Friday, 2 September 2016


Lord Krishna is the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is a protector, philosopher, teacher and friend. Krunashtami according to the lunar calendar, is celebrated on the eighth day after the full moon during the month of Shravan. According the Gregorian calendar, it is celebrated during the months of August-September.
Janmashtami (जन्माष्टमी) is celebrated at midnight, which is believed to be the time of Krushna’s birth. Devotees fast during the day. Idols or photos of Krushna are bathed and kept in cradles, decorated with flowers. The festival is celebrated with singing of devotional songs, blowing of conch shells and Bhagvad Gita (Hindu scripture, originally in Sanskrit) recitations.

Devaki and Vasudeva were Krushna's parents, while Devaki's evil brother Kauns had imprisoned their father, King Ugrasen in an attempt to rule. As legend goes, it was professed that Devaki and Vasudeva's eighth child would kill Kauns. Terrified by the prediction, Kauns had killed all of Devaki's progeny. When Krushna was born, he was taken away from his birth parents to be raised by Vishnu and Yashodha, in an attempt to protect his life, while the later couple's daughter was brought to Devaki and Vasudeva. Later Kauns, unaware of the swap attempted to kill the baby girl, who in fact was a divine form, who later warned him that his end was near.

As a part of Krushnashtami celebrations, Dahi Handi is very popular in Maharashtra. Dahi means ‘curd’ and handi is ‘pot’. In the olden times, Indian homes would keep the curds and butter in pots tied to the ceiling, probably to keep insects and crawlies at bay. As the legend goes, Krushna with his friends would form human pyramids to reach them and the goodies would be shared by all. Continuing the tradition Dahi handis are tied high, I mean real high, and groups of participants (pathaks) form human pyramids to break 'em. Its a competition these days, where the pathaks go around the city, trying to break as many handis as possible. 

These days of course its not only dahi that goes into making dahi handi. There are huge prizes that are sponsored for the event. There's obviously science behind the formation.Over the years its observed that the height of these Dahi handis is increasing to an extent where the courts have had to intervene to cap the dahi handi height.This had to be done keeping in mind the safety of the ‘Govindas’, since some major casualties were reported.

Happy Janmashtami!

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