One of the most popular Hindu festivals celebrated in India is Janmashtami. The auspicious Shravan month event marks the birth of Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Krishna Janmashtami 2017 falls on August 14 (date in India) celebrating the 5244th birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. The festival is also known as Gokulashtami, Dahi Handi, Srikrishna Jayanti and Krishnashtami holds a significant place in the Hindu mythology as Lord Krishna’s birth represented the good prevailing over evil, particularly to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism. Celebrated over a period of 1-2 days, Krishna devotees observe religious fasting rituals i.e. vrat puja vidhi keeping shubh muhurat timings in mind. They chant Krishna mantras and bhajans till midnight, the time when Lord Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudeva.
Krishna Janmashtami and Dahi Handi 2017 Date in India
According to the Hindu Luni-Solar Calendar, Krishna Janmashtami takes place on Ashtami, the eighth day of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) that falls in the Bhadrapada month. Bhadrapada is the overlapping time between August and September of the Gregorian calendar. This year Janmashtami will be taking place on August 14, 2017 (Monday) marking Lord Krishna’s 5244 birth anniversary. He was born at midnight to Devaki and Vasudeva in jail, (his evil uncle, Kamsa had kept them as prisoners). Vasudeva later carried baby Krishna to his foster parents, Nandbaba and Mata Yashodha.
The devotees have to keep the fast (vrat) on August 14 until the midnight, marking the birth of Lord Krishna. His birthday celebrations are carried on a large scale the following day with a sporting event called Dahi Handi. The Dahi Handi will be celebrated on August 14, Tuesday. Dahi Handi celebration is also known as Gopalakala in Maharashtra. The fun-filled atmosphere with energetic songs and dance performances reflect the true spirit of Janmashtami.
Krishna Janmashtami Puja Muhurat Timings
According to Smarta Sampradaya, Krishna Janmashtami will be celebrated on August 14 while Vaishnava Krishna Janmashtami falls on August 15, 2017. The devotees take a vow to observe the day long fast and break it only the next day which will include the puja vidhi of birth of Lord Krishan at 12.00 am. The vrat observers should do Parana (breaking the fast) only when both Rohini Nakshatra and Ashtami Tithi are over. According to the Drik Panchang, Nishita Puja Time = 24:03+ to 24:47+ with duration of 43 Mins. The Mid Night Moment = 24:25+. The most auspicious muhurat time to perform Krishna Puja is during Nishita Kala which is the midnight as per Vedic time-keeping. The Parana time will be on 15th August after 17:39. On Parana Day Ashtami Tithi End Time is 17:39 as Janmashtami without Rohini Nakshatra.
Janmashtami Puja Vrat Vidhi
The devotees who will be observing fast on Krishna Janmashtami begin the event by pledging to complete the fast i.e. keep the day long fast till the next day. There are various type of fast (vrat) observed by Hindus on the Janmashtami – a) Nirjal Vrat – Individuals observing the Nirjal Fast or Upavasa on Krishna Janmashtami, abstains from food and water throughout the period of vrat. b) Phalahar Vrat – The devotees do not completely cut off the edibles as they consume fruits and milk during the fruit. However, one cannot eat grains or cereals and salt during the time of vrat on the day of Janmashtami.
How to perform Lord Krishna Puja Vidhi
Take a holy bath before beginning with the puja rituals. The person keeping the fast must ensure cleanliness of the worship place and purity of heart. Place an image or statue of Lord Krishna’s infant avatar on clean sheet of cloth. Perform Krishna Abhishekam, bathing the statue with milk, curd, sandalwood paste and honey. Offer new clothes and decorations to Lord Krishna, apply vermilion and flowers. Place him on a decorated cradle and swing it gently, while chanting Om Govindaya Namaha. Keep satvik fruits and Prasad in one plate as a holy offering.
Significance of Golkulashtami Festival
Lord Vishnu took the human form and reincarnated as Lord Krishna to free the earth from all kinds of evil. He was the son of Devaki and Vasudeva and his birthday is celebrated by Hindus as Janmashtami, particularly those of the Vaishnavism tradition. He was born in jail as his maternal uncle, and evil King Kansa imprisoned his own sister and brother-in-law fearing a prophecy that their male child will bring an end to him. Kansa who was responsible for rising chaos and evil everywhere though could not do anything as immediately following Krishna’s birth, his father Vasudeva took him across the Yamuna, to foster parents in Gokul, named Nanda and Yashoda. After years, Lord Krishna returned to the Vrishni kingdom with its capital at Mathura and killed Kamsa and save the world from his tyranny. This Hindu legend is celebrated on Krishna Janmashtami by people keeping fast, singing devotional songs of love for Krishna, and keeping a vigil into the night.