INDIA: Krishna Janmashtami, commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu, was celebrated with traditional enthusiasm in various parts of India, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, at midnight on Wednesday.
Janmashtami, derived from “Janma” (birth) and “Ashtami” (eight), is celebrated in the Hindu month of “Bhadrapada” (August-September) during the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) of the lunar calendar.
This year marked the 5250th birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. According to Vedic scriptures, Krishna, described as the Supreme Lord, appeared in this material world around 5,000 years ago, on the eighth day of the waning moon (Ashtami tithi under Rohini Nakshatra) in the month of Bhadrapada as the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudev in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.
Lord Krishna is renowned for his deeds and teachings, including rescuing Draupadi and guiding Arjuna in the Mahabharata. On Janmashtami, devotees fast and offer prayers.
In Maharashtra, the celebrations included recitation of parts of the “Bhagavad Gita” and a Pooja at Shree Swami Samarth Mandir in Mumbai. Similar programs took place at ISKCON centers in Juhu and Kharghar, where devotees offered a holy bath and chanted the Maha Mantra “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna Hare Hare.”
Gujarat commenced its Janmashtami celebrations, including a five-day fair in Rajkot and festivities in Dwarka, the place where Lord Krishna established his kingdom.
Andhra Pradesh saw an Aarti with 108 lamps at ISKCON in Visakhapatnam, followed by prasad distribution to devotees. The festival was also celebrated at ISKCON in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
In Uttar Pradesh, temples in Mathura, Vrindavan, and Gokul, where Lord Krishna spent his childhood, were adorned with lights and flowers. While Benaras celebrated Janmashtami on Wednesday, Mathura’s main event was scheduled for Thursday, with hundreds of temples participating in festivities over a month in advance.
Maharashtra, particularly Mumbai, awaits the thrilling “Govinda” events on Thursday, where participants called “Govindas” form human pyramids to reach and break a pot hung mid-air. This tradition symbolizes Krishna and his friends stealing curd and butter by forming pyramids in Vrindavan. However, it’s more popular in Maharashtra.
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