Janmashtami is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the appearance of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna.
The whole world celebrates the appearance of Krishna with great enthusiasm. There is immense pleasure among the devotees who have devoted their life unto the lotus feet of Lord Krishna. On this day people enact dance-drama elements from the Bhagavata Purana which portrays the life of Lord Krishna, sing in the praise of the Lord, keep fast and embrace the Lord with much affection and pure love.
Son of Devaki and Vasudeva, Krishna appeared in Mathura at midnight on the eighth day of Bhadrapada month.
After seeing the devotion of Devaki and Vasudeva, the Lord appeared in the form of their son in the prison of his uncle Kamsa and soon after with the Lord’s grace Vasudeva carried Krishna across the Yamuna, to foster parents in Gokul named Nanda and Yashoda. After Krishna’s midnight hour birth, statues of baby Krishna are washed and clothed, then placed in a cradle.
The devotees then break their fast, by sharing food and sweets. Women draw tiny footprints outside their house doors and kitchen, walking towards their house, a symbolism for Krishna’s journey into their homes.
Major Krishna temples organize recitation of Bhagavata Purana and Bhagavad Gita.
It is said that only by hearing Krishna’s stories, we will be set free from the stages of ignorance and passion. We will be situated in the mode of goodness. The malicious things in the heart of the people, accumulated life afterlife, will be cleared out.
As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, the Lord says that His appearance, birth, and activities, are all transcendental, and one who understands them factually becomes immediately eligible to be transferred to the spiritual world. He appears out of His own sweet pleasure.
Bhagavad Gita came into existence from the Supreme Lord Krishna and those who learn the Gita from a bonafide ‘Guru-Shishya parampara’, he will gain the ultimate knowledge including the material and spiritual.