The festival of Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the next day of Diwali and on the first day of full moon. It commemorates the day when Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan hill to save the people of Vrindavan from storm and rain.
The festival holds much significance for the people of Vaishnav faith who venerate Lord Vishnu as Krishna is believed to be one of the incarnations of Vishnu.
A significant part of Govardhan Puja is Annakuta, in which the offering is made to the Krishna on behalf of Govardhan parvat.
Devotees prepare a mountain of sweets and other offerings, symbolic to that of a mountain and offer it to Lord Krishna. This ritual has its roots to an incident mentioned in Bhagvata Purana when Krishna lifted Govardhan parvat to save human lives.
Devotees also prepare a miniature mountain symbolic to that of Giriraj Govardhan and adorn it with miniature cows and grass etc. Both the Annakut festival and the Govardhan festival are celebrated on the next day of Diwali by the Hindus. They believe it to be the best day to affirm their devotion to God and to teach their children the religious and cultural values.
Govardhan Puja History And Significance
According to Hindu mythology, a young and curious Lord Krishna once asked his father Nanda Maharaj why the people of Braj worshipped Lord Indra. He answered that they were worshipping Indra to bless them with rain and shower his grace over them. However, Lord Krishna was not satisfied and convinced the people of Braj to concentrate on doing their work and stop worrying about the result.
This made Lord Indra angry, and he called on Samavartaka clouds of devastation to hammer Vrindavan with rain and thunderstorms. People of Braj turned to Lord Krishna for help. He then lifted Govardhan Parvat on his little finger, and people of Braj took shelter under it for seven days, unaffected by hunger and thirst.
Devotees of Lord Krishna worship him on this day to bless them. They offer him a ‘mountain’ of food, which is why food plays an important role in this puja. Apart from that, Lord Krishna’s worshippers also sing hymns, kirtans, light diyas, and decorate their homes.
Govardhan Puja Rituals
One of the most significant rituals of Govardhan Puja includes making a small hill out of cow dung and mud, signifying the Govardhan parvat. Devotees pray to Lord Krishna and the Govardhan parvat for saving the people of Braj Bhoomi from floods and the wrath of Lord Indra. People also give a milk bath to Lord Krishna’s idol, dress him in new clothes and jewellery, and offer him various dishes. In some states, devotees also prepare an extensive food platter of 56 kinds of different items.
What is Special about Govardhan Pooja?
Govardhan pooja teaches a lot of things and the very first one is, always to do what is correct and God will always help you at any cost.
We should always celebrate our occasions and it is a belief that we should be happy on this day because those who will be sad on this day will remain sad for the entire year, whereas those who will be happy on this day will be happy for the entire year.
All of the Indian festivals are unique in their own way, we celebrate it like a family and always pass our tradition to our youngsters. All of us unite on special occasions and celebrate together. We share food and show our new dress to others. Life is all about living it to the fullest and festivals are the medium.