Countless festivals are celebrated in India’s holy and diverse nation with great excitement and fervour. Janmashtami is an example of such a holiday. Lord Krishna’s birth on Janmashtami is celebrated as Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar.
This day is also known as Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, depending on where you are from. Hindus all around the globe commemorate this particular holiday. This year, the date of Janmashtami will fall on the 30th of August, 2021.
Lord Krishna is believed to be the most potent manifestation of Lord Vishnu. The word “Janmashtami” comes from two Sanskrit words, namely, ‘Janm’ means birth and ‘Ashtami’ means eighth. The festival of Janmashtami is celebrated on the Ashtami tithi (Eighth Day) of the dark fortnight under Rohini Nakshatra.
It is Shravan month according to the Hindu calendar, and it is Bhadrapad month in the Purnimant calendar. According to the Gregorian calendar, this corresponds to August and September.
Lord Krishna is the eighth manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Ashtami Tithi is when Lord Krishna was born as the eighth son of Vasudev and Yashoda’s eight children (eighth). To establish the Dharma, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Lord Krishna. Because the eighth word has much significance that's why it is called “Janmashtami”.
Good triumphed over evil with the birth of Lord Krishna and his subsequent victory against his maternal uncle Kansa. His birth occurred to eliminate evil and disseminate the message of love, compassion, and brotherhood throughout the entire world.
Why do we celebrate this festival?
The Tale of Mahabharata shares a lot of similarities with Lord Krishna’s life and legend. Lord Krishna served as Arjuna’s charioteer during the Dharma Yuddha or virtuous battle between two Pandavas and Kauravas.
Due to Arjuna’s mental agony after murdering his siblings and cousins, he was counseling Arjuna on different aspects of life, including Dharma (righteous path), Karma (deeds), Theistic Devotion, Yogic Ideals, salvation, wisdom, etc.
It is sometimes referred to be a life guide or spiritual dictionary because of the passages in this book, which is none other than Bhagavat Gita. According to Lord Krishna, anytime bad acts are prominent in this universe, he would reincarnate as different appearances and outfits to show mankind the way of right and peace.
As part of this festival’s tradition, Dahi Handi is also widely practiced. When Lord Krishna was a youngster, Dahi Handi acted out his wickedness. As Makhan Chor or Butter Stealer, Lord Krishna is credited with stealing butter from clay pots.
An earthen pitcher of buttermilk is hung at a specific height in the streets because of this tradition. To reach and shatter the clay pot, men build human pyramids on top of one other. This is a parody of Lord Krishna’s boyhood pranks when he and his pals would steal butter from pots that were out of reach to eat it.
There are numerous areas in India where Dahi Handi is held as a tournament as well.
Janmashtami all-around World
ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) is a Gaudiya Vaishnava religious organization. It was created in 1966 by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and is headquartered in New York City today.
You can find ISKCON organization centers in most parts of the world. All ISKCON temples in India and around the world celebrated Janmashtami, including ISKCON New York Bhakti Center, ISKCON Auckland New Zealand, New Vrindaban in West Virginia UK, ISKCON South London, and ISKCON temples in Nepal, North & South America, Europe, Russia, Dubai and different parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia.
This religion’s main doctrines are based on Hindu texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavat Purana, and Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had supporters in India since the late 15th century, as well as devotees in the United States and Europe from the early 1900s.
I would like to conclude this story with a quote from Bhagavat Gita:
The only way you can conquer me is through love and there I am gladly Conquered.