Devotees of Lord Krshna are expected to carry out a series of programmes to celebrate the incarnation (Krishna Janamastami) of their deity. The programmes will be held on August 25 and 26 at the Sri Sri Radhakrishna Temple in Kotahena to celebrate the occasion, known the world over as Krishna Jayanthi.
According to a release issued by the Sri Sri Radhakrishna Temple in Kotahena, the temple authorities have included in the list of programmes, the Sri Balarama Purnima (celebrated on 17th Full Moon Day), Sri Krishna Janamastami (to be celebrated on August 25) and Sri Vyasa Puja (to be celebrated on August 26).
The programmes will centre mainly on the Krishna Jayanthi, where the incarnation of Lord Krishna is celebrated. Devotees will bathe the idol of infant Krishna and adorn it with flowers. The programmes organized on that day between 5.30 in the morning to midnight are: Mangala Arathi, Thulasi Arathi, Nagara Sankirtan and Procession of Baby Krishna, Abishekam of Baby Krishna with Valampuri Conchshells, Rajabhoga Arathi, a Cultural Programme by the students of the Hare Krishna College of Music & Dance, Bhajan and Kirtan by the Children of Gokulam and Hare Krishna Religious School, Maha Abishekam and the distribution of Prasadam.
‘Sri Balarama Purnima’ is given special significance by devotees because it marks the appearance of Lord Balaram – the older brother of Lord Krishna – who is looked upon as someone who gives the required strength to overcome hurdles in the journey of self-realization.
The Bhagavad Gita reveals that Mathura was once ruled by a tyrant, named Kamsa. He spared no one and is said to have even burnt sages. There came a time when even the Gods could not tolerate this evil period of rule. It was during this time that Kamsa, during a dream, was told that his evil reign would end.
The person who would banish the evil king was to be the son who his sister Devaki would give birth to. The king then threw his sister and her husband Vasudev in jail. He wanted to kill all the sons that Devaki would give birth to. When Devaki was pregnant with her seventh child, Lord Vishnu summoned Goddess Yogmaya and asked her to transform the embryo from Devaki to another wife of Vasudev. This child was named Balarama, Sri Krishna’s elder brother.
When Devaki gave birth to her eighth child, the newly-born baby changed himself into the form of Vishnu (Krishna can take many forms) and commanded Vasudev to carry him to Nandgon. One night, when prison guards were asleep, Vasudev slipped out of prison and whisked away the God child to safety. The God child was taken to a neighbouring kingdom which was ruled by King Nanda.
King Nanda’s domain lay across the Yamuna River. At that time the river Yamuna was high, but when Baby Krishna’s feet touched the waters, the waters parted making a channel for Vasudev to pass.
He was also asked to bring back the baby girl whom Yashoda had delivered. The generous king Nanda gave away his new born daughter to Vasudev knowing well what fate awaited her at Kamsa’s hands. Vasudev brought back the baby girl.
Seeing the baby girl, the enraged King Kamsa smashed her on the wall, but she escaped and flew away to heaven announcing – “Beware, your killer is alive”.
At Gokul, under King Nanda’s protection, Krishna got the loving affection of King Nanda’s Queen Yashoda whom Krishna looked upon as a mother. Days passed with fun and frolic, while the child Krishna grew up. His flute-playing enthralled the young girls or ‘gopis’ who danced around him. The cows gathered with his sweet flute playing. But one day rumours reached Kamsa that Devaki’s son had somehow escaped his clutches and was living in Gokul. So Kamsa tried to kill Krishna but eventually he was killed by Krishna.