Janmashtami 2020: Date, timing, puja vidhi, significance - everything you need to know

This year, Janmashtami will be celebrated two days - August 11 and 12 - and the preparations have already begun. 

Janmashtami 2020: Date, timing, puja vidhi, significance - everything you need to know
Image used for representation only (Courtesy: Pixabay)

New Delhi: Janmashtami, which is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, is also popularly called Shri Krishna Janmashtami or Gokulashtami. Every year, Krishna bhakts immerse themselves in the festive spirit on this day. This year, Janmashtami will be celebrated two days - August 11 and 12 - and the preparations have already begun. 

Several people observe fast as a gesture of devotion while many others indulge in the festivities by organising cultural programmes and puja rituals at home. The celebrations this year have been marred by the coronavirus pandemic and large gatherings, temple visits will have to be avoided.

Janmashtami Puja timing

According to Drikpanchang.com, Ashtami Tithi Begins on August 11 at 9.06 am and ends on August 12 at 11.16 am. 

The Rohini Nakshatra begins on August 12 at 3.27 am and ends on August 14 at 5.22 am.

Since Krishna was born at midnight, the puja also commences at that time. The puja timing is between 12:05 am to 12:48 am on August 12. The timing may vary across the cities. 

Janmashtami Puja Vidhi

(Please note the vidhi changes from region to region. You may follow the below-mentioned vidhi or invite a priest to perform the Puja according to the Vedic rituals).

- Place the idol of Sri Krishna on a cradle (if you don’t have a cradle, you can place it on a wooden plank neatly covered with a fresh piece of yellow or red cloth).
- Now, close your eyes and do Dhyanam.
- Then invoke Lord Krishna in the idol by inviting him and asking him to accept your humble offerings.
- Then offer water to clean his feet followed by Abhishekam.
- Take a fresh piece of cloth and wipe the idol and then offer mouli or clothes to the Lord.
- After Vastra (clothes) offer janeyu or the sacred thread.
- Then you can offer Chandan for Gandha (fragrance).
- Offer jewellery to Lord Krishna because he loves dressing up.
- Then offer Pushpa (flowers) and worship him.
- Seek his blessings and chant his name with devotion.
- Then offer dhoop, deepam and naivedhya (food preparation) followed by a Tamboolam (paan, supari, fruits and money).
- Conclude the Puja by singing the Aarti.
- Devotees who are observing fast can break it on September 3 after 20:05 PM (Parana Time).

Significance

Lord Krishna is revered as the 8th avatar of Lord Vishnu. The festival of Janmashtami is observed according to the Hindi lunisolar calendar. It is said that the day falls as per the Hindu lunisolar calendar, on Ashtami (the 8th day) of the Krishna Paksha in Shravan maas (Shravan/Sawan month) of the lunar Hindu Calendar and Krishna Paksha in Bhadrapad of the lunisolar Hindu Calendar, which overlaps with August and September of the Gregorian calendar.

Lord Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev to kill his cruel uncle Kansa, who puts his sister and brother-in-law in jail and kills their seven children one-by-one fearing death.

However, he too is tricked by the divine intervention when the Lord is born, Vasudeva with the help of cosmic powers takes Krishna away from Mathura by crossing the Yamuna river and leaves him in Gokul with foster parents - Yashoda and Nanda.

Vasudeva carries Krishna in a basket and takes him through the river amid turbulent rains and storm. It is believed that during that time, the king of serpents - Sheshnag emerges from the Yamuna river and acts as a shield to protect Lord Krishna under his five-headed hood.

Once Lord Krishna reaches Gokul, there Yashoda gave birth to a baby girl, who is believed to be a form of Goddess Durga. With the help of divine intervention, Krishna is safely placed in Gokul with new parents and the baby girl is taken to Devaki and Vasudev in Mathura.

Therefore, Lord Krishna was raised by Yashoda and Nanda Baba.

Krishna Janmashtami is followed by Nandotsav which hails the festive occasion of the times when Nanda Baba distributed gifts and sweets in the neighbourhood upon the birth of child Krishna.

Here's wishing our readers a happy Shri Krishna Janmashtami.