Date: Sunday 17th September 2023
Time: 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Venue: Chestnuts Community Centre
280 St Ann's Road, London N15 5BN
The day will consist of worship, a variety of performances, kirtans and bhajans performed by both internal and external artists including Kirtan-Rasa Madhurima as well as Gaudiya Mission Maharaj.
Story of Janmashtami - Lord Krishna's Appearance
What is Janmashtami?
Janmashtami or Gokulashtami as it is popularly known in North India, is a festival full of joy and gaiety. It celebrates with great pomp and show, the birth of Lord Krishna who was born more than 5000 years ago in the 28th year of Dwapur Yug. It is one of the most celebrated festivals for Hindus not only in India but also, all over the world. Janmashtami is about the joy, people all over the world feel for their beloved Lord Krishna.
Popularly known as Krishna Jayanti
Janmashtami festival also known as Krishna Jayanti falls in the month of August-September every year. Lord Krishna is said to have been born on a rainy and stormy night and it seems as if Lord Varun, the God of rain, welcomed the lord himself. The trend continues with Janmashtami falling during the peak of rainy season in India.
Reason for the Appearance of Lord Krishna
According to Puranas, Krishna is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who took birth to kill the evil king Kansa and free the people of Mathura and other nearby towns from his cruelty and save them from his evil clutches. Kansa was the maternal uncle of Sri Krishna who was destined to be killed by the eighth child of his beloved sister Devaki.
It is deemed that the Supreme Lord Krishna came to Earth to provide an invitation to the spiritual kingdom which is our original home. Krishna for our benefit informs us that this world is temporary, full of miseries, where everyone has to undergo the repeated cycle of birth and death. Krishna assures that his abode is free of all the sufferings and once we go there then we do not have to come to this world where misery is at every step.
The Story of Lord Krishna's Appearance
The city of Mathura was ruled by King Ugrasen. He had a son named Kansa and a daughter Devaki. Kansa jailed his father and forcefully became the King of Mathura. Kansa married off his sister to Vasudeva who was one of the officers in his army.
On the day of wedding Kansa heard a heavenly prediction that the eighth son of Devaki will be born to kill him. So he decided to kill his sister. But on Vasudeva’s pleading he imprisoned both of them by the condition that they will hand over all their children to Kansa. Kansa killed all the six new born babies of Devaki and Vasudev but the seventh child Balaram was saved by divine intervention. The child was transferred from Devaki’s womb to that of Rohini's. When Krishna, the eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva, was born, as if by a sheer miracle, all the soldiers guarding the couple fell asleep and the gates of the dungeon flew open by themselves. Vasudev smuggled the child in a basket to his friend Nanda in Gokul.
On the way he had to cross River Yamuna and it was raining heavily but the five headed serpent Sheshnag protected the child with its fangs. After putting the child near Yashoda who had that time given birth to a girl child Vasudeva returned with the girl child to the dungeon.
On hearing the news of the eighth born child, Kansa rushed to kill the girl. He held the child by her legs and just as he was about to bang her against the wall, the girl vanished into thin air and told Kansa that his slayer had been born and was safe.
Krishna grew up as Yashoda and Nanda’s son in Gokul and later killed his maternal uncle Kansa, freeing all the people of Mathura from his tyranny. He also liberated his parents from prison and reinstated Ugrasen as the King of Mathura. Lord Krishna also later played an important role in the Mahabharata War.