Mathura, 2011.08.21 (AU): There is some debate about the actual date of Krishna Janmashtami this year, with Smartas and Vaishnavas celebrating on separate days. For the Smartas, Aug. 21 is the proper day of Krishna’s birth, whereas the Gaudiya, Vallabha and Nimbarka sampradayas all celebrate on Aug. 22. The Janma Sthan, like most temples in Braj, follow the Vaishnava siddhanta.
Astrologer Om Prakash Gautam says that Krishna took birth when the Rohini asterism was rising. The ashtami tithi continues until 4.14 in the afternoon on Monday, and Rohini starts to rise at 2.18 in the afternoon. So the true solar ashtami is on Monday and it is proper to celebrate Janmashtami on that day.
General secretary of the Sri Krishna Janma Sansthan, Kapil Sharma, said that just as people around the world look to Ramalala’s birthplace in Ayodhya to see on what day Shri Ramchandra’s birthday is to be observed, so the same applies to Krishna’s birthplace in Mathura.
Because Krishna is considered to be a full avatar, Vaishnavas observe a vrata on this day.
The flower shower will last an hour
Gopal will take birth in the middle of a shower of flowers. As a part of the evening program at the Bhagavata Bhavan in the Janma Sthan compound, cool and fragrant flowers will rain from above, creating a festive and joyous mood.
In order to be able to give Krishna this special gift, a special machine has been set up on the Janma Sthan premises.
According to Gopeshwar Nath Chaturvedi, the Sahasrarchan will begin at 11 p.m. At that time flower petals and tulasi leaves will be dispersed by this machine until 11.55. In the course of this puja, the petals of a 1000 lotus flowers, along with tulasi leaves and manjaris, as well as roses, marigolds, kunda and other seasonal flowers will be used, along with natural scents. The goal is to create an attractive and cooling atmosphere which will make the birth festival all the more delightful.
51 kilos of milk will be used in the abhishek
AU): The great abhishek which will follow the midnight darshan of Krishna, indicating the time of his birth, will use great amounts of milk and ghee from his beloved cows. These will be brought from a goshala in Jaipur.
The great abhishek is one of the special features of the Janmashtami festival. At 11 the puja begins with worship of Ganesh and the Nine Planets (navagraha). Midnight marks the appearance of the Lord. The Lord’s smaller image (cala-vigraha) is then smeared with various oils and perfumes, and then ceremoniously bathed successively in milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar, honey and other fine ingredients.
Rajiv Shrivastava, one of the Janma Sthan Seva Sansthan’s executives said that ghee in particular has been brought from a Jaipur goshala, for its purity. “All the 330 million gods and goddesses are present to watch the divine ceremonial bath of the Lord, so say the great saints and spiritual authorities. So we are doing our best to make the ceremonies as pleasing to him as possible by getting ingredients from his beloved cows that are of the best quality, from cows served by his devotees.”
Police and military guard increased
With the large influx of pilgrims expected on Janmashtami, large numbers of police are being posted in the city, practically covering every square inch of the area around the birthplace. Blockades have been set up in several places.
The city has been divided into four sectors by the District Administration. ADM (Law and Order) Avadhesh Tiwari said that barriers have been put up in 45 places in the town. 13 temporary parking lots have been set up.
The devoted pilgrims will have to enter the Janma Sthan from the gate on the Govindanagar side, and the main entrance will be used as an exit. Barriers have been erected at the Govindanagar entry way to help control crowd movements, and a temporary observation tower has also been built there for the occasion.
City SP Ram Kishor said that surrounding districts have also sent reinforcements for the festival. Seven companies of PAC (Provincial Armed Constabulary), along with a large number of officers (16 commanding officers, 11 inspectors, 240 sub inspectors, 14 SO, 64 head constables, 1400 sepoys (constables), 500 Mathura Home Guards. Of these 23 subinspectors and 42 sepoys are women.
The ceremonies will be shown on TV screens
Those who will not be able to get inside the Bhagavata Bhavan to see the ceremonies like the abhishek and arati, etc., will be able to watch on TV screens outside. Half a dozen large screens have been set up around the temple grounds, at the main gate, and at Potara Kund.
Happy Janmasthami to all Vrindavan Today readers!!