O Krishna
You are the epitome of love
Of its purest expression

O Krishna
Your ways are mysterious
Its divinity transcendental

O Krishna,
Feeling You is like
Looking at life’s joys

O Krishna
You show us the way to live
To love, and to be

O Krishna
Show me the light
To see the life as it has to be

O Krishna,
Give me the courage
To become who I have to be

O Krishna
Let me have an evolved faith
That reverberates





The beauty of black that It radiates
The light in the darkness that it shows
While thinking of You on this journey
While singing of Your mystical aura

The simplicity of Shyam that captivates
The mysticism of Krishna that transcends
In a God’s abode that belongs to us
On a journey with no beginning and end

You are the voice of universal creation
And we are Your manifestation
You are the faith in life personified
And we crave to bathe in this illumination

Yes, God You are, yet so human You look
You tell us the essence of human existence
You teach us of core human conscience
The Perfect One You are, the perfect Soul





O dear Krishna,
Well, it’s one year,
When I had made,
A plea so clear..

Now, that it is the time,
For you to manifest again
Now, that You have,
Arrived again..

I am asking for,
That mutual talk
I am speaking of
That silent walk..

You are the Source
You are the Soul
You are the world
You are the Goal

O dear Krishna
It’s Your night again
The day of Krishna and
The transcendental rain

Giving us the moments,
To dance, to sing, to pray
When You come,
To my home again this way..

Janmashtami 2015-9




Today, as we know, and as we all must know, is Teachers’ Day – that is on birth anniversary of former President Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan (and former Vice-chancellor of Banaras Hindu University, my alma mater), and is also the death anniversary of great human-saint Mother Teresa.

Therefore, September 5 is always a special day.

But this year, the day has become even more special because the country is celebrating Janmashtami 2015 on this Saturday.

Time changes things and the way we carry out many activities – even if the perspectives and the concepts behind those perspectives remain the same.

The same holds true about how we celebrate our festivals.

In our childhood, and even in teens, Janmashtami happened to be a community celebration where almost each household participated. Jhankis (tableaus) were created in almost every house in our locality. We would start preparing the day well in advance. Everyone in the family would be given or would take some responsibility.

Krishna is a mystical God but then it takes precedence of spiritual elements over ritual practices of religion to feel so, which the ordinary, worldly people seldom realize. Anyway, Krishna Janmashtami, that is celebrated as Krishna’s birthday is never heavy on ritual and is quite flexible.

Krishna is born in every household at midnight – as our scriptures say. And the rituals that we perform during birth of a child in our house are performed then. This part was for family’s elders, especially my mother and father.

But every step leading to celebration of the day was my favourite, topped by creation of different jhankis – depicting Krishna’s birth, Vasudev taking him to Yashoda’s house, various stages in life of Krishna with Kansa and his demons and various other tableaus to depict what my childhood would think about then.

I loved making mountain from black stones that I collected from factories in Varanasi’s industrial area. Krishna’s idol is placed inside a large-sized cucumber and after his birth at midnight and the ritual bath; he is placed in a cradle, adorned with new jewellery and clothes. Then, when we used to spend at least a week preparing to celebrate the birth, we would place branches of Carissa (Karonda), with plenty of leaves and fruits all around then mountain (created from stones) and around the cradle.

We would also run from this saw mill to that saw mill to collect sawdust and wood filings. We would then colour the same in different shades and use them in different tableaus – as the base (or the ground). Normally, one tableau would be separated from the next with small wooden blocks and colour of the sawdust. Sometimes, in some homes, coloured sand was also used, though I never used it.

Many small tableaus of different colours and with different themes together formed the grand ‘jhanki’ of every family. Sometimes, it took two days to start and complete the final decoration with all tableaus conceived and created.

On the day of Janmashtami, in the evening, we would go to every house to see how the other fellow has done – that how his jhanki was better or dull than ours – that what he had done that we also could have done – that what was his scale relative to ours – a childhood mind primarily thinks in these terms after all.

But we would always come back in time for Krishna’s birth – that was the main attraction – with all the rituals in place and with all the ‘prasads’ that would follow. Krishna’s birth, like any child’s birth, has celebrations with lavish food preparations.

The ‘ritual part’ and ‘prasads’ that follow are still there but the part (or the parts) and took many days of preparation, in creating many tableaus for a grand ‘jhanki’, slowly and gradually went out of individual families. I don’t remember when we stopped doing it, but I know that probably no house in my locality does it so. I have heard similar echoes while conversing with people on similar lines.

Janmashtami is still a community celebration and is still worshipped individually in almost every Hindu house, but the community nature of its celebration through individual houses, through jhankis, slowly and gradually, stopped being there.

Janmashtami 2015-6

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/