Rasa lila or Krishna lila — dance-drama enactments of Krishna’s life as per the Bhagavata Purana is a popular tradition. In addition to rasa lila, a night vigil (jagarana), fasting (upavasa) and a festival (mahotsava) are important parts of the Janmashtami celebrations.
SIGNIFICANCE AND CELEBRATIONS
The Vaishnavism tradition hails the festival as of the most important occasions. Rasa lila or Krishna lila — dance-drama enactments of Krishna’s life as per the Bhagavata Purana is a popular tradition. In addition to rasa lila, a night vigil (jagarana), fasting (upavasa) and a festival (mahotsava) are important parts of the Janmashtami celebrations. Particularly the ardent followers of Vaishnavism celebrate Janmashtami because Krishna is believed to be the eighth avatar of Vishnu. Popular mythological tales narrate how Lord Krishna’s uncle King Kansa wanted to kill him. So as soon as he was born, Vasudeva his father, took him across Yamuna to Gokul where he was then taken care of by his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. On Janmashtami, devotees commemorate how Krishna emerged victorious over the trials and tribulations over his birth.
Believers fast rigorously by eating just a single meal a day before the festivities. They also sing devotional songs and maintain a vigil into the night. They break the fast on the next day when the Ashtami Tithi is over. The devotees offer ‘chappan bhog’ on the following day known as ‘Nanda Utsav’ and prepares a list of 56 dishes to offer to the god. After the offering, this is then distributed and shared among the devotees after the fast.
The ‘bhog’ is known to contain all of Krishna’s favourite dishes, who was also known as the ‘maakhan chor’ or butter thief. Malpua, mathri, jalebi, makhan mishri, rabri, rasgulla, murabba, saag, khichdi, milk, dry fruits etc. are only some of the common dishes available in the bhog.
DATE AND PUJA MAHURAT
According to drikpanchang.com, Nishita Kala is the time of midnight as per Vedic time and the time to break the fast is called the Parana. For the followers of Vaishnava Sampradaya, the festival falls on August 15 and their Parana starts at 5:54am.
Nishita Puja Time: 12:03am to 12:47am
Midnight time of Nishita phase is 12:25am
On August 15,
Parana Time: After 5:39pm
Ashtami Tithi End Time: 5:39pm