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Janamashtami

Geeta Society celebrates the birth of Lord Krsna every year in the month of August - September on the eighth day of the dark fortnight of lunar calendar Badarpada known as Janamashtami. The incarnation of Lord Krsna represents the descent of Supreme-Self in the material world. Lord Krsna the eighth Avtar of Lord Vishnu was born about 5000 years ago in Dwaper Yuga.

 According to the basic belief of Hinduism although the Supreme-Lord is beyond cause, space and time, yet, resorting to His essential transcendental nature He manifests through His Divine potency. Remaining unmanifested He appears to be manifested. Remaining settled in the infinitude of His essentiality; He appears to be finite. Whenever there is a decline of Dharma and rise of Adharma the loss of moral values the Supreme power incarnates to uphold the moral values, ethical values and to restore orderliness in society. Dharma is guidance from the Higher-Self, which helps the individual to live in peace and harmony with his own inner-self with others and with nature. Dharma brings people together in mutual understanding, love and care while adharma disintegrates and makes them selfish and corrupt. The decline of moral values (Dharma) starts at the individual level and gradually spreads throughout the community and country causing a downfall of ethical values everywhere.

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Decline of Dharma is decline of morality, virtuosity, and spirituality. The decline of moral and spiritual standards generally happens due to the loss of self-respect and due to the loss of respect for God. Lack of faith in our own selves is also due to lack of faith in God. When people lose their conscious touch with the source of life they lose touch with themselves and with everybody else around. In moments of spiritual crisis when people are confused and psychologically disintegrated the Supreme Lord comes to rescue of man and incarnates Himself for the protection of the virtuous and for the destruction of the wicked.

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The Supreme Lord incarnates to enlighten people and to persuade them to recognize their divinity by their own efforts. Supreme Lord incarnates to make people realize that each and every human being is eligible candidate for attaining the Supreme goal of God-realization while being engaged in the performance of worldly duties. He enlightens, awakens and guides every one by the example of his own personal life. God incarnate comes down to the level of human beings in order to educate people into the graciousness of human life, and initiate them to work in a co-partnership with Him. He strengthens their faith in God and also the reverence for the scriptures. He shows his personal compassion for people and inspires them into godliness. He educates everyone by His idealistic life and enlightens that godliness can be attained through manliness. God incarnate helps people in restoring the values of Dharma. Although the God incarnate can accomplish His work without manifesting Himself but in order to purify and inspire the human beings, He works in a co-partnership with man. The God incarnate likes His work to be accomplished through man in order to teach him about the greatness of human life. Lord Krsna himself declares in Bhagawad Geeta " janma karma ca me divyam-evam yo vetti tattvatah"--- only the man of wisdom understands the secret of my divine birth and actions. "Yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyuthanamadharmasya tadatmanam srjamyaham" --- whenever there is decline of righteousness, (Dharma) and rise of unrighteousness, O'Arjuna, then I manifest Myself. "partianaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskratam dharmasansthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge-yuge" For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness (Dharma) I come into being from age to age. 

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Divine manifestation of Sri Krsna has touched almost every aspect of life, religion, poetry, philosophy, mysticism, music, dancing, art, literature, sculpture, painting, yoga, and meditation. For thousands of years, His glorious life, profound wisdom and divinity has influenced deeply the philosophical, spiritual and cultural life of people. In dynamic incarnation of the Supreme Divinity Sri Krsna, we see an ideal figure imbued with subtle gleam of divinity, sweet melody of flute, elusive fleeting smile, inspiring words of profound wisdom that has fascinated the poets, the writers, the philosophers, educationists and warriors for centuries through the length and breadth of the planet. His life style sets an ideal example of love, compassion, timeless wisdom, nobility and purity, great as human imagination can comprehend. We see in Sri Krsna the universal Self revealing Himself to individual self as the most sincere, caring, compassionate friend and guide.

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Krsna Janamashtami is celebrated all over India and in other parts of the world with deep religious fervor and enthusiasm. In Mathura, the birth place of Sri Krsna and Vrindhavan, the celebration is really spectacular. People from all over the world congregate to participate in the festival. Everything in temples and all around the banks of river jamuna speaks about the spiritual mystery of Lord Krsna's birth childhood pranks and penances. The presence of the Lord is perceived everywhere in the movements of people in the choirs of devotees, in the bells of temples, and in the whisper of the breeze coming from the groves of Gokul. In Vrindhavan we feel ourselves at a different level of consciousness which is soaked with Divine love, compassion, peace, harmony and spirituality. Even when we drive out of the town the fading sound of the sweet melody of the Lord's flute remains with us for a long time. Anyone who has been blessed to spent a night there; can actually describe the rich experience of meditative unity in transcendence with the enchanting touch of primordial sound.

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The celebration in Mathura starts early morning with bath in holy waters of Jamuna and prayers. Special Prasad is prepared for midnight offering at the birth of the Lord. Temples and homes are decorated with pictures of Sri Krsna and scenes depicting His birth in Mathura, childhood pranks in Gokul, education at Sandeepani with Sudhama and teaching the mysteries of life to Arjuna in Kurukshetra. Silver cradles with image of Baby Krsna are decorated with flowers, beads, and bells with love and deep devotion. Everybody waits for the midnight celebration with chanting of hymns, blaring of the conches, ringing of bells while rocking the cradle with lullaby. "Jhulina Jhulai bhrij Bala, Jhulay Nandalala---Resham ki dori chandan ka palana Jhulina Jhulai bhrij Bala, Jhulay Nandalala". Night of Janamashtami has been given special importance for meditative unity with the indwelling self which brings liberation in this life and life hereafter. Some devotee who aspire for authentic spiritual growth in life they observe fast on this special day and also meditate at home from sunset to midnight. It is believed that the cosmic combination with Rohini Naxatra on the eighth day of this dark fortnight is conducive to meditation and the human soul becomes quite receptive to the silent call of the Divine; the closeness with the Lord is experienced naturally and spontaneously. The sweet melody of the flute and ringing of the bells at midnight makes meditative experience very rich and rewarding. This special night when the air is charged with spiritual energy, the mind becomes receptive to peace and quietness of the Self and the devotees derive deep satisfaction from yogic unity at the holy shrine of their own heart. The true devotees of Sri Krsna do experience the ecstatic trance and occasionally enter into the temple of their own heart and are blessed with the gracious vision of the Lord. This subtle joy of personal communion becomes really exhilarating and they start singing the glory in ecstasy of Divine love with verses from Bhagawad Geeta.

"tvamaksaram paramam veditvyam tvamasya visvasya param nidhanam tvamavyayah sasvatadharmagopta sanatanas tvam puraso mateo me"
O'Lord You are the imperishable, the Supreme being, worthy to be known. You are the ultimate resort of the universe, you are the eternal guardian of the Primeval Dharma (Righteousness). You are indeed the Primeval Purusha, so I believe.

"tvamaddidevah purusah puranas tvam asya visvasya param nidhanam vetta si vedyam ca param ca dhama tvaya tata, visvam anantarupa
You are the Primeval God, the most ancient Purusha and the ultimate resort of the universe. You are the knower, the knowable and the Supreme abode. The universe is pervaded by you, O'Lord of infinite forms.

The celebration of Krsna Janamashtami, is really celebrating our own awakening and sharing our enlightenment with others. It is accepting the presence of indwelling self and living our life by the guidance of the Self. We celebrate Janamashtami every year in order to be blessed with the vision of the Lord once again at the Holy shrine of our own heart and remain aware of our mutual communion in the middle of everything that goes on in life. To experience the presence of Lord Krsna at the temple of our heart is always within our reach - anyone who is blessed with His vision is the one chooses Him.                        

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