JANMASHTAMI is the birthday of Lord Krishna, which is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the world. This year it will be celebrated tomorrow. Krishna’s birth occurred at midnight on the eighth day (ashtmi) of the Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of the month of Bhadrapad between (August – September) in the Hindu calendar. Lord Krishna was born in Mathura approximately more than 5000 years ago in the Dwapara Yug. Astrologically, it occurs when the moon is in transit in the “Rohini Star” and in the Taurus zodiac sign, the moon is exalted and the strongest here. According to Hinduism some nights are extremely powerful to tap the cosmic divine energy directly. Janmashtami is one of the Maharatri’s (extremely powerful nights) and doing Japa, worshipping God (in any form) is uncountable and beneficial than on a normal day. As per the scriptures the other Maharatris to perform spiritual practices are “Shivratri”, Holi, Diwali, Hanuman Jayanti, Sharad-Purnima and Navrathri’s. Rituals and astrological recommendations: The main custom is to fast on this day and choose any below fast as per your capacity: 1. Especially for Janmashtami most people observe a grainless and saltless fast (have only fruits, salad, milk and water) until 6pm. Thereafter, they observe a strict fast (i.e.also abstaining from eating and drinking anything) until midnight. They then break the fast after the midnight arthi (prayer) and after offering a sweet meal to Lord Krishna. 2. Selected devotees do a very strict fast that includes not drinking water and not eating anything from morning to midnight. After performing arthi, they then break their fast with fruits, sweets, water etc. (but no grains and salt). 3. Some devotees only break the fast the next day after sunrise. (When Ashtmi is over.) 4. It is nice to offer any sweet dish made of milk to the deity. If possible, try to offer Mishri (Indian sugar candy). 5. Offer Tulsi leaves to the deity as these are considered most pious and dearest to Lord Krishna. 6. Chant “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya” at least 108 times. 7. If you are not able to be at the temple at midnight then make sure to do arthi and ring the bell at home. 8. Recite one of the most powerful mantra of this age that is the “Hare Krishna Maha Mantra”: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare (which contains 16 syllables). The benefits of this mantra are countless. If one chants with devotion, it will uplift you spiritually and negate your negativity in life. It is believed that Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was an avatar (incarnation) of Lord Krishna and would chant this mantra day and night. One day while travelling and chanting through a forest of wild animals, on hearing his chanting animals became attracted to him and more peaceful. They did not harm him or each other. By this, one can gather the power of this mantra. 9. Ancient remedy: If one chants this mantra two times in their mind on starting the first bite of their meal, it makes the food more easily digestible and satisfies your appetite. N.B there are 32 teeth in our mouth and chanting this 16 syllable mantra twice makes 32. So this practice of starting a meal will give the best nourishment from the food. 10. Ensure that you read at least a few pages from the Bhagavad Gita on this day. It is known for strengthening the mind, improving karma and increasing Bhakti. 11. The worship of Krishna is a known astrological remedy for those finding it difficult to bear a child. 12. Lord Krishna guides us to uncountable opportunities and leaves the choice of making the right decision to us. 13. Engage more in Bhajans, kirtan’s, meditation, chanting, visiting temples and taking 108 names of Lord Krishna . 14. Whatever may be your faith, the worship of the Almighty will result in a greater astrological benefit, as the auspiciousness of this day is so intense due to the favourable position of the moon. Keeping a fast on Janmashtami gives many manifold benefits. 15. If one finds it difficult in this day and age to find a saintly guru then pray to lord Krishna because Sri Krishna is considered as Jagatguru: he is the teacher of all teachers, the Guru of all Gurus – “Krishnam Vande Jagadguru”. There is no guru equal to him. You will find that you will acquire knowledge automatically through Bhakti. One can attract prosperity, power and peace by doing the above on this night and thereby create new luck in your destiny. If you have Krishna in your heart then happiness will shower. May all be blessed by Lord Krishna. Jay Shree Krishna!