Shri Krishna’s promise to humanity that he will manifest Himself and descend to earth whenever Dharma declines has sustained the Hindu traditions over thousands of years. If one Bhagavan is known and recognized throughout the world, it is Shri Krishna. Hindus identify Shri Krishna as the Teacher of the sacred scripture called the Bhagavad Gita.
Hindus accept certain concepts such as Truth, Dharma, and Karma. Truth is eternal. Dharma may be described as right conduct, righteousness, moral law, and duty. Anyone who makes Dharma central to one’s life strives to do the right thing, according to one’s duty and abilities. Hindus accept there is a physical body and a jiva-atman. The term, jiva-atman, originates from the Sanskrit jiva, meaning “to breathe,” and atman, meaning “self”. Therefore, it may be translated to mean “living being”. The kind of body the jiva inhabits next is determined by Karma (actions accumulated in previous lives). Moksha is liberation: the jiva’s release from the cycles of birth and death. Truth, Dharma and Karma will lead to achieving the ultimate goal which is Moksha.
Shri Krishna appeared at midnight on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadrapada. He appeared in an era of chaos when persecution was rampant, freedoms were denied, and evil was everywhere. Kamsa usurped the throne from his father, the benevolent King Ugrasena, whom he imprisoned. Kamsa, brother of Krishna’s mother Devaki, was a cruel and evil ruler of Mathura. He killed seven children of Devaki after he came to know that he will be killed by one of her children. He imprisoned both his sister and her husband. Immediately following Krishna’s appearance, his father Vasudeva carries him across the Yamuna River, to foster parents in Gokul, named Nanda and Yashoda. Vasudeva exchanged Krishna with Nanda’s baby girl just born. Later, Krishna killed King Kamsa and released his parents from prison. The kingdom was restored to King Ugrasena and people were freed in Mathura.
Janmashtami is celebrated by keeping fast, performing pooja, singing devotional songs of love for Krishna, and keeping a vigil into the night. After Krishna’s midnight hour appearance, forms of baby Krishna are bathed and clothed, then placed in a cradle. The devotees then break their fast, by sharing food and sweets.
Life to be truly rewarding needs a few things to be complete. Life must be balanced on the Physical, Mental and Spiritual planes. There must be Law, Order and Justice for the promotion of the common good. Our innate nature is for harmony, peace and love. The Bhagavad Gita, Hinduism’s most important text teaches us the way to this reality.
In these turbulent times, HPSC is wishing you all Shri Krishna’s blessings to protect you from all ills and deliver happiness to you and yours.
By The Hindu Professional Society of Canada (HPSC)