This year, August 11th will be celebrated as Lord Krishna's birthday, commonly known as Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami. Celebrated by Hindus all over the world, Janmashtami sees the coming together of people from all walks of life immersing themselves in the mirth of the festival.
"Yadaa yadaa hi dharmasya glanir bhavati Bharata;
Dharma sansthaapanaarthaaya sambhaavami yuge yuge."
"Whenever evil will rear its ugly face on earth, I will take birth to re-establish peace and order"
The story of Krishna's birth is as fascinating as the events that took place during his lifetime. According to Hindu mythology, when evil and immoral forces took over the world, mother earth pleaded Lord Brahma to bring an end to the prevailing conditions. Lord Brahma then asked Lord Vishnu for help, who proclaimed that he will soon take birth to banish all evil from the earth.
Krishna was to be his incarnation, the 8th son of Devaki and Vasudeva. Devaki was the sister of Kansa, an evil king who ruled the Vrishni kingdom. Before his birth, heavenly voices had prognosticated that it would be Devaki's 8th son, that is Krishna, who will kill Kansa. Terrified, Kansa had prepared to kill his sister when Vasudeva intervened urging him not to kill his wife. He promised to hand over each newborn to him. The ruthless Kansa agreed but put the couple behind bars. When Devaki gave birth the first time, Kansa took away the newborn and killed him. The same continued till the birth of the 7th child. However, before the 8th baby was to be born, Lord Vishnu appeared before the couple and asked Vasudeva to exchange his to-be-born child with his friend Nanda's baby daughter.
When the fateful day arrived, Vasudeva marched out with his newborn towards Nanda's home. He encountered several problems during his journey, however, miraculously he was able to reach his destination. He exchanged the newborns and went back to the prison where Kansa was all geared to kill the 8th child.
Kansa barged into the prison, lifted the baby girl, but this time when he prepared to kill the child, it slipped away from his hands and reached the sky, transforming into Goddess Yogamaya.
Krishna was the cynosure of all eyes while growing up with his foster parents Nanda and Yashoda. His divine powers had been apparent in several instances that took place during his growing up years. On reaching adulthood, Krishna killed Kansa and re-established peace in Mathura.
This Janmashtami, let us all hail Lord Krishna and imbibe his teachings in our life. Happy Janmashtami!