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27 August 2013

Janmashtami Festival in Haridwar Rishikesh


As per mythology, Lord Krishna was born at midnight of the eighth and the ninth day of Krishna Paksh in the month of Bhadrapad of the Hindu calendar, which in this year falls on August 28 and 29, respectively. It is said that Lord Krishna was the eighth in carnation of Lord Vishnu.
Prateek Mishrapuri, the President of the Indian Oriental Studies Society says that other incarnations of Lord Vishnu embody certain aspects of the Lord, whereas of all the ten incarnations of the Lord, Krishna is the only perfect avatar (incarnation) embodying all the 16 kalas (art of life). As there are several dimensions of Lord Krishna, Kanha, Kanhaiya, Makhan Chor, Nandlal, Girdhari, Murlidhar, Gopal and so on.
“We all find the reflections of this facet or that in his life. We identify with Krishna. He is a man among gods and a god among men. He is a superman, a perfect man, lives life at its best, striking a balance between earthly desires and spiritual aspirations,” says Pradeep Joshi, a scholar of the Hindu scriptures. In his childhood days, Krishna is a makhan chor, indulging in child like pranks like all of us. In his youth he is a romantic lover, playing the flute, casting a love spell on Radha and the gopis. Krishna is an eternal lover and Radha the eternal beloved. This eternal craving of love in the human heart exists in all of us. This Makhan chor and the eternal lover is also a great warrior, who vanquishes evil forces for the good of mankind. The great warrior becomes a profound philosopher, an observer on the battle field of Kurukshetra. The message he gave to Arjun at the beginning of the battle of Mahabharat is of deep wisdom and is the last word in the art of living.
On this pious occasion, all the temples and ashrams are tastefully decorated and illuminated. The decorated and illuminated. The Udasin Nirmal Panchayati Bara Akhara is bathed in light and pageants are put up to depict the various facets of the life of Lord Krishna. Children, enacting the role of Radha and Krishna, playing the flute, are a major attraction for the spectators, especially for women and children. At the Radha Krishna Mandir in jwalapur there is a recital of the katha narrating the life of the Lord, which is followed by an enthralling keertan in which hundreds of devotees take part. At Bhuma Niketan in Bhupatwala area of Haridwar the jhankis (pageants), showcasing all the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu are put up, which attract a large number of devotees. The jhankis put up at Garibdasi Ashram in front of the Haridwar Railway Station and at the Bharat Mata Mandir are also major attractions for people. Also Rishikesh Jairam Ashram and Parmarth NIketan, Rishikesh attract thousands of devotees, while at Roorkee the impressive jhankis, portraying the epic drama of Lord Krishna’s life are a delight to the eyes.
 The eight – year-old Renu of Govindpuri, Haridwar, loves the festival of Janmashtmi especially because of the beautiful jhankis. “I, along with my parents, visit all the jhankis in the temples of Haridwar and the BHEL every year,” says Renu with glee.
However, for Divya Parashar, a housewife of Nirmala Chawani, the day is special for its rituals. “Every year, on this occasion, I fast, offer prayers and prepare delicious food and visit temples with my family in the evening,” says Parashar.
On a wide note, Kamla Joshi of Dadubagh Kankhal says that Krishna was a protector of women. “His Protected Draupadi when the Kauravas were trying to strip her. We need a Krishna today when hundreds of Draupadis are being subjected to atrocities,” opines Joshi.
Vijendra Singh Chauhan of the village Missarpur brings another view of Krishna,a life, “Krishna,s wandering in the forest of Vrindavan on the bank of river Yamuna should inspire us to protect our forests and rivers.”
Ramanand Puri, a saint from Haridwar says that Krishna,s teaching of Nishkam Karma is the only way to lead a tension free life. “Janmashtmi is not only a day of performing rituals. It is an occasion to imbibe the message of Lord Krishna,s life,” sums up the noted saint.

Source: Times of India

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