So we are done with yet another Krishna Janmashtmi (also known as Gokulasthmi, Sri Jayanthi). For my international readers, this is the day that Lord Vishnu – the Supreme Godhead in the Sanatana Dharma, took his incarnation as Lord Krishna on Mother Earth. It was the day with the asterism of Rohini Nakshatra and Athami Thithi (krishna paksha) , that is 8th day after the moon starts to wane.
We ‘celebrate’ the birth of the Supreme – the One who is beyond birth and death. But he came down to teach us what Dharma (righteous conduct) is all about and how to approach towards being a Sthithapragnya (loose translation- one with a steady mind). Lord Krishna prescribes in the Bhagavad Geeta that we have to work towards being a Stithapragnya. In this state you are in total control of your habits and thoughts; and are not a slave to your emotions. Only such a state of mind is capable of experiencing ultimate bliss.
He came to us as the human version of the metaphysical Satchidanand Brahman – one who is pure Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. He came down to provide a spiritually potent account of his earthly deeds, so that the message could be passed on for uplifting future generations. Indeed, he is the Jagadodharana. And like Yashoda today, we welcome and treat Him just like a new born, right into our hearts and homes.
My earliest recollections of Krishna Jayanthi was seeing my paternal grandmother slogging away in the kitchen. Preparation of snacks and other goodies would begin a couple of weeks in advance. It was a humble, yet spacious independent house in the locality of Malleswaram, Bangalore, and had a large kitchen where everything was done at ground-level. You could have a veritable party in the kitchen.
I have posted about it in an earlier post about Gorur . The snacks were stored in biscuit tins (the 60s and 70s kids will recollect them). And this would last till Deepawali. A huge mantapam would be installed with fruits and snacks , and flowers as decorations. It was an average kind of household, but Sri Jayanti was a kalyanam (like a wedding). With chants of Vishnu Sahasranama and other shlokas, the house would reverberate. I think the sub conscious mind absorbed all that and later I had no problem learning it and knowing it by heart.
I want to share some pictures of the celebration this year, with my readers, with best wishes. Hope you like them.
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