Name of the festival : Janmashtami
Lunar Day (Tithee) : Shravan Vadya Ashtami

इयं निशीथ व्यापिनी पूर्वा वा परा ग्राह्या |
उभयेद्युनिशीथयोगे अभावे वा परैव ||
अस्यां रोहिणी नक्षत्र योगे बुध सोमवार योगेच फलातिशयः ||

Meaning – Lord Krishna was born in Kansas prison in Mathura at midnight on Rohini Nakshatra when Lunar Day was Shravan Vadya Ashtami. So the festival is celebrated on this particular tithee with Rohini Nakshatra or Ashtami which falls on Monday / Wednesday.

General Worship Ritual

  • Staying Ekabhukt (keeping fast for one time) on Saptami and after being clean and pure on Ashtami make a vow of Vrat as,, “श्रीकृष्ण प्रीत्यर्थं सपरिवार श्रीकृष्णपूजां करिष्ये |
  • According to our Kulachar or Tradition, in the morning of Ashtami Priest are called for worshipping Lord Krishna with Panchopachar or Shodashopachar Poojan.
  • We should keep fast on this day and offer Naivedyam of Fruits and Faral (food items which we should eat while fasting) to Lord Krishna.
  • We must keep an auspicious benevolent atmosphere on this day by lighting and decorating the house, by chanting Shreekrushna Stuti. We should set a stage for Devaki and Krishna on one side and Vasudev,Nand on the other.
  • The clay idols of Radha, Krishna, Gop – Gopi and a set of Gokul is made traditionally in some places of Maharashtra, while in some places people simply decorate the house and keep idol of Lord Krishna for worshipping
  • Stories, myths, dance, songs are practiced which describes Krishna Leela to keep themselves awaken as Lord Krishnas birth time is at 12 o’clock at night.
  • At midnight, narrating the chapter of Lord Krishna Janmotsav (Birthday), people celebrate the moment by offering flowers and Gulal
  • In some places the Lord Krishnas idol is made by ‘Silk Garment’ tying them without knots. People perform Nhanora (Bathing) and Palna (Cradle ceremony) of Balkrishna with the pure sense of motherhood.
  • Then again priests are called for worshipping Abhishek poojan (by Pavaman sukt) of Lord Krishna
  • We should chant , “ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय |”(Om Namo Bhagavate Wasudevay) while worshipping lord Krishna.
  • We should put new clothes on Lord Krishna, offer fragrances, flowers, ornaments and garlands.
  • We should offer Naivedyam of sweets, panjiri,  Sunthoda (made by dry ginger) and fruits.
  • All this is followed by Aarti and Mantrapushpanjali with following prayer,

दामोदराय विद्महे वासुदेवाय धीमही |
तन्नः कृष्णः प्रचोदयात् ||


योगेश्वराय देवाय योगानां पतये विभो |
योगेश्वराय नित्याय गोविन्दाय नमो नमः ||
यज्ञेश्वराय यज्ञाय तथा यज्ञोद्भवाय च |
यज्ञानां पतये नाथ गोविन्दाय नमो नमः ||
विश्वेश्वराय विश्वाय तथा विश्वोद्भवाय च |
विश्वस्य पतये तुभ्यं गोविन्दाय नमो नमः ||

  • On the following day delicious ‘Gopalkala’ is offered to Lord Krishna which is made by curd, pohe, lahi and pickles.
  • As per Vrataraj granth, Procreation, Prosperity and ultimate attainment of Vaikunthalok is the fruit of this Vrat.

Various other Celebrations

  • Yaduvamshi people worship Lord Krishna as their ancestor (moolpurush) whereas Mahanubhav Panthiy people also celebrate Janmashtami.
  • Vaishnav people celebrates the festival for eight day with Deep Aradhana, Palakhi(palanquin), dolotsav, plays related Krishna Leela, Reading of Bhagavat, Bhaja, Kirtan etc.
  • In konkan region of Maharashtra people make ‘Dahikala’ and sing song, “Govonda Ala Re Ala”. Children and elders both enjoy the festival going house to house dancing and breaking ‘Dahihandi’ (An earthen pot with Dahi Butter etc.)

Mythological History

परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशायच दुष्कृताम |
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे ||

  • At the time of Svayambhuv manu, God was incarnated as ‘Prushnigarbh’ in the womb of great Ascetic ‘Sutapa’ and Virtuous ‘Prushni’. Both of them received the boon that they would be the parents of Lord in coming incarnations too.
  • Later both of they born as Rishi ‘Kashyap’ and ‘Aditi’, who gave birth the Lord incarnated as ‘Upendra’(Vaaman Avatar).
  • In Dwaparyuga (era) ‘Lord Krishna’ incarnated to ‘Vasudeo’ and ‘Devki’. The festival celebrated on this day is the Janmashtami (Birth anniversary of Lord Krishna).

Krishna Seva Bhav

From ancient time various devotees perform Krishna seva according to their own way. There different emotions, ideals can be described as

  • Matrubhav (motherhood) : Yashoda, Devki
  • Gopibhav : Gop – Gopi
  • Patnibhav : Sant Mirabai
  • Discipleship : Arjuna
  • Bhaktbhav : Uddhav
  • Sakhabhav : Sudama

Lord Shreekrishna – “कृष्णस्तु भगवान स्वयम् |

  • Incarnation of Lord Krishna is called as ‘Purnavatar’. Also it is the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnus Dashavatar.
  • In ‘Chhandogyopanishad’ (, there is a reference of Shreekrishna as a disciple of Ghor Angiras Rishi.
  • Lord Krishna is mentioned as the disciple of Gargya and Sandipani Rishi, the one who recited “Shreemad Bhagavad Geeta” to Arjuna iun Mahabharat.
  • References of Gopalkrishna and his Childhood Leelas are found in Ashvaghosh Buddha Charit also,

णच्चणसलाहणणिहेण पासपरिसंठीआ णिउणगोवी |
सरिसगोविआणे चुम्बई कवोलपडीमागअकेण्हम् ||
(गा.स. २.१४)
Meaning – When Gopis were sweating due to dance in Rasgarbha, the images of Lord Krishna appeared on their wet cheeks.

  • As per ‘Brahmasamhita’, Lord Krishna is not only a deity but Omnipresent, universal element. “अण्डान्तरस्थ परमाणु चयान्तरस्थं |” – Present in every single atom or molecule.
  • In Tantra Grantha, Lord Krishna is considered as the deity of ‘Svadhishthan chakra’.
  • Lord Krishna is the ‘Aradhya’ (Main Deity) of many Sampraday as Varakari, Swami Narayan, Mahanubhav, Chaitanya, Radhavallabh, Nimbark etc.
  • वासुदेवार्जुनाभ्यां वुञ्, is the sutra found in “Paniniy Ashtadhyayi” (Sanskrit Grammar Book ).
  • Lord Krishna and his life is studied and worshipped in all over the world  today. He is followed as an ideal for his many qualities such as virtue, courage, power, philosophy, behavior, code of conduct, sense of work and duty, love and compassion etc. In Geeta he says,

“सर्व धर्मान् परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ||”