TWO DATES OF KRISHNA-JANAMASHTAMI: UNDERSTAND DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SMARTIAN AND VAISHNAVA PRINCIPLES
Generally, many of us might be confused due to 2-day celebration of Shree Krishna Janmashtami. This confusion arouses due to 2 different schools of faith known as Smartha and Vaishnava. The first Janmashtami date is for Smartha sampradaya and other is for Vaishnav sampradaya.
The smartha sampradayat is a liberal or nonsectarian tradition or denomination of the Vedic Hindu religion, which accepts all the major Hindu deities as forms of the one Brahman. Howerver, Vaishnavism revere Vishnu or Shree Krishna as supreme being. There are other schools of though also such as Shaivism which regard God Shiva as supreme God. Shri Adi Shankaracharya nurtured the Smartha Sampradaya. He was a believer of pure form of Vedic thought which prophesized that the Hindu trinity is actually a form of param Brahman. Smartas accept and worship the six manifestations of God, (Ganesha, Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, Surya and Skanda).
The vashnavities give more importance to Ashtami tithi while deciding the Janmashtami date. No matter what, they never celebrate Shri Krishna’s birthday on Saptami tithi. However, the Smartha Sampradaya has different rules for deciding the date. The preference is given to Nishta Kaal i.e. midnight time. Then it is reckoned whether it is Ashtami tithi or Saptami tithi during the midnight. The preference is given to Ashtami tithi. After this, the final thing to be considered is presence of Rohini Nakshatra during Nishta time with Ashtami Tithi.This year Ashtami tithi will be prevailing on the midnight of 11th August, however moon will not be transiting Rohini Nakshatra. The smartha followers will celebrate Janamashtami on 11th only. The vaishnavities will celebrate on 12th when Ashtami tithi will be rising in the morning.
There are differences in Ekadashi dates of smartha and Vaishnava too. Smarta Ekadasi is based on the calculation that when the sunrises if it is the Ekadashi day then it is Smarta Ekadasi. The Vaishnava tradition says that Ekadashi should be prevailing two hours before sunrise.
Now the question arises: Who is wrong or right? There is no question of right and wrong in deciphering the dates. Rather you need to decide which school of thought you actually belong to: Smartha or Vaishnava?