the Hindu festivals, because it is considered auspicious. On the ceremonious occasion of Janmashtami, people draw rangoli at their entranceway, to welcome Lord Krishna, as the festival commemorates his birth. The art form is a kind of decorative motif, which can be made by using finely ground white powder, colors or even flowers. On Janmashtami, people prefer adorning their verandah with alpana (another name of rangoli) with colors or chalk. In south India, kolam is usually drawn using rice flour. Go through following lines to know more about Krishna Janmashtami rangoli.
Rangoli Designs The designs chosen for a traditional Rangoli are usually derived from nature, because the practice of making designs of the art form is ancient. Some of the most popular Rangoli motifs are peacocks, swans, mango, flowers, creepers, etc. Traditionally, the natural dyes derived form barks of trees and leaves were used for rangoli. However, in the modern age, people make use of synthetic colors for the rangoli. Today, colors, rice flour, turmeric powder and red vermilion are used to draw the rangoli motifs. Depending upon the preference, people choose to draw either huge motifs or simple designs, at their doorsteps.
How Is Rangoli Made It is interesting to see people in south India to make use of rice flour to make simple as well as intricate kolams. On the wonderful occasion of Janmashtami, they would make sure that lord Krishna is welcomed at the best possible way. To serve the purpose, people clean their house, wash the entranceway and make kolam. Rice flour is used to make kolam. A particular design is considered in mind, before drawing the design. Then, the image is begun from a dot (the starting point). Usually, geometrical shapes such as oval, triangle, hexagon, pentagon etc are used to make kolam. With the increasing expertise, images of peacock and animals can be easily drawn.
Significance Of Rangoli Rangoli or kolam forms a significant part of Janmashtami. This is because on the day, Lord Krishna is expected to visit the homes, which are kept neat and beautifully decorated. Since the devotees of lord Krishna expect his visit, they scrub-clean their house and premises, decorate the place with festoons and draw his footsteps, using rice flour, at the entranceway. The footsteps are considered complete, only when they are complemented by a beautiful kolam. This is the reason why on the occasion of Janmashtami, people draw kolam at their entranceway. Moreover, rangoli is considered auspicious for any Hindu festival. All the decorations are given a finishing touch by beautiful rangoli motifs.
Read more at http://festivals.iloveindia.com/janmashtmi/rangoli.html#cTfJiiji4MC4VM9D.99
Fluid notes of the flute pure, Fluffy, fleecy clouds azure. Fading colours, hues of twilight, Falling streams, liquid moonlight.
The echoes of the flute-laden wind, The shadowy darkness carried within. Tinsel notes scattered and sprayed, Music of the universe the flute played.
The ‘gopis’ worked hard, like beavers they toiled, The butter they churned, the milk they boiled. From the heart of the Brindavan forests deep, The honeyed tones their beings did seep.
In a trance-like state, the gopis swayed, It was Lord Krishna’s call from far away, The gopis towards the forest made their way…
Floating fragrance of the ‘kadamba’ tree, The songs of the birds hushed, ceased. Free flowing ripples, the Yamuna river, Molten moon causing a quiver.
Moving fingers the flute caressed, Lilting melody when they came to rest. The poignant notes rang out clear, The gopis searching drew near.
Thirsty eyes drank in the scene, The silhouette outlined by the moonbeam. Magnetic eyes, mysterious gleam, Shining body with a blue sheen.
The gopis Lord Krishna did surround, Their bangles, their anklets made a tinkling sound. Swirling skirts and dancing feet, Whirlpool of colours, rhythmic beat.
Round and round the gopis spun, Round the fulcrum, the axis, the central sun. Lord Krishna magically transformed, And danced with the gopis in multiple forms.
The ‘Dance Of Divine Love’ the ‘Raas Leela’ was seen, By heaven , by earth and the stars between. Lord Shiva himself as ‘gopishvara’ witnessed the scene…
The gopis overcame one by one, Their material wants till there was none. The ego, the attachments which traversed deep, No longer held on to make them weep.
Layer by layer they cast off, Familial,emotional and mental ties thereof. Only love and devotion to the Lord remained, With every breath, every beat, His thought they retained.
Raised fervour, rapid tempo, Rising music, resounding crescendo! With Lord Krishna the forms fused , Soon those very forms diffused…
No shape, no form, no gender, Each identity in total surrender. Individual souls with the universal soul, The whole the part, the part the whole. Just the one consciousness sole…
Gopis – The ‘cow-herd’ girls Kadamba – Evergreen tropical tree native to South and Southeast Asia. Gopishvara – The female form taken by Lord Shiva to participate in the dance of Lord Krishna and the gopis.
Krishna Janmashtami – The Birth Of Lord Krishna – The Birth Of Love
Devaki leaned against the wall, she let out a sigh, Six children from her womb…killed…born only to die… The seventh child had been spirited out at night, A ‘still born’ he was declared to save him from his plight.
The eighth child she now awaited with bated breath, Hoping by some miracle, he would escape death. Vasudeva, her husband , echoed her thoughts, Some glimpse of light in the darkness he sought.
Kamsa, her cousin brother, lay awake in bed, Fearful thoughts swam in his head. “The eighth child will cause your doom, When he comes forth from Devaki’s womb!” He shuddered when he heard the voice, He clamped his ears to shut out the noise.
Each child of Devaki’s before it opened its eyes, Mercilessly he had killed , left with no choice . ‘A mere baby…this eighth child…what can he do? I must harden my heart or I will rue!’
Devaki glowed with an inner light, Divine, radiant, luminous, bright. Darkness dispelled, a shower of gold and white, The jail seemed lit by a thousand lights! It was ‘Ashtami’, the eighth day of ‘Krishna Paksham’, The moon slid into the ‘Rohini Nakshatram’.
Lo and behold! Lord Krishna arrived in their midst, With four hands closed into four tiny fists. The lotus, the conch, he held in one pair, The ‘chakra’, the mace, he waved in the air. Gurgling sounds filled the cell, Accompanied by the flute and the tinkling of bells.
A chant was heard from the heavens above, Poured forth it did from the realms of love…
“Son of the great Vasudeva, The destroyer of evil Kamsa and Chanura, He fills Devaki’s heart with bliss, ‘Guru’, ‘Master teacher’ of the universe he is…”
“Take Lord Krishna to Gokul, to Nanda’s house, Exchange him for the baby lying next to Yashoda, his spouse. ‘Maya’, the divine Goddess who is the new born, Will deal with Kamsa at the break of dawn,” said a divine voice.
Vasudeva got ready to do as he was bid, Carefully in a basket, baby Krishna he hid. Pain wrenched Devaki’s heart, From Lord Krishna she knew she had to part.
The rain outside incessantly poured, Flashes of lightning, thunder roared. ‘Sleep’, the guards subtly lured, Heads nodded, they rhythmically snored.
The gates of their own accord opened wide, The moon served as Vasudeva’s guide. River Yamuna gave way, rising in tide, To a path, a soft river bed by parting to a side.
Adi Sesha, the snake, raised his hoods, Protective, shielding as much as he could. Lord Krishna surveyed with dancing eyes, Casting a spell on all who spied.
The torrents, the floods,the swell, the spate, In unison, in harmony did gradually abate. The trees, the flowers, the plants were rooted, the birds tweeted not, nor the owls hooted.
The dark moon, the stars gazed in awe, Enchanted, mesmerised by Lord Krishna whom they saw. Shared jubilation, shared elation, In utter stillness, in silent communion… Magical moment, timeless, suspended… Pulsating joy towards the heavens ascended…
The ‘Guru’, the ‘Saviour’ was here on earth, To fill every heart with happiness, with mirth, With boundless love of which there was a dearth… Divine plan, divine ploy, With the Lord’s birth, ecstatic joy…
Devaki – Name of Lord Krishna’s mother Vasudeva – Name of Lord Krishna’s father Kamsa – Name Of Lord Krishna’s uncle Ashtami – Eighth day of the Hindu Lunar calendar Krishnapaksham – Period of the fading or waxing moon Rohini – Name of a star Nakshatram – Star The Chakra – the discus Gokul – A town in Uttar pradesh in India where Lord Krishna spent his childhood days Nanda – Name of Lord Krishna’s foster father Yashoda – Name of Lord Krishna’s foster mother Maya – Divine goddess Durga Adi Sesha – King of snakes guru – Teacher, Master
The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated with great zeal by Hindus across India. The eighth day of Savana month is important in the Hindu calendar, because this is the day when Lord Krishna was born in Mathura. The little town of Mathura, situated along the banks of River Yamuna, has now turned into a place of worship. Lord Krishna temple in Mathura is renowned for its Janmashtami celebrations. However, all the temples of Shri Krishna are special on Janmashtami. At midnight stroke, the devotees of Shri Krishna sing devotional songs (bhajans) to praise the deity. It is customary to perform aarti in the midnight of ashtami, when Lord Krishna was born. In this article, we have given the lyrics of some of the popular bhajans that can be sung on Krishnashtami.
Krishna Janmashtami Bhajans
Darshan Do Ghanshyam
Darashan do ghanashyam naath mori Ankhiyan pyaasi re Man mandir ki jyoti jagaado, Ghat ghat basi re
Mandir mandir murat teri Phir bhi naa dikhe surat teri Yug bite naa aai milan ki Puranamasi re
Dwaar dayaa kaa jab tu khole Pancham sur mein gungaa bole Andhaa dekhe langadaa chal kar Pahunche kasi re
Paani pi kar pyaas bujhaun Nainon ko kaise samajhaaun Aankh michauli chhodo ab Man ke basi re
Nibarl ke bal dhaan nidharn ke Tum rakhwaale bhakt janon ke Tere bhajan mein sab sukh paun Mite udasi re
Naam jape par tujhe naa jaane Unako bhi tu apanaa maane Teri dayaa kaa ant nahin hai He dukh nashi re
Aaj phaisalaa tere dwaar par Meri jit hai teri haar par Har jit hai teri main to Charan upaasi re
Dwaar khadaa kab se matavaalaa Maange tum se har tumhaari Narasi ki ye binati sunalo Bhakt vilaasi re
Laj naa lut jaaye prabhu teri Naath karo naa dayaa mein deri Tin lok chhod kar aao Gangaa nivasi re
Bhajo Radhe Govinda
Bhajo Radhe Govinda Gopala Tera pyara naam hai Gopala Tera pyara naam Nandalala Tera pyara naam
Mor mukat maathe tilak Gale vaijanthimala Gale Koi kahe Vasudev ka Koi kahe Nandalala Koi kahe Bhajo Radhe Govinda.
Gaj aur Grehe lade jal Jal mein chakra chalaya Jal mein chakra chalaya Jab jab bhid padi bhagaton par Nanggi pairin dhaya Nanggi pairin dhaya Bhajo Radhe Govinda.
Bhajo Man Govind Gopala
Bhajo Man Govind Gopala Govind Gopala Gopala Bhajo man Govind Gopala Govind bolo Hari Gopal bolo Govind Gopala, Gopala Bhajo man Govind Gopala
Rang Le Khudko, Murari Ke Rang
Rang le khudko, murari ke rang Jeevan ke sab rang hain jhoote Rang lo mohe Apne rang mein murari.
Mrigtrishna ke is jaal se ab karo mukti humari, Rang lo mohe Apne rang mein murari.
Dukh-sukh, paap-punya hain aane jane. Rang lo mohe Apne rang mein murari
Mayajaal ke rang hai kacche, bas tohre naam ke pukke, Rang lo mohe Apne rang mein murari
Tohre naam se hoga is bhav sagar ka paar Rang lo mohe Apne rang main murari
Darsh Do Mohe Girdhari
Darsh do mohe girdhari More pranpriye krishna More pyare girdhari, Darsh do mohe More pran chhootat jat
Main neech nirbal prani Chahta jana chhodd duniya ka sath Darsh do mohe More pran chhootat jat
Moh maya ke is bhanwar se Do mujhe ab ubhar Darsh do mohe More pran chhootat jat
Karm ki gathariya ho gayi bhari Karo mera uddhar Darsh do mohe More pran chhootat jat
Sumiran kar tera antim kshan mein Mujhe milega swarg ka dwar Darsh do mohe More pran chhootat jat
More pyare girdhari Sun lo ab arz humari Darsh de mohe More pran chhootat jat