The land known for its rich cultural and
mythical heritage, land that has given birth to umpteen number
of saints and sages, the land that has spread the glory of
Lord to the entire world was the only fortunate land that
was blessed by Incarnations. Lord Rama in Treta Yuga, Bhagawan
Sri Krishna in Dwapara Yuga and now Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba in Kali Yuga…Bharat is the chosen land of God.
Krishna Janmashtami marks the birth of Bhagawan Sri Krishna.
Bhagawn Krishna was born in the Dwapara Yuga, over five thousand
years ago, in Mathura, India on the eight day (Rohini star
on Ashtami day) of the dark half (new moon fortnight) of Shravana.
"I am the conscience
in the heart
of all creatures
I am their beginning, their being,
I am the mind of the senses,
I am the radiant sun among lights
I am the song in sacred lore,
I am the king of deities
I am the priest of great seers…"
In India, traditionally Krishnashtami is celebrated with
much pomp and splendour by devotees. Celebrations are held
on a grand scale in all Krishna temples, especially the ones
in Vrindavan, Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Dwaraka (Gujarat),
and other regionally famous temples.
is observed on the day when the ashtami tithi occurs at midnight.
If the ashtami tithi and the Rohini nakshatra occur on the
same day, then the observance is considered to be most auspicious;
otherwise the observance is held on the day on which the ashtami
prevails at midnight. The vrata mainly consists of fasting,
spending the whole night in the worship of Krishna, reciting
hymns of praise and Krishna's pastimes, reciting prayers from
the Bhagavata, offering arghya to Krishna, and the parana
or the ceremonial breaking of the fast. The next day is celebrated
as Krishna Jayanti.
Bhagawan Sri Krishna is considered to be Lord Vishnu’s
eighth Avatar (incarnation) on earth. The life and message
of Bhagawan Sri Krishna is the most stirring saga of one of
the greatest saviours and profounder of Love. Born in the
dungeons of Kamsa, (by birth His maternal uncle) who was out
to kill him at the very moment of his birth, Sri Krishna's
life is replete with many such mortal dangers which He successfully
Birth of Lord Krishna
Krishna was born during the Krishna Paksha (the dark fortnight
of the month). The effulgence of the Lord is seen with greater
effect when it is dark. In a world of disorder, Krishna was
born to establish order. He was born on Ashtami day. Ashtami
is associated with troubles and difficulties. When do troubles
arise? When righteousness is forgotten. Krishna’s advent
therefore signifies removal of darkness, end of troubles and
effulgence of Supreme Wisdom.
– Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
“Krishna was born on 20th July, 3227 B.C., during the
early morning at 3 a.m.” - Baba
The Divine Advent
The birth of Krishna is in itself a transcendental phenomenon
that generates awe among the Hindus and overwhelms one and
all with its supra mundane happenings.
Mother Earth, unable to bear the burden of sins committed
by evil kings and rulers, appealed to Brahma, the Creator
for help. Brahma prayed to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, who assured
him that he would soon be born on earth to annihilate tyrannical
One such evil force was Kamsa, the ruler
of Mathura (in northern India) and his people were utterly
terrified of him. On the day Kamsa's sister Devaki was married
off to Vasudeva, an akashvani or voice from the sky
was heard prophesying that Devaki's 8th son would be the destroyer
of Kamsa. The frightened Kamsa immediately unsheathed his
sword to kill his sister but Vasudeva intervened and implored
Kamsa to spare his bride, and promised to hand over every
new born child to him. Kamsa relented but imprisoned both
Devaki and her husband Vasudeva.
When Devaki gave birth to her first child, Kamsa came to
the prison cell and slaughtered the newborn. In this way,
he killed the first six sons of Devaki. Even before her 8th
child was born, Devaki and Vasudeva started lamenting its
fate and theirs. Then suddenly Lord Vishnu appeared before
them and said he himself was coming to rescue them and the
people of Mathura. He asked Vasudeva to carry him to the house
of his friend, the cowherd chief Nanda in Gokula right after
his birth, where Nanda's wife Yashoda had given birth to a
daughter. He was to exchange his boy and bring Yashoda's baby
daughter back to the prison. Vishnu assured them that "nothing
shall bar your path".
At midnight on ashtami, the divine baby was born in Kamsa's
prison. Remembering the divine instructions, Vasudeva clasped
the child to his bosom and started for Gokula, but found that
his legs were in chains. He jerked his legs and was unfettered!
The massive iron-barred doors unlocked and opened up.
While crossing river Yamuna, Vasudeva held his baby high
over his head. The rain fell in torrents and the river was
in spate. But the water made way for Vasudeva and miraculously
a five-mouthed snake followed him from behind and provided
shelter over the baby.
When Vasudeva reached Gokula, he found the door of Nanda's
house open. He exchanged the babies and hurried back to the
prison of Kamsa with the baby girl. Early in the morning,
all the people at Gokula rejoiced the birth of Nanda's beautiful
male child. Vasudeva came back to Mathura and as he entered,
the doors of the prison closed themselves.
When Kamsa came to know about the birth, he rushed inside
the prison and tried to kill the baby. But this time it skipped
from his hand and reaching the sky. She was transformed into
the goddess Yogamaya, who told Kamsa: "O foolish! What
will you get by killing me? Your nemesis is already born somewhere
Meaning of Krishna
“The name Krishna has to be properly understood. ‘Krish’
+ ‘Na’ = Krishna. This means that He is one who
cultivates (Krish) the heart. ‘Karsh’ + ‘Na’
is another derivation, which indicates that Krishna is one
who attracts (‘Krishnati it Krishnah’). Krishna
attracts people not only by the matchless beauty of his form.
He attracts people by his music, his dance, his sports and
Sri Krishnashtami in the Divine Presence
Prasanthi Nilayam, the abode of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai
Baba witnesses the rare sight of celebrating Avatar’s
Birthday in the Divine Presence of Avatar Himself. Sri Krishna
Janmashtami has been a major celebration in Prasanthi Nilayam
for the past many years. The festivity normally begins with
the arrival of Bhagawan to Sai Kulwant Hall for giving coveted
Divine Darshan to the milling crowd of thousands. As soon
as Bhagawan takes seat on the specially decorated throne meant
for Him on the dias, students from the Institute sing various
hymns exalting the Lord of Dwapara and the Lord of Parthi.
Half way through the musical offering, the procession comprising
of Sai Geeta, Bhagawan’s pet elephant, cows and calves
from Bhagawan’s Gokulam, all adorned in style befitting
the grandeur of occasion arrives at the Mandir followed by
dancing students from the school and devotees from the neighbouring
villages. Bhagawan blesses the procession by giving away fruits
to Sai Geeta, cows and calves. Prasadam will be distributed
to the devotees before the offering of Mangala Aarati to Bhagawan.
Invariably, Bhagawan gives His Divine discourse either in
the morning or in the evening, most of the time narrating
various incidents from the life of Bhagawan Sri Krishna. Krishnashtami
is a spiritual treat to the devotees flock into Prasanthi
Nilayam, a rare opportunity to celebrate the Birth of one
Avatar in the immediate presence of present Avatar.
The supreme message of Bhagawan Krishna's life is the uniqueness
of Love Principle. This Yadava born, darling Chinni Krishna,
whose childhood pranks, dream of every mother, weave nostalgic
memory of those Golden Days of Dwapara, whose flute still
enchants the love filled hearts of present day gopikas, whose
song celestial is the guide to Ultimate Truth for the present
day Arjunas was the embodiment of Supreme Divine Love.