Birthday of Lord Krishna
Falls In :
The Eighth day of the dark half month of Bhadraba or Bhadra (August - September)
The birthday of Lord Krishna, the eighth personification of Lord Vishnu, is distinguished as Janmashtami. It fall on the eighth day of the dark half of the month of 'Bhadraba' or 'Bhadra'. Of all the divine incarnations of the God, Sri Krishna is the most adored. By virtue of His divine 'Leelas' or sports, Krishna has befall the darling of the humanity.
Legend of Lord Krishna
The purpose of taking this avatar or incarnation was, as explained in the 'Bhagavat
Geeta', the annihilation of evil and the establishment of truth and virtue. As such, from His infancy onwards Krishna destroyed numerous demons (suggestive of evil forces) who were harassing the Gods and men alike.
Later, as an ally of the 'Pandavas', He brought about in the attention of truth and justice, the war of 'Kurukshetra' to destroy the wicked 'Kauravas' and restore legitimate rights to the honest and truthful Pandavas. It was from this battlefield that He delivered His Message to the suffering humanity, which has come down to us as the most sacred book 'Geeta'.
All His sports or Leelas have been elaborately described in the 'Bhagavata', Mahabharata', 'HariJanma' and many other religious texts. The birthday of the Lord is, therefore, celebrated as one of the greatest of all Hindu festivals in all houses.
Lord Krishna was born at mid-night when the moon entered the house of 'Vrisabha' at the constellation of the star 'Rohini' on the eighth day of the dark half of the month of Bhadrab. Therefore, it became customary to observe fasting up to mid-night till the exact hour of birth. When the fixed hour comes conches are blown, gongs are sounded, slogans involving the God are given which heralds the birth of Krishna. After this 'Bhog' (food offering)
is offered to the deity and the fast is broken.
A Vaishnav Festivity
The festival is widely celebrated in all Vaishnavite temples, monasteries and houses. Clay images of Krishna are also worshipped on this occasion. The cowherd community of Orissa devoutly observes the festival, as Krishna lived and spent his childhood days in 'Gopa'.
The next day is observed as 'Nandotshaba' by this particular community as a reminiscence of the festival that was held by 'Nanda Raja', to celebrate the birth and arrival of Krishna. The young boys sing songs related to Krishna's sport and dance to the beats of resonant sticks.
While Vaishnavism was the court-religion of Orissa since 11th century A.D., the cult of Krishna worship was made popular during 15th century A.D. by 'Shri
Chaitanya' and his followers. Though temples exclusively dedicated to Krishna are few in Orissa, the representative deities at Lord
Jagannatha are no other than Krishna who is known as 'Madana
Mohana', 'Ramakrishna', 'Gopala', 'Gopinath' etc.