Janmashtami is the joyful celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth. Major celebrations of Krishna Janmashtami takes place at midnight as Krishna is said to have made his divine appearance in that hour. Fasting, bhajans, pujas and many other rituals mark Janmashtami celebrations in India.
Sri Krishna is considered to be one of the most endeared human incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Born more than 5000 years ago in Mathura city, the revered God of Hindu religion and his teachings hold immense relevance till date.
Birth of Lord Krishna
Janmashtami is celebrated to welcome and enjoy Lord Krishna’s birth. The birth of Lord Krishna took place when the various planets were in auspicious places. It is said that God chooses a particular time, as to when he will take birth as a human and the planetary systems are adjusted accordingly.
Auspicious Nakshatra (Constellation)
Around the time of Bhagwan Krishna’s birth, Rohini Nakshatra was predominant as it is considered to be quite auspicious. This is so because it is under the supervision of Brahma, the creator of Universe. Sri Krishna was born in the month Of Sravana more than 5000 years ago.
Born in Dwapur Yug (Iron Age)
According to some scholars, Krishna was born on Wednesday,the eighth day of second fortnight in Sravana month in the year of Visvavasu around 3227 BC, also known as Dwapur Yug. July 19th 3228 BC to be more accurate. He lived for 125 years and disappeared on February 18th 3102 BC on the new moon night of Phalguna. His death was the onset of the current corrupt age known as Kaliyug.
Universal Happiness of all Forms of Life
From the time, Devki conceived Sri Krishna, she began to glow and exude divine light. The prison walls glowed with the aura of the new born infant. Atmosphere of peace and happiness prevailed all over, Forests were all green and full of trees with all kinds of beautiful flowers, rivers were all swollen due to joy, peacocks began to dance in sheer joy, people in all villages started being happy.
Objective of Krishna’s Birth
The main objective of Lord Krishna’s birth was to free Mother Earth from the wickedness of demons. Playing an important part in Mahabharata (legendary battle in Kurukshetra) and propagating the theory of bhakti and good karma were other important objectives.
Events Before The Birth of Sri Krishna
The people of Mathura were extremely unhappy with the wicked king Kansa who put his father, king Ugrasen in prison and declared himself the king of Mathura. It was to put an end to his evil ways and other demons that Lord Vishnu decided to take birth on Earth in human form. According to Akashvani (heavenly voice) at the wedding of his beloved sister Devki, Kansa got to know that the eighth child of his sister will take birth to kill him. So, in turn he rushed to kill his sister. Kansa gave up the idea of killing after being assured by Vasudev that he will handover all his children to him. He put them in Prison. Kansa killed all the six infants as soon as they were born. The seventh child (Balram) was saved due to divine intervention, when he was transferred from Devki’s womb to that of Rohini’s (other wife of Vasudev).
Events During the Birth of Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna was born in a prison cell in the captivity of King Kansa. He took birth in divine form with lotus like eyes,his palms bearing the signs of a lotus and discus. He had a swastika sign on his sole. Wearing a yellow colored silk cloth, adorned with precious diamond earrings and a crown made of emeralds. Soon after the birth, a chain of events astonished Vasudev,when he saw the gates of the cell flow open and all the guards fast asleep. He immediately thought of Nand ,his close friend in Gokul and decided to handover his child to him in order to save him from the clutch of Kansa.
River Yamuna Bows To The Feet of Sri Krishna
The night of birth was witnessed by heavy rains which led to River Yamuna being in floods. As soon as the feet of Lord immersed in the river, the flow became normal and Yamuna made way for the Lord. Sheshnag, the serpent formed an umbrella to save the new born baby from rain.
Exchange of the Babies
Vasudev kept his child next to fast asleep Yashoda and took the baby girl lying with him back to Mathura. The baby girl is believed to be the sister of Lord Vishnu.
Disappearance of The Divine Child
On hearing the news of birth of the eighth child of Devki and Vasudev, Kansa rushed to the prison-cell and lifted the baby girl to kill her despite pleadings from Devki. However, instead of hitting the stone, the child flew up in the air and announced that the annihilator of Kansa was born and in safe hands.
Krishna later grew in Gokul and finally killed his maternal uncle, King Kansa.
Legend of Janmashtami
Janmashtami, one of the most popular festivals of Hindus celebrates the birth of their beloved God, Sri Krishna. Detailed story of Janmashtami or Lord Krishna’s birth has been narrated in Puranas. Please read on to know more about the various fascinating aspects of the legend of Janmashtami as stated in Puranas.
Mathura, a prominent town of Northern India and the birth city of Sri Krishna was ruled by King Ugrasen, a Yaduvanshi ( Belonging to the Community of Yadavs). He was a great king loved by his subjects. He had two children, a son Kansa and a daughter Devki. Kansa was quite cruel by nature, his wickedness knew no bounds when he jailed his father and forcefully became the king of Mathura.
Love for sister Devki and Brother in law Vasudev
Though Kansa was hard hearted but he loved his sister immensely and married her off to Vasudev, one the high ranking officers in his army. However on the day of wedding, as a result of a heavenly prediction that Devki’s eighth child will be born to kill him, Kansa decided to kill his sister. On Vasudev’s pleading, he put both of them in dungeons and let them live but with a promise that they will handover all their children to Kansa, only to be killed by him.
Birth of Balram
Kansa succeeded in killing all the six new born babies of Devki and Vasudev, however the seventh child was saved by divine intervention as the child was transferred from Devki’s womb to that of Rohini’s, Vasudev’s other wife. Thus Balram, the elder brother of Krishna was born but Kansa thought that Devki had a miscarriage.
Birth of Krishna
The birth of the eighth child of Devki, Lord Krishna was followed by a chain of dramatic events. Soon after the birth of the child, as if by a sheer miracle, all the soldiers guarding the couple fell asleep and the gates of the dungeon flew open themselves. Vasudev decided to smuggle the child safely in a basket to his friend Nand in Gokul. Since it was raining heavily, River Yamuna was all swollen and Vasudev feared that both he as well as his child will drown if he tried to cross it, however, as soon as the feet of the infant touched the river, the flow of water became normal and Vasudev was able to cross it easily. Sheshnag, the five headed serpent of Lord Vishnu protected the child with its fangs. Vasudev knew that his was not an ordinary child but a divine being. After handing his child, to his dear friend, Nand, Vasudev returned back safely with a girl child and no one got to know about it.
On hearing the news of the eighth born child, Kansa rushed to kill the girl. He paid no heed to Devki’s plead of sparing the girl. He held the child by her legs and just as he was about to bang her against the wall, the girl vanished into thin air and told Kansa that his slayer had been born and was safe in Gokul. The girl child was none other than Yogmaya (divine illusion). The eighth child grew up as Yashoda and Nand’s son in Gokul and later killed his maternal uncle Kansa, freeing all the people of Mathura from his tyranny.