Krishna Janmashtami - Activities


Krishna Carries Draupadi's Sandals (Chinnakatha)


(Listen to Chinnakatha in Swami's Own Voice)

Here is an audio of a story from Mahabharata in the divine voice of our own dear Bhagwan. Bhagwan says to protect our feet, we wear Padukas (Sandals). Sometimes, for the very same reason we remove the padukas (Sandals) and hold them in our hand. Bhagwan relates this concept to a stunning incident in The Mahabharata where, in order to protect Draupadi, Krishna does not hesitate to hold her padukas in a piece of clothing that hung over his shoulders.

Listen to this audio and find out to what extent Krishna can go, to save his devotees from troubles. Discover how Draupadi saved her husbands’ lives by falling at the feet of Krishna, begging for help. Learn how Bheeshma Pithamaha got duped but was relieved instead of getting angry! All of this, in this story “Draudpadi’s Padukaas”!

DRAUPADI’S PADUKAS

The sun had set over the horizon. It was the ninth day of the Mahabharata war. Bheeshma Pitamaha had taken a vow that by the end of the next day, he would destroy the Pandavas. Draupadi was shattered when she heard this news. Without losing a second, she ran to Krishna for help. With tears in her eyes and her voice quivering, she asked Krishna, “You have protected us so far, Krishna. Can you not protect us this time as well?” Both, Draupadi and Krishna knew that Bheeshma’s words could never go wrong. Only his own words had the power to erase what he said. Draupadi then fell at Krishna’s lotus feet.

Krishna explained to Draupadi that to achieve certain things, certain strategies have to be adopted. Under certain circumstances, one should think beyond ideologies. One should be ready to do certain acts even if they do not make much sense. Draudpadi listened to Krishna intently waiting for instructions. Krishna then told her that she should go to Bheeshma’s tent. He told her to fall at his feet and while doing so, to ensure that Bheeshma hears the jingle of her bangles.

Krishna told that to avoid gossip, Draupadi should walk ahead and Krishna would follow her. When Draupadi started walking, her padukas made grinding-clanking sounds. Krishna knew that this would alert others. Hence, without hesitation he asked Draupadi to remove her padukas and to hand it over to him. Krishna kept them in his Anga Vastram (piece of cloth hanging over his shoulders). Remembering Krishna’s earlier words, Draupadi did not question Krishna and quietly handed over her padukas to him. She then proceeded towards Bheeshma’s tent.

Meanwhile, in his tent Bheeshma was restless and walking to and fro. He was regretting his vow taken earlier to kill the Pandavas, who were Sathya Swaroopas or the embodiments of truth! He had not eaten his meal and was neither feeling sleepy. How can a mind consumed with problem, eat or sleep?

Draupadi quickly entered his tent and without losing any time, fell at Bheeshma’s feet. Bheeshma’s mind was elsewhere and without seeing who it was, he just blessed Draupadi saying, “Deerga Sumangali Bhava!” meaning “May you remain married for long with your husband!” Instantly, Draupadi stood up and said “Dear grandfather, I came to you seeking exactly this blessing!”

It was then Bheeshma’s eyes fell upon Draupadi. His first reaction was shock but then his good sense prevailed. He knew that every vow he took would get fulfilled. Such was the power of his vows! He was happy that by blessing Draupadi, he was able to save the Pandavas lives’. Deep in his heart he knew they deserved it. He was very keen to know as to who the strategist was. He knew it would not be an ordinary person!

Shortly, Krishna entered Bheeshma’s tent. Bheeshma looked at Krishna affectionately and said, ‘So, this is all your plan Krishna? I am also happy and very much relieved”. Suddenly Bheeshma realised that he was hungry. A person who is worried or sad will never feel hungry. Bheeshma realised that he was now free from troubles.

Suddenly, he observed that Krishna was holding something in his hands. He asked. “Krishna, may I know what are you holding in your hands?” Krishna kept the padukas down and replied without hesitation, “Draupadi’s padukas”. Bheeshma became so emotional that he started shedding copious tears. He said, “For the protection of your devotees what extraordinary troubles you take, Oh! Krishna! You don’t even think twice if it is a right thing to be done by you or no, when it comes to protecting your own devotees!”

Krishna smiled. Yes, he would go to any length to look after his devotees.

Krishna's Mini Mandapam
(Best out of waste)
Values inculcated:
  • Making art out of waste
  • Making effort to keep the environment clean
Material required:
  1. Old empty matchbox
  2. Waste thin sheet / card board
  3. Waste chocolate rappers / colour papers
  4. Glue
  5. Scissors
  6. Decorative materials (stickers, colour stones, glitter etc.)
Activity :
  • Step 1 : Take an empty matchbox.



  • Step 2 : Arrange it as shown in the picture.



  • Step 3 : Take the thin sheet / card board and cut it as a triangle piece.



  • Step 4 : Fold the bottom part as shown in picture.



  • Step 5 :Stick the bottom part of the triangle to the matchbox.



  • Step 6 : Using chocolate rappers / colour papers, cover the surface of the matchbox and the triangle.



  • Step 7 :Decorate the Mandapam (Stage)



  • Step 8 :Keep a small idol of Krishna inside the Mandapam.



  • By T R Sree Ranjani (Balvikas Student)

Krishna's foot print - video

Jhanmashtami ushers in a mood of devotion and merriments. Apart from special pujas, it is a practice for people to usually draw or paint Lord Krishna’s foot prints from the entrance of the house to the Pooja room. It is believed that, making impressions of Krishna’s feet during Jhanmashtami is a sign of welcoming Lord Krishna into our home. It is said that when Krishna enters our home, He will dispel darkness and bring goodness in our lives.

Here is a video that depicts a few easy ways in which we can make tiny impressions of Krishna’s foot prints. They are made with smooth and wet rice paste. We can use cotton or small piece of cloth to make the imprints. Once dried, it gives a beautiful image of Krishna’s tiny foot prints.

So, this Jhanmashtami gear up to make impressions of Krishna’s foot prints and let’s welcome the Lord into our homes and heart!

Butter Pot
(Best out of waste)


Values inculcated:
  • Making art out of waste
  • Making effort to keep the environment clean
Material required:
  1. Coconut shell (half)
  2. Sand paper
  3. Colour paper (or) Acrylic Paints, brushes
  4. Kundan stones, sequences
  5. Fevicol or Feviquick
  6. Thread or thin rope
Get ready With:

Narrate stories of Krishna’s childhood Leelas, where he broke pots of butter and ran away with his cowherd friends. Also explain to children about Dahi Handi which is celebrated every year in certain parts of India, a day after Krishna Jhanmashtami. Earthen pots filled with curd, are hung at great heights. Young men and boys make a human pyramid and attempt to reach the pot and to break it. It is a public spectacle. It is almost considered as a team sport and there is prize money. It is based on the legend of Krishna stealing butter and curd from earthen pots.

Activity :
  1. Take half a shell of coconut left behind, after it is scraped.
  2. This waste material can be scrubbed nicely to remove the lose fibres. Polish it with a sand paper.
  3. Now, paint the shell or stick a colour paper to it. You may stick the threads at the sides with fevicol or feviquick or alternately stick with cello tapes, to make the handle of the curd pot (as shown in the picture).
  4. Decorate the coconut shell with kundan stones and sequences.
  5. You can fill the shell with some cotton balls. This will give the effect of having butter in the pot!
  6. Krishna’s butter pot is ready.


The Victory Of Krishna Over Kalinga, The Serpent


One day, when Lord Krishna was barely five years old, he told his cowherd friends that they should take the cattle to a place along the river, Yamuna. Nobody dared to go near this place due to the presence of a terrible serpent Kalinga in the river. Here, the water was blue and boiling hot and bubbling constantly. The steam that arose formed a cloud above the pool which gave off poisonous fumes. In the past, the people who had breathed the fumes, had instantly died. Any birds that flew over the pool got poisoned by the fumes and fell down dead into the bubbling water.

However, none of this scared Lord Krishna in the least. When Krishna’s friends came to know about Krishna’s plans, they pleaded with him requesting him not to go to this god forsaken place. Krishna was undeterred and was determined to go along with his cowherd friends and cattle. When Krishna and his friends finally arrived at the spot, Krishna said that he would go into the river for a swim. The boys did their best to stop him, but Krishna was stubborn. Taking off his clothes, he climbed up a tree on the banks of the river and dived into the poisonous water. He did not come to the surface of the water for a very long time. The cowherd boys were consumed with fear. They could not imagine their life without their dear Krishna. Such was their love for him! They called out to Krishna, all the while shedding copious tears of despair.

Finally, Krishna appeared on the water’s surface and following him, Kalinga the venomous serpent came out with flames of fire erupting from his eyes and poison spurting from his mouth. Kalinga followed Krishna through the waves and caught him. Meanwhile, the cowherd boys were terrified as they looked on helplessly at this frightening scene. Some of them ran to tell Nanda and Yashoda (Krishna's foster parents) about what was happening. Immediately, Nanda summoned all the milk maids and cowherds as well as every other person in their village to come to Krishna’s aid. Only Krishna’s elder brother Balarama remained calm as he knew that Krishna was a divine incarnation and nothing could ever hurt him. He then spoke to everyone present there and requested them to stay calm.

The village folk who had gathered, watched with bated breath with their hearts pounding. They saw the terrible serpent wrapping its coils around Krishna and mercilessly dragging him into the deep water. They stared in horror at Krishna struggling to come to the surface. They began to pray for his victory over Kalinga. Suddenly, to everyone's astonishment, they saw Krishna growing bigger and bigger in front of their eyes. He was becoming tall and big. To everyone’s glee, the serpent had no choice but to release its coils one by one.

At last, the serpent Kalinga was exhausted and gave up the fight. Krishna caught Kalinga by its tail and after whirling it in the air, beat it hard on the water surface. A great effort was needed by Kalinga to keep his many heads above the water. Krishna then did the most unexpected thing! He jumped on top of the serpent's many heads’ and started dancing. It was an unbelievable sight! A sight that will be etched in every ones minds for a very long time. Truly, only Krishna could do such an extraordinary act. The serpent was about to die! The people on the banks of the river started shouting with joy in jubilation. Suddenly, the wives of Kalinga rose to the surface and pleaded with Krishna to save their husband. They said that he had indeed learnt his lesson and his arrogance was shattered. Krishna relented and granted their wish but with a strict instruction that Kalinga should never ever hurt anyone again. He should learn to live in peace with others. He should also promise not to poison the river.

From this lovely tale, we understand that there are many Kalingas polluting the water bodies. Many people do not think twice before throwing garbage like plastics, sewage etc. into the water. We should remember that there are many aquatic animals and plants in the water whose life will be in danger if the water is polluted. Our own life will also be in danger! It is important that we should take measures to keep the water bodies clean. We should also take a pledge not to throw wastes, chemicals, plastics etc. into the water bodies.

Krishna Colouring Sheets
Sri Sathya Sai on: Advent of Krishna and Significance


Krishna was born on the 20th of July, 3228 years before the Advent of Christ. If this has to be put in our calendar, it will be in the year Srimukha, month by the name Shravana, fortnight by the name Bahula, and the day of Ashtami. The star will be Rohini and the time will be 3:00 a.m. after midnight. If we count backwards from today, the day on which Krishna gave up His mortal body will work out at 5078 years. If we want to check this, we see that 3102 B.C. and 1976 add up to 5078 years. Thus, since the Kali Yuga has started, we have now gone through 5078 years. That is also the time when Krishna gave up His life, and that is also the day when the Kali Age commenced. This day is also the first day of the KaliYuga and we call it Ugadi. 

-"The Human Body is like a Water Bubble on the Surface of Water",
Summer Roses on the Blue Mountains, 1976, Ooty

Krishna was born on Ashtami(the eighth day of the Lunar month). From the moment of birth, He was subject to troubles. But whoever cherished the name of the Lord in the heart was free from bondage. 

-"Inscrutable are the Ways of the Lord", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 26, August 10, 1993,
Brindavan

Krishna was born during the Krishnapaksha, the dark fortnight of the month. The effulgence of the Lord is seen with greater effect, when it is dark. In a world of disorder, Krishna was born to establish order. He was born on Ashtami day. Ashtami is associated with trouble and difficulties. When do troubles arise? When righteousness is forgotten. Krishna's advent signifies the dispelling of darkness, the removal of troubles, banishing of ignorance and teaching mankind the Supreme Wisdom. 

-"Role of the Avatars", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 23, August 14, 1990, Prasanthi Nilayam

Krishna is said to have been born in Gokula, He grew up in Brindavan, He proceeded to Mathura and He established His home finally at Dwaraka. The significance of this to the Sadhaka is, Let Krishna be born in the Gokula of your Mind; let Him grow and play prankishly in the Brindavan of your Heart; let Him then be fixed in the Chitta of Mathura; and, finally, let Him rule over the agitationless Consciousness as the Lord and Master of Dwaraka”. Krishna is described as blue in physical colour, for, He is as deep and inscrutable as the sky; the blue is the colour which the eye comprehends, though the sky has no colour at all. So too, Krishna has no colour or attributes but, in order to comprehend Him, the mental eye attributes a colour.

- "Krishna Trishna", Sathya Sai Speaks,
Volume 6, Madras

Krishna wears the Tilak of Kasturi (the dot of musk) on His forehead indicating the attainment of Jnana. He wears the pearl of purity, on His nose, the point where Dhyana is concentrated. He has on His wrist four sacred red strings wound round, to indicate the pledges He has taken for the sake of living beings- to save the good, to punish the wicked, to foster righteousness, and to rescue from sin all those who surrender unconditionally to Him.

-"Counsel for the Chosen", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 09, 
October 11, 1969, Prasanthi Nilayam

What sort of personality is Krishna? Although He moved amongst all kinds of persons, sported and played with all, He was not attached to anyone. He was ever content, ever blissful. He transcended all qualities. He was free from egoism. He was a sovereign without a crown. 

Though He conquered many kingdoms, He did not rule over any of them. He enjoyed witnessing others rule over the kingdoms. He was totally free from all desires. Whatever He sought was for the sake of others. In this way, He revealed His Divinity.

-"Krishna's Prema Tatwa", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 22,
 August 24, 1989, Prasanthi Nilayam

Krishna draws the mind away from sensory desires; that is a way in which the draw operates. He pulls the mind towards Him and so, they are pulled away from everything else, for everything else is inferior, less valuable. He satisfies the deepest thirst of man, for peace, joy and wisdom. That is why He is Megha Shyama dark-blue as the rain cloud. The very sight of the rain-laden cloud is so refreshing. He is lotus-eyed, lotus palmed, lotus-soled; the lotus is reminiscent of cool, calm, deep lakes of limpid water, the water that quenches thirst. 

When Krishna-Trishna is quenched, the highest Ananda is attained; there is no more need, no more want, defect or decline. The urge to drink inferior drinks, that only feed the thirst, disappears when once the sweetness of Krishna Nama and Krishna Bhava (name and thought of Krishna) are tasted. Sense objects are like sea water that can never allay thirst.

-"Krishna Trishna", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 06, Madras

Krishna had the nature by which He radiated happiness, irrespective of whether He was in a battlefield, or a cremation ground, or in a peaceful place. This was a great quality of His. This is the reason why even in the midst of a battlefield, He taught the Gita to Arjuna. Gita means and stands for a song. We sing only in our happy moments, but Krishna was singing even in a battlefield and was radiating happiness.

-"Dharma Never Declines. It is the Practice of Dharma that Declines", 
Summer Roses on the Blue Mountains, 1976, Ooty

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ADVENT

Krishna declared,"There is nothing I need in this world for which I must strive. Nevertheless, I am continuously engaged in action because if I, who am to stand out as an example to the world, do not perform actions, the people of the world will renounce activities".

-"The Bliss of Divine Love", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 17, July 14, 1984, Prasanthi Nilayam

The Lord of Lakshmi and the Lotus-Naveled Lord

For the Krishna Avatar, the Pandits have offered different interpretations from the name alone. The letters in the word Krishna Ka, ra, sha, na and a - have been interpreted as signifying the glorious attributes of Krishna. 'Ka'represents 'Kamalakanta', the Lord of Lakshmi. Other meanings given to the letter are: 'Kamaleshwara'and 'Kamalagarbha'- the Lord of the lotus and the one from whose navel the lotus has issued. He is also known as 'Kamalabandhavudu'the kinsman of the lotus. The inner significance of these interpretations is that when Divinity manifests within us, the heart blooms like a lotus before the sun. 'Ka'thus symbolises the sun principle also. 'Ra'represents the principle of delight. 'Sha'represents Vishnu, the source of all wealth and prosperity. 'Na'signifies the Narasimha Avatara, the combination of man and animal in an integral unity. 'A'reveals the Akshara Swarupa of the Lord, His imperishable and eternal quality.

-"The Lord and the Devotee", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 19, 
August 27, 1986, Prasanthi Nilayam

We must understand properly the meaning of the term Krishna. The word has three meanings. One is “Krishyati Iti Krishnah” (The one who cultivates is Krishna). What is it that has to be cultivated? The Hridayakshetra (field of the heart). Krishna cultivates the field of our hearts by removing the weeds of bad qualities, watering it with love, ploughing it with the use of Sadhana, and sowing the seeds of devotion. This is how Krishna cultivates out hearts.

The second meaning of the word is: “Karshati Iti Krishnah”. (The one who attracts is Krishna). Krishna attracts you by His eyes, His speech, His sports, and by every action of His. By His words, He softens and calms the hearts of even those filled with hatred and makes them rejoice.

A third meaning of the word Krishna is “Kushyati Iti Krishna” (one who is always blissful). Krishna was always in a state of bliss. It was because He had these various qualities, the sage Garga named Him Krishna. The ordinary meaning of the word Krishna is “one who is dark”. But people think only of this meaning and forget the deeper and truer meanings of the Lord’s name. The essence of Krishna’s life is, He proclaimed the Truth to the world, propagated the eternal verities and delighted the world by His Leelas.

-"Role of the Avatars", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 23, August 14, 1990, Prasanthi Nilayam

Kunti addresses Krishna as Madhava. 'Ma'means Lakshmi and it also means Maya. The word 'Dhava'means master. In this sense, Krishna is the master of Nature, Lakshmi and Maya.

"God is not Happy unless He gives You some Occasional Sorrow", Summer Showers in Brindavan 1978, Brindavan

An Artist's Imagination of Krishna and Mother Yashoda

The Krishna whose advent you should celebrate is not the cowherd boy who charmed the village folk with His flute, but the Krishna, the indefinable, inscrutable, Divine Principle, that is born in the navel of the body (Mathura) as the product of the Divine Energy (Devaki), that is then transported to the mouth (Gokulam) and fostered by the tongue (Yashoda) as its source of sweetness. Krishna is the visualisation of the Atma, that the repetition of the Name grants; the Vision that was gained by Yashoda. You must foster that Krishna on your tongue; when He dances on it, the poison of the tongue will be ejected completely, without harming any one, as happened when as a child He danced on the hoods of the serpent Kalinga.

-"The Footprints of God", Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 08, 
August 16, 1968, Prasanthi Nilayam

[Adapted From: https://sathyasaiwithstudents.blogspot.com/2016/08/sri-sathya-sai-on-advent-of-krishna-and.html#.XVrlIegzbIV]

KRISHNA & KALINGA
(Colouring Sheet)
Names of Krishna
(Solve the puzzles)

Names of Krishna - Puzzle Answer
Complete the Crossword below

Radha & Krishna
(Maze Activity)
Find the names of Krishna - A Crossword Puzzle Answer
Dressing up Krishna
Values inculcated:
  1. Devotion
  2. Concentration
  3. Use of artistic imagination
  4. Team spirit (if done as a group activity)
Materials Required:
  1. Krishna Colouring Sheet
  2. Chart paper / Kg Cardboard
  3. Colour pencils, crayons, sketch pens etc
  4. Kundan decorations (to decorate the intricate picture of Krishna’s jewels)
  5. Glue stick, scissors etc
Method:
  1. The pull-out colouring sheet can be stuck to a cardboard or chart paper to give the picture a firm support.
  2. Using bright colour pencils or crayons, colour the picture nicely. Do not colour the Jewellery of Krishna.
  3. We can use Kundans to decorate the jewellery.
  4. Using a piece of cardboard, a small support can be attached at the back. This will give a frame-effect.
  5. The decorated picture of Lord Krishna can be kept at the Pooja Hall or at any prominent place for all to see and admire!!!!
Krishna's Cradle
(A craft activity with Ice Cream Sticks)



As per the Bhagavata Purana, Krishna was born to Devaki and Vasudev. In order to protect Krishna from Devaki’s brother Kamsa who was the King of Mathura, Vasudev took the baby to Yashoda and Nanda’s house in Gokul and went back to Mathura taking with him Yashodas baby girl. Krishna, as a baby enjoyed many blissful hours in a small rocking cradle, basking in the love of his foster mother Yashoda who adored him.

Here is a video of a delightful craft activity that will enthral both children and the adults alike. It shows how to make a small cradle with ice cream sticks. Apart from the sticks, all you need is basic craft material like, glue, fevicol, scissors, glitters for decoration etc.

This year, get ready for Gokulashtami by making an ingenious cradle for our dear Krishna. You may keep cut outs of Yashoda and Nanda, next to the cradle and even place a small Krishna idol inside the cradle. This thematic presentation will surely add beauty to your Gokulashtami celebrations!


A Garland of Love for Krishna
( Step by Step Garland making with fresh flowers)



It is indeed a great joy to describe Krishna’s beauty. His complexion is often compared to that of beautiful dark clouds, his eyes, to the beauty of lotus and his face to that of a luminous moon. His charming ears are decorated with earrings made of various precious stones while his arms are bejewelled with bracelets and armlets. A necklace of pearls that glimmers like lightning, adorns his neck.

It is every devotee’s delight to spend hours decorating a Krishna idol. We have often seen our mothers and grandmothers, dedicatedly making garlands of flowers at home and using it for Pooja or decorations.
This video unravels step by step, the technique of garland making.

This Gokulashtami, learn the art of garland making and decorate your favourite Krishna idol with it!

CLEAN WATER! IT STARTS WITH YOU!
(Balvikas Class Activity)

Values inculcated:

  • Importance of keeping water bodies clean
  • Being a responsible human being.

Materials required:

  1. A transparent glass tumbler
  2. Drinking water
  3. Ink / paint

Method:


  1. First fill the glass tumbler with drinking water.
  2. Ask children if they would drink the water if they feel thirsty.
  3. Now, add few drops of ink /paint into the water.

  4. Ask children if they would drink the water.
  5. (They will say they won’t)
  6. The Guru can now start the discussion on the impact of water pollution. Explain that the ink drops are like the chemicals that pollute the water. If the water is not suitable for us to drink, will it be suitable for the aquatic animals and plants?

Krishna Bhajans - Group III
  • Krishna Bhajans - Group III
  • Click the above 'Sundaram Bhajans' link and search for the bhajan of your choice, in the given volumes. Both, audio as well as the lyrics are available for every bhajan. These will assist in learning the bhajan with ease and accuracy.