Young boys are dressed as Krishna, visiting friends and neighbors, and the youngest male of each family is placed on a swing and rocked gently in reverence to the young Krishna.

The Significance of Krishna

Krishna is beloved throughout the Hindu world for good reason—not only is he an incarnation of one of the supreme gods of the Hindu tradition, but he is also representative of some of the best parts of human life. Good-natured mischief, free-spirited love, and stout-hearted heroism are all bound up into the tales of Krishna—he is the embodiment of bliss and happiness.

These qualities stand in opposition to the human ego, which is the enemy of love. Krishna is representative of the birth of love within the human heart, and the power it has to destroy the tyranny of ego and lonely selfishness.

When Janmashtami comes, remember to give thought to this inner conflict, and to the surprising joy that can come from the defeat of the ego. Whatever your beliefs, Krishna represents the very best of what is within us as human beings.

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