Mangaluru: It’s once again that time of the year, when Hindus get in the mood and spirit to celebrate Shree Krishna Janmashtami with grandeur and fervor. Preparations for today’s (Saturday) Krishna Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Krishna, have reached a crescendo in the whole of Mangaluru City and surrounding areas, with temples all decked up and devotees thronging the area for a glimpse of the deities. As per sources, Lord Krishna is supposed to be the Eighth, of Lord Vishnu’s 10 avatars. According to mythology, Krishna was supposed to have born the Eighth son to Vasudeva and Devaki in the Shraavana month, on the Eighth day succeeding Full Moon day, when the star Rohini was shining in the sky.
In Mahabharatha, Krishna took a major role in preaching Arjuna at the battle front, the meaning of Karma or Duty, popularly known as ‘Bhagavadgita’. Krishna is also known as the Lord who was heart throb of hundreds of Gopikas, or Milk Maids in the Dwapara Yuga! He was born in Yadukula, popularly known as ‘Yadavas’ in present times. Yet, Brahmins worship him as one of the most powerful Gods in Hindu Mythology. Let’s keep aside mythology and understand the significance of Krishna Janmashtami, the day on which Lord Krishna is worshipped with poojas, offerings, singing and dancing. This festival occurs almost after eight days, succeeding ‘Rigupakarma’, or ‘Sacred Thread’ ceremony among the GSB Hindus.
On that day, devotees clean the house, have a head bath, and follow strict diet that contains grains and pulses like Wheat, Green Gram, Bengal Gram, Beaten Rice and Curds. They cook rice, Bengal Gram dish and other accompaniments including two kinds of Panchakajjaaya and jaggery laddus with Sesame seeds and puffed rice powder as ‘Naivedya’, or offering to the Lord. A colocasia leaf dish with fresh ginger and green chillies, popularly known as ‘Alvathi’ is essentially made.
‘Moong dal usli’ or Split Green Gram snack is a must! Some house holds prepare ‘Brahmi’ chutney too. Various fruits are also offered. In the evening, Krishna’s idol or picture is decorated with flowers, especially ‘Kedage’ ‘Taavare’ ‘Jasmine’ and also ‘Tulsi’ leaves.
‘Ashtottaras'(108 Salutes) and ‘Sahasranamas'(1008 names) are chanted while performing the pooja, and ‘Arghya’ or milk bath is given through ‘Kedage’ leaves, while describing various moods of Krishna as he is depicted in Mythology! Saligrama, a fossil form believed to be containing the soul of Krishna, is also worshipped along with the idol. All the male members wearing ‘Janivara’ or holy thread perform the pooja.
After the pooja, ‘Aarati’ (Flame) is shown to the Krishna idol and all the family members salute the lord, touch the flame and accept the ‘Prasadam’ and ‘Panchamrita’, a combination of Cow’s milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey and sometimes with tender coconut water as additive. The food items offered to Lord Krishna are consumed by all the family members along with the priest as ‘Prasadam’. Sweet dishes are distributed among the friends as a gesture of togetherness! The next day, Lord Krishna’s idol is displaced in a ritual called as ‘Visarjana’ and is reinstated in its original place.
‘Mosaru Kudike’ or ‘Vittala Pindi’ is celebrated by most of the Hindus on that day, signifying Lord Krisnhna stealing butter from the pot (Kudike). Thousands of people move in a procession with Lord Krishna idol, dance in the streets, chanting ragas, forming human pyramids, smashing the overhead hung earthen pots and winning prizes for their efforts. Different ‘veshas’ like the ever popular tiger dance and many others add colour to the procession!
Krishna Janmashtami has become global these days, with ISKCON actively indulging in the Feast in major cities around the world, and also in Mangaluru. Many associations are also organizing “Mosaru Kudike” all around the city. Street vendors and shop dealers are making brisk business selling flowers, vegetables, dry fruits, sweets and other items necessary for the big feast. City Central Market and around that area, and also in Car street is crowded with people buying the required stuff needed for the festival. Children dressed like Lord Krishna are seen taking part in contest in many parts of the city.There has been good demand for kedige (screw pine) leaf moulds in the city to make cylindrical idlis or ‘moode’ especially for the festival. Flower merchants were selling chrysanthemums in yellow, white, pink at a rate of around Rs. 50 per one ‘maaru’. There has also been high demand for earthen pots for the mosaru kudike.
Yes, Kudla is gearing up to celebrate Sri Krishna Janmashtami today ( Saturday) and also on Sunday. This afternoon, there is a Krishna Varna Vaibhava, a drawing competition in six categories, in the premises of the Manjunatha Temple (Kadri Temple)- followed later by a Krishna vesha competition in 25 categories from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Also on Saturday, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) has organised celebrations at Devadiga Sabha Bhawan, Mannagudda, from 2.30 p.m. till midnight, while yet another ISKCON organization in the city is having celebrations at the T.M.A. Pai International Convention Centre from 9 a.m. till midnight. There will be a Krishna vesha and painting competitions for children from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Gita recital and Gita quiz in the afternoon for children. There will be cultural programmes in the evening as well.
On Sunday, ‘Mosaru kudike’ will take place at various parts of the city like Kadri, Urwa Stores, Attavar, Kulashekar, Urwa Market, Shakthi Nagar, Kottara and many other places. Kadri Cricketers Club are also having various programmes, with finale mega show ” Rhythmic Nite 2105 ” on Sunday night at kadri-Mallikatte grounds.
Team Mangalorean wishes the Hindu community a blessed and happy Krishna Janmashtami !