Krishna Janmashtami, also known simply as Janmashtamior Gokulashtami, is an annual Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar of Vishnu.It is observed according to Hindu luni-solar calendar, on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) in Shraavana of the lunar Hindu Calendar and Krishna Paksha in Bhadrapad of the lunisolar Hindu Calendar, which overlaps with August and September of the Gregorian calendar.
School children dressed as Hindu Lord Krishna take part in a function held ahead of “Janamashtmi” celebrations in the southern Indian city of Chennai, August 8, 2012. Janamashtmi is the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna which will be celebrated on August 10. REUTERS/Babu (INDIA – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY ANNIVERSARY)
It is an important festival particularly to the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism.Dance-drama enactments of the life of Krishna according to the Bhagavata Purana(such as Rasa lila or Krishna Lila), devotional singing through the midnight when Krishna was born, fasting (upavasa), a night vigil (ratri jagaran), and a festival (mahotsava) on the following day are a part of the Janmashtami celebrations. It is celebrated particularly in Mathura and Vrindavan, along with major Vaishnava and non-sectarian communities found in Manipur, Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and all other states of India.
Krishna Janmashtami is followed by the festival Nandotsav, which celebrates the occasion when Nanda Baba distributed gifts to the community in honour of the birth.
This seemingly simple question is quite difficult to answer actually. Answers differ – it depends in who is asking the question, and who is being asked.
Put this question to a traditionalist…and he would surely mention the ‘union’, the melting of consciousness, and a lot more. As a Neo-teacher of yoga, and the most likely answer would involve a lot of ‘posturing’, with a bit of pop spirituality in between. But ask Google, and that’s when it hits the pits. Beer yoga, wine yoga, rage yoga, lamb(??) yoga…the list of quirks is endless.
So, what is yoga?
The very fact that you are alive and breathing, is a cause to celebrate, isn’t it?
The mesmerising moments captured at Pandharpur Wari, the annual pilgrimage to the town of Padharpur, which is the seat of Lord Vithoba in the Indian state of Maharashtra, in honour of the deity. Palakhis (palanquin processions) carrying the paduka (foot prints) of the deity and various saints, most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram from the Varkari sect, are taken from their respective shrines to Pandharpur. Varkari or Warkari is a Marathi term which means “one who performs the Wari” or “one who venerates the Vithoba”. The tradition is more than 700 to 800 years old.
Belief is a strong emotion in itself. It can move mountains. Believe in yourself, and celebrate life. The world will begin to look like a much brighter place.
Life seems pretty unfair to a lot of us, doesn’t it?
Always be dissatisfied, claim some motivational speakers – it powers you ahead, they say.
And so we complain about money, work, family, where we live, the weather, even ourselves!
A great master once said – never look upwards – look downwards. You will always be thankful.
21st June is celebrated as International Yoga Day. Today we look at Suryanamaskara.
The name Surya Namaskar is from the Sanskrit सूर्य Sūrya, “Sun” and नमस्कार Namaskār, “Greeting” or “Salute”. The name identifies the sun as the soul and source of all life.
Surya Namaskar is a sequence of around twelve asanas connected by jumping or stretching movements, varying somewhat between schools. In Iyengar Yoga, the basic sequence is Tadasana, Urdhva Hastasana, Uttanasana, Uttanasana with head up, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, and then reversing the sequence to return to Tadasana; other poses can be inserted into the sequence.
Suryanamaskara sculpture at Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi India
The suryanamaskara is a relatively modern rendering of ancient sun salutations, and also a derivative of Surya Kriya, a way of aligning yourself with the sun and a much more refined process which needs enormous attention in terms of the geometry of the body. It involves a certain level of breath and powerful activation of energy.
hashankasana resembles a ‘Hare’ in its final stages and hence the name. Since it has a calming effect on the body and mind, it is also called Sashankasana, Sashanka meaning moon in Sanskrit.
It is a popular posture to cure any back related troubles and when practiced regularly can be a boon to tired backs and those with back-related pain. It is a beginner’s pose and can be performed by all age groups.
A variation of Shashankasana is Balasana. In Sanskrit, bala means child and asana refers to one’s posture. Thus, this pose is also called Child Pose. It is a ‘counter’ asana for many asanas and is performed preceding and following Sirsasana as it is a resting pose. If perfectly performed, the body faces the floor in foetal position (thus the name). It is also called Garbhasana (or womb pose).
The name comes from the Sanskrit words भुजङ्ग bhujanga, “snake” or “cobra” and आसन asana, “posture” or “seat”, from the resemblance to a cobra with its hood raised.
The pose is described in the 17th century hatha yoga text Gheranda Samhita. In the 19th century Sritattvanidhi, the pose is named Sarpasana, which similarly means Serpent Pose.
The Cobra Pose opens up the shoulders and the neck, stretches muscles in the shoulders and chest, strengthens the arms and also helps treat constipation. It can be significantly useful at relieving discomfort in the muscles of the back, neck and abdomen. Just a little time spent in Bhujangasana goes a long way; especially towards reducing stress and anxiety. It is part of the sequence of yoga postures in Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation.