India is celebrating Krishna Janmashtami to mark the birth to Lord Krishna. Prime Minster Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind extended their greeting on this occasion.
Janmashtami is celebrated as a festival in India to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of god Vishnu, "Preserver of the universe" in Hindu Mythology.
Today, 3rd September 2018, is Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna and Hindu’s around the world is celebrating this festival.
President Ram Nath Kovind posted his message on his twitter account, greeting the people on this occasion.
Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. The teachings of Lord Krishna have a universal message - Nishkam Karma. May this festival inspire us to follow the path of virtue and righteousness in thought, word and deed #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) September 3, 2018
"Greetings and good wishes to fellow citizens on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami. The teachings of Lord Krishna have a universal message - Nishkam Karma. May this festival inspire us to follow the path of virtue and righteousness in thought, word and deed," the President tweeted on his Twitter account.
PM Modi Twitted “Janmashtami greetings to everyone. श्रीकृष्ण जन्माष्टमी के पावन अवसर पर सभी को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। जय श्रीकृष्ण!”.
Janmashtami greetings to everyone.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 3 September 2018
श्रीकृष्ण जन्माष्टमी के पावन अवसर पर सभी को हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं। जय श्रीकृष्ण!
A Hindu born and raised anywhere in the world does not need an introduction to the name Krishna. Born in Mathura as the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva, Krishna had to take on mighty adversaries right from the time of his birth. Kamsa, Mathura king and Devaki’s brother, feared Krishna as it was prophesied that Devaki’s eighth son would kill him. Kamsa therefore had imprisoned Devaki and Vasudeva and killed all their children to safeguard himself. However, as an avatar of Vishnu, Krishna managed to have Vasudeva transport him to Gokulam where Yasoda, the wife of Gopa leader Nanda also had a child at the same time.
These events, mentioned in Hindu sacred texts such as Srimad Bhagavatam to have occurred in Sravana masa on Rohini nakshatra and Ahstami tithi, are still commemorated by Hindus as Janmashtami.
Hindus worship many gods and goddesses based on their family customs and personal likings, but one could easily argue that Krishna is the most well-loved of them all. The reasons can be found in how close He comes to the human nature. Right from His playful antics as a child in Gokula to His role as the teacher of the Bhagavat Gita that the world revers, Krishna’s life and message are multi-layered. He is Yasoda’s darling child, a playmate to the children of Gokula, heart- throb of the gopis, death personified for Kamsa and many other evil demons, friend and mentor to Arjuna the mighty warrior, and the Cosmic Consciousness Incarnate for the sages and the learned. And through all this, He is never far from the humblest of the humble, and has a kind word, glance and smile-and at times a miracle- for those that throng to him.
This multi-faceted nature of Krishna has inspired many a work of art and literature. There are many songs, poems, and works of art devoted to Him. He continues to inspire artists, philosophers and poets from Jayadeva who wrote Gita Govind around the love of Radha and Krishna, Meera who sang of her beloved Giridhar and Sur Das who sang of His exploits in Vrindavan in the olden times, to poets such as Dharamvir Bharati and Kamala Das who gave modern interpretations to aspects of Krishna in our times. Bhagavat Gita has countless treatises, interpretations, and scholarly discussions.
As befitting the diversity that is India, various parts of India follow many different traditions and customs in celebrating Janmashtami. In some years, the southern and northern parts of India observe Krishna Jayanti on different days depending on the different almanac systems. They are no more than a day or so apart anyway. Hindus observe fasting, and go to temples or make offerings to Krishna at home. They prepare sweets that are then offered to the child god.
Apart from these, in Mathura and Vrindavan where Krishna spent his childhood, people follow the custom of Dahi-handi, an event filled with fun and frolic. This is in memory of Krishna stealing butter. A mix of curd, butter etc. is poured into an earthen pot, which is then suspended at a height quite above hand’s reach. Boys/youngsters then form a pyramid in an attempt to grab the pot while the onlookers pour water to stop the boys. In south India, women decorate their houses with footprints of a child (dipped in rice batter) to signify the arrival of the Lord.
Whatever the rituals and customs, Krishna Jayanti is a joyous occasion for Indians. Above all, Krishna teaches us to rise above difficulties and petty differences and celebrate life. May this Krishnashtami bring all of you the blessings of abundance, well-being and limitless Joy!