Janmashtami is the festival celebrating the birth of Bhagwan Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna Avathar is the eighth incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu.
Janmashtami occurs on the Krishna Paksha Ashtami of Shravan month as per Amantha Calendar and Bhadrapada month as per Purnimantha Calendar. The festival invariably happens on the eighth day from Shravan Purnima.
For the Year 2023, Janmashtami occurs on Wednesday, 6th September 2023. The exact duration of the Ashtami Tithi has to be ascertained from the respective regional calendars.
Sri Krishna’s birth
Bhagwan Sri Krishna was originally born to Sri Vasudeva and Sri Devaki at Mathura as their eighth child. The birth Tithi was Ashtami and the Star was Rohini.
The Avatar as Sri Krishna was ordained by Sri Maha Vishnu to destroy Kamsasur and other demons. But the asura extinguishment was meant for the later time. So, it was arranged to shift Sri Krishna from Mathura to Gokulam.
Besides the above, Sri Yashoda, in Her previous birth, had obtained a boon from Sri Maha Vishnu. As per the boon, she would be blessed and bestowed with the opportunity to rear and bring up the Lord Himself in His childhood.
Hence, once Sri Krishna was brought into Gokulam, Sri Yashoda Devi adopted Him and looked after Him as Her own son. She was blessed to witness all the bubbliness and naughtiness of Laddu Krishna.
This marks the birthday of Bhagwan Sri Krishna. It is celebrated by all the Hindus and the hallmark of this festival is the prayer and utmost devotion.
In most parts of India, Janmashtami is celebrated by way of holding a contest named Dahi Handi or Makhan Handi which means the pot of curd or butter hung from the rope tied much above the ground level using poles.
Youth groups (called Govindas) compete with each other to reach the pot. This play denotes Sri Krishna’s childhood play of stealing butter from the pot (hanging from the roof) by forming a pyramid on the backs of his friends. This also signifies the removal of hardships from our lives by Sri Krishna.
In Mathura and Vrindavan, the festival is celebrated with much bhajans, songs etc., Some people also resort to fasting on this day.
The devotees recite and read Bhagavatham, the story of Sri Krishna and chant the manthras in praise of Sri Bhagwan Krishna. In some places, even Bhagavad Gita is also recited. At Sri Krishna temples, folk dances and bhajan singing are held.
Down South, people prepare snacks such as seedai, murukku, thattai etc., and offer to Sri Krishna as neivedyam alongwith butter.
Apart from the above, the flattened rice cooked with jaggery is also offered to God to signify His fondness to His friend Sudhama who came to meet Him for financial help with only the pounded rice. As per the legend, Sudhama attained prosperity for each of the mouthful of the pounded rice partaken by Sri Krishna.
Some Vaishnavite followers observe Sri Krishna Jayanthi on the Rohini Star-day which occurs on the next day of Janmashtami.
Janmashtami is also called as Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Sri Jayanthi, Sri Krishna Ashtami, Sri Gokula Ashtami, Sattam Aatham, Ashtami Rohini, Pancha Rathra Sri Jayanthi, Gopala Kala and Dahi Handi.
The web-site contains the following Slokams in praise of and as prayer to Bhagwan Sri Krishna.
The web-site also has articles on the following Sri Krishna temples.
Sarvam Shree Krishna-arpanam!!!