The festival of Janmashtami is considered a very pious day by Hindus. Lot of bhajan singing, hymn chanting and poojas are performed this day. Devotees queue all the major Krishna temples to seek his blessings. People perform elaborate poojas during the festival. They keep day long fast. Functions and prayer meetings are organised to share the glory of their favourite God.
The general pooja process begins early in the morning with devotees giving a bath or abhishek to Bal Gopal's idol with gangajal, ghee, water, honey and curd. The idol is then adorned with new clothes (preferably in yellow colour), stone or other precious jewellery.
Next, the idol of lord is offered bhog, the contents of bhog may vary. Fruits, kheer, pedha, milk, and milk products are made. There are devotees who offer chappan bhog(56 dishes) to Bal Gopal.
Thereafter, special Krishna pooja is performed. The cradle containing the divine infant's idol is rocked, conch is blown. Devotees sing Krishna arti, some people read out 108 names of lord. They get totally immersed in the name and praise of Gopal.
After the entire pooja is over, devotees break their fast by having panchamrit. The time of breaking the fast may vary, this is so, because the time of performing pooja also differs from place to place. While some devotees choose to perform pooja at midnight and break fast, others perform pooja in the evening and have food.
Janmashtami Pooja Items
The festival of janmashtami is observed with lot of gay and happiness all over India. Special poojas are performed both in homes as well as temples. The entire day is devoted to remembering and singing the praise of Lord Krishna. Devotees welcome and celebrate the birth of their favourite god with lot of fervor.
There are certain special items required for Krishnashtami pooja. Important pooja items are listed below:
* Lord Krishna's idol with cradle and conch
* New clothes, flute and ornaments for Lord Krishna
* Pooja thali containing a bell, diya, rice, elaichi(cardamom), supari, paan leaves, roli, small container filled with water, sindoor, incense sticks, flowers and ghee.
* For Panchamrit -milk, curd, gangajal, honey and ghee.
* A book containing shri Krishna's arti.
The list of items may vary according to pooja process performed by different people.
भगवान श्री कृष्ण की आरती
आरती कुंजविहारी की। श्रीगिरधर कृष्णमुरारी की।
गले में बैजंतीमाला, बजावै मुरली मधुर वाला।
श्रवन में कुण्डल झलकाला, नंदके आनंद नंदलाला। श्री गिरधर ..
गगन सम अंग कांति काली, राधिका चमक रही आली,
लतनमें ठाढ़े बनमाली।
भ्रमर सी अलक, कस्तूरी तिलक, चंद्र सो झलक,
ललित छवि स्यामा प्यारी की। श्री गिरधर ..
कनकमय मोर-मुकुट बिलसै, देवता दरसन को तरसे,
गगन सो सुमन राशि बरसै,
बजे मुरचंग, मधुर मिरदंग, ग्वालनी संग,
अतुल रति गोपकुमारी की। श्री गिरधर ..
जहां ते प्रकट भई गंगा, कलुष कलि हारिणि श्रीगंगा,
स्मरन ते होत मोह-भंगा,
बसी शिव सीस, जटा के बीच, हरै अध कीच,
वरन छवि श्रीबनवारीकी। श्री गिरधर ..
चमकती उ"वल तट रेनू, बज रही वृन्दावन बेनू,
चहूं दिसि गोपी ग्वाल धेनू,
हँसत मृदु नँद, चाँदनी चंद, कटत भव-फंद,
टेर सुनु दीन भिखारी की। श्री गिरधर ..
आरती कुंजबिहारी की। श्री गिरधर कृष्णमुरारी की।