Display of rich
cultural & traditional rural folklore
Krishna Janmashtami or the
birth of Lord Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu on earth, is observed
on the eighth day of the dark half (Krishna Paksha) of the month of
Bhadrapada according to the Hindu calendar. Janmashtami celebration in
Dwarka is very special. Dwarka, means ‘Door to Moksha (Salvation).’ Lord
Krishna with his elder brother Balram established this ancient city. Divine
architect Vishwakarma built it in two days. The city is said to have been
made up of diamonds and crystal, with palaces made of gold, emeralds and
other precious stones. It was the abode of Lord Krishna for nearly 100
years. After Lord Krishna's death, the city is believed to have been
submerged in the sea.
celebration of Janmashtami in the main Dwarkadhish temple is very famous in
India. Devotees from all over India throng the city of Dwarka during
Janamashtami. The celebration on Janmashtami follows the daily routine or
‘Nitya Kram’ of Lord Krishna. The festival day begins with mangla arti
performed in the morning. Beginning with 'Banta Bhog’, which made of milk
and milk products offered to Lord Krishna, followed by cleansing of his face
with water, brushing of the idol's teeth. Then the first darshan of the day
is allowed to the devotees.
given the holy bath between 8 - 10 am and devotees are given a chance to see
the abhishek, which happens only twice a year. The bath is given right after
the mangla arti with Panchamrit –which is a mixture of gangajal, ghee,
honey, curd and sugar. After the bath, Lord Krishna is adorned with pitambar,
yellow colored clothes and ornaments. Ornaments consists of Chandanmala,
Vyjantimala, made of flowers and Suparimala made of Betel nut. After the
adornment of Shri Krishna, the curtains are removed and devotees are allowed
to do the darshan of the Lord. This is followed by offering of Shringar Bhog
to the Lord Krishna.
this ritual, the curtains are down again and darshans are not allowed. After
the evening arti, Lord is offered sweets again; devotees are not allowed the
darshans of the Lord during this time. Then it is time for Dwarkadhish to
sleep. This happens around 9:00 pm. It is around 10:30 pm that darshans are
opened again for the devotees during the Janmashtami celebrations.
Dwarkadhish is adorned with lot of Gold jewellery and other precious stones
such as Diamonds and Topaz. Utsav Bhog is offered to Lord around 11:30 pm.
Devotees are not allowed to see the process of Utsav Bhog though they wait
eagerly for their beloved Lord in the temple premises and sing bhajans. The
devotees welcome the Lord at 12 midnight with immense enthusiasm and joy by
chanting “Nand Gher Anand Bhayo- Jay Kanaiya lal ki”. After nearly two-hour
celebrations, the temple closes at 2:00 am after the mahabhog offerings to
Gujarat, markets are also filled up with idols of Bal-Krishna and colorful
swings. Every temple and house hold has decorated swings with
Bal-Krishna-idol in colorful costumes sitting on it. The main Prasad known
as PANCHAJIRI-or PANJARI is also work as protection against the seasonal
disorder in people, as it made from five important elements of Ayurveda.
Apart from Dwarka, the people
of Gujarat also visit Mathura, Dakor, Shrinathdwara and Shamlaji- for
pilgrimage. Krishna Janmashtrami in Gujarat is also celebrated as festival
of fairs in the state. Most of these fairs have been organized in towns and
cities of Saurashtra region, which displays the rich culture and traditions
of rural folklore.
Yogesh Pandya, AIR Correspondent - Ahmedabad.