Krishna is God.
Krishna is human.
He is that God who hardly invokes a sense of wrath or fear.
Think of Krishna and the image that would come to the mind would be of a serene face. And amidst that serenity, that hint of naughty smile mildly touching the corner of his lips – like dewdrops kissing the blade of grass.
A God, whom you can easily imagine with a flute in hand, rather than a weapon. A human who doesn’t hesitate to proclaim his love for Radha – a love that is not socially accepted. With his little flirting, his all-out love for his mother, his ‘buddy-love’, he remains the most loved, contemporary super-hero.
He steals what he loves and yet stands in for justice. He doesn’t hesitate teasing women and yet does not fail to protect the dignity of a woman when Draupadi’s modesty is outraged.
Janmashtami is celebrating the birth of Krishna. It is not just a celebration of his birth but also the birth of hope amidst the chaos.
It is the rising of a voice against injustice as well.
The day is normally celebrated with many variations – from calm family celebrations to community festivity. The best part is that the day is that it is a day of being together with friends and family.
But, pooja, sweets, friends, family, food – these have been the cornerstones of celebration for every Janmashtami. But this Janmashtami make the celebration the ‘Krishna’ way – design the day taking cue from his life.
Here are little ideas to fuel on your imagination:
1. Celebrating with the ‘Sudamas’
Krishna is an embodiment of social justice.
From his foster family to his friends – the Lord has always chosen the poor over the rich, the humble over the high. The story of ‘Sudama’ is a reminder of how the Lord is a friend of the poor and protects them.
This Janmashtami, along with your friends and family members, invites the Sudamas around your area.
Remember the guy who sells fried fritters at the turning of the road?
If you have always felt bad looking at the heat-burnt, sweat-soaked face, it is the time you can make him and yourself happy.
And that barber who was your ‘hair-style expert’ till you began to opt for the saloon, do you still remember him?
What about your friend who runs his family from the earnings from his little shop?
Call them at home.
Let them be a part of your family celebrations. Have lunch with them. And as they leave hand them over a gift hamper – a box of laddoos or sweets, a little photo or tiny idol of Gopal and a T-Shirt for her with the theme of Janmashtami.
This Sudama could be anyone – people who would cherish every bite of the sweet, who would cling on to the T-Shirt a little longer than usual, who would unabashedly lick their fingers after the meal.
Feel the joy Krishna would have felt after treating his friend Sudama!
2. Musings with the Musician
If there is one object we can relate Krishna to, is his flute.
His flute is a symbolism of love, devotion and eternal happiness. So, if Krishna is being celebrated why leave his music far behind.
Celebrate the day musically.
Celebrate Janmashtami with Poor Musicians.
Find out a musician who is struggling and yet true to his art and not given it up due to poverty. Arrange a gathering just for him. Sit below his feet and be mesmerized with his music, let the others soak in too. Honor him with a shawl and a T-shirt specially designed for this day.
And yes, if you have enough to spare, promise him a monthly honorarium – just as a token of honor to his art and devotion to music.
3. Giving Gopal a Home
Where would Krishna have been if Yashoda hadn’t opened up her lap in welcoming the little Kanha – the baby Gopal?
Can we ever imagine Krishna without his mother?
He is naughty, he is troublesome, he keeps her in her toes always and yet she is that part of her life without which her life is incomplete.
Picture courtesy: http://aaradhika.com/krishna/yashoda-love-for-krishna/
Like the song goes – Bada natkhat hai re Kishan Kanhaiya, Kaa karey Yashoda Maiya.
There are many little Gopals and tiny Radhikas who are waiting for a loving pair of hands to take them home. They are longing for the smell they can identify with as their own people.
So, this Janmasthami, decide to adopt a child.
The process may be long and it may take time but the process may be initiated on the day of Janmashtami.
If you already have children or not legally entitled to adopt one, initiate a campaign for adoption – friends, families, well-wishers. Use social media as a tool to build awareness. And on this day organize a program at the local orphanages.
Let the real Kanhas and Radhikas be treated.
Yes, it is. Since when was Krishna himself conventional?
He walked the path of righteousness and yet chose to break the accepted social norms. He is the one who had told us that the crown of victory always rests with those who walk the path of truth and justice.
Often, in the crowd of ritual norms, we forget the real essence of the celebration. This Janmashtmi, relive the real essence of the teachings of the Lord.
Make a difference!