Archive | August, 2009

Krishna Janmashtami

14 Aug

Janmashtami Krishna Janmashtami is a festival celebrating the birth of Lord Sri Krishna. It is celebrated on the eighth day, Astami thithi of the dark half of the Krishna paksha in the month of Bhadrapadam. Bhadrapadam is a month in the Hindu calendar.

Krishna Janmashtami is celebrated in different names like Janmashtami, Krishnastami, Gokulastami, Krishna Jayanthi. Krishna is one of the most glamorous avatars of Vishn, who appeared in the dwapara yugam. Krishna was a charismatic personality and was a darling child of Brundavan Janmasthami’s main celebration is at Mathura, which is the birth place of Lord Krishna.

The actual place of birth of Krishna is now converted into a temple called “Krishna Jama Bhoomi Mandir”. On this day of festival , ladies of the house get up early morning and draw little child footprints from the doorstep to the interior of the house symbolizing Krishnas entrance into the house. These footprints are drawn using the paste prepared by soaking rice grains and grinding it. A cloth is dipped into this paste and the patterns are made. Ladies are on fast on this day and do the puja celebrating Lord Krishna’s birth making many dishes welcoming Lord Krishna who liked variety of foods especially sweets and milk foods.

In the southern part of India, ladies put an idol of Krishna in an artistic cradle and sing songs at midnight of Krishnastami. After this ladies break their fast. In some parts of India like Maharashtra, a popular ritual is Dahi Handi. Dahi Handi is celebrated with lots of zeal and vigor.

On this day, Handis ( that is the clay pots filled with buttermilk and hung at a reachable height). The girls challenge boys to form human pyramids by standing on top of each other, and the group which breaks the Handi with a stick forcefully first wins.


 Check out the story of Krishna at


Legends related to Rakhi Festival

5 Aug

The festival Raksha Bandhan is celebrated on Shravana Pournima that is the full moon day of the month of Shravana. Sisters tie Rakhis (a symbolic holy ornamental rope)  that is Raksha Bandhans to brothers on this day wishing for the safety and success of their brothers’s  lives. Brothers in return bless their sisters with all possible good wishes and happy life by giving them a gift as a token of love and affection.

                    In Indian mythology there are many contexts where this festival is mentioned. One of the prominent contexts is about Lord Indra’s (king of Gods) success over the rakshasas. There was a war between rakshasas and Gods and it so happened that the rakshasas were about to win. Indra’s wife Indrani tied a Rakhi to Indra wishing him success over the rakshasass. With the power of the good wishes with which Rakhi was tied, Gods could win the battle.  

The other story is about King Bali and Indra. King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Feeling insecure of his throne Indra worshipped Lord Vishnu and got the promise from Lord Vishnu for Indras prayers.  Later Vishnu gave Bali immortality and promised that he would protect his Kingdom. Owing to his promise, Lord Vishnu left for Bali’s kingdom.

          Lordess Lakshmi, wife of Vishnu, went to Bali’s kingdom as a poor Brahmin lady. And on the day of Shravana pournima that is the day when Rakhi is celebrated, she tied Rakhi to king Bali and inturn took a blessing from him for the return of her husband Vishnu.

      There are many such contexts in Indian Mythology where sisters tying Rakhis to brothers have helped the brothers acheive victory. Wish all the sisters and brothers a happy Rakhi.