Krishna Janmashtami

Anand Hudli anandhudli at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 24 21:23:13 CDT 2000

On Thu, 24 Aug 2000 02:06:50 -0400, Jaldhar H. Vyas
<jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:

>On Tue, 22 Aug 2000, Anand Hudli wrote:
>> Tonight is the Janmashtami which marks the birth of Krishna.
>We celebrated Janmashtami tonight.  I've just gotten back from our local
>mandir which was jam-packed.  The police had to close of the street there
>was so much traffic.
>Tomorrow I'll post the the Krishnajanma katha.

 There are different rules followed by different traditions in
 determining the janmAShTamI. According to some, there are two
 vratas, actually nityakarmas. One is based on the prevalence of
 the aShTamI tithi at midnight (nishItha-kAla). The other requires
 the rohiNI-naxatra at midnight.

 This year we have the following from kalnirnay
 [Note times here are IST]

 KR^iShNa-paxa-aShTamI start (approximate time):
  3:30 AM EDT on Tuesday the 22nd,

 KR^iShNa-paxa-aShTamI end (approximately):
  2 AM EDT on the 23rd

 rohiNI naxatra start (approx.): 9:30 PM EDT on Tuesday the 22nd
 rohiNI naxatra end (approx.): 8:30 PM EDT on Wednesday the 23rd

 So we see that both the aShTamI and rohiNI-naxatra are prevalent
 during the midnight of the 22nd. This date then is the JanmAShTamI,
 as well as the JayantI, which requires the rohiNI-naxatra.

 Some traditions follow on the aShTamI, some the jayantI, while
 some recognize both and prescribe fasting on both days if they
 happen to fall on two different days!! The one I follow is followed
 by most people in the Maharashtra-Karnataka area. Here only the
 aShTamI vrata is followed. The varShakR^ityadIpaka (Kashi Sanskrit
 Series 96) therefore concludes that mostly the aShTamI vrata is
 followed for fasting purposes, "tatra-aShTamyupavAsaprachara eva
 prAyaH shiShTeShu dR^ishyate." This vrata is a nitya-karma as is
 the ekAdashI, yes, for all smArtas even if they be of followers of
 shakti or shiva.

 There are again different rules for breaking the fast - pAraNa.
 This year, since the aShTamI had ended by the morning of the 23rd,
 the fast had to be broken on the morning of the 23rd itself, even
 though the rohiNI naxatra did not end until later at night.

 I remember another point mentioned in a book. If the JanmAShTamI
 falls on a Wednesday, then it is especially important, since
 Krishna is actually said to have been born on a Wednesday night.
 Even to this day, Lord ViTThala of Pandharpur receives special
 worship on Wednesdays. Again, in astrology, the planet Mercury,
 Budha is the representative of ViShNu. In fact the navagraha sUkta
 uses parts of the ViShNu sUkta to address Budha!


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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