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Sri Krishna Janmashtami

Sri Krishna Janmashtami, the birthday of Lord Sri Krishna, the Avatar of the Dwapara Yuga (era), usually falls in late August or in early September or in the Indian lunar month of Shravana. Bhagawan has declared that Lord Krishna’s advent took place at 3 a.m. on 20th July, 3228 B.C, the Ashtami Day (eighth day after full moon) under the star ‘Rohini’ in the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha) of Shravana Masa in the year named ‘Srimukha’.

Janmashtami (also called Gokulashtami) is a very colourful and joyous celebration in Prasanthi Nilayam. The Mandir transforms itself into another ‘Brindavan’ of the times of Lord Sri Krishna when as a child He frolicked in the company of His cowherd friends.

The gleaming cows of Sathya Sai Gokulam (Dairy), ornately caparisoned and wearing kumkum (Vermillion), tinkling bells, flowers, etc. are brought to the Mandir in a grand procession by the students of the Institute and the School who are dressed up as cowherd boys. Elegantly decorated ‘Sai Geeta’, Baba’s pet elephant, leads this colourful procession. Swami then spends time with each of these cows and Sai Geeta, feeding, caressing and blessing them all.

Excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses:

“The incarnation of Krishna proclaimed the doctrine of divine love, as manifested by the cowherd maids (gopikas). Man is like an earthen pot filled with nectar. His body may be made of clay, but his spirit is eternal. The Divine has to be experienced through the body. Hence, human birth should not be treated as something trivial. Human life is worth living; it should be cherished as something precious.

But today, such a precious gift is being treated as dirt. It is essential to realise the value of human existence. What is the goal of human life? It is to go back to the source from which we came. Our duty is to return to our primordial source. You have come from the Atma. You have to go back to the Atma. You have come from the Brahman (Supreme Self). You have to merge in the Brahman. You have incarnated as a spark of Brahman. You have to become the Brahman. That is the ideal. That is the goal. In between, there may be many impediments. You should ignore them. Have unshakable faith. That is true devotion”.

- Divine Discourse: 18th August, 1995

"The word (Krishna) has three meanings:

(1) "Krushathi-ithi Krishna” that is, “The One who ploughs is called Krishna." The field here symbolizes the heart. The heart should be cleared of weeds (evil qualities). It should be filled with love. The seeds of the Lord's name should be sown in it. Krishna is the one who inspires the devotee to do all this.

(2) "Karshathi-ithi Krishna” that is, “The One who attracts is called Krishna." Krishna has the supreme power of attraction. By His words, His sport, His music and all His actions, He attracts all people. This power of Divine attraction is present in everyone. Hence, everyone is potentially Krishna.

(3) "Kushyathi-ithi Krishna” that is, “The One who imparts bliss is called Krishna." Everyone seeks happiness. The Divine, who is the embodiment of happiness, is in you. God wants you to be happy, but you do not realize it. Try to recognize the source of bliss within you. It is not the true nature of man to be unhappy. When anyone is sad, people around him are concerned about him. You should always be happy, because you are the embodiment of the Atma. Never give way to worry.

- Divine Discourse: 25th August 1997

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