TODAY -

Shri Krishna Janmasthami & Radha Astami
( Birthday of Hindu God and Goddess )

By: N Mangi Devi *

Janmaashtami / Krishna Janma  celebrated at ISKCON Temple, Imphal :: 28 August 2013
Krishna Janma celebrated at ISKCON Temple, Imphal on 28 August 2013 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



SHRI KRISHNA JANMASTHAMI

Shri Krishna Janmasthami has greatly been observed in Manipur valley by the Meitei Hindu community of Manipur since the installation of Shri Shri Govindajee by the Maharaja Bhagyachandra (Jai Singh Maharaja) during 18th Century.

According to Meitei calender this day is always occured on eight of dark forthnight of the month of Thawan (August) every year. It is a very sacred day as the formless Brahman manifested at Bharat Bhumi as it took the form of God-head Shri Krishna.

The Nirakar becomes Sakar Shri Krishna, Shri Krishna is the total complete incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the creator of the entire universe. The Manipuri Hindus or Meitei society who accepted Hinduism belong to the Vaishanav Sampradai (sector) of Madhavcharya who accepted Shri Krishna with Radhrani, as the religion itself.

It is a story and a firm belief of the people that Shri Krishna as God head Himself manifested and appeared as the real image (Murti) in the dream vision of Shri Raj shri Bhagyachandra Maharaja of Manipur during the last part of 18th century and Shri Krishna instructed the Maharaja that He should be worshipped in the name of Shri Govindajee with Rashewori and He even indicated that He will stand as a fig tree at the Kaina Hill of Nongmaiching and you bring it down and make idol of Shri Govindajee as it appeared to the Maharaja.

And thus accordingly the Maharaja could make different idols, out of that particular fig tree and installed Shri Govindajee at the newly constructed temple of Shri Govindajee at Kanchipur, the then palace of the Maharaja. Shri Govindajee with Rashewori had been worshipped as the lord of the state and as such the name of lordship of Shri Govindajee became famous throughout the north eastern states like Assam, Tripura and even to Syhlet in Bangladesh.

This festival has been mainly observed at Shri Govindajee temple, Imphal and other places where public deities are installed say Bijoy Govindajee temple, Gopinathjee temple, Ningthoukhong, Bangshi Bodaljee temple, Khangabok, Madana Mahanjee temple, Kongba.

From very early morning Krishna devotees including small children, young and old, men and women go to these temples and offer whatever they can mainly fruits and flowers and pray to Lord Krishna. After worshipping Sri Govindajee people use to go to the temple of Sri Hanumanjee popularly known as Mahabali Thakur and worship him by offering whatever they can.

A mini fair is being held in and around the temple and even at nearby streets where many small stalls are temporally erected and sold different kinds of toys, dolls and many other handicrafts items made by local artisians. Even food stalls are opened and different items of eatables are sold.

In such way small children enjoy very much in and around Mahabali Thakur Mandir where many monkeys are also playing and enjoying themselves at the public gathering. Likewise at other public temples say ISKCON Mandir and Narasing Mandir etc. where people gathered to worship the Lord and enjoy themselves to their hearts content.

Devotees keep fasting on this Krishna Astami Festival and participate at the Abhishekam at midnight at the Govindajee temple and ISKCON Temple and then get the prasadam. On the next day the festival of Nanda Utsav is being observed with a grand feast at Sri Govindajee Temple and ISKCON temple and other local temples as well by the Meitei Hindu Vaishnavas.

RADHA ASTAMI

Radha Astami is observed on the eight day of Langban month (September) of Meitei calender by the Meitei Hindus.

Srimati Radhika is accepted as a spritual consort of Shri Krishna. She is the love embodiment, the manifested form of Nature, Prakriti. Five forms and five names are one and the same, Radha, Lakshmi, Durga, Swaraswati and Savitri.

Among these goddesses Radhika is the central point. She is the heart and soul of Shri Bhagwan Krishna, she is the leader of all Goddesses and most beautiful combined with all qualities, most fortunate and most honourable.

The observation of this festival is always held together with that of Shri Krishna Astami. Srimati Radhika's love for Shri Krishna is the most sacred with no tint of selfishness.

She is the symbol of selflessness in the service of Shri Krishna. She lost herself with Sri Krishna. With that thought one should worship Srimati Radhika and pray for that kind of love for Shri Krishna.

This festival is devotedly observed by the devotees of Meitei Hindu keeping fast from the day's mid-night up the mid-day of the next day and the fast breaks by gettng the Maha prasadam of Bishwabhanu Maharaja's Utsav. After it the Vamana Janma, the fifth incarnation of Shri Vishnu follows .


* N Mangi Devi wrote this book entitled "Festival of Manipur" . This article was webcasted on March 27th 2010.


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