Also popularly called as Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanthi or Ashtami Rohini, Krishna Janmashtami is a very famous event commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna, the most famed and celebrated incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Krishna is a mesmerizing incarnation. His pranks and plays as a tiny child on the soils of Gokul and his adventurous feats in vanquishing demons and leading the Pandava army on the soils of Kurukshetra are remembered for eternity. Krishna is adored for the most popular Bhagavad Gita which he taught Arjuna in the battlefield that contains spiritual wisdom for all humans of all times. Here is a detailed procedure of how to celebrate Krishna Jamashtami.
Krishna was born when the Ashtami Tithi and Rohini Nakshatra coincided. Krishnashtami is celebrated on the eighth day of the Krishnapaksha (waning phase of moon) during the month of Bhadrapada (August-September). Every year, it is not possible for Ashtami Tithi and Rohini Nakshatra to coincide perfectly. Therefore in some traditions, Ashtami Tithi is given importance while in some others Rohini Nakshatra is considered important. Therefore the actual dates of Krishna Janmashtami vary among different traditions. Most usually Krishnashtami puja is performed during the night since Krishna was born during night.
Krishnashtami is perhaps the most widely celebrated event across all the different cultures and traditions of India. There are so many local variations to celebrating this event and how the puja is performed. However, the most common puja procedure is discussed here.
Set up the altar, install an image of Lord Krishna preferably a baby form holding butter pot or with a cow. Decorate the image with flowers. Draw little footsteps from the main entrance of the home till the puja altar signifying little Krishna’s arrival.
Light a ghee lamp and incense sticks. The offerings arranged in front of the altar can include assortment of fruits (jamun of black plum fruit is important), butter, milk sweets, assortment of snacks, beaten rice, flowers, sandal paste, vermilion, sacred rice, flower garlands and others.
Chant Ganesh mantra for the successful completion of the puja. Make the sixteen types of offerings to Lord Krishna.
It is very auspicious to chant Vishnu Sahasranama stotram during the puja. Chant Krishna’s names and sing songs dedicated to Lord Krishna. Do puja with flowers listing out the names of Krishna.
Pray for the welfare of all in the family and ask Krishna to bless the household with prosperity, wealth and happiness. Do arati singing Krishna’s song and do namaskar in front of the altar.
Distribute the Prasad to children and neighbors.
If you are observing fast, you can partake the Prasad after breaking the fast the next morning.
• Devotees observing fasting on Krishnashtami need to follow the points given below.
• Start with the fasting on the morning of Krishnashtami after doing sankalp in front of the Krishna image.
• No grains are consumed on the day of Krishnashtami until the fast is broken on the next day morning after sunrise.
• All the rules pertaining to Ekadashi fasting are applied to Krishnashtami fasting as well.
• The fasting ends for Krishnashtami after when either Ashtami Tithi or Rohini Nakshatra is over (whichever is earlier).
• Remember the teachings of Lord Krishna and spend the day in the thought of the Lord, singing and listening to his glories.
• Chant at least a few chosen Bhagavad Gita slokas and contemplate on their meaning.
• Do some charity to the needy and poor and visit some temples of Krishna.
• Usually Ashtami Tithi is considered inauspicious to start any new task or venture. So, people do not start anything new on this day.
• Do not indulge in evils deeds, eating non-vegetarian foods, telling lies and talking ill of others.