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Janmashtami 2009 is on August 14th

Janmashtami celebrates the birth of one of the most famous Gods of Hindu religion, Bhagwan Krishna, on the eighth day (Ashtami) in the month of Sravana or Savana. Lord Sri Krishna was born on the 'Rohini' nakshatram (star). It is generally celebrated in the month of August-September according to the Christian Calendar. Legend has it that Sri Krishna was born on a dark, stormy and windy night to end the rule and atrocities of his maternal uncle, Kansa.

Position of Stars at the time of Birth
It was only on the eighth day of the second fortnight, in the month of Sravana when, the moon entered the house of Vrishabha in Rohini Nakshatra (star) that Lord appeared. According to Barhapatyamana, the month of Sravana corresponds to the month of Bhadrapada Krishnapaksha. Lord was born in the year of Visvavasu, appx. 5,227 years ago.

Celebrated for over Two Days
Janmashtami is celebrated for over two days as “Rohini” nakshatra and Ashtami may not fall on the same day. The first day known as Krishnashtami, as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna falls on the eighth day after Raksha Bandhan, which generally falls in the month of August. The second day is known as Kalashtami.

Welcome the Lord at Midnight
It is only at midnight between the first and the second day that birth of Sri Krishna took place. The actual festivities begin during midnight in this 48 hour period. The celebration reaches its peak at midnight, with the birth of Lord Krishna, with lot of hymns, arti taking place and blowing of the Conch (shankh), rocking the cradle of Lord. The idol of lord is bathed with Panchamrit (A mixture of milk, ghee, oil, honey and Gangajal). The Panchamrit is later distributed as Prasad to the devotees along with other sweets. While some Fast on the first day and break it at midnight for others the fasting continues for both days. The period coincides with rainy season.
Birth of Lord Krishna
Janmashtami is celebrated to welcome and enjoy Lord Krishna's birth. The birth of Lord Krishna took place when the various planets were in auspicious places. It is said that God chooses a particular time, as to when he will take birth as a human and the planetary systems are adjusted accordingly.

Auspicious Nakshatra (Constellation)
Around the time of Bhagwan Krishna's birth, Rohini Nakshatra was predominant as it is considered to be quite auspicious. This is so because it is under the supervision of Brahma, the creator of Universe. Sri Krishna was born in the month Of Sravana more than 5000 years ago.

Born in Dwapur Yug (Iron Age)
According to some scholars, Krishna was born on Wednesday,the eighth day of second fortnight in Sravana month in the year of Visvavasu around 3227 BC, also known as Dwapur Yug. July 19th 3228 BC to be more accurate. He lived for 125 years and disappeared on February 18th 3102 BC on the new moon night of Phalguna. His death was the onset of the current corrupt age known as Kaliyug.

Universal Happiness of all Forms of Life
From the time, Devki conceived Sri Krishna, she began to glow and exude divine light. The prison walls glowed with the aura of the new born infant. Atmosphere of peace and happiness prevailed all over, Forests were all green and full of trees with all kinds of beautiful flowers, rivers were all swollen due to joy, peacocks began to dance in sheer joy, people in all villages started being happy.

Objective of Krishna's Birth
The main objective of Lord Krishna's birth was to free Mother Earth from the wickedness of demons. Playing an important part in Mahabharata (legendary battle in Kurukshetra) and propagating the theory of bhakti and good karma were other important objectives.

Events Before The Birth of Sri Krishna
The people of Mathura were extremely unhappy with the wicked king Kansa who put his father, king Ugrasen in prison and declared himself the king of Mathura. It was to put an end to his evil ways and other demons that Lord Vishnu decided to take birth on Earth in human form. According to Akashvani (heavenly voice) at the wedding of his beloved sister Devki, Kansa got to know that the eighth child of his sister will take birth to kill him. So, in turn he rushed to kill his sister. Kansa gave up the idea of killing after being assured by Vasudev that he will handover all his children to him. He put them in Prison. Kansa killed all the six infants as soon as they were born. The seventh child (Balram) was saved due to divine intervention, when he was transferred from Devki's womb to that of Rohini's (other wife of Vasudev).

Events During the Birth of Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna was born in a prison cell in the captivity of King Kansa. He took birth in divine form with lotus like eyes,his palms bearing the signs of a lotus and discus. He had a swastika sign on his sole. Wearing a yellow colored silk cloth, adorned with precious diamond earrings and a crown made of emeralds. Soon after the birth, a chain of events astonished Vasudev,when he saw the gates of the cell flow open and all the guards fast asleep. He immediately thought of Nand ,his close friend in Gokul and decided to handover his child to him in order to save him from the clutch of Kansa.

River Yamuna Bows To The Feet of Sri Krishna
The night of birth was witnessed by heavy rains which led to River Yamuna being in floods. As soon as the feet of Lord immersed in the river, the flow became normal and Yamuna made way for the Lord. Sheshnag, the serpent formed an umbrella to save the new born baby from rain.

Exchange of the Babies
Vasudev kept his child next to fast asleep Yashoda and took the baby girl lying with him back to Mathura. The baby girl is believed to be the sister of Lord Vishnu.

Disappearance of The Divine Child
On hearing the news of birth of the eighth child of Devki and Vasudev, Kansa rushed to the prison-cell and lifted the baby girl to kill her despite pleadings from Devki. However, instead of hitting the stone, the child flew up in the air and announced that the annihilator of Kansa was born and in safe hands.

Krishna later grew in Gokul and finally killed his maternal uncle, King Kansa.

Legend of King Kansa


Kansa was the king of Mathura city and maternal uncle of Sri Krishna. According to legend, Janmashtami is celebrated as the birth of Bhagwan Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu to slay the cruel king . Kansa was a self-proclaimed King of the city of Mathura (A City in Northern India). He overthrew his father, King Ugrasen and forcefully became the king. He was very wicked and evil in thinking. His subjects feared him, the cowherds of not only Mathura but also other neighbouring villages like Gokul, Barsana, Nandgaon were the victims of his wickedness. They had no option but to surrender to his tyrannical ways.

Army of Demons
King Kansa had an army of demons who helped him spread fear and accomplish his evil tasks. Putana, Bakasura, Aghasura were his close aides.

Loving Brother
Kansa loved his younger sister Devki and fulfilled all her wishes. He married her to Vasudev, one of his cousins and a high-ranking officer in the army with great pomp and show. However, during the wedding ceremony of his sister, Devki, the love for his sister turned to hatred when a heavenly prediction warned him, that the eighth child of Devki will be the annihilator Of Kansa. On being assured of getting all the new born children of Devki and Vasudev, Kansa decided to imprison them under close supervision and let them live.

Killing of Infants
Kansa managed to kill all the new born of his sister Devki and brother-In-Law, Vasudev. His elder brother Balram, seventh child of the couple, was saved by being transferred to Rohini's womb. Similarly Lord Krishna, the eighth child, born to kill evil Kansa was saved after being miraculously shifted to Gokul on the night of his birth and replaced with a female child. However, Kansa got to know that his destroyer had been born and was being brought up by an unknown family in a neighboring village.

Ongoing Efforts to Kill the Child
Soon, after getting to know that the eighth child of his sister was born and safely growing in another village, Kansa ordered his soldiers to kill all the one-day old male infants in and around Mathura. He made quite a few unsuccessful attempts to kill the child.

Episode of Putana-The Demoness
King Kansa, sent one of his reliable servants to kill on the infants in the village by feeding them poisonous milk. She killed many infants but in the end she was killed by baby Krishna who sucked her life while being fed poisonous milk.

Killing of Demon Trinivarta
On hearing the death of Putana, King Kansa, sent his another servant- demon Trinivarta to kill Sri Krishna. Trinivarta took the form of a whirlwind, and carried the young Krishna away with itself, in the hope of throwing him away. Lord Krishna increased his weight which made the demon unable to move any further. After some time, the weight of Lord Krishna became too heavy for the demon to handle, so he fell on Ground and died.

End of Bakasura
At the instigation of Kansa, his friend Bakasura, changed his form to that of a crane,and went to kill Young Krishna, He hit him with his beak but Lord caught hold of his beak and tore it apart, killing him instantly.

Slaying of King Kansa
King Kansa, tired of the killing of all his servants, invited both his nephews, Balram and Krishna for a wrestling match in Mathura. He made use of elephant Kuvalyapeeda to kill Krishna at the entrance of the arena, Krishna killed him followed by killings of Charuna and Toshalaka- chosen atheletes of Kansa. Krishna went to Kansa, took him by hair and threw him on the ground; finally killing him. The slaying Of Kansa ended his tyrannical rule and people rejoiced and celebrated his death.


Different Names of Sri Krishna

Lord Krishna, one of the most revered Gods of Hindu religion is known by many names. It is believed that Acharya Garga, the family priest of Yadavs named the Lord. He was named Lord Sri Krishna because of his dark complexion.

Names According to Special Characteristics and Feats

During days of childhood, Sri Krishna was known as Bal Gopal meaning young Krishna. He is known as Madhav meaning the Husband of Goddess of fortune, Sri Lakshmi. Bhagwan Krishna is also known as Giridhari-The lifter of Govardhan hill. Also known as Banvari - the one living in the groves of Vrindavan.


Popular Names of Lord Krishna with their Meanings




One in the transport of joy


Lord of the whole World


The supreme one


King of Dwarka City


Son of Vasudev

Devki Nandan

Mother Devki's son


Lord Of Cows


Protector of Cows


Chariot driver of Arjuna


One with a flute

Mathura Naresh

King of Birth city Mathura


One tied with a grinding Stone


One who is honorable


The eternal one


The infinite


All victorious God


Enemy of demon Mura


Kamla (Goddess Lakshmi's) Husband




Assuming human form to perform pastimes

Shrivastav Kausthuba-Dharya

Wearing Shri Vatsa and Kausthubha Gem


Mother Yashoda's darling child


Shri Hari


Four armed one carrying weapons of Disc, Club and Conch


Abode of Shri (Lakshmi)

Nandgopa Priyatmaj

Nanda Gopa's darling child

Yamuna Vega Samhar

Destroyer of speed of River yamuna

Balbhadra Pariyanuj

Balram's younger brother

Putana Jivit haraya

Destroyer of demoness Putana

Shakatsura Bhanjanaya

Destroyer of demon Shakatasur

Nandvraja jana nandin

One bringing joy to Nand and people of Braj

Sachidanand Vigraha

Embodiment of existence, Awareness and bliss

Navanit Viliptanga

Lord whose body is smeared with butter


The sinless one

Navanit navaharaya

Inventor of new form of food- Butter

Muchukunda Prasadkaya

Lord who blessed king Muchukund

Shodasha sthri sahasreshaya

Lord of 16,000 wives

Tribhanji lalitakritaye

Lord who poses bent in 3 places

Sukavag Amritabhdhindave

Ocean of nectar according to Sukadev

Yogi Pataye

Lord of yogis


One who is difficult to comprehend


Lord whose praise bestows meritorious


One whose feet are holy


Souce of Vedas


One who consumes sacrificial offerings


One who is highest of the highest

Gopa Gopishvaraya

Lord of gopas and gopis


Greatest Yogi

Koti surya samaprabha

One who is as lustrous as a million suns


Lord of Earth


One wearing a sylven garland

Parasmai jyotish

One with a supreme light


Lord of Yadavs


Leader of Yadus

Pita vasase

One wearing yellow robes

Parijatapa Harakaya

One who removes Parijath Flower

Govardhanchalo Dhartreya

Lifter of Govardhan Hill

Sarva palakaya

Protector of all beings


The untainted one

Kama janakaye

One generating desires in worldly mind

Kancha lochanaya

One with beautiful eyes


Killer of demon Madhu


King of birth city Mathura

Brindavane sancarine

One roaming in Brindavan city


Lord of Dwarka


All powerful Lord

Syamantake maner hartre

One who stole Syamantaka Gem

Nara Narayanatmakaya

One who has twin form of nar and Narayan

Kubja Krishtambharadharya

One who applied ointment by Kubja the hunchbacked woman


Lord of maya

Mushtikasura Chanura mallayudha-visharadaya

One who is an expert wrestler, killed two demons Mushtikasura and Chanura

Sansara vaitine

One who is enemy of sansara


Enemy of king Kansa


Destroyer of demon Naraka

Anadi Brahmacharine

Beginning less absolute

Krishna Vyasana Karshakaya

Remover of Draupadi's distress

Shishupala Shirascratte

Remover of Shishupal's head

Duryodhana Kulantakaya

Destroyer of Duryodhana's dynasty

Vidurakrura Varadaya

Giver of boon to Vidur and Akrur

Vishwarupa Pradarshakaya

Revealer of Vishwasrup (Universal form)


Speaker of truth

Satya sankalp

Lord of true resolve

Satyabhama Rataya

Lover of Satyabhama


The ever victorious Lord

Subhadra purvajaya

Brother of Subhadra


To Lord Vishnu

Bhishma mukti Pradayakaya

One who bestowed salvation to Bhishma

Jagadguruve venunada visharad

One expert in playing of flute music

Vrishabhasura vidhvamsine

Destoyer of demon Vrishbasura

Yudhishthira pratishthatre

One who established Yudhisthira as a king

Sarvagraha Rupine

To all-formed one


One who is treasure of compassion

Sarvabhutat makaya

Soul of elements

Jalakrida samashaka gopi vastra pararakaya

Lord who hid gopi's clothes while they were playing in river Yamuna


A supreme brahman

Barhi Barhavatamsakaye

One who adorns peacock feathers

Pannagashana vahanaya

Having serpent Adishesha as his seat

Danavendra Vinashak

Destroyer of Lord of Asuras

Gitamrita Mahodadhaye

An ocean containing nectar of Bhagwad Gita

Kaliyaphani Manikya ranjita shri Padambhujaya

Lord whose lotus feet adorn gems from hood of Kaliya serpent


Sri Krishna's Lifetime Chart

Given here is a chronological list of Lord Krishna's lifetime achievements. Relevant aspects of Lord Krishna's life from birth to renunciation have been presented in a tabular form.

Age of Lord Krishna
In the month of Sravana, around July 19th 3227 BC in a prison cell in Mathura city to Vasudev and Devki.
0 to 3 years
Lived in the neighboring town of Gokul with Nand and Yashoda, performed bal leela, including killing of demoness Putana, Trinivatra etc.
3 to 7 years
Started living in Vrindavan, Killing of Demons Bakasura, Aghasura and Dhanuka.
7-10 years
Lifting of Govardhan hill, played rasleelas with Gopis, Invited for a wrestling match by Kansa which results in his killing.
10 – 28 years
Lived in Mathura and protected it from many Demons. Took the lessons in all the sixty four arts from Muni Sandeepani and perfected all the arts.
29 – 125 years
Established kingdom in the city of Dwarka with Brother Balram. Married Rukmini and 16000 other princesses. Helped Pandavas win the battle of Mahabharata, explains teachings to Arjuna later written down by Rishi Vyas as Bhagwad Gita.
125th Year
Fall of Yaduvanshi dynasty due to fraternal killing. Disappearance of Lord Krishna on 18th February 3102 BC.
Lord Krishna’s Disappearance
Lord Krishna, the 10th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, took birth on earth with a purpose. The main objective of taking human form by the divine being was to rid mother Earth from the cruelties and increasing power of the demons.

Life Span of Lord Krishna
It is believed that Bhagwan Krishna lived on Earth with brother Balram for 125 years. The first ten years of his life were spent in the towns of Gokul and Vrindavan, in Northern India. The following years beginning in the 11th year of Lord's life till the age of 28 were spent in Mathura. Sri Krishna later established Dwarka, a city in Gujarat and lived the rest of his life there with his wife Rukmini and sons.

Legends of Lord Krishna's Disappearance
According to researchers, Lord Krishna disappeared on 18th February 3102 BC. The period after his disappearance marks the beginning of Kaliyug. It is said Bhagwan Krishna had predicted that exactly seven days after the disappearance of the Lord, the Golden city of Dwarka in Gujarat will drown in the sea. Indeed Dwarka city is said to have been merged in sea owing to torrential rain. There are quite a few reasons assigned to Lord Krishna's leaving his spirit for the heaven. They are as follows:

Fulfillment of Sri Krishna's Birth Objective
Lord Krishna alighted on mother Earth with the primary objective of reducing the growing power of the demons and relieving people from their cruelties. The secondary objective was fighting the historical battle in Kurukshetra in order to deliver justice to Pandavas. Having accomplished his missions and establishing peace , it was time for Lord to end his life journey on Earth.

Curse of Mother Gandhari
Mahabharata, the historical battle fought in Kurukshetra resulted in the death of all the hundred sons of King Dhritarashtra and Gandhari. Lord Krishna is said to have visited Mother Gandhari to offer his condolence. In a fit of rage and sorrow, Mata Gandhari cursed Bhagwan Krishna that just as the Kaurava dynasty had ended fighting with each other, similarly the Yaduvanshi dynasty would end fighting and killing each other. Mother Gandhari felt that Sri Krishna didn't play a fair role in putting an end to the war. Lord Krishna happily accepted the curse.

Curse of Sages Vishwamitra and Narada
According to a folklore, Sage Vishwamitra and Sage Narada once visited the city of Dwarka to meet Lord Krishna. A few children of Lord Krishna dressed up Samba (Son of Sri Krishna and Jambavati) as a pregnant woman and asked the visiting sages to foretell what kind of a child Samba will bear. Feeling insulted, the sages cursed that Samba will give birth to an Iron rod which in turn will be instrumental in the fall of the Yaduvanshi Dynasty. The very next day, Samba gave birth to an iron rod. Lord Krishna's sons crushed it into powder and threw the bottle in the sea. However, one day the bottle was washed up the shore and the powdered iron took form of an arrow. Lord Krishna could foresee everything and as a last resort to save his Dynasty, prohibited liquor in the city of Dwarka. Eventually, the Yadavas became drunk and killed each other with iron rods. None of them survived. Lord Krishna was shattered to see the Dynasty perish.

Death of Balram
On seeing the end of Yaduvanshi clan, Lord Balram the elder brother of Sri Krishna sat under a tree and ended his life by breathing out life from his mouth in the form of a white serpent.

Disappearance of Sri Krishna
Lord Krishna was disillusioned with the fraternal killing among the Yaduvanshis. He went to a forest near Somnath in Bhalka Tirth to meditate. Jara, a hunter mistook the lord's feet to be a deer and accidentally shot him with the arrow. Lord Krishna's spirit left for heaven. Bhagwan Krishna's disappearance marks the beginning of the current debauched age, also known as Kaliyug.

The great sage Vyas then wrote the famous 'Bhagawad Puran' to save the heritage and miracles of Lord Krishna. The story of Lord Krishna has since been passed from generation to generation.