The Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the very next day of the festival of Diwali. The pratipada of the Shukla paksha of Kartik month. Govardhan is also called ‘Anandoot Puja’ or ‘Lord Krishna Puja’. On this day people worship Goddess Govardhan by making a picture of Govardhan Mountain from cow dung in the courtyard of the house. The service of cows on this day has special significance. The best time of Govardhan Puja is considered in the period of Pradosha.
The significance of Govardhan Puja
Apart from the Ramayana, there are many other mythologies that are associated with Diwali festival history. Some people also celebrate Diwali in memory of Lord Krishna. who lifted the entire Govardhan Mountain on his little finger to protect the villagers from heavy rains. Since then all the villagers of Gokul started worshipping Govardhan mountain as its fertile land and provided them food and shelter. This tale also preaches us to be thankful to the Mother Nature for its generosity.
Ancient Story behind Govardhan Puja
According to Hindu mythology, the festival Diwali is celebrated to mark the victory of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu over the demon Narkasura. Narkasura unleashed great misery amidst the people of the world. He was a demon who abducted beautiful young women and compelled them to live with him. However, their cries for aid reached Vishnu who appeared as Krishna. Initially, Krishna had to overcome a five-headed monster who protected the demon’s home. However, Narkasura after being defeated pleaded with Krishna to make his death a delight for others. Krishna acceded to his request and the women were liberated. For Hindus, this legend is a pointer to the fact that good can also surface from evil.
Another legend following Govardhan Puja after Diwali acts as a reminder to the Hindus of the significance of food. According to folklore, many years ago in the ancient village of Gokula, people paid their reverence to God Indra believing that it was Indra who sent the rains which made their crops luxuriant. However, Krishna insisted that the people should worship the mountain Govardhan since the mountain and the adjoining land were fertile. This instance infuriated Indra who sent thunder and heavy rain down on the village. The people sought Krishna’s help and he came in the support of the villagers by lifting the top of the mountain with his finger.
How Govardhan Puja is done?
Govardhan Pooja is performed where people offer prayers to Mother Nature just as villagers of Gokul did for Govardhan Mountain. To celebrate this festival, all the devotees build an imitation of Govardhan Hill made of various opulent foods and worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhan Hill. They worship the hill as his incarnation and cows and bulls who are dear to the Lord. At the end of the Diwali festival, the hill of a Prasad or sanctified food is distributed to the public. Although All Vaishnava temples in India and throughout the world observe this ceremony and many people are fed Prasad according to the capacity of each temple.
Govardhan Puja: The festival of cherishing Mother Nature and seeking blessings from Lord Krishna by Acharya Dharam Shastri