Krishna Janamashtami is followed by a day full of pomp and swing where it is observed as Nandotsav or Nanda Mahotsav in various temples all over the country. In the morning after Janamashtami or navami, Bihariji continues to sit in the jagmohan showering his blessing and loving tenderness to all. Priests and devotees distribute sweets, fruits, clothes, toys, utensils and coins as part of the celebrations. Devotional songs congratulating Nand Baba on the birth of Krishna are joyously sung in unison.Everybody feels that the dark-hued Krishna has been born today and revels with enthused exultation.
Footprints of Krishna
The ladies of the house mark the entrance of their homes with rice paste so as to form small feet of infants. They are always made pointing towards the house which is believed to mark the entry of the child Krishna in their abodes and bring prosperity along with happiness.
The Celebration of Nandotsav in Gokul
(Taken from the 10th Canto of Shrimad Bhagavatam, 5th Chapter)
Nandbaba is Ecstatic on the Birth of a Son
Shri Shukdevji says, “Parikshit!Nandbaba was extraordinarily delighted at the birth of a son. He bathed and wore beautiful clothes.Then calling for brahmans adept in the Vedas he had benedictory mantras chanted and the ceremony of jat-karma ( a ceremony performed at the birth of a child) performed.Simultaneously he got worship of deities and ancestors done according to conventional norms.
Nandbaba Donates Cows to Brahmans
Soon after, Nandababa donated two lakh cows adorned with ornaments and clothes to the brahmans.He gave seven mounds of sesame seeds covered with precious stones and gold-coloured clothes as well for purification of the womb (though the soul is purified by self-knowledge.)
At that point of time brahmans,bards and minstrels began showering auspicious blessings and doing stuti (singing hymns of praise).Bugles were blown and large drums beaten,over and over again.All the entrance doors, courtyards and inner portions of houses in Braj were swept and cleaned meticulously.Residences were decked with flags and banners while paths were festooned with leaves and flowers.The limbs of cows,buffaloes and calves were smeared with turmeric-oil and decked with multi-coloured metals, peacock feathers, flower garlands, lovely clothes and golden chains. Parikshit!All the cowherds wearing expensive clothes, ornaments, angarakahas plus turbans and holding several gifts headed for Nandbaba's house.
Gopis Sing Auspicious Songs on Birth of Krishna
The gopis or cowherdesses were thrilled to know that Yashoda had given birth to a son.Thrilled, the cow-herd girls of Braj, decked in the best of their finery with decorative presents in their hands, flocked to sing auspicious songs, in quick succession.The kundals in their ears dangled and golden necklaces around their throats glittered. Flowers strung in their braids were strewn on the path, and studded bracelets around their wrists shone apart. On reaching Nandbaba's house they gave their blessings,” Oh God may he live long!Please protect him.”And they would sprinkle water mixed with turmeric plus oil on the people present and sing auspicious songs in joyous abandon.
Dark-Hued Krishna is the Sole Supreme Being
Lord Krishna is the only Supreme Being of the entire world and his grandeur, madhurya or sweet love and affection are infinite.When he incarnated in the Braj of Nandbaba a grand utsav or festival was celebrated.Huge and unique musical instruments began to be played in quick succession.
Gopas and Gopis Celebrate Nandotsav
Intoxicated with delight the cowherds began to pour curd, milk, ghee and water on each other. The lot began rubbing butter on the others and threw balls of butter at their friends in delight.
Nandbaba was very large-hearted and he presented several clothes, ornaments and cows to the gopas. And generously gave minstrels, bards, dancers and musicians the gifts they desired. His sole purpose in this act was to please Lord Vishnu so that He blessed his newly born infant. On Nandbaba's saying so, the greatly fortunate Rohini decked in divine garments and varied ornaments, warmly welcomed women who dropped in, like a good housewife.
Parikshit! Ever since that day Riddhi (prosperity) and Siddhi (spiritual power) began dallying in the Braj of Nandbaba and
it became the playground of Laxmiji because Lord Krishna dwelt here and due to its innate virtues.
Mathura, Lord Krishna's Birthplace
Parikshit! After a few days, handing over the protection of Gokul to other cowherds, Nandbaba went to Mathura to pay his yearly tax to Kansa.When Vasudev came to know that his close friend Nanda had arrived in Mathura and paid the dues to Kansa, he dropped in to meet him.Lovingly Nanda hugged Vasudev to his heart and gave him a hearty welcome.Vasudev sat down. comfortably but his mind was concerned about his son.
Asking about his well-being,Vasudev said, “Well, you had aged and had no child yet, not having any hope for one in the future. It is so very fortunate that you have had a baby now and it is a matter of great joy that we have met today.The cycle of this world is such that rarely do dear ones meet and we must consider this a sort of revival. Just as rafts and blades of grass flowing in water can not remain together forever, in the same manner relations and loved ones can not possibly stay together at one place, though they would love to.Because everyone's deeds performed in their earlier births are different.
Are the water, grass and creepers plus leaves of the Mahavan you stay in along with your associates and friends, sufficient enough for forest animals and is the place safe from all kinds of diseases these days.Brother! My son stays along with mother (Rohini) in your Braj.
Yashoda Lovingly Brings Up Krishna
You and Yashoda are lovingly bringing him up that is why he must be considering you as his parents. Is he doing fine? Those religious obligations, object and deeds are in accordance to the scriptures which give joy to one's associates."
Nandbaba said, “Brother Vasudev! Kansa has killed several of your sons born from Devki's womb.Ultimately one small girl child survived but she also passed away.Undoubtedly the joy and sorrow of human beings depends on their destiny.Fate is the only refuge of living beings and the one who understands this fact is not grieved.
King Kansa in The Royal Durbar
Vasudev suggested, “Brother! You have already given your year tax to Kansa and both of us have also met. You must not stay any longer here because many disturbances are taking place in Gokul.
Shukdev revealed, “Parikshit! When Vasudev said so, Nanda and the other gopas took his leave.And mounting the bullock-carts, journeyed back to Gokul.