Janmashtami is the celebration of Sri Krishna’s birthday, and the Hare Krishna group calls his appearance rather than the birthday. My parents told me that I was dressed up as Baby Krishna when I was a baby. I had always wanted to learn about Krishna, and my late wife and I visited his birthplace in Mathura. That was an awesome experience. I remember hunting for the eternal song ‘Brindavan Ka Krishna Kanhaiyya” by Rafi. I was so upset that Sonu Nigam sang the same song and finally found the original by Rafi in a remote part of Mathura.
Lord Krishna is the 8th Avatar (representation) of Vishnu, meaning the facet of the creator that manages the preservation aspect of life. Hinduism sees God in three broad categories; Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma reflects the creator’s form of God, and Vishnu represents the preserver aspect of creation that inspires one to be righteous, and Shiva brings a finite ending to life. It is a part of the life cycle; every human is born, lives on, and finally disintegrates.
On my radio show in Dallas way back in 2003 and 2004 – Swami Nityanand and I read the entire Bhagavad Gita for our audience in 104 episodes, the same was done for Islam and Christianity and 50 hours for every religion from Atheism to Zoroastrianism.
The right way to celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth celebrations is to read at least a chapter from Bhagavad Gita. I am inspired by it, and I am a Muslim today because of reading a verse from Bhagavad Gita that called on each one of us to find the truth and not go by what people say.
I am glad the Huffington post has published this with Janamashtami songs and all. It has been my commitment to share the essence of festivals, so that we, the people of the United States, may learn more about each other we have been doing this for 25 years.
Mike Ghouse is the founder and president of the Center for Pluralism. He is a speaker, thinker, author, consultant, pluralist, activist, and a news-maker. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions to the media, interest public, and the policymakers. More about him at www.TheGhousediary.com