What importance does Janmashtami have in our lives and how can we explain it to our children. Everyone knows about it, however, what is its actual meaning…
Miss A, who is becoming curious each day is also asking a lot of questions. On Friday, Janmashtami was celebrated in school. On returning back she was very excited and narrated the episode to me. Once she was done with the narration she asked me, “Ma, why do we celebrate Janmashtami?” I am sure her teacher must have mentioned it in school, but children tend to forget soon. I told her like she celebrates her birthday, in a similar manner we celebrate Lord Krishna’s birthday on this day.
She wanted to know more, so I sat down with her and told her a story … a story about the birth of Lord Krishna. The story goes like this …
Once upon a time, there was a king, Kansa. He was the king of Mathura and was very wicked. He was very close to his sister Devaki. The day she was getting married to Vasudev, he heard a divine voice from the sky that Devki’s eighth son will kill him. When he heard this he became scared and decided to kill his sister. But Vasudev promised to give all their children to him. Kansa put them in a dungeon and asked the guards to keep a strict watch on them. Each time Devki gave birth to a baby, immediately Kansa would come and kill it. When she conceived her eighth child she was scared and unhappy as even it would be killed. Her husband tried to calm her. The day the baby was born, there was thunder in Mathura. The baby was born at midnight and there was a bright light which filled the cell. A voice spoke to Vasudev, telling him to take his baby to the Gokul Kingdom, across the river Yamuna to his friend’s house. There his wife had given birth to a baby girl. The voice asked him to exchange the babies. Vasudev set out to do as he was asked to do. That night the guards were fast asleep, and he left. He crossed the river to reach Gokul village. Soon Vasudev changed the baby and came back with the baby girl. When he placed her next to Devki, the baby cried and Kansa came rushing in. Devki begged Kansa not to kill her newborn as it was a girl and not a boy. But Kansa did not listen and threw the baby against the wall. The baby suddenly disappeared into the air and turned into an eight-arm goddess. She told him that he could not kill her and the one who will kill him is already born and safe and will kill him one day, no matter what he does. Krishna grew up in the city of Gokul.
Through the story, I wanted to tell her that good is always victorious against evil no matter what may come. Whenever a person loses hope there is always a bright side towards which he can look. Whenever there are negative thoughts, they are soon submerged with positive thoughts. After all the main objective of Janmashtami is to discourage evil and encourage good.
When someone insults us, it is our basic instinct to insult them back, when someone hates us we hate them back equally and in doing so we are making the evil win over good. It is important to keep in mind that not to be overcome by evil but to win people with good. One does feel angry, but if we resist that anger and calm down then we conquer over are negative thoughts thus turning out to be victorious.
Here’s how you can celebrate Janmashtami with your kids and make it memorable:
- Dress up your little ones as Krishna and Radha
- Make a swing (jhula) at home
- Decorate the dahi handi
- Recreate the birth of Lord Krishna
- Decorate feathers, thalis and flutes
- Make clay idols
- Involve kids in the Janmashtami puja
- Make Rangolis
Let me know how you celebrated this Janmashtami with your child.
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