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New to Krishna Janmashtami

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  #11  
Old 14 August 2011, 05:01 PM
Jainarayan Jainarayan is offline
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

OK, I'm officially looking forward to and excited to celebrate Janmashtami. I'm planning on the fast to the best I can. My goal is only liquids, preferably just water.

I'm going to prepare some sweets... homemade rice pudding, probably with flaked coconut (of course, no eggs); I'll have some sweet cookies like coconut macaroons; yogurt with honey; and a very sweet killer Cream of Wheat I make with milk, (and Half & Half and/or heavy cream), cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. I'm not going to prepare for a cast of thousands, since it will just be me. I'll have this ready for midnight, but will probably prepare it on Saturday so as not to have to keep tasting during the fast.

I've got a few pages worth of shlokas to Sri Krishna to read, plus I'll do japa and read from Canto X of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and from the Bhagavad Gita during the nightly vigil. I don't have a murthi of Krishna as an infant, nor cradle but I do have a framed 8x10 of this picture, entitled "Vishnu Takes Birth As Krishna". I'll bring it out at midnight and do my pitiful excuse for puja (prayers, shlokas, incense, lots of lights).

Not a conventional or traditional Janmashtami celebration, but it's what I can muster. I'd like to go to temple, but the drive is too long so late at night. And I'm kind of ashamed to admit I have a pretty bad case of social phobia.
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  #12  
Old 14 August 2011, 06:41 PM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

Quote:
Originally Posted by TouchedbytheLord View Post
I'll have this ready for midnight, but will probably prepare it on Saturday so as not to have to keep tasting during the fast.
Namaste TouchedByTheLord

I hope you do intend to offer these dishes to KrushNa first ? In which case you cannot taste them He gets to taste and smell it first. We offer naivedya, then eat prasAd of what He leaves for us.

Janmashtami celebrations usually start at 6 pm not midnight. If not, the temple arranges a morning abhishek.

Jai Shri KrushNa
om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya
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  #13  
Old 15 August 2011, 10:39 AM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

Namaste smaranam. Thanks, I definitely appreciate pointers.

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Originally Posted by smaranam View Post
Namaste TouchedByTheLord

I hope you do intend to offer these dishes to KrushNa first ? In which case you cannot taste them He gets to taste and smell it first. We offer naivedya, then eat prasAd of what He leaves for us.
Oh yes, of course. Even during daily puja I put the offering on my altar, and only after I have concluded puja, do I eat the offering. But I think I see what you mean by not tasting as I'm preparing.

Quote:
Janmashtami celebrations usually start at 6 pm not midnight. If not, the temple arranges a morning abhishek.

Jai Shri KrushNa
om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya
Midnight is when Krishna is born, so the idol is brought out and laid in the cradle at midnight, yes? That's what I was referring to for "bringing out" the printed icon at that time. I would probably have it covered with a nice white cloth, then unveil it at midnight.

This is the schedule of the temple:
Sunday Aug. 21
08:00 pm Sri Guruvaayoorappan (south Indian name for Vishnu?) Abishekam
09:00 pm Aarati, Maha Prasadam, Bhajans
12:01 am Sri Krishna Jananam, Mangalarati

I thought I was following it as closely as possible by doing aarati by 8 pm, then spending the rest of the time until midnight doing the vigil... the readings, japa, even listening to bhajans.

I'm confused though about when to offer naivedya (I assume that means putting the food out as offering to the Lord). And what is maha prasadam? I know maha means great. Is this schedule saying that the food is put out at 9 pm? Yet the fast is broken after midnight.

As I said, to drive home after midnight, and to spend > 4 hours for my first time at such an event would prompt a panic attack. Though I would love to participate at temple. Maybe next year when I've gradually accustomed myself to a new experience of attending temple and met some of the congregation (the only word I can think of).
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  #14  
Old 16 August 2011, 01:23 PM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

Namaste TTBL,

Quote:
I'll bring it out at midnight and do my pitiful excuse for puja (prayers, shlokas, incense, lots of lights).
Krishna will not see your attempts to please Him as pitiful! Even just remembering God each day brings Him such delight as you cannot imagine. It sounds like you are taking a lot of time and effort to make preparations ready for the Lord's arrival into your home. It's a time of joy and celebration, so remember to keep smiling and light of heart as you welcome Him. Above all things you could possibly offer, Krishna wants your love. All else is (ultimately) superficial.

Om namah Shivaya
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Om Gam Ganapataye namah

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  #15  
Old 16 August 2011, 02:22 PM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

You're right. I shouldn't put myself down like that, or my devotions. It's the thought and devotion that counts.
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  #16  
Old 16 August 2011, 10:56 PM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

TBTL
As a Westerner too, I can relate to you. I too get into concerns that oh no, I must get it done perfectly, or it's just one big farce. I reckon part of it comes from the going through the motions rituals from our Christian backgrounds, worship is on Sundays, a set "lectionary series" and worship service (for RC and mainline Protestant services). I am speaking for myself-it might be a little different for you, or maybe I'm off base.
I am finally starting to settle down and realize I feel connected to God, for me, through his Vishnu avatars, mostly Krishna, but Shiva too, and through Ganesh who I also seek help when I literally am up against a brick wall. (which lately is an awful lot, but I'm seeing results which are making a positive difference).For the first time, I feel authentic in my prayers, and indeed, intent actually is valued in SD. Are rituals important too, of course, and I do not discount them. I am getting ready myself to set up a small shrine at home. I am going to use pictures first, and I even have an elephant figure that is fanciful and reminds me of Ganesh, and I think if Ganesh realizes it is to honor him, I think I will include it in my altar. Ganesh is a darling, so he should be okay with it.
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  #17  
Old 17 August 2011, 12:05 AM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

Namaste all,

There is not much to add to what others have already said. However, I would like to say a few things here :

a) Fasting is normally done to observe Krishna Janmashtami. However, there are a number of variations depending upon the capability of the devotees :

i) You may take up Nirjala Upawas (without food and even water)
ii) You may take up fast without food but taking water occasionally during the fast
iii) You may do "falahaaar" (taking only fruit & milk but no cereals/salt)

b) The fast starts from early in the morning & continues upto midnight i.e. till the birth of Lord Krishna. During this time devotees do bhajan-kirtan & reading Bhagwad Gita

c) Normally the offerings are home-made sweet cuisines & those which are made at home for the mother in Indian Homes at the time of birth of baby ie. special preparation of Halwa of turmeric/Acchwaani (halwa containing special Indian spices for the mother). Fruits, sweets are also offered. One special thing is normally kept while performing this pooja i.e. a small cucumber which the sign of the mother's womb for the birth of Krishna. This is divided into two halves and then stuck together & kept at the Pooja Place. When the clock strikes 12:00 at midnight this cucumber is separated into two halves as symbol of Lord Krishna's birth.

The above is not the only way ... there are many variations seen from one place to another place.

d) Pooja goes through the normal ritual (offering sandal paste, flowers, agarbatti etc. & then Prasadam). The Arati is done by waving lighted lamp in front of Lord Krishna & singing bhajans. This Arati is circulated to all devotees who take the warmth of the sacred flame on their palm and touch their forehead (symbol of receiving the blessings of Krishna).

e) Prasadam must contain Tulsi-leaves unless there is some real difficulty in getting the same. If it is not available then ask for forgiveness from Lord Krishna conveying the helplessness in arranging for the same & request him to accept the Prasadam without that. Let's remember that normally, no offering is given to Lord Vishnu without Tulsi-leaves.

The most important part here to note is that money doesn't matter here. God is not interested in worldly show that you can arrange for him. It is your love that matters. So, never have any low feeling if you are not able to arrange anything for the Pooja ritual. YOU ARE HIS SON/DAUGHTER & YOUR untainted love towards Him is more valuable than the three worlds to Him. Remember He preferred to chew Sudama's raw coarse rice than eating delicious royal food prepared by the best cooks of the Dwarka.

Let's remember we have no capacity to offer anything to the Lord. What can we offer from our side ? We can offer only His things to Him !
"Twadeeyam vastu Govinda, tubhyameva samarpaye" ==> O' Lord Krishna, I offer to you the things which you alone gave to me.

OM
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  #18  
Old 17 August 2011, 12:55 AM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

namaste WTyler.

It's not necessary to have a mUrti--idol of child KRShNa; a portrait,--even if it is on the screen of your laptop--will do. Pray to shrIKRShNa on his birthday and offer him incense, flowers, water and possibly some sweet (even a pinch of jaggery, raisins or honey will do). It is the bhakti-bhAvam--mentral frame of devotion, that matters. You can fast if you prefer on the previous day, but janmAShTami is a day of celebration of shrIKRShNa's birthday, preferably treating him as a child and pouring affection on him. Child KRShNa is not any different than any child that you love and relate to. Listen to KRShNa bajans and if possible read end enjoy stories about his bAlya lIlas--boyhood heroics.

Some more information here:
http://www.hindudharmaforums.com/sho...0&postcount=33

Quote:
Originally Posted by WTyler View Post
I would like to do something very small for my first Krishna Janmashtami.

I am low on money, puja supplies and live on my Universities campus. What are some small rituals I can do to celebrate Krishna's birth? Any simple traditions? What are the bare essentials?
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  #19  
Old 17 August 2011, 09:33 AM
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Re: New to Krishna Janmashtami

Namaste all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shantiseeker View Post
TBTL
As a Westerner too, I can relate to you. I too get into concerns that oh no, I must get it done perfectly, or it's just one big farce. I reckon part of it comes from the going through the motions rituals from our Christian backgrounds, worship is on Sundays, a set "lectionary series" and worship service (for RC and mainline Protestant services). I am speaking for myself-it might be a little different for you, or maybe I'm off base.
It's absolutely the same way for me. We had rituals we did not knowing why we did them, said prayers we didn't know why we said them, attended services not knowing why we attended them.

Heaven forfend that you missed Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation! It is a mortal sin. For those unfamiliar with the what Roman Catholicism really is, a mortal sin, if unrepented for (i.e. confession to a priest) would send you straight to Hell for eternity. There's the loving Christian God for you.

I am beginning to "practice what I preach" from what is in my signature: "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."

Quote:
I am finally starting to settle down and realize I feel connected to God, for me, through his Vishnu avatars, mostly Krishna, but Shiva too, and through Ganesh who I also seek help when I literally am up against a brick wall. (which lately is an awful lot, but I'm seeing results which are making a positive difference).For the first time, I feel authentic in my prayers, and indeed, intent actually is valued in SD.
Again, I can relate to that. I feel a connection to God I never felt before. Someone told me that based on my devotions (I'm coming to dislike the word 'worship': it's so... so... "Christian"), I hold a variant Smārta view; my Ishta-deva is Krishna, however.

Quote:
Originally Posted by devotee View Post
Namaste all,

ii) You may take up fast without food but taking water occasionally during the fast
iii) You may do "falahaaar" (taking only fruit & milk but no cereals/salt)

b) The fast starts from early in the morning & continues upto midnight i.e. till the birth of Lord Krishna. During this time devotees do bhajan-kirtan & reading Bhagwad Gita
I already told my boss I am going to take Monday off.

Myself, I am aiming for fast number ii; my understanding is that it's really a full 24 hour fast, midnight Saturday morning to midnight Sunday at the Lord's birth. Since I'm not a nighttime refrigetator-raider, 8 or 9 hours will have passed already fasting.

Quote:
Prasadam must contain Tulsi-leaves unless there is some real difficulty in getting the same. If it is not available then ask for forgiveness from Lord Krishna conveying the helplessness in arranging for the same & request him to accept the Prasadam without that. Let's remember that normally, no offering is given to Lord Vishnu without Tulsi-leaves.
This is a problem for me. I am looking for a source of a Tulsi plant, aka holy basil. If my local stores don't have ghee, I'll try to make my own. After every puja I ask forgiveness for anything I've done wrong or neglected, or was ignorant of. I don't think one should deliberately "cheapen" or neglect a devotion, but I think the Lord accepts the best we can do. I sent for a panchapatra along with some other puja items. I'll make panchamrita for each offering, as well as the other items, and hopefully find a Tulsi plant.
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