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7 Interesting Facts about Lord Krishna and Janmashtami

Facts & story behind lord krishna and shri krishna janmashami

by David sanders
shree krishna janmashtami

One of the most beloved festivals in India is the celebration of Shri Krishna Janmashtami. This joyous & auspicious festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, also considered the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. 

His birth occurs on the Ashtami (eighth day) of the Shravan month as per the Hindu calendar. Lord Krishna was born at midnight in jail of Mathura Jail during the difficult rule of King Kansa. His birth not only helped end the reign but also brought great joy to the people at the time. One of the naughtiest Gods, Lord Krishna, was known to be a mischievous trouble-maker with a heart of gold. 

In honor of his birthday, devotees often fast the day before his birth and celebrate at midnight (at the time of his delivery) with rituals, hymns, and delicious foods. Here, we look at some of the most interesting and fun facts about Lord Krishna and the festival of Janmashtami. 

The birth of Lord Krishna – Janmashtami

The kingdom of Mathura was under the cruel rule of King Kansa, who had a sister named Devaki. When she got married to Vasudev, a prophecy revealed that it would be a child of Devaki and Vasudev that would defeat King Kansa. To protect his reign, he imprisoned them and killed every child of theirs as soon as they were born. 

Lord Krishna was their eighth child, born at midnight, and Vasudeva was determined to protect him. Vasudeva carried little Krishna on his forehead and, through massive thunderstorms and obstacles, took him to his friend Nanda in Vrindavan. 

As Lord Krishna’s birthplace, Mathura is a sacred place for Hindus. The celebrations here on Shri Krishna Janmashtami are breathtaking, with everyone celebrating with great joy. 

Growing up in Vrindavan

Krishna grew up under the love & care of Yashoda and Nanda. Several tales of his childhood form heart-warming and fun stories. Extremely naughty and mischievous, Little Krishna and his friends won the villagers’ hearts but also had their share of fun. One of the most famous tales of krishna is that of stealing his favorite dish Makhan mishri (white butter and sugar), every time Yashoda would make it. This dish has been prominent at all Lord Krishna temples, including festivals like Janmashtami. 

The defeat of King Kansa

Following a lengthy battle, on his 16th birthday, Lord Krishna finally defeated King Knasa and reclaimed the town of Mathura. However, repeated attacks on the village by Jarasandha (the father-in-law of King Kansa) led Lord Krishna to gather all the villagers and move to Dwarka. 

Due to these instances, all three places, Mathura, Vrindavan, and Dwarka, are considered Holy sites by Hindus. On Janmashtami, these places are lit with lights with the whole town celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna.

Fasting on Janmashtami

A popular ritual for this celebration is observing a grain-free fast the day before Lord Krishna was born. Mostly fruits and milk are consumed throughout the day. At midnight, the time of birth, devotees sing songs of Lord Krishna, do pujas, and offer Lord Krishna a lavish feast, after which they break their fast. Dinner is prepared of Lord Krishna’s favorite dishes, which are then eaten in celebration of the birth. Temples all over India are covered in festive lights, with people coming together to offer their love and prayers on this day. 

Recreating childhood memories

A popular tradition on Janmashtami is the breaking of the Dahi handi. This ritual draws from the popular memory of when Little Krishna would steal white butter from a handi (earthen pot) that would be hung on a string. Here, young boys form a pyramid to break the handi, which is hung about 20 feet from the ground in celebration. Plays by children depicting various childhood instances are also a common occurrence on this day. 

Lord Krishna Has 108 Names

Lord Krishna has been called by several names and has a total of 108 names. Various hymns and songs for Lord Krishna refer to his various names some of which include Govinda, Gopala, Ghanshyam, and Banke Bihari, among others. 

Lord Krishna has over 16,000 wives

To protect the women that had been harmed by the evil spirit Narakasura and maintain their honor, Lord Krishna married over 16,000 women. However, his true love is often depicted with Radha, whom he never married. 

Regarding Lord Krishna, legends and ancient texts are full of his tales. While some of his childhood stories are rooted in naughtiness, he also offered great love and wisdom, acting as effective learnings even today. The Holy Scripture, Bhagavad Gita, is the teachings of Lord Krishna to Arjun, which helped him succeed. Thus, this Janmashtami, be sure to have fun in your Festival celebrations, but also remember the wisdom offered by Shri Krishna. 

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