Krishna Janmashtami Statue-Cultural Arts Review

Posted on September 25, 2013 by

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Krishna Janmashtami is the statue I am choosing for my Cultural Arts Review.  After choosing this icon and reviewing his symbolic importance to the Hindu religion I found many colorful vibrant statues portraying him as a young boy playing the flute or a young prince giving guidance.  Many of the statues are beautifully decorated with detailed vibrant colors, some show a light or halo around his head, which portrays him as a supreme sacred figure.

Krishna Janmashtami, a religious tradition celebrated each year originates from the birth of Krishna.  He was the eighth son born to Devaki and Vasudeva in an underground jail in Mathura, a northern state of India.  The story behind the celebration states that King Kansa, an evil brother to Krishna’s father imprisoned his parents afraid of prophecy that predicted his death after the birth of Vasudeva’s eighth son.  Kansa had his first seven children killed to prevent this.  When Krishna, the eighth child was born Vasudeva was ordered by Vishnu, a Hindu God known to spread the message of Bhagwat Gita to take the baby away to live safely away from his Uncle Kansa. His father carried him through the Yamuna River to Gokul facing extreme difficulties to live with foster parents.  Krishna grew up in Gokul with his brother Balrem, but eventually returned to Mathura as a young man avoiding several assassination attempts from Kansa’s followers. Krishna with the help of his brother overthrew and killed their evil uncle.  He became a leading prince after reinstating his father as king of the Yadava’s.  Today Krishna is still a sacred figure to the devotees and is worshipped all over the city with elaborate traditional celebrations.

The festival in honor of Krishna is celebrated on the eighth day of Krishna Paksha.  This year it was held August 28th, but can vary depending on the Hindu calendar.  The celebration shows the meaningful love and devotion for Krishna, an icon that the Hindu’s consider a supreme god worshiped by all.  The celebration starts out with many rituals observing the birth of Krishna.  The day starts out by fasting from early morning until midnight.  Many homes and temples are illuminated with vibrant lights and decorations.  Many of the homes already have shrines with statues and photos of Krishna where they pray and worship.  During the celebration images of Krishna’s infancy are placed in cradles and swings.  They spend the day praying and singing, but midnight is marked with traditional songs, dance and exchanging of gifts.  Rasilila is a special dance drama performed which recreates Krishna’s life.  Many including children dress up in beautiful detailed costumes.  Another ritual held at midnight is placing a child form of Krishna in a swing that is then considered a living presence by dressing, bathing and offering food as a living person would be.  After the food is offered Krishna is considered blessed and devotees can then worship him.  Bathing ceremonies are also held with milk, curd, honey, and ghee in honor of Lord Krishna at the temples.  Large numbers of people including saints and religious leaders visit the temples to celebrate Krishna’s birthday with splendor and devotion.  The Hindu devotees show an extreme amount of respect for Krishna, an important symbolic icon to the Hindu religion.

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Posted in: Hinduism