Janmashtami – Significance of Gokulashtami Festival, Date & Rituals

Janmashtami – Significance of Gokulashtami Festival, Date & Rituals

Janmashtami 2024 Date

The Hindu festival Krishna Janmashtami this year will be celebrated on Monday, August 26, 2024. Krishna Janmashtami or Janmashtami celebrates the birth of the famous Hindu God Lord Krishna. As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna had descended on earth on the 8th day of the dark half of Saavan month, which is celebrated as Janmashtami.

Importance Of Janmashtami And History Surrounding Lord Krishna

Lord Krishna, a name synonymous with love and affection in the Hindu culture, is regarded as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Also known as Purna Purshottam, Lord Krishna is said to be the Supreme Person who knows it all, is all-powerful and yet very compassionate. Lord Krishna was the 8th child of His parents Devaki and Vasudeva, who were prisoners in Devaki’s brother King Kansa’s prison at the time of Krishna’s birth. There was a prophecy that the evil Kansa would be killed by his sister’s 8th child, hence Kansa had killed Devaki’s first seven children. Vasudeva had taken his newborn to Vrindavan to protect Him from the fury of Kansa.

Lord Krishna’s Message In Bhagavad Gita

It was implied in the prophecy that nobody would be able to alter destiny. This is an absolute truth which Lord Krishna has explained in Shree Bhagavad Gita, the very foundation of the Hindu culture. No relation, no emotion can stop Lord Krishna when He is out there to reinforce the eternal truth and to eliminate evil. He also said this in Shree Bhagavad Gita –

Yada yada hi dharmasya glaanihi bhavati bharat |
Abhyutthaanam adharmasya tadaa aatmanam srujami aham ||

Paritraanaaya saadhoonaam vinaashaay cha dushkrutam |
Dharmsamsthaapanaarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge||

“Whenever righteousness declines and unrighteousness grows in this world, the Almighty reveals His presence! The Supreme, though unborn and undying, becomes manifest in the human form to overthrow and defeat the forces of ignorance and selfishness.”

The Rituals And Method Of Celebrating Janmashtami

Since Janmashtami is the birthday of Lord Krishna, the pious day is celebrated with joy and laughter all over the world by Hindus every year. Men and women observe fast and follow rituals in honour of Lord Krishna. The Holy cradle in the temple of Lord Krishna is decorated with beautiful items for Bal Krishna – the childhood avatar of Krishna.

The Method Of Observing Fast And Offering Puja On Janmashtami:

  • You need to start your fast at the sunrise and end it past sunrise the next day. Follow all the rules, while keeping the fast.
  • Once you are done with your morning routine, take a bath. Then recite the ‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaay” mantra as many times as possible.
  • If you have an idol of Bal Krishna in your temple at home, you may decorate it with fancy clothes and jewellery, as per your will and capacity, and celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight. Offer panjiri – the traditional prasaad associated with this festival – and white butter to Bal Krishna.
  • Offer 52 bhog (food items) or available tasty dishes in the market to Bal Krishna the next day. You may end your fast and eat once you have offered food to Bal Krishna.

With Ganesha’s Grace,
Dharmesh Joshi
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team
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