Krishna Episode 12 – Celebration of Krishna’s Birth

Birth celebration of Krishna

Delighted at the birth of a son, the noble-minded Nanda too took a bath, got purified and adorned himself. He sent for Brāhmaṇas well versed in astrology and made them recite the Svastyayana (prescribed benedictory Vedic hymns) and got the játa-karma ceremony of his child, as well as the worship of his forebears (pitys) and gods duly performed according to precepts.As a gift (on this joyous occasion), he presented to Brāhmaṇas two-hundred thousands of richly adorned cows, and seven mountain-like heaps of sesamum seeds covered with streams (large quantities) of precious stones and gold-cloth.Some material things become purified by passage of time (e.g. the earth), some by ablution (e.g. our body), or washing (e.g. things covered with dirt), some by special rites (e.g. the foetus), some by penance (e.g. senses), some by sacrificial performance (e.g. Brähmaņas), some by charitable gifts (wealth), some by contentment (mind), while the soul is purified by (meditation and) knowledge of the Self.


 Brāhmaṇas, Sūtas, Magadhas and Vandins uttered auspicious blessings; musicians sang; drums and kettle-drums were frequently sounded. All the entrances, enclosures, and interiors of the houses of Vraja were well-swept and properly besprinkled (with water). It (the Vraja) was decorated with flags and buntings of different colours, banners, wreaths, arches of (silken) raiments, and tender leaves.The oxen, cows and heifers (grown up calves) were smeared with oil mixed with turmeric powder. They were painted with various colours, and adorned with peacock feathers, wreaths, cloths and gold chains (round the neck). Adorned with valuable garments, costly ornaments, coats and turbans, the cowherds came to visit (Nanda) with various kinds of presents in their hands. On hearing the news of the birth of a son to Yasoda, the cowherd women were delighted, and they beautified themselves with costly garments, ornaments and (the make-up of) collyrium etc. The beauty of their lotus-like faces was enhanced with the decoration of saffron-paste like unto filaments heightening the beauty of a lotus. In spite of their heavy buttocks, they hastily went with presents (to Yasoda) , heaving their heavy breasts (while going).


Wearing ear-rings set with well-polished jewels, necklaces of gold-coins about their necks, and clad in wonder fully wrought garments of various colours the gopa damsels proceeded to the palace of Nanda showering on the way flowers dropped from the braids of their hair. They appeared (lit. shone) most beautiful with bangles round their wrists, their swaying ear-rings and dangling necklaces on. heaving breasts.Invoking blessings (of God) on the child, “May you protect the child for a long time” they sprayed the (assembled) people with water mixed with oil and turmeric power and sang lustily. (Or they sang in a high pitch the praise of the Un born-Kṛṣṇa).On the great festive occasion of the coming of Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Infinite, the Supreme Lord of the universe, a variety of musical instruments were played on.The merry cowherds joyously sprayed and besmeared one another with curds, milk, ghee and water and they threw (balls of) butter at each other.¹

For the propitiation of Lord Visņu and for the well-being of his son, the noble-minded Nanda presented to the cowherds garments, ornaments and wealth in the form of cows (or kine, gold and silver). The generous-hearted Nanda respectfully worshipped Sūtas, Magadhas, Vandins and others who lived by their arts, skills or crafts (e.g. astrologers, dancers etc.), and conferred upon them their (respective) desired objects. Welcomed by Nanda, the chief of cowherds, Rohini, who was highly fortunate (as she was to be witness to the sportive activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa from his childhood) was adorned with very costly (heavenly-type) Lower garment and other clothes, garland and necklace and was moving about in Nanda’s palace (particularly in that reception). Thence forward the Vraja of Nanda became blessed with prosperity in every respect as it was turned into a pleasure garden for the sporting of goddess Laksmi due to its becoming the abode of Hari.


Having instructed the cowherds to take care of and protect the Gokula, Nanda went to Mathura to pay his annual tribute to Kamsa, Oh Parikṣit (the best of Kurus).  Having learnt (from the public) that his brotherly Nanda had come and having (reliably) known that Nanda’s (official) work of payment of tributes was over, Vasudeva repaired to his lodging place (the parking ground of wagons). Seeing him (Vasudeva) come, he promptly sprang to his feet as a body (in an unconscious stage) does on the return of life (or consciousness). Being overjoyed and overwhelmed with affection, he flung his arms around his dearest friend to embrace him. Oh Protector of the People! When Vasudeva was respectfully received, comfortably seated and was honoured with the enquiry about his health, he, with his mind deeply attached to both of his sons, courteously addressed Nanda as follows:  “Brother! It is indeed fortunate that a darling child has been born to you who were childless till this advanced age and had lost hopes of getting an issue.


It is due to sheer good luck that you have met me today like one born again in this whirling cycle of Samsara. For the sight of dear ones is very rare. Oh dear friend! The staying together of intimate friends (howsoever dear but) following varied professions, is not possible like unto the coming together of floating logs of wood (etc.) in a stream of water but which are swept away by the current.Is the Gokula (Vṛndāvana) where you are now dwelling accompanied (lit. surrounded) by your friends and relatives favourable to the cattle? Does it abound in plenty of water, grass and plants? Is it free from disease and epidemics? 27. Oh brother! Does my son (Balarama) who regards you to be his father and is dearly fondled by you and your wife,doing well along with his mother, in your Vraja? 28. For, the threefold objective of human life (viz. dharma, artha and kama) is prescribed (as beneficial) insofar as they are shared with one’s kith and kin. But if they suffer distress, that threefold purpose of life does not contribute to happiness.”


Nanda said:  “Alas! Many of your sons born of Devaki have been killed by Kamsa. And only the youngest daughter survived-even she flew to heaven.  It is definite that people in this world have their end in the unseen (according to their destiny. When good fortune, blessing one with the pleasure of having sons etc., ceases to smile, one is bereaved of them). Destiny is supreme. (If one is separated from one’s sons, destiny reunites them). He who knows that the destiny is the reality about Atman (and as such is the ever constant cause of pleasure and pain) does not get bewildered.“

Vasudeva said:  “The annual tribute has been paid by you to the king, and we have seen (each other). You should not stay here any longer, for omens indicating calamities are seen at Gokula.”

Thus advised by Vasudeva, Nanda and other cow herds, taking leave of him, mounted on carts drawn by bullocks and returned to Gokula.

Categories: Bhagwat Puran, Krishna Avataar, Lord Krishna

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