Janmashtami: A new perspective

What is Janmashtami?

Janmashtami celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna. Ashtami is significant as it indicates a perfect balance between the seen and the unseen aspects of reality – the visible material world and the invisible spiritual realm.

Krishna’s birth on Ashtami signifies his mastery of both the spiritual and material worlds. He is a great teacher and a spiritual inspiration as well as the consummate politician. On one hand, he is Yogeshwara (the Lord of Yoga – the state which every yogi aspires), while on the other, he is a mischievous thief.


The Unique Quality of Krishna

He is at once more pious than the saints and yet a thorough mischief-monger! His behavior is a perfect balance of the extremes – perhaps this is why the personality of Krishna is so difficult to fathom. The avdhoot (mystic or saint) is oblivious to the world outside, and a materialistic person, a politician or a king, is oblivious to the spiritual world. But Krishna is both the perfect King (Dwarkadheesh) and the perfect Yogi.

The Teachings of Krishna

Krishna’s teachings are most relevant to our times, in the sense that they neither let you get lost in material pursuits, nor make you completely withdrawn. They rekindle your life – from being a burnt-out and stressed personality to a more centred and dynamic one. Krishna teaches us devotion with skill. To celebrate Gokulashtami is to imbibe extremely opposite yet compatible qualities into your own life.

The Best Way to Celebrate Janmashtami

The most authentic way to celebrate Janamashtami is to know that you have to play a dual role – of being a responsible human being on the planet, and at the same time to realize that you are above all events; you are the untouched Brahman. Imbibing a bit of avdhoot and a bit of activism in your life is the real significance of celebrating Janmashtami.

Transcript of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Janmashtami Message 2017


The Symbolism Behind the Story
of the Birth of Lord Krishna