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Beautiful Seminars in Hindi

 Falling between the end of August and beginning of September, Janmashtami is the celebration of the birth of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. According to Vedic astrology, it is signalled by the appearance of a certain star in the sky called ‘Rohini Nakshatra’ (Western name ‘Aldebaran’), and calculated according to the lunar calendar.


Lord Krishna Himself explains why He appears in this world:

“In order to deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I advent Myself millennium after millennium.”
(Bhagavad-gita, 4.8)

Krishna’s appearance on earth occurred approximately five thousand years ago, or circa 3228 B.C. The thrilling story behind His divine advent is described in the ancient Vedic scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam. Here is a condensed summary:

Once when the entire world was overburdened by the increasing military power of demons in the form of kings, the personification of Mother Earth, accompanied by the demigods, approached Lord Vishnu for help to alleviate the suffering of the planet. After hearing their prayers, Lord Vishnu informed them that He would appear on the surface of the earth to mitigate the burden created by the demoniac kings.

One of these demons in royal guise was the evil King Kamsa. He heard an ominous voice from the sky which warned him that the eighth son of his sister and brother-in-law (Devaki and Vasudeva) would be his nemesis and eventually kill him. Upon hearing this omen, Kamsa was immediately ready to kill his sister Devaki, but Vasudeva diplomatically began to instruct him against committing such a heinous act. However, Kamsa was not satisfied by Vasudeva’s instructions, and so had the couple arrested and imprisoned. Fearing that any of Devaki’s children could be his divine nemesis, Kamsa proceeded to systematically kill each child, one after the other.

But one stormy night the eighth child, Krishna, was born. Mystical powers were at work that night as the prison chains around Vasudeva’s ankle became unclamped, and all the prison guards mysteriously fell asleep, thereby allowing Vasudeva to flee with the newborn baby Krishna. Together they escaped across the river Yamuna, sheltered from the storm under the hood of a divine serpent sent especially for their protection.

When Vasudeva and Krishna arrived at the banks of the river in the township of Gokula, Vasudeva quickly made his way to the house of his friend, Nanda. It just so happened that at that time Nanda’s wife had given birth to a baby girl the previous night. So, in his attempt to preserve the life of his beloved son Krishna, he swapped Nandas’ baby girl and replaced her with Krishna. That same night Vasudeva returned to Kamsa’s prison so as not to arouse suspicion. The next day, Nanda’s wife, Yasoda, awoke to find she’d had a son, too forgetful after a long night of labour to remember that she’d actually had a girl. So Krishna was raised in the house of Nanda and Yasoda as their own, and on His first birthday a huge celebration was held. This is the wonderful celebration of Janmashtami.

Janmashtami is joyfully observed until midnight, the time of Lord Krishna’s appearance. In honour of the occasion, devotees generally fast right up to midnight. They congregate at temples and immerse themselves in singing devotional bhajans and kirtans, and hearing and reciting from the scriptures. Plays are performed that depict the Lord’s advent and miraculous pastimes, and the temple Deity of Lord Krishna is lavishly decorated and worshipped. The festival culminates at midnight when a grand arati (worship) ceremony is offered to the Lord, followed by distribution of prasadam (sacred vegetarian foodstuffs) marking the end of the fast.

Today, thanks to the unparalleled spiritual achievements of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, knowledge of and devotion to Krishna is flourishing outside of India. The fact that Janmsthami is now celebrated by millions worldwide is testament to this fact.

The advent, pastimes and teachings of Lord Krishna are beautifully described in Srila Prabhupada’s book, “Krishna: The Supreme Personality of Godhead”.

Article from: http://www.bhaktivedantamanor.co.uk/janmashtami/?page_id=3