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Sri Krishna Jayanthi 2024 - Importance - Fasting - Birthday of Lord Krishna in 2024

Sri Krishna Jayanthi, birthday of Lord Krishna, in 2024 date based on calendars followed in India. Sri Krishna Jayanti celebrates the birthday of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna Jayanti 2024 date in West, East and Southern parts of India is on August 26. In North India, it is on August 27, 2024. It is observed as Dahi Handi in Maharashtra, the formation of the huge human pyramids to break the pot hung high up. The festival is also known as Gokulashtami and Krishnashtami.

Sri Krishna Jayanthi 2024 in Different Parts of India

  • Sri Krishna Jayanti - on August 26 day and midnight in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and eastern parts of India.
  • Krishna Janmashtami Mahotsav - August 27 midnight from 11:30 PM onwards in North India and Gujarat Dwarkadhish Temple.
  • Janmashtami Vrat is on August 27 in North India
  • Ashtami Rohini - August 26  in Kerala
  • Dahi Handi and Gopalkala in Maharashtra - August 27
  • Vittal Pindi at Udupi Sri Krishna Temple - August 26
  • Kalo in Goa - August 27
  • In Tamil Nadu Sri Krishna Jayanti is on August 26
Birthday of Lord Krishna

Shri Krishna is today one of the most widely revered and most popular of all Hindu Gods. He is worshipped as the eighth incarnation or avatar of Lord Vishnu. Krishna is also worshipped as a supreme god in his own right by numerous sects around the world.

In North India, Shri Krishna Janmashtami is observed eight days after the full moon day in Hindi month Bhadrapada (August – September). In South India, the festival is observed on the eighth day after full moon in the month of Shravan (August – September).

The Sri Krishna Jayanti festival is not celebrated on the same day in all parts of India and this is due to the various regional calendars and the various calculations in the time of the birth of Krishna.

Why is Sri Krishna Jayanti Observed at Midnight?

Sri Krishna Jayanti is observed at midnight because Lord Krishna was born at midnight to Devaki and Vasudeva in Mathura (in Kamsa’s prison). 

After Krishna's birth in Mathura, his father Vasudeva took him across Yamuna to Nanda and Yashoda - his foster parents in Gokul. Sri Krishna grew up here. 

The divine incidents at midnight involves the thunder and rain never seen before, all guards and entire Mathura sleeping, Yamuna parting ways for Vasudeva to reach Gokul and Ananta Sesha forming canopy over little Krishna like an umbrella. Not a single soul was awake that night other than Little Krishna, Vasudeva, Devaki and the Goddess Mahamaya who was born to Yashoda in Gokul.

How is Sri Krishna Jayanti Observed?

In order to celebrate the birth of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, who is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, temples all over the country are decorated and streets are adorned with lights Staunch Vishnu devotees observe a day-long fast and processions are held depicting scenes from the life of little Krishna.

As part of puja and rituals, murtis Sri Krishna are cleaned and decorated with new ornaments and clothes. Special pujas are held at midnight in all Krishna Temples.

In some regions, the murti of baby Krishna is placed on a cradle. Devotees swing it in order to signify Krishna's birth.

Hindu women draw tiny footprints outside the doors and kitchen, walking towards their house, a symbolism for Krishna's journey into their homes. 

Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavad Purana are read in homes, temples, sacred places and institutions associated with Sri Krishna.

Sri Krishna Jayanti Fasting

Fasting on the day is considered meritorious as it helps a devotee to purify both internally and externally. It is believed that the fasting on the day helps a devotee achieve peace and prosperity.

In some regions, garlic, onion, non-vegetarian foods, and intoxicants like alcohol are avoid for three days – the day before Sri Krishna Jayanti, on the festival day and the day after the festival.

Those fasting wake up early, bathe and wear yellow color clothes. First prayers are offered to Ganesha, then prayers are offered to Sri Krishna and the Tulsi plant.

The fast is from sunrise to till the puja period at night on the day. People consume fruits, vrat food like sabudana, and milk on the day.

People visit temples of Krishna and offer prayers.

At home butter is offered to little Krishna. Milk based sweets are made and offered to the Lord and later shared with children.

Reading Stories of Sri Krishna from Srimad Bhagavad Purana is a must. Reading the stories to children is meritorious.

At night pujas are conducted with chanting bhajans and making the usual puja offerings. The fast is broken after the puja.

Sri Krishna Jayanti in Mathura and Vrindavan

Sri Krishna Jayanti is the biggest festival in Braj region in Uttar Pradesh, India. Mathura – where he was born – and in Vrindavan – where grew up – the festival reaches its zenith. Temples and sacred places associated with Sri Krishna are decorated and special pujas are held in these spots. There are numerous holy places in Braj region associated with real life incidents of Sri Krishna.

Devotees come from far and wide to visit the holy temples of Vrindavan and Mathura. Apart from regular pujas and rituals, the temples also organize recitation of holy books, cultural programs and satsangs.

The important places to be on Sri Krishna Jayanti in Mathura and Vrindavan are:
  • The iconic Krishna-Balaram temple, also called the ISKON temple in Vrindavan. Sri Krishna and Balaram is believed to have played on the sands in the temple.
  • In Pagal Baba Ka Mandir in Vrindavan, Lord Krishna is believed to have performed the Raas-leela with the gopis.
  • Banke Bihari Temple
  • Radha Raman Mandir
  • Radhavallabh Mandir
  • Barsana Temples in Vrindavan
  • Krishna Janmabhoomi
  • Dwarkadheesh Temple in Mathura

Sri Krishna Jayanti in Udupi

Sri Krishna Jayanti and Sri Krishna Leelotsava are popularly known as Vittal Pindi in Udupi and are observed for two days at the world famous Udupi Sri Krishna Temple.

Exponent of Dvaita philosophy Sri Madhwacharya installed the beautiful idol of Lord Krishna at the Udupi Sri Krishna Temple about 800 years ago.

The temple is decorated beautifully with flowers during the Janmashtami festival. A major attraction of the Krishna Jayanti festival is the Muddu Krishna competition, in which children dress like Lord Balakrishna.

On the two days of festival, about 100,000 chakkulis and about 50,000 laddoos each of four varieties – “Aralu,” “Gundittu,” “Yellu,” “Kadle” “Godambi” and “Rave” are prepared at the temple to be distributed to the devotees.

The important puja and prayers are held at midnight starting from 11:45 PM.

A major attraction at the Vittal Pindi festival will be the carrying of the clay murti of Lord Krishna in the golden chariot on the Car Street in the afternoon.

After the golden chariot goes around the Car Street and reaches the Sri Krishna Mutt, the clay murti is immersed in the Madhwa Sarovara pond at the temple.

Symbolism in the Birth of Sri Krishna

Sri Krishna was born in the darkness of night, born into the locked confines of a jail cell where His mother and father were being held prisoner. However, at the moment of His birth, all the guards fell asleep, the chains were broken, and the barred doors gently opened.

There is a beautiful message here, even from the first moment of the life of Sri Krishna: we may be living in the darkness of midnight; we may be bound and chained by so many attachments, temptations, angers, grudges, pains and by the binding force of maya. We may feel ourselves locked into the prison of our own bodies, the prison of duality. However, as soon as Krishna takes birth in our hearts, all darkness fades, all chains are broken and all prison doors open freely. Wherever Krishna is, there are no locks.
Also, we can see that the door to Krishna – from any direction, inside or outside – is always open. The only lock is the lock of our own ignorance, our own illusions. As soon as that ignorance is dispelled, as soon as we see His glowing form, all the doors in this life and in all lives open to us. (Swami Chidananda Saraswati)

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