Sri Krishna Janmashtami – Strange but this happened!!!
Last night i had a dream. A blue figure with a pleasant smile came to me and asked, “Are you happy in life?” I did not know how to answer. I was trying hard to recall where i had met this person before. The face seemed to be extremely familiar. The figure in blue repeated, “Tell me dear, are you happy in life?” That was indeed a difficult question to answer. Am I happy? I am running through my life literally. I wake up in the morning longing to spend more time in bed but i obviously cant as i have to get to office on time. I am worried if i will miss my bus because that means a good amount of frowning from my manager for being late. In office, it is all about competition and performance. The only thing that is visible to an employee is the salary hike graphs and the promotion charts.By the time I reach back, I am exhausted. So, in between, when was I happy? I actually never got time to feel happy. So the whole question provoked thoughts in me.
The figure gave me an knowing smile as if he understood my thoughts. Suddenly he said, “I will come back for an answer”. I suddenly woke up from my sleep, panting heavily. I could not really understand what was happening. But it did really made me think about my inner happiness in life. The clock on the wall told me it was 5 am and the calender besides it told me in red letters that the day was Sri Krishna Janmashatami, the birthday of Lord Krishna. At that sudden moment, it struck me that the blue figure who had visited me in my dream looked very similar to the Lord himself. “Come on, who am i kidding? It is just a dream and not real,” I convinced myself.
As the day progressed i never got out of this thought. While on the bus, i looked at each and every individual to find out if he/she is happy. Some seemed to be fine while others looked sad. But how do we actually measure happiness? What does happiness mean to you? Everywhere i turned, i saw either the figure of Lord Krishna or some celebration of Shri Krishna Jayanti. I decided to read up on the festival from a library nearby.
A book about Sri Krishna Janmashtami said that this particular festival is observed on the eighth day of the dark half of the month when the Rohini Nakshatra is ascendent, which usually happens either in the month of August or September. Lord Krishna was a valiant hero who crossed many hurdles throughout his life right from his birth. Kamsa tried to kill Krishna when he was a baby but he miraculously survived the attempt. He is a fierce defender of dharma and the truth and faced many challenges in life. In a way, the story of Krishna tells us to fight obstacles and face the challenges.
Fasting is done during the day by the devotees. Some fast without even drinking water which is called the ‘Nirjal Vrat’. Chanting of the Lord’s name and reading of the Bhagawad Gita is considered sacred during this time. Devotional songs are sung and plays are showcased during the occasion to make people aware of the tales of the Lord.
The famous Jugal Kishore temple is one of the oldest temples in Vrindavana, also called as the Kesi Ghat temple. In the Bankey Bihari temple, the curtain before the deities is not left open like others. It is opened and closed every few minutes.
The Jagannath temple in Puri is famous for its wooden image of Krishna where he is placed along with his brother Bhalabhadra and his sister Subhadra. The Guruvayoor temple in Kerala, called the Dwaraka of the south, is a famous Krishna temple that houses 36 royal elephants. Radharam temple, Madan Mohan temple, Nikunjavana temple and Jugal Kishore temple are the other famous Krishna temples in India.
Vrindavan, where Krishna spent his formative years, has around 5000 temples that get dressed up for the Janmashtami. The whole city is immersed in a sense of celebration with bhajans being played and dramas staged. The celebrations in Mathura, where Lord Krishna was born is endless. People from all over the world come to Mathura to see the festival of Janmashtami at its fullest. In this temple, the celebration is in the form of Ghatas and Julanotsav where in Ghatas the whole temple and the deities are dressed in the same color.
I fell deep into the book that described the life of the Lord. I guess what he is trying to say to all of us is to fight for the best in our lives and never give up. If you need to find the inner happiness, you cannot give up so easily. Small failures should never predict our future. A bus ride can be tedious, living up to the expectations in an office could be even more difficult, but the whole point is overcoming the obstacles and finding your inner happiness.
I lay down to sleep at night. I guess, i dozed off after a few moments. I woke up hearing a faint noise and i saw the blue figure looking at me with love and compassion. I was nervous this time because i felt the presence of the Lord, standing infront of me in all his glory and power. He looked at me with an expectant face, searching for an answer. I said, “I know, i wont give up. I will fight for my happiness. Thank you for showing me the way.” I could feel a spark of happiness in his eyes and i tried to savour the moment, the figure vanished to thin air. I lay there looking at the bright blue sky and the wonderful moments of life.
This Sri Krishna Janmashatami, The Other Home wishes you a lifetime of happiness.