Significance of Janamashtami

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As a child I remembered Janamashtami (J) for the Gobinda aala re song. Boys would form a ring, one floor after another till one of them broke the earthen pot, the curd spilling out. I loved it and always stood next to these guys hoping that some of the curd would fall on me.

J is the birthday or janamdin of Sri Krishna). On this day he was born in Mathura. We are inspired by his stories for infinity. Sri Krishna was an incarnation of Vishnu. His incarnation has had a profound impact on Indian culture, philosophy, civilization as none other.

Krishna is Sanskrit means Dark indicating the Supreme Consciousness. Darkness is not to be confused with light. It exists in the life of men who remained rooted in terrestrial experiences i.e. some one who is attached to the materialistic objects of the world.

The incarnation of Krishna represents the descent of the Infinite Brahman (a person who has is self-realized, reached nirvana). Krishna has always been known to have a Blue color with Yellow clothes. The Blue color is associated with the infinite like the blue sky, sea. Yellow is accepted as the color of the earth, since the earth when introduced into a colorless flame emits a yellow hue. Hence these colors indicate that the Pure, Infinite Consciousness of Krishna that has descended on earth to play a finite role.

Krishna was born in Mathura. His tyrant uncle Kamsa, imprisoned his father, usurped the throne of Mathura creating confusion and chaos. Krishna destroyed the tyrants and restored peace in the land. Taking the logic forward to man. Every human being is born a good person, pure. However, sometimes his mind gets taken over by two evil forces i.e. ego and ego-centric desires which cause agitation’s and anxieties within. When a man conquers these two evils peace gets restored.  

Krishna has been criticized for dancing amongst the Gopis. Krishna, the Infinite Brahman had reached the stage of Divine Consciousness. Inspite of being in their midst, he remained unaffected by their presence. Thus, if the lives of such God men are read without the understanding of their mystical symbolism, one comes to wrong conclusions.

Krishna played the flute and brought out enchanting music. The flute by itself cannot bring any music. But when the Lord plays the music is divine. So also the human body by itself is inert and capable of nothing. It contains sense organs (eyes etc), mind-intellect ( compared to the holes in a flute) through which the consciousness expresses itself and brings out harmony and peace.

Thus by identifying with one's Divine Self , the melody and music of life can be drawn out of oneself. Concentration on the self could be one of the reasons why some call Hinduism a introvert religion. Actually it is only Self Realization. Unless we delve upon ourselves, look within, discover ourselves we will always be unhappy as we would try to become something that we are not. You can take a horse to a pond and ask him to drink. Unless the call comes from "within" the horse will not drink the water.  

Another criticism of Krishma was getting Yudhister to lie to Dronacharya about the death of his son Ashwathama. The story goes - Krishna knew that there was no way the Pandavas could control their Guru Dronacharya on the battlefield with one exception. If his son Aswathama died , Dronacharya would give up arms. Now there was an elephant by the name of Ashwathama. After the elephant was killed Droncharya was told about it. Over come with grief he asked Dharmraj Yudhister whether it was true that Ashwathama was no more. Yudhister replied in the affirmative. Dronacharya laid down his arms and was killed. Krishna masterminded this plan for which he has been criticized. I call this an Aswathama lie. When a lie is said for a good purpose it no longer remains a lie. Its akin to misleading an enemy so what if he looses his life in the process. Its a question of a fight between Dharma and Adharma.

Lets celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna, The Light.

This short article is based on inputs from books, the author gives all credit to those learned authors.

Also read

1. Janmasthami in Vrindavan 
2. Govardhan Parikrama
3. Krishna expands to create Raas-Raaseshwari Sri Radhey 
4. Krishna - History or Myth 
5. Lathmar Holi Nandagaon