THANE: With rows of lighted lamps and verandas designed with flowers and rangolis, the lake city households celebrated the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight on Tuesday.
Vasudha Revankar said, “At midnight, small idol of Lord Krishna is placed in a cradle decorated with flowers and the entire family and friends chant the 1,000 names of the Lord and offer basil leaves for every name called out. Prasad is distributed, which ideally consists of sprouts, kheer and a dish prepared from drumstick leaves. No rice is cooked on this day. A day after we immerse the idol the traditional cuisine made is poha and curd.”
When it comes to the celebration of Janmashtami, various communities practice different customs.
From immersing themselves in Bhagvad Geeta recitations and chanting, to decorating a cradle at midnight and actually depicting the birth of Lord Krishna, the festival occupies a special place in the hearts of devotees. Also referred to as ‘Ashtami Rohini’ by the South Indian community, Janmashtami is celebrated by drawing a rangoli design out of rice flour of Krishna’s little feet from the front door across the entire house. Gokila Ramesh, a resident of Pokhran Road 1, said, “On this occasion, we draw a rangoli design out of rice flour resembling the feet of Lord Krishna. This rangoli starts from the veranda of the house till the puja room where the idol of Krishna is kept. For us, the feet indicate the entry of the God in our house. Around 8pm, we offer the Lord certain special traditional delicacies such as murukku, poha and jaggery, cheedai (a savoury snack dish) and a dollop of butter.”
Apart from performing a puja and visiting temples, devotees also believe that on this day it is equally important to share the message preached by the Lord. “Since many years, we have been conducting a Bhagavad Geeta chanting programme at home. This time, around 22 devotees had assembled and then there was a recitation of all the 18 chapters along with the shlokas. The three-hour afternoon session started and ended with the hymns of Krishna. The atmosphere was so positive and full of energy that one could have almost felt the Lord’s presence,” said Poonam Ambekar, a resident of Devdaya Nagar.