Janmashtami, occurs on the eighth day of the second half of the holy month of Shravan, to mark the birth of Shree Krishna. Shree Krishna is known as the 8th Avtaar of Lord Mahavishnu, and His return to His heavenly abode, marked the beginning to the Kaliyug. Lord Krishna is the one who gifted mankind with the Bhagvad Gita, which is still considered to be the greatest granth in Hinduism, and alone suffices in guiding man to find his salvation. Every Avtaar is born with the purpose of eliminating evil and bringing peace, joy and guidance to mankind. Lord Krishna did all of this in His Avtaarkaal. He was born in a prison cell, where His parents, Mata Devaki and Pita Vasudeva, were imprisoned, fearing the birth of Krishna(predicted to be the 8th son of Devaki Mata), Who was to slay the evil king, and brother of Mata Devaki, Kansa. He Slayed Kansa, fought rakshasas, guided the big war of Mahabharat and expressed the Bhagvad Gita, and performed many other miraculous Leelas in His lifetime.
Since it is Janmashtami, the story of the birth of Lord Krishna needs to be narrated. On a stormy monsoon night of Shravan, the whole city of Dwarka fell asleep, as Mata Devaki went into labour, which was completely painless. Lord Krishna was born, and immediately blessed Devaki and Vasudev with the darshan of His original form. They were left speechless.
For the Lord to complete His Karya however, He needed to be moved out of the prison and into the homes of Nandraya, and his wife Yashoda Maiyya. As the barriers and chains tied to the limbs of Vasudev and Devaki fell away, and the prison-door was unlocked, while Devaki remained in a state of trance, after the divine vision, Vasudeva put little Kanha on his head, and headed out on his way to his friend, Nandraya's home. The night was dark, with thick clouds and a heavy downpour. But what is that but child's play to the Lord. As Vasudeva reached the Yamuna river on the dark night, Mahashesh Himself formed the chhatrachhaya on the head of Bal Gopal and Vasudeva, and ensured their safe journey across the deep Yamuna river. Vasudeva then handed over the new born Kanha's responsibility to Nandraya and Yashoda Maiyya,in Gokul, and returning back to Dwarka, with their newborn daughter, Nandini, an Avataar of Aadimata Herself, to protect Her beloved son.
That night when She reached the arms of Devaki Mata, all in the city of Dwarka arose from their sleep, and Kansa rushed in, to kill Devaki's 8th born child, Who, it was foretold, would be the one to destroy him for good. And as Kansa picked up the infant form of Nandini, to hurl Her across a stone, She vanished into the sky laughing, and proclaiming, the one who was Kansa's death, was not her, but was now growing up in Gokul. This in short is the story of Krishna's birth, the day we celebrate as Janmashtami.
On this auspicious day we can do the Upasana as prescribed by Bapu, in this form.
Bapu has asked us to worship this Muchkanda Vriksha (tree) and make its Pradikshana.To get rid off our chains of worries (shrinkhala) we have to call Radha Mata from bottom of our heart . So we sing the gajar before the birth of Lord Krishna (before 12.00 p.m. midnight) as
Dhavat Ye Re Radhakrishna Todi Mana Shrinkhala
and after the birth we call Him by His present birth's name and sing the Gajar -
Aniruddha Aale Re Aala Majha Savala Vitthal Aala
On this day we can also chant Shree Krishna Chatushtaya Mantra which Bapu had given us.
1. In the morning-
Om Namo Bhagvate Vasudevaya Namah ||
2. In the afternoon -
Om Namo Bhagvate Sankarshanay Namah ||
3. In the evening-
Om Namo Bhagvate Pradyumnay Namah ||
4. In the night before the birth
Om Namo Bhagvate Aniruddhaya Namah ||
If one forgets these names then through out the day we can chant
only Om Namo Bhagvate Aniruddhaya Namah which also gives equal merits of
saying all 4 Mantras.