Shree Krishna Janam Astami
13th- 19th of August 2022
Whenever there is a withering of Dharma
and an uprising of Adharma on all sides,
then I manifest Myself.
For the salvation of the righteous
and the destruction of such as do evil,
for the firm establishing of Dharma,
I come to birth, age after age.
Bhagavad Gita, Book IV
The two main mantras for Lord Krishna are derived from his parents:
om Namo Bhagvate Vasudeva - Named after his father
OM Vasudevam sutam devam
Kansa charur vardanam
Krishnam vande jagatguru
Tonight as the Chandra Devta reaches the Rohini nachatar and creates a perfect
environment, it paves the way for arrival of Sri Krishna. It was nearly 5122 years ago
today that Lord Vishnu arrived on Prithvi Lok as Sri Krishnaji.
To fulfil his promise to Sri Vasudevji and Devaki, he was born as their eighth child -
on the eighth day of the month of Bhadrapath. His birth on this day gave an
impetus to the number eight in our astrology.
At the time of his arrival, happiness replaced sorrows and depression around
Vindravan. Havan yagh kunds - which were literally being shut down by Rajah
Kansa during his illegal reign - again began showing signs of life.
From the heavens the Devis, Devatas and Apsaras began chanting Lord Vishnu’s
Mahamantra and singing His glories. On Prithvi Lok there was thunder heard from
both the seas and the skies, and there was complete darkness at midnight.
As soon as Deviki gave birth to Baby Krishna, Lord Vishnu manifested himself in his
full form – with four hands holding sankh, chakra, gadda and Kamal flower.
He charmed his parents with his handsome looks and dark complexion that they
both bowed down to Lord Vishnu. Vasudev was so overwhelmed by the arrival of
his Son that he took an immediate vow with his wife to give away 10,000 cows to
Aarti at Midnight
An aarti at midnight for Sri Krishna-ji marks the climax of all celebrations today
world over. Ardent devotees stay up to midnight for aarti and darshan on this day
and observe strict Ekadasi-type fasts to seek his blessings.
Devotees fasting for the occasion should observe varat till Thursday sunrise.
The fast is observed just like ekadasi varats. Please check the Fasting page for
Sri Krishna and Sri Ram
When Lord Vishnu took the avatar of Lord Krishna, he came in his full strength,
believed to be stronger than during his Avatar as Sri Ram.
- Sri Krishna's birth at midnight on the dark side of the month was to fulfil a promise to the Chandra Devta that he will take his avatar in Dwapar Yugh at night, after the Surya Narayan was graced by the Lord's birth as Sri Ram ast 12 midday on the bright side (Shukla Pakash) of the month.
- During Rama Avatar, Sri Ram graced Sri Ganga Mata (River Ganges) by bathing and referring to the river as being so divine. In Krishna Avatar, it was River Yamuna's turn to seek blessings from the Almighty.
- One of principal reasons for Lord Ram's avatar was to protect: a) Brahmans, b) Sadhus & Sants, c) Devis & Devtas and d)Gow Mata. He fulfilled all his obligations as promised but he could not as a King of Ajodhya take an active role to protect or herd cows. In Krishna avatar, he was involved almost daily in his childhood days herding cows - such deriving his name: Gopal.
- Sri Hanumanji also brought Goverdhan Mountain during Sri Ram's reign to help build the famous bridge between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. But after advice from Lord Ram to leave behind all stones, mortar and materials being carted for the bridge construction, the Goverdhan Devta from the mountain complained of being neglected after initially agreeing to be part of the bridge for Sri Ram's transition into Sri Lanka.
Sri Ram then promised to Goverdhan that when he returns to Prithvi Lok in Dwapur Yugh he will raise the mountain for 7 days and so he did as Sri Krishna. Threatened by heavy rain and floods, Sri Krishna-ji offered shelter to all Vrijwasis (people of Vrindavan) under Goverdhan whist he raised the mountain on one finger for 7 days.
- Promise to SheshNagh's avtaar's as Laxman - younger brother of Sri Ram that in next life, he gets to be elder. Sri Krishna's only surviving brother - Balram was also raised by Yashoda and Nandal.
- Promise to marry multiple wives. During Sri Ram avatar, Sri Vishnu had a mariyadah purshotam role as one who set examples to the rest of his Kingdom and universe - thus one wife and his commitment to Devi Janki or Sita. But because of promises, Sri Krishna wedded 16,108 wives though his favourites remained Sri Radha Rani and Rukhmani.
Background to Janam Ashtami
Vasudev and Devaki's seventh child, Balram was removed from Devaki’s womb and
planted in Yashoda’s womb because they wanted him to survive. All six of Devaki
and Vasudev’s previous children had been killed by Rajah Kansa on their birth,
despite pleas from their parents to spare their lives.
Devaki and Vasudev asked for mercy for their six children, arguing that the vardan
was for the eighth child, not the other seven. However Naradh Muni, realised that if
Rajah Kansa did not kill the couple’s first six children he would not have incurred
enough sin to justify Lord Krishna killing him.
Consequently Naradh Muni advised Rajah Kansa that the eighth child could be
counted from either end or even middle, and as such Rajah Kansa could not be
guaranteed which child would be the cause of his death.
At midnight when Lord Krishna was born he was taken out of the jail and across the
River Yamuna to Gokula.
On his journey to Gokula, the residence of Yashoda and Nandalal, the raging River
Yamuna parted for the safe crossing of the Divine baby.
Baby Lord Krishna was exchanged with Nandalal’s child who was a girl born at the
same time. Thus Lord Krishna is said to have two sets of parents, those who bore
him and those who raised him.
Rajah Kansa soon came to hear that a girl child had been born to Devaki and
Vasudev. He came to kill the child immediately, but as Rajah Kansa went to grab the
child she slipped away from him, floating into the air and laughing.
She said, "O evil king! You will gain nothing by killing me. The one who will
destroy you is elsewhere." Then she vanished.
Tulsi Rani Sharma singing a Krishna Bhajan.