India and its culture are rich in traditions and values. Our children learn and explore so much during these festivals that not only do they have an opportunity to experience grand celebrations but also learn about the history and stories behind these festivals. One such festival is Janmashtami, Lord Krishna and his childhood tales are popular among children. This Janmashtami let us narrate the story of Lord Krishna’s birth to our children.
Birth of Lord Krishna
The Evil Kansa
Krishna was eighth child of Vasudev and Devaki – Sister of evil prince Kansa. Kansa had imprisoned his father Ugrasena to rule over Mathura. Kansa was punished for this evil deed, a voice from the sky announced that the eighth child of his sister Devaki would defeat Kansa and brings an end to his evil rule. Hearing this,Kansa imprisoned his sister Devaki and her husband Vasudev on their wedding day. Kansa was an evil king; one by one he killed all six children of Devaki. While she kept crying in the prison. By God’s Grace the seventh child of Devaki, Balram was saved.
Baby Krishna’s miraculous Birth
On a moonless night, the eighth child of Devaki was born, Shri Krishna. Lord Krishna was indeed miraculous since his birth, instantly after his birth in the jail of Mathura, the gates of jail opened and the guards were fast asleep. A divine voice from the sky announced that, Vasudev should carry the child in the basket and move into the water, Vasudev followed the instructions and he carried baby Krishna in the basket and walked into the river Yamuna. The river was not calm, it was raging as it rained heavily, a serpent (sheshnaag) – a giant multi-headed snake helped Vasudev to protect Krishna from the rain. After a lot of trouble, Vasudev safely reached Gokul at his friend - Nanda’s home where his wife Yashoda gave birth to a baby girl – Yogmaya. Following the instructions of the divine voice he took the baby girl back to the prison and left baby Krishna at Nanda and Yashoda’s home.
Arrival of Goddess Durga
When Kansa heard about the news of the birth of Devaki’s eighth child, he was angry and rushed to the prison. As soon as he took the baby girl in his hand to kill her, she slipped and at the flash of a light and turned into Goddess Durga. Goddess Durga informed Kansa about the birth of Lord Krishna. She said that his end is near as the baby Krishna has arrived and is in safe hands in Gokul. This is how Lord Krishna was born, Devaki gave him birth and Yashoda raised him in Gokul.
We celebrate Janmashtami with great joy and fervour. People decorate their homes, a swing and place Lord Krishna’s idol in it, people observe fast for the whole day and eat at 12.00 am (birth time of Lord Kirshna). Kirshna loved makhan (butter) hence, people organise “matkifod-makhanchor” events in their family and localities.
Amidst the chants of Nand a gheranandbhayo jai kaniahyalaalki Lord Krishna’s birth - Janmashtami is celebrated across the nation with enthusiasm and fun.