Happy Janmashtami greeting to all my friends.
This is not a post on Significance of the festival, this is rather what it has taught me , my life’s lessons.
I was born and bred in a conservative, joint family . I have enjoyed living together with my siblings and cousins under one roof learning good values of sharing, devotion to God and I grew up right under the gaze of Vittobha, ( Krishna) the temple ( click link to read my post on My Pilgrimage) which was right in front of my house. My house was like an extension of the temple and we always moved in and out of the temple. No wonder I grew up being a staunch devotee of this Lord who steals the heart of his bhaktas. The lovely face of Krishna with doe eyes, the diamond diadem , His Pitambara , the peacock feather which added the extra grace , the magical flute which cast a spell on his Gopikas in Vrindavan captivated my fancy too. Reading Krishnavatara by KM Munshi only made my faith and devotion stronger for HIM. This is one God whom I feel I can stay connected to. Though it was only Bhaya-bhakthi in the childhood towards God. I have started realising he is right with in me like a constant companion.. We should not be afraid of God. Our conscience must be clear and we must be able to share love or whatever we have to realise the stength of God with in us. I don’t expect that God will appear in front of me if I do a tapasya, from where will he appear when He is with in me? If we cannot love others whole-heartedly that means I am not loving myself.
I enjoy, preparing goodies and decorating the little Krishna idols I have with me, one being the most precious, a gift from my father which I attach a lot of sentiments. My dad himself was a great devotee of Krishna and he worshipped a saligrama of Krishna ( Murali Krishna) in our house, a tradition which is still continuing. Krishnashtami is always a grand festival in my paternal house as the house becomes a beehive of activity on that day. Prasad like banana halwa, til laddu, sugarcane mixed with soaked bengalgram ,sattu ( a sweet made of bengalgram dal) cashew-candy, dryfruits and fresh fruits and God’s favourite , sweetened butter are offered to the Lord. By evening Lamps are lit , the idols and saligrama gets bathed in milk and water and are decorated with flowers of all hues with fragrance filling the atmosphere. The pooja goes till late into the night and the curtains to the event are drawn when the offerings to Lord are done and everyone participates jointly in the partaking of neivadyam which is offered to the Lord. The preparation of all the prasada items and food for all the family members was solely prepared by my mom with we children chipping in with a minuscule of what she did. Hats off to her. I think she drew all the energy from the devotion she had for the Lord. I do not stand anywhere near her in terms of the kind of work she did.
I will be conducting the worship today evening. It would be a simple worship and would be offering neivadayam ( goodies) many of which I have mentioned above and would end with an aarti.
Festivals are time for indulging in sweets and lip smacking goodies. So when I say Lord resides in me we should really eat and enjoy so that it reaches the God. This is my philosophy.
Krishna has taught me the meaning of LOVE and I want to fill my heart with more and more and keep it NIRMAL (pure).
See you soon!!!