By Ananda Vrindavaneswari Devi Dasi
Janmastami is just one day, but how we spend it can deeply inspire us for the whole year.
Krishna consciousness mean we are conscious of Krishna. He becomes an active part of our life – like a close friend or an affectionate family member we love to be around. Krishna consciousness, then, is loving to be around Krishna.
Here are 5 ways to love and be with Krishna on his birthday:
1. Come early, stay late – be close to Krishna today, close to the Temple. This is our day with Krishna. There will be classes, music, beautiful meditations, readings, lots of time for quiet chanting by the creek, and lots of opportunities for service…
2. Read Krishna Book – to love someone is to know them. Krishna Book is one of many books that describe Krishna. Start reading something about Krishna everyday.
3. Fast till mid-night – this is the fast traditionally done on Janmastami, as Krishna appeared at midnight. If we can’t do a complete fast, eat less, or eat only fruit. Fasting can give us a great boost of energy, a great clarity of mind.
4. Do some service – our mood towards Krishna is one of a servant. We don’t usually see ourselves as servants, busy as we are in the center of our own little universe. But if we think about it a bit, as we walk our dog, go shopping, or clock in to work, we are always serving. If not others, then at least ourselves. So on Janmastami, or leading up to it, we can practice seeing ourselves as a servant of Krishna. Contemplate and reflect on that and see what Krishna inspires you to to do. Some practical service opportunities are here.
5. Increase your chanting of Krishna’s names – today is the day that we should find a quiet place and add more mantras to our mind. If you already sit for 15 minutes a day, do 30. If you chant for 5 minutes do 10. If you chant 4 rounds on beads try to make 8. Janmastami is a day for less talk and more thought, less me and more Krishna, more devotion, and deepening our call, our desire to rekindle a long lost relationship. Chant on this day and your life will be sublime.