Janmashtami: The Emergence of Krishna Leela

Janmashtami: The Emergence of Krishna Leela
Janmashtami: The Emergence of Krishna Leela

The whole nation is overwhelmed to witness the accouchement most loved incarnation of the Lord Vishnu.

August 17, 2020

By Anirbaan Hritiq

Krishna & His Grace:

You may call him Krishna, Ghanshyam, Mohan, Gopal, Girdhari, Yashoda Nandan, Dwarikadhish, Vasudev, Hari, or Jagannath, the names may differ from region to region but the fan following of Lord Krishna is matchless. Why did I mention the term fan in place of devotees or followers? Because Krishna is taken as a family member amongst the people of India, he is someone they can call upon without any predefined salutations, his entity is completely informal as his followers affectionately consider him as a child. Krishna Janmashtami is a pan-India festival for a reason because his divine grace and aura are more human-like than a God. Young girls tie Rakhis to idols of Lord Krishna in the Raksha Bandhan, and pregnant mothers of India worship God to give them a son with qualities of Krishna meanwhile in the case of girls is always Maa Lakshmi. Therefore, also makes Krishna and the 108 names given to him as per the Hindu mythology as most common names given to the boys in India. Nowadays, even girls are named Krishna and Shyama by their parents.

The tall, dark, and handsome statured Hindu God Lord Krishna, and his adventures made famous amongst the devotees as well as 16000 Gopis (female cow-herders) who were believed to be incarnations of saints and devotees who desired to be united with Lord Vishnu. That is all totally a different story, let us come back to the context and accept the fact that the blue/dusky-colored incarnation of Lord Vishnu was extremely popular due to his natural charm and gullible projections.

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Again, what does the term gullible projection exactly means? Well, we are aware of the fact that how notorious Krishna was in childhood and how he used to convince his mother Yashoda to avoid getting punished by her upon being caught. Krishna’s love for Makhan (Butter) and Curd which he used to steal and eat from cow herders’ houses.

Janmashtami Celebrations & Rituals:

Now, this act of notoriety has been adopted as a religious ritual in the state of Maharashtra, where it is called Dahi Handi. In this ritual, the youths of the locality assemble together and form a human-building-like structure climbing in which an individual goes up and breaks the pot filled with curd. A similar version of the ritual is also followed by the people of Gujarat and Rajasthan which is known as Makhan Handi. Since Lord Krishna established his kingdom at Dwarka, Gujarat the people celebrate this auspicious occasion with great pompous and gaiety where devotees dance, decorate their cattle animals, and even do fasting to mark this auspicious event. The festival is also celebrated in the South Indian region as Gokula Asthami and also most celebrated in all states including Andra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala. All the famous Vishnu Temples are decorated and prasad made up of rice and ghee is widely offered to the deity. Here, also cattle animals are decorated and prayed.

Janmashtami is the primary festival of the Braj/Brij region of Northern India as Lord Krishna was born and brought up in this area. The area surrounding the Yamuna River, especially Mathura and Vrindavan area hosts this occasion like no other state. All primary temples are decorated with flowers and Rasha Leela play is performed by children to commemorate the activities of young Krishna. Since Mathura was the birthplace of Krishna as well as the place where he avenged the atrocities his maternal uncle King Kansha, committed against his parents Devaki and Vasudev who were kept in captivity and tortured to prevent the birth of Krishna, who was supposed to kill him (Kansha) as per a divine oracle (Akashvani). And, Vrindavan meanwhile was the epicenter of all his activities from Kalia Naga Dahan to lifting up Govardhan Hill using the little finger as well as killing numerous demons sent by King Kansha to assassinate Lord Krishna. People recall these iconic events through drama and perform Krishna Leela as well as dance and celebrate by preparing delicacies loved to be eaten by the deity.

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Janmashtami & It’s Bonding with Odisha:

Every state has its own unique way to remember Lord Krishna, and many of them are extremely unique as well. But Odisha remembers Krishna’s avatar of Lord Vishnu every day as the primary deity of the state is Lord Jagannath (means Lord of the Universe). Lord Jagannath is believed to be the live representation of Lord Krishna as some of his mortal remains are placed in the wooden idol as Daru Bramha. In Odisha, Lord Jagannath is worshipped with his elder brother Balabhadra (Badaladev) and sister Subhadra. Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated with some special rituals at the Puri Jagannath Temple making the event more auspicious and divine.

Meanwhile, another special temple dedicated to Lord Krishna also receives special attention from devotees during this time period, Khirachora Gopinatha (Milk stealing avatar of Lord Krishna) Temple situated at Balasore gets overcrowded by devotees who believe that witnessing the special rituals such as Balya Bhoga, Sringar, and Arti will wipe away all their ill-deeds and provide them with the ultimate blessing of enlightenment.

On this day, Odia households prepare different kinds of special traditional cakes called Pitha to offer as prasad to Lord Krishna as well as young kids of the house wear new dresses, meanwhile cattle animals are decorated as a remembrance of Krishna’s love for animals. Many people also keep fasting to receive blessings from Lord Krishna and for the accomplishment of their desires. Om Namah Bhagavate, Basudevaya.




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