Sri Krishna was born in prison at midnight while it rained and thundered, and streaks of lightning illuminated the sky. And so on 'Sri Krishna Jayanthi' or Janamashtami we worship him at midnight or as close to midnight as we can. And insist it will rain on that night. But yesterday it did not, and we are still sweltering in this unusual August heat.
Krishna is worshipped in his many forms, from that of an innocent baby to an adult who can preach the Gita. Children just love him as the mischievous child Krishna who with his friends ran around stealing butter and curds from the pots of the gopis, and teasing them. There are many songs that recount his mischievous deeds, and children made up as little Krishna dance to these songs.
South Indian homes decorate the front yards and floors of their homes with kolams for all festivals and celebrations. While powder is used for the ground outside, wet rice paste is used to draw the kolams inside. For Krishna Jayanthi it is customary to draw the little feet of Baby Krishna going from the front door to the place where the pooja is to be conducted. It looks beautiful and children love to place their feet on the drawn feet and pretend they are Krishna.
It was only recently I learnt why we draw the feet of little Krishna. Running away after breaking pots and stealing the butter and curds, Little Krishna used to leave these tiny tell tale foot prints, it is said. And we replicate them in our homes.