Krishnashtami and Preparation of Daheekala
Krishnashtami (also known as Gokulashtami or Janmashtami) is a festival dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna and commemorates his birth.
This festival occurs on the eight day (Ashtami) of a lunar fortnight hence the name (Krishna+ashtami).This first day is Krishnastami or Gokulastami. The second day is called Kalashtami or more popularly Janmashtami.
Bhagwan Sri Krishna is Absolute Incarnation (Purnavatar). He was born in 3185 B.C. on the midnight of Shravan Krushna Ashtamee, under Rohinee Nakshatra (constellation). As per the Vikram samvat this tithi falls on Bhadrapad Krushna Ashtamee.
This festival is specially celebrated at Gokul, Mathura, Vrundavan, Dwaraka, Puri and all major Krishna Temples across the world. In Vrundavan dolotsav is celebrated. Some people celebrate at home by making a model of Gokul Vrundavan. In the Vaishnav temples, religious programmes like worshipping the lamp, processions, krushnaleela, reciting the Bhagawat, keertan, bhajan, singing and dancing are observed from Shravan Krushna Pratipada to Shravan Krushna Ashtami.
On Shravan Krushna Navamee, panchopachar worship of Bhagwan Sreekrushnajee is performed in the morning. The fast is concluded by partaking the prasad of daheekala. If the idol of Bhagwan Sreekrushna is earthen, it is immersed in water; metal idol is placed in the home temple or donated to the priest.
On Shravan Krushna Navamee, daheekala is prepared by mixing various food items, curd, milk, butter etc. Bhagwan Sreekrushna used to prepare and eat daheekala along with His fellow gops and gopees. He would also go to the houses of gopees and by breaking the vessels of curd hung at a height eat the curd and butter therein. As a symbol of this, the tradition of preparing daheekala and breaking of daheehandee on the day after janmashtami has started. From the spiritual perspective, daheekala is associated with nirgun Chaitanya and is indicative of the function of Krushna
- Puffed rice (pohe): Symbol of the objective devotion of the gop.
- Curd (dahee): Symbol of the punishing maternal devotion as per the situation with the spiritual emotion of motherhood.
- Milk : Symbol of the simple, sagun madhurabhakti of the gopees. Madhurabhakti is the devotion of God in the form of a lover.
- Buttermilk : This is the symbol of the virodhbhakti of the gopis. Virodhbhakti is the devotion consisting of the behavior resulting from expectation of love from Bhagwan Sreekrushna like sulking, expressing displeasure etc.
- Butter : This is the symbol of the nirgun devotion towards Sreekrushna.