Janmastami is another important religious occasion. All the Bharatiyas observe this day with holy reverence. Let us now discuss what ancient sages through the narrative of Bhagavan Krishna’a birth have tried to explain to man about Sanatana yogasadhana.
Bhagavan is the form of Krishna marked His Advent in Mathura in the prison of Kamsa, His maternal uncle. His father was Vasudeva and mother Devaki. Later fearing Kamsa, Vasudeva transferred Krishna to Yashoda in Nanda’s house in the darkness of the night, on the other side of river Yamuna. Vasudeva brought Yashoda’s daughter and kept her with Devaki. When Vasudeva was transporting his son to Nanda’s house, it was dark midnight and nature was at her worst with thunderstorms and rain. A jackal showed the way ahead, the penta-headed serpent held it’s hood as an umbrella sheltering the newborn child Bhagavan, Who was in His father’s lap. A river with high currents ahead was required to be traversed. This is in short the picture of the time of the Advent of Bhagavan. Exegesis on Sanatana yoga essence has been expounded through this.
Father Vasudeva is the Still Prana or soul, mother Devaki is the body, the place of existence of kinetic Prana. Nanda is settlement, Yashoda is the renown achieved on settlement, Kamsa is illusion, prison is this body. Krishna is Prana Krishna or the Indestructible Kutastha-Krishna. Still Pranakrishna in the form of dynamic Prana Krishna imprisoned Himself in this body-prison and marked His Adevnt in the world in the Human form. All beings are born likewise. After nascence everyone’s body-Prana gradually proceeds towards dynamism, because the tongue descends to the present position, breathing motion continues to travel in Ida Pingala and engrossment is in the still dot of Kutastha while in the mother’s womb no longer exists due to vibration. Sadness envelops the infant as he can no longer visualise that charming dot, so he immediately starts wailing. That ‘owah’ sound is the cry of all infants of the world. In other words all babies cry immediately after birth as all of them suffer misery. From then onwards he is drowned in sadness.
Now father Vasudeva lifts the infant Bhagavan in his lap, this connotes that since dynamic Prana evolves from still Prana, still Prana is the Father or the one who bears – the Progenitor. That father carried the infant outside the prison. This signifies that gradually aspirations, desires, greed, covetousness, arrogance etc.commenced ensuing in the infant. These only externally orient a living being. The more the mind is externally oriented the more the pall of darkness, tempests descend. It is now that a jackal comes and shows the way. The jackal is such an animal who stays in the forest but arrives in human society, attacks ducks and hens and causes harm. He travels both in the jungle and human society. This denotes the kinetic mind. When this mind is controlled by evil influences it habits in the jungle, in other words is engrossed in evil actions, but when the mind attains good habits then it habits in human society or else is God-oriented. Yet the jackal catches ducks, hens i.e. though he travels in the God-oriented path he sometimes digresses from that path; that is harmful.
Now the penta-headed serpent protects the body with it’s hood. Penta-headed serpent is not noticed in actuality. Thus this penta-headed serpent is the symbol of five airs – Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana and Udana. Everyone remains alive depending on these five principal airs and performs all actions. Now he had to traverse river Yamuna, a river with high currents. This river Yamuna is the river of life. Just as river water flows rapidly with currents, similarly Prana within this body is vibratory. Prana within this body is vibratory. Prana-flow attaining dynamism from the Still Prana latent above Kutastha flows downwards and that Prana-flow is metamorphosed into the five Pranas; everyone remains alive depending upon this. Water is the symbol of Amorphous Brahma. In other words the living being has to trsverse the river invested with high currents of the Prana flow i.e. to still Prana flow through Pranakarma and revert to Kutastha. This is traversing of the river of life, river Yamuna.
These principal yogic features have been explained through the legend of Janmastami. But man due to yuga influence deviated from the yogic significance and busied himself with superficial religious customs. Mahatmas in the religious path also having deviated from the yogic precepts due to religious decadence, failed to impart the correct teaching to man, hence none is attaining soul-knowledge. At the end of Kaliyuga owing to religious declination all deviated from yogic precepts, but munis and rishis have imparted the correct precepts. Thus this Janmastami occurs in the lives of everyone, Janmastami is celebrated in every home because living beings are born. This is not merely a day’s festival once a year; because Pranakrishna prevails in every being, this essence has been expounded through this.