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August 14, 2017

Janmashtami 2017: Important rituals to follow

By Team Arpan

Janmashtami is the first festival of the festive season after the Shravan month. It’s the birth of lord Krishna. Various spiritual practices take place all of India during this festival. It’s during midnight when the birth of Lord Krishna took place. There are various rituals that are performed in order complete the worship for Janmashtami.

The first step towards celebrating Janmashtami would be the Abhishek (holy bath) of Lord Krishna. Some of the most important Samagri (worship items) required for the idol of Lord Krishna’s bath are stated as below (please note, most of these products are available at Arpan):

  • Ganga Jal
  • Tulsi leaves
  • Sandalwood paste
  • Panchamrita (made of milk, ghee (clarified butter), curd, honey and sugar)
  • Scented oil
  • Cotton wool or towel
  • Mirror Jewellery
  • Clothes for the deity
  • Flowers Incense sticks
  • Ghee lamp
  • Bhog or food offerings

The other procedures involved in rituals during Janmashtami involve:

  1. Fasting

Most devotees fast on Janmashtami and open the fast at midnight when lord Krishna is born. They generally have milk or milk products only during the fast since it’s considered auspicious.  Some devotees also opt for ‘Nirjal Vrat’ (fast without consuming water) as well.

  1. Chanting

Chanting is a soothing experience and chanting in the name of lord Krishna brings immense joy to one. Chanting Lord Krishnas name is observed worldwide.Devotees chant shlokas and mantras from the Vedas. It is said that chanting 108 names of Lord Krishna brings auspiciousness in one’s life.

  1. Devotional Songs & Dances
    Bhajans and Kirtans are an significant practice of the Janmashtami celebrations. Devotees sing and dance with enthusiasm in the name of Lord Krishna.
  2. Offering Sweets
    There are various sweet dishes prepared of mainly dairy products during Janmashtami, which is mainly known as Bhog. This is then distributed among the devotees as Prasad.
  3. Swings
    Swings are a peculiar feature of Lord Krishna and his stories in the mythology. Many places in rural India tie swings in trees and take rides on them. These swing rides are considered auspicious as well.

All in all, Janmashtami has a very interesting mix of rituals that are fun-loving and joyous in nature, just like Lord Krishna. Happy Janmashtami to one and all.