Janmashtami celebrations are not very different from other festivals in the sense that it involves a lot of good food (after the fast ofcourse), a lot of decoration and a large number of people who have gathered around to celebrate and pray in honour of our gods. Having said that, the Janmashtami Puja vidhi is significantly different from others but more on that later.
Janmashtami celebrations are conducted mainly by the Hindu population in India. However, people from other religions also join in because at the end of the day, it’s an Indian festival, and if you were born in India… you’re Indian, regardless of your religion.
For those who don’t know, this festival is celebrated in honour of the birth of Lord Krishna and falls on the 7th of September 2023. Which is why, if you visit a Vaishmava temple during this auspicious period, you’ll note that the countdown for Janmashtami begins before dawn and continues all through the day until the exact moment Lord Krishna was born. This exact moment is said to be somewhere around midnight.
Anyway, you may be wondering how to conduct the Janmashtami puja vidhi. With regards to that, each step of the puja vidhi for Janmashtami has been listed below.
Krishna Janmashtami Puja Vidhi-
1. Janmashtami Puja Essentials
Before the pooja, you must bring home all the pooja essentials you need to conduct the Janmashtami puja. Listed below are the pooja items you will need –
2. Wake & Bathe
Waking up early on the day of Janmashtami is extremely important as the first pooja in honour of Lord Krishna has to be conducted early in the morning. The Krishna idol at home is to be given a bath using sacred ganga jal. Normal water works too but it is advised to stick to Ganga jal.
Right after the bath, the idol is to be given new clothes to wear for the rest of the Janmashtami celebrations. Jewellery should also be placed on or around the idol.
3. Bhog Or Food Offerings
After the first pooja has been successfully conducted, one must offer food items to the lord. These offerings can be in the form of milk, fruit, kheera and other Indian sweets. Simply place the offerings in a bowl right next to the Krishna idol being worshiped. The bowl should be extremely clean and preferably new. It’s also advised to have all items placed over a clean white cloth.
4. Achaman Puja
After the offerings have been made, another pooja is conducted. In this Krishna pooja, diyas are lit and placed around the house, Krishna aarti’s and mantras are sung in harmony by the devotees and some devotees can read out the 108 names of Lord Krishna.
This puja requires you to hold a spoon on your left hand that is carrying ganga jal. This ganga jal is then dripped onto your right hand while chanting “om achyutaya Namah” and the water on your right hand is to be sipped quietly.
Repeat the above process but this time, chant “om anantaya namah” instead. Repeat the process again but with the mantra “om govindaya namah”.
To end the puja, put water on both hands and dry them.
5. The Milk Bath
Next, chant the mantra “brahma Samhita” along with other mantras from the vedas, puranas and Upanishads. The mantra is to be chanted while bathing the Krishna idol with milk, ghee and flowers. After the milk bath is complete, the idol can be washed clean with water and then dried.
6. Post Bath Pooja
Apply sandalwood paste on the idol and start chanting the mantra “Shubham karoti kalyanam” while lighting a diya. Then recite “Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu” followed by any Krishna bhajan of your choice. While all of the previously mentioned mantras are being recited, take an incense stick and move it around the idol 7 times in a circular motion. Then repeat the same process with an aarti lamp.
7. Kumkum at Lord Krishnas Feet
Place the Kumkum at the lords feet and then use the same Kumkum to touch your forehead. Afterwards, you can distribute the prasadana kum kum among other devotees present for the prayers. This Kumkum or tilak can purify and sanctify the body. During this particular phase of the puja vidhi, one can ask for forgiveness and blessings from the lord.
8. Leave The Offerings Behind For The Lord
Once the above steps have been completed, you can leave the offerings made to Lord Krishna behind for him to consume later through the night. Alternatively, you can immerse the following in flowing water before distributing the offerings among devotees. But before nightfall, you must recite the “Hare Krishna” or “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasu Devaya” to close the Janmashtami puja vidhi.
So, all of our fellow devotees can perform the prayers in the sequence mentioned above in order to receive Krishna bhagwans blessings. But remember, all prayers must be made with a clear heart and no evil intentions. This is not just for Krishna but for any god being prayed too. Only people with good in mind will receive what they wish for. So, keep your mind, body and soul clean to bring home the blessings you think you deserve.