Shree Krishna Janmashtami Celeberation / श्री कृष्णा जन्माष्टमी
- Invite all your friends and family to participate in the festivities.
- Decorating your home for Krishna can be fun, particularly for children. Encourage them in helping to make garlands, hanging balloons and festoons of leaves, and generally making the house beautiful for Krishna’s appearance.
- Get a copy of the Vaishnava Song book and choose some of your favorite bhajanas(devotional songs in praise of God) to sing. Krishna, also known as Murlidhara, or "one who holds the flute," loves music. And so will your friends and family, as you take turns singing and playing instruments. Alternatively, play bhajan CDs and heighten the spiritual atmosphere.
- You can also chant extra rounds of the Hare Krishna mantra on your japa mala (prayer beads). This is an intimate one on one exchange with Krishna, and makes you feel much closer to the Lord.
- If you have Radha-Krishna deities, get extra special new outfits for Them. Exercise your creativity and pay special attention to decorating Their altar.
- Recreate the temple program and hold an abhisheka bathing
ceremony for your deities. Simply buy different liquids like yogurt,
honey, ghee and fruit juices and bathe the deity with them while
singing devotional songs.
- Temples prepare at least one hundred and eight different food dishes on Janmashtami. Of course, you don’t have to go that far, unless you’re feeling particularly energetic! But it’s always nice to cook some very special preparations to offer to the Lord. Imagine that Krishna was actually right there, in your house—what would you offer Him? This makes for a wonderful meditation while cooking on Janmashtami.
- Have a midnight arati (worship ceremony) with a
kirtan. This is the exact time that Krishna appeared on this
planet, so it is most auspicious and spiritually inspiring. If you
have arati paraphernalia, then you can do a full offering. If
not, don’t worry–Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, "If you
offer Me with love a leaf, flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."
So offer whatever you can—it’s your love and devotion that matters.
- Buy a special gift for the Lord. You can wrap it and write a card to Krishna. Here are some gift ideas:
- If you have Deities you can buy or make jewelry, new clothes, garlands, peacock feathers, turban pieces, flutes or water cups
- If you are able to fast from food, fasting until midnight is recommended. If fasting is too difficult, then try to eat only light foods during the day. By putting our own needs aside and concentrating more on Krishna’s, we show our love for Him.
- Children also enjoy dressing up as Radha, Krishna and their associates, and re-enacting Krishna’s pastimes. This helps to create a very festive mood.
As you celebrate Janmashtami, remember that just as we enjoy the attention and fun on our birthday, so the Lord also enjoys our attention and gifts on His appearance day. The difference between us and Krishna is that He is able to reciprocate perfectly with each one of us. In the transcendental realm, everything that we offer to the Lord with love and devotion will benefit us unlimitedly, and those benefits will stay with us for eternity.