Sri Krishna-Janma-Tithi Vidhi by Srila RUpa Gosvami
THIS IS A simplified version of Srila RUpa Gosvami’s description of how to perform
abhisheka to the Lord on Krishna-Janmasthami. The main simplification is the exclusion of the
extensive Vedic mantras which accompany the offering of most of the items. Since to
properly chant these mantras requires extensive training and practice, and since
nAma-sankirtana is most pleasing to the Lord and most appropriate for this age, it is most
appropriate to accompany abhisheka with melodious kirtana. We have not excluded any items
to be offered; however, considering time and means available it is possible to make
adjustments, reducing the number of items offered either slightly or extensively, but keeping
the same order of offering given here. This general procedure can be used in the abhisheka of
other Deities than Krishna on appropriate days, with appropriate adjustments — Radha on
Radhastami, Gauranga on Gaura-purnima, etc.
1.Prepare a snana-vedi (pedestal for bathing the Deity), situated within a well decorated mandapa (ideally, a
four-pillared canopied temporary pavillion fenced off by red string).
2.Perform all the pUrvanga-karmas for self-purification: snana, bhuta-suddhi, nyasa, etc.
3.Bring the Lord onto the ved… while waving camaras and sheltering Him with an umbrella.
4.Svasti-vacana (invocation of auspiciousness: chant prayers such as Brahma- samhita, Purusha-sukta,
Vishnu-smarana, Mangala-shanti). (See P.P. Supplement 3, pp. 95-108).
5.Dig-bandhana (binding the directions). (See P.P. Supp., pp. 63-64).
6.Ghata-sthApana (establishing the pot). (Place a copper, brass, or clay pot filled with water on a platform next to
the vedi; place five leaves on it, then a coconut or banana, then flowers or a garland; worship Ganesha in the pot
with 5, 10, or 16 upacharas).
7.Sankalpa (ceremonial vow). (“O Govinda, now, on this [lunar day], in the [lunar fortnight], during the [lunar
month], for the pleasure of Sri Sri [Radha-Shyamasundara - name of your presiding Deities] we will perform the abhisheka bathing ceremony of [Lord Sri Krishna]”).
Upachara Dana (offering the articles of worship)
1.Asanam (offer a seat to the Lord: for how to offer this and other standard upacharas, refer to P.P. Chapter Three or Chapter Four).
2.SvAgatam (offer welcome).
3.PAdyam (offer footwash).
4.Arghyam (offer arghya).
5.Achaman…yam (offer water for sipping).
6.Madhuparka (offer madhuparka).
7.Punar-Acaman…yam (again offer water for sipping).
8.Pishta-dipa (Make a stiff dough from flour, sugar and water and fashion into receptacles for holding wicks and
ghee. Arrange these on a plate, decorated with colored rice-flour. Light the lamps and wave them before the Lord.)
Then smear scented oil on the Lord’s body.
9.Tila-udvartanam (rub ground sesame seed on the Lord’s body).
1.First, bathe the Lord in water mixed with sesame seed paste.
2.Change the Lord’s cloth and bathe again in pure water.
3.Pañca-gavya-snana (bathe the Lord in a mixture of the five auspicious products of cows: cow urine, cow dung
and ghee (these in small proportion), cow milk and yogurt.
5.Pañcamrta-snana (bathe the Lord in milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, and sugar-water, in that order).
6.Ushnodaka-snana (bathe the Lord with warm water).
7.Sarvaushadhi-snana (bathe the Lord with water containing herbs).1
8.Mahaushadhi-snana (bathe the Lord with water containing a second mixture of herbs).2
9.Mangala-snana (bathe the Lord in water mixed with auspicious things, such as flowers, dUrva grass, and darbha
10.Ashtaka-bija-snana (bathe the Lord in water containing eight types of seeds: barley, wheat, wild rice, sesame,
millet, rice paddy, panic seed, and rice which grows in sixty days).
11.Gandhodaka-snana (bathe the Lord in water mixed with scents such as musk and aguru).
12.Gandha (smear the Lord’s body with sandalwood pulp).
13.Candanodaka-snana (bathe the Lord in water mixed with sandalwood pulp).
14.Sahasra-dhara-snana (bathe the Lord with each of the following substances, pouring them one after another
through a “sahasra-dhara,” a round tray with many holes in it, held over the Lord, which gives a shower effect:
pure water; mahausha- dhi-water; gandha-water; ashtaka- bija-water; water mixed with flowers; fruit juices;
jewel-water [water in which jewels have been soaking]).
15.Kalasa-snana (bathe the Lord with 8 large pots of water [ideally pots should hold ca. 12 liters each]).
1.Vastra (after drying the Lord with soft towels, dress in new garments).
2.Yajñopavita (offer a new sacred thread to the Lord).
3.Nirmañchana (wave in circles [as in offering €rat…] herbs such as kusha grass tips before the Lord).
4.Dristhi-uttarana (Wave nima fruits, white and black mustard seeds and salt in front of the Lord to drive away
5.Matsya-mochana (drop a small fish [made of silver or copper] into a pot of water before the Lord).
6.PAdyam (offer foot wash to the Lord).
7.Acamaniyam (offer water for sipping to the Lord).
8.Kalasa-drishti (Present a pot filled with water and topped with leaves and coconut to the Lord and place it before
Him along with a variety of fruits).
9.Netronmilanam (Bless the Lord’s eyes by touching them with a golden or silver wand).
10.Añjana (apply collyrium to the Lord’s eyes).
11.Tilaka (Apply rocana [yellow pigment from a cow] tilaka to the Lord’s forehead. One’s mother or sister should
then touch one hundred and eight blades of dUrva grass and puffs of raw cotton to the Lord’s head.
12.Homa (perform a simple fire yajña before the Lord, offering sesame seeds into the fire).3
13.Pushpa & mAlA (offer flowers and flower garlands to the Lord).
14.Pratisara (bind the Lord’s right wrist with yellow thread).
15.Darpasham (offer a mirror for the Lord to view Himself).
16.Ghrita-darshanam (show a container filled with ghee to the Lord).
17.Chamara (wave a camara before the Lord).
18.Bhushanam (decorate the Lord with ornaments).
19.Go-danam (on the occasion of a birthday a cow may be given to a brAhmana).
20.VandApanam (On an auspicious day one should worship auspicious items. Bring together the following items.
Then place all the items on an attractive plate or tray and, while holding the plate with both hands, offer it three
times to the Lord). earth; gandha; stone; rice paddy (unhusked rice); dUrva grass; flowers; fruit; yogurt; ghee;
svAstikam; sindhur (vermilion); conch; kajjala (collyrium); rochana; boiled rice; gold; silver, copper; white mustard
seeds; mirror; lamp.
21.Samskaras (you may then have the samskaras, ending with upanAyanam (giving the sacred thread) performed for
the Lord. The priests performing these rites should then be worshiped by giving them cloth, garlands, etc.).
22.DhUpam (offer incense to the Lord).
23.Dipam (offer lamps to the Lord).
24.Naivedyam (offer food to the Lord).
25.Acaman…yam (offer water for sipping to the Lord).
26.TAmbUlam (offer betelnut to the Lord).
27.NirAjanam (offer Arati with pishta-dipas).
28.Abhisinchanam (sprinkle the Lord with auspicious items such as dUrva grass).
29.swastir-vacanam (the brahmanas should give blessings).
30.Stuti (recite verses of praise of Govinda from the Vedas or Puranas (or Brahma-samhitA).
31.Vrata (during the daylight hours of the ashtami one should observe the vow of fasting in the association of devotees,
and, staying awake at night, at midnight one should perform the abhisheka according to the vidhi just described,
accompanied by joyful singing and dancing. The next day one should celebrate the Lord’s appearance with great
festivity and respect maha-prasada with the Vaishnavas).