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Difference between Krishna Janmashtami and Krishna Jayanthi

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  • Difference between Krishna Janmashtami and Krishna Jayanthi


    There are two opinions about the celebration of Janmashtami this year.

    1. Krishna Janmashtami falls on August 9, 2012 (Thursday) according to some panchangams.
    Others have a view that it falls on August 10, 2012 (Friday)

    2. Krishna Jayanthi falls on September 8, 2012 (Saturday)

    Would also like to know the difference between Krishna Janmashtami and Krishna Jayanthi.

    Which is the correct date and on which date we should celebrate the occasion?


    S. Padmanabhan

  • #2
    Re: Difference between Krishna Janmashtami and Krishna Jayanthi

    Quoted from

    Extract from India Divine about Krishna Jayanthi:

    Five thousand years ago, when Srikrishna was born, the day was
    Simha masam (Avani), Sravana masam, Bahula, Ashtami. and Rohini star.
    Hence ideally all these conditions have to match to celebrate
    Srijayanthi. But many a times they dont coincide. So the authorities of
    various sections of Hindus, have adopted their own criterion for
    celebration. For some it is enough if it is Sravana Bahula Ashtami, that
    is Srikrishna Janmashtami.

    Broadly, there are two different opinions within the Sri
    Vaishnava tradition concerning this matter. One can be
    called the 'mannAr' tradition, the other the 'tOzhappar'
    tradition. (In a nutshell, the difference stems from
    lunar vs. solar month and whether to take sunrise or
    moonrise into consideration for determining jayantI.
    this will be explained below.)

    The mannAr tradition is followed by Sri Parakala
    Matham and 'munitraya' tradition Sri Vaishnavas such as
    both Andavan Ashramams and most Vadagalai acharya-purusha
    families. It is named after one mannAr svAmi of unknown date
    who is the first extant authority arguing for this calculation.
    mannAr svAmi is known to have very eminent predecessors who
    shared his opinion, such as the Upanishad Bhashyakara Ranga

    The tOzhappar tradition is followed by Sri Ahobila Matham and
    Thengalai Sri Vaishnavas (knowledgable members of the Thengalai
    tradition please correct me if I am wrong). It is named after Sri
    Vaidika Sarvabhauma Swami, also known as Kidambi Thozhappar, who
    wrote a detailed text establishing the reasoning behind his
    tradition. He was a disciple of the founding Jeeyar Swami of Sri
    Ahobila Matham.

    Having briefly laid out the history, here are the differences
    themselves. The tOzhappar tradition is simpler so I will lay
    it out first.

    tOzhappar SrI jayantI:

    1) Only the solar month is taken into account.
    So it must be in simha (AvaNi) mAsam, which
    is mid-August to mid-September.

    2) The target date in this month is kRshna-ashTamI
    (8th day of the waning phase of the moon) in conjunction
    with rOhiNI. However, on that day, not even a tiny bit
    of saptamI should exist post-sunrise, nor should there
    be any kRttikA nakshatram.

    3) If there is no pure ashTamI-rOhiNI conjunction as
    described in (2), navamI-rOhiNi is the next preferred
    conjunction, with once again a pure rOhiNi mandatory.

    4) If (3) is not possible, mRgaSIrsha nakshatra combined
    with navamI or daSamI is the next preferred choice.

    5) If this observance of SrI jayantI does not fall on
    ashTamI, the ashTamI is treated as any other day and
    requires no special observance.

    mannAr SrI jayantI:

    1) The ideal date is the conjunction of rOhiNI and
    kRshNa-ashTamI that lasts from sunrise through the
    night. (This need not happen in the solar month of
    AvaNi. Lunar month of SrAvaNa before AvaNi begins
    is also okay.)

    2) If (1) is not possible, if at moonrise it is
    rOhiNI as well as ashTamI, that date should be
    taken. Neither the rOhiNi nor the ashTamI need
    be pure as in the tOzhappar tradition.

    3) If (2) is not possible, if there is any conjunction
    of ashTamI and rOhinI day or night, that calendar
    day should be taken as SrI jayantI.

    There are 12 more cases in the mannAr tradition which
    get quite complicated. But the primary focus in all
    is some occurrence of rOhiNI. In no circumstance
    should navamI without rOhiNI be taken as SrI jayantI.
    (Some other circumstances such as being on a Wednesday
    [Sri Krishna is said to be born on this day of the week]
    push the date in one direction or another.)

    "The key is that in neither mannAr nor tOzhappar is
    the tithi given preference. This is why only rarely
    does the Sri Vaishnava date coincide with the
    smArta date."

    This should explain why the mannAr tradition
    sometimes observes SrI jayantI as much as a month
    before the tOzhappar tradition. Since the latter
    exclusively prefers the solar month, their date
    often falls several weeks later. Further,
    it also explains why the mannAr observance
    is often just a day before the tOzhappar date.
    This is because the mannAr tradition takes into
    account moonrise whereas the tOzhappar tradition
    only takes into account sunrise.

    Occasionally, mannAr tradition Sri Vaishnavas have
    to observe two days of fasting in a row -- janmAshTamI
    as well as SrI jayantI. This is when the ashTamI and
    rOhiNI simply do not coincide at all and fall one
    after another in the solar month of AvaNi. Note
    that this janmAshTamI is not the same as the smArta


    • #3
      Re: Difference between Krishna Janmashtami and Krishna Jayanthi


      Thanks for the timely info.
      Just wanted to share that this excellent analysis was documented by a good friend, Sri Mani Varadarajan, who hosts