One of Hinduism’s most beloved Gods, Lord Krishna had his ‘birthday’ celebrated yesterday by his devotees in some parts of India. Others, like the state of Kerala in the South, celebrate the ‘birthday’ today. Since the tradition tells us that Lord Krishna was born at night, fixing the exact day for ‘Krishnashtami’ is sometimes tricky for the pundits. It depends on the almanacs they chart based on the Hindu calendar.

Myth, legend, faith and devotion combined with religious scholarship have gone into the making of the Krishna cult. Whether Krishna was a historical figure is not a question that troubles devotees. For them the divine personality of Krishna described in mythological narratives, devotional songs and other sacred literature, lived and redefined by saints and savants through ages matters most.

There are many temples, big and small, dedicated to Krishna. Though the deities in these temples are representations of Lord Krishna (or Vishnu, of whom Krishna is an incarnation), they are known by many different names. In fact, each deity has many names and different devotees prefer one or other names of their choice to make their supplication to the Lord. Vishnu Sahsranama celebrates one thousand names of Vishnu and devotees chant these names as part of their daily worship.

There are many modern movements and cults built around the divine personality of Lord Krishna. ISKCON is probably the most famous among them.

It is customary for devotees to dress and deck up their baby boys like Baby Krishna on ‘Krishnashtami’ and seek blessings from the Deity for the kids and the whole family. This is done as a part of the puja (worship) which consists of decorating the Deity, lighting lamps and incense sticks before the deity, offering many sweets, chanting prayers, etc.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,