The enchanting music of the flute played by Krishna is symbolic of divinity. The grown Krishna later returned to Mathura where he killed Kansa and put an end to his evil deeds. Hindus celebrate the festival of Janmashtami over two days at temples, homes and community centers. A fast is kept by the devotees 24 hrs prior to celebration that begins at the midnight.
The occasion is marked by placing a statue of the deity in the cradle and bathing it in panchamrit made up from milk, ghee, honey, gangajal and tulsi leaves. This panchamrit is distributed as prasad to the devotees. Often a procession of a baby placed and rocked in a cradle is carried through the crowd. Chanting of Kirtans, Aartis , reciting verses and presenting flowers is a common sight in the temples and other places where worship is going on. Decoration and the waving lights that cover the temples is a marvelous scene in the night.
Mumbai has its own tradition of celebrating Janmashtami by organizing Matki Phodo’(meaning –break the earthen pot) contests where group comprising of young boys and girls participate to form a ring, forming one floor over the other to reach the matki filled with curd hanging on a heightened string. The group of devotees that is able to break the pot first overcoming the falls and rising again to form the floors of ring structure is declared the winner. Such contests are organized in various localities. Lord Krishna’s birth and life had a profound impact on Indian culture, philosophy and civilization. The role played by Krishna in Bhagwat Gita describing the epic war called Mahabharata involves a dialogue between Krishna and Prince Arjuna where Krishna as a teacher and divine charioteer presents: dharma, yoga, karma, jnana and bhakti as the essential elements of warrior behavior.
Gita’s preaching of disciplined actions without any attachment to the outcome is the fundamental principle taught in Bhagwat Gita.