Is Janmashtami (Smarta) a Public Holiday?
Janmashtami (Smarta) is not a public holiday and considered an optional holiday in several parts of India. Hence, those belonging to the Smarta sect can take a day off on this day and perform the religious rituals pertaining to this day. On the other hand, those not from the Smarta sect consider this occurrence as a fully functional day and go about their daily routine.
Since this is an optional holiday, schools, colleges, banks, post offices, universities, academic institutions, and several public and private sector offices may remain closed. Some employees may opt for a half or full day off. However, transportation remains normally operational.
Smartha & Vaishnava Sect: Who Are They?
Janmashtami celebrated by the Smarta sect is called as Krishnashtami, whereas this day celebrated by Vaishnavas is known as Gokulashtami. As per several religious texts in Hinduism, Vaishnavas are those who believe in and follow a Guru, adorn a tilak, a rosary and mala or necklace, consider Lord Vishnu as their Supreme One and believe that he is the “Beginning” and the “End”. Such followers worship Lord Vishnu and his avatars with immense devotion and believe Him to be the provider of ultimate salvation or Moksha.
On the other hand, followers of the Smarta Sect believe in the Five Gods, i.e. Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Surya and Maa Shakti; and follow a domestic lifestyle. They do not differentiate between a Vaishnava, Shakti or Shaivite. They believe in the act of worshipping any aspect of God unless they contradict with the scriptures and Vedas.
Janmashtami (Smarta) For Childless Couples
On the propitious occasion of Janmashtami (Smarta), couples who are childless must perform the puja rituals with all their devotion and fast while venerating the Lord. They must install the Santan Gopal Yantra at the altar of their home facing East or North and chant the below-mentioned mantra while seeking Lord Krishna’s blessings.
ऊं श्रीं ह्रीं क्लीं ग्लौं देवकीसुत गोविंद वासुदेव जगत्पते। देहि मे तनयं कृष्णं त्वामहं शरणं गत: क्लीं ऊं।।
Oṃ śrīṃ hrīṃ klīṃ glauṃ devakīsuta goviṃda vāsudeva jagatpate। dehi me tanayaṃ kṛṣṇaṃ tvāmahaṃ śaraṇaṃ gata: klīṃ oṃ।।
Janmashtami (Smarta) Fast & Puja Vidhi
- On the day of Janmashtami (Smarta), devotees should wake up early in the morning and take a bath.
- Wear clean clothes and then bathe the idol of Bal-Gopal, an infant avatar of Lord Krishna with Milk, Curd, Gangajal, Ghee, Honey, Saffron, and Mishri.
- After this, clean him with clear water and adorn him with yellow-colored, beautiful clothes along with jewellery.
- Observe the fast and perform the Parana on the next day, i.e. Navami tithi.
- At midnight, offer Rice or Sabudana Kheer, white sweets, Makhan-Mishri etc. as a Bhoga.
- After the Aarti is over, distribute the Bhoga as a Prasad.
- You can mix cow’s milk and Tulsi leaves together and offer it to Lord Krishna to seek his blessings.
Do’s & Don’ts on Janmashtami
- You can add Tulsi leaves in the Bhoga before offering it to Bal Gopal.
- Light a diya with Ghee, place it near the Tulsi plant and cover it with a red-colored Chunri. Then chant the below mantra:
- Do not cut or unroot any sapling or plant on the day of Janmashtami.
- Help the one in need as much as you can and do not hurt or act rudely with others.
- When performing the Abhishek, pour milk on the idol of Bal-Gopal using a Conch Shell. Also, venerate Maa Laxmi as well.
ॐ वासुदेवाय नम: / oṃ vāsudevāya nama
Janmashtami (Smarta) History: Mythological Legend
Janmashtami (Smarta) history holds high significance in Indian Mythology and lays emphasis on its observance. As per the mythological legend, a prophecy about the eighth child of Vasudev-Devaki killing Demon-King Kansa made Kansa fear for his life, sue to which he threw both Devaki and Vasudev in the prison and killed all their children one by one till the eighth child was about to be born.
It was during the Krishna Paksha and Rohini Nakshatra on the Ashtami in the month of Bhadrapada that Lord Krishna was born. As soon as he took birth, the entire prison got filled with a bright light, after which Vasudev took the infant Krishna in a jute basket over to the Nanda’s house and replaced their newborn daughter with baby Krishna. However, when Kansa got to know about the eighth child of Vasudev-Devaki being born, he went to the prison to kill the child, but couldn’t since that girl was an avatar of the Goddess.
Listening to this terrorised Kansa, who sent several demons to kill Krishna but failed. In the end, it was Lord Krishna himself who killed the Demon-King Kansa and emerged victoriously.
Janmashtami (Smarta) Observances
1. Is Janmashtami (Smarta) a bank holiday in India?
Janmashtami (Smarta) is an optional bank holiday in India.
2. When do the followers of the Smarta sect celebrate Janmashtami?
Janmashtami by Smarta sect is celebrated on the Ashtami during the Krishna Paksha in the month of Bhadrapada, and the Parana is carried out on the day of Navami.
3. Are Vaishnavas and Smarthas different?
Yes, both have different beliefs and ways of observing the festival of Janmashtami.
4. What should be avoided on the day of Janmashtami?
One must avoid consuming grains and water on the day of Janmashtami and follow a strict fruit-milk diet.
From the above information, it is evident that the event of Janmashtami (Smarta) 2021 in India is observed on Monday, 30 August with great enthusiasm.
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