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Janmasthami is a festivals that is celebrated by the Hindus to celebrate the birth of Lord Krishna.
India is a land of fairs and festivals and it is a land of diversity wherein you can find different religions co-exist and celebrate many amazing festivals together every year. Festivals do not just offer people a temporary relief from the daily hardships in life that we all go through.
Each and every festival that is celebrated has a significance of its own. Among these festivals, some are religious and some of them are celebrated based on seasons while some festivals are of national significance. People celebrate all the festivals with great enthusiasm and harmony in a colourful manner.
The history of Janmasthami dates back to a period that is more than five thousand years ago. It is not an easy task to cross verify the authenticity of the origin of most of the festivals historically as their inception is mostly traced to the sacred scriptures.
About five and half thousand years ago there was a king named Kamsa who ruled in Mathura in the modern day Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The people of Mathura were enduring a difficult time tolerating the whims and oppression of their cruel ruler. Kamsa had overthrown his father, Ugrasena to get access to the royal throne and was infamous for his quest for more power and this fierce ambition didn’t spare even his loved ones.
But even the rather heartless Kamsa had a soft corner for his cousin Devaki and Kamsa always wanted to marry her off to a decent man. Soon the day came when Devaki got married to king Vasudeva of Yadu dynasty. During the closure of the marriage ceremony, the great sage Narada informed Kamsa that he would die in the hands of the eighth child born of Devaki and Vasudeva.
This filled Kamsa’s mind with fear, anxiety and anger got the better of him and he decided to kill his beloved cousin to save his own life. Vasudeva pleaded with the tyrant and gave his word that he would surrender Kamsa each of his new born child.
As it is Kamsa was fond of his sister and pleased with the agreement, he forced the newly wed couple to stay at his palace prison and captivate till their eighth child was born. Kamsa kept the couple under constant watch and each time a new child was born to the couple, Kamsa would visit the prison cell and smash the head of the infant on the prison wall, ignoring the tears of his loving sister and her husband. Kamsa did it for seven times until nine years had passed and Devaki was due to have her eighth child.
But a miracle happened before the eighth child was about to be born. All the guards went off to sleep miraculously and the doors of the prison opened automatically, the shackles of Vasudeva and Devaki opened by themselves and dropped to the ground. Soon the eighth child was born. The child was dark in complexion but he was a beautiful boy. As Vasudeva marvelled at his new born baby, a voice from the sky(Akashvani) ordered him:
"O Vasudev, take your child to the Gokul kingdom, ruled by your friend King Nanda. Nanda and his queen Yashoda has just given birth to a daughter. Exchange your son for their daughter. They are asleep and will not know about the exchange. Take their little girl and return to the prison immediately. Make haste or else Kans will come to know about the birth of this child and kill it. This child has been born to subjugate all evil and protect the innocent. He will even save you one day. Now hurry before it gets too late".
The entire story of Janmasthami is so captivating and the story of how fate takes its own path and things that are meant to happen, happens at its own time.
Festivals play a significant role in our day to day lives. We worship different Gods and accordingly there are different festivals that we celebrate to mark the occasion. Festivals provide us with an opportunity to spend quality time with our family, friends and relatives. There are so many rituals attached to the festivals and this makes the entire concept of celebration of festivals even more colorful & exciting.
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