The Spiritual Significance of Janmashtami by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“Janmashtami is the day when we celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna signifies Ananda (bliss, pure happiness). We express any happiness by celebration. So Janmashtami is celebrating the birth of Bliss. It is the day when that (divine) joy became manifest.
Devaki (Lord Krishna’s mother) represents the physical body, while Vasudeva (Lord Krishna’s father) represents the Prana (the vital life-force). So when the Prana flows through the body, then Ananda (bliss, represented by Lord Krishna) is born. But at that time, the ego (represented by Kamsa, Lord Krishna’s maternal uncle and an evil King) wants to destroy the bliss. Where there is joy, there cannot be ego. Lord Krishna is the symbol of love and joy. Love, happiness and naturalness are the greatest enemies of the ego. And what does Lord Krishna represent? He is the symbol of happiness, joy and being natural. He is the very source of bliss. This is why there is a war between ego and love, because ego melts and disappears when love dawns within.
Kamsa represents the ego, and ego is born along with the birth of the body. Devaki (the body) is Kamsa’s sister. When Lord Krishna was born in the prison cell, all the prison guards fell asleep. When there is no happiness and joy (Lord Krishna), the body feels like a prison. So when love (Lord Krishna) was born in this prison (body), all the senses (symbolized by the prison guards) fell asleep.
The five senses – the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin – are the guards of the body, and they always look outwards for joy. They are actually the guards of Kamsa (ego). So they fall asleep when one turns inwards towards the source of joy, the bliss that is born within (Lord Krishna). Now after being born, Lord Krishna had to be taken to another place for the sake of protection and safety (from Kamsa). So Lord Krishna went to Vrindavana after being born, to the house of Nanda and Devi Yashoda. So when you look deeper into these stories, you will be able to understand their greater spiritual meanings and values.”
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It is said that any evils of malefic planets can be removed and the blessings of natural benefic planets can be obtained by worshipping the deities associated with the tithi ruled by the planets.
So when you worship Lord Krishna as Bal Gopal you can overcome the evils of our karma that caused this rebirth. Ashtami tithi is ruled by Rahu and this is one of the best remedies for Rahu.
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Rituals and Remedies
- Worship Lord Krishna with the mantra – “Aum Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”. You can chant this mantra 108 times or sing it as a bhajan.
- Read few chapters from the Bhagavad Gita or Srimad Bhagavatam.
- Lord Krishna symbolizes joy and celebration. So join a Satsang or get together with friends and family and sing songs in praise of Lord Krishna.
- Light a lamp facing east.
- If have an idol of the lord you can give HIM a ritualistic bath with 5 ingredients (Milk, Butter, Ghee, Honey and Yoghurt). This is called Panchamrit – Pancha means 5 and Amrit means the Exlir of the Gods.
- Offer some fragrance to Lord Krishna by lighting an incense or by applying chandan (sandalwood).
- Offer butter, milk products, sweets and rice to Lord Krishna.
- Meditate or listen to flute music.
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