A significant Hindu festival- Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the Pratipada of Shukla Paksha of the Kartik month. Typically, this day falls on the next day of Deepavali or Diwali, but sometimes there might be a one day gap between Diwali and Govardhan Puja. The festival of lights- Diwali is a five-day extravaganza that starts with Dhanteras, followed by Choti Diwali, Diwali, Govardhan Puja, and ends with Bhai Dooj. Govardhan Puja is on the 4th day.
This day is celebrated with immense zeal and excitement in Hindu households, especially among the followers of Lord Krishna, who are also known as Govardhan Dhari. Govardhan Puja 2020 falls on 15th November 2020. Let us get to know a little about this auspicious occasion.
Govardhan Puja is also popularly known by the name of Annakoot Puja. According to religious beliefs, by performing this Puja, you are graced with the blessings of Lord Krishna. This holy day is commemorated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated Lord Indra. On this festival, 'Go' or cow is considered significant. According to scriptures, the cow is seen as pure and holy as the holy river Ganga's water. In Hinduism, cows are revered as their milk offers an array of health benefits. This is why, on this day, cows are worshipped as the symbol of the festival. Along with the cow, worshipping the holy Govardhan Parvat (mountain) is also the norm. Govardhan Puja is also symbolic of the gifts that nature bestows on human beings and how we should conserve them and be grateful.
This festival has a huge mythological significance. According to mythological beliefs, Lord Krishna started the tradition of doing Govardhan Puja instead of worshipping Lord Indra. It is believed that on this day, Lord Krishna did Govardhan Puja and broke Lord Indra's pride. The practice of Govardhan Puja is not a new phenomenon. The practice has been prevalent since the Dwapar Yuga of Lord Krishna. In the Dwapar Yuga, the people of Braj used to worship Lord Indra by offering elaborate meals to him. They did so to be blessed with timely rainfall and a good harvest. However, Lord Krishna argued that Lord Indra wasn't the one who was taking care of the people of Braj. Instead, the Govardhan Parvat (mountain) was more beneficial for the people of Braj as the mountain brought rain, provided fodder for the cows, and protected them. This is why everyone should worship Govardhan Parvat and not worship Lord Indra. Everyone obeyed Lord Krishna and started worshipping Govardhan Parvat. This enraged Lord Indra as he considered this as his insult. He ordered torrential rains as a punishment for the people.
The villagers got scared over the heavy rainfall, and out of fear for their lives, they approached Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna lifted the entire Govardhan Mountain on his little finger and gathered everyone under it for shelter. He saved the people from the torrential rains and Lord Indra's wrath. He stood, lifting the hill without moving for seven days. When Lord Indra came to know that Lord Krishna is an incarnation or avatar of Lord Vishnu, he was ashamed of his actions and apologised to Lord Krishna. On the request of Lord Indra, Lord Krishna put down the Govardhan Mountain and asked everyone to worship Govardhan.
Since then, Govardhan Puja is performed with incredible spiritual fervour and reverence. People celebrate this day with complete devotion in their hearts. The beauty of this day is that it is observed in different ways in different regions.
Govardhan is also considered as a form of Lord Krishna. It is believed that worshipping him and doing this Puja will bring happiness and prosperity into your homes. It will also increase your wealth and progeny. Given below is a brief understanding of how the Govardhan Puja is conducted.
On this day, the devotees make the idol of Lord Govardhan from cow dung in the courtyard of their house and decorate it with flowers.
Offer Lord Govardhan incense sticks, Naivedya, water, fruits, etc. Also, worship by lighting roli and offering milk, paan, saffron, kheer, batashe, water, flowers, and lamps (deepak). After the Puja, you are supposed to do seven Parikrama (circumambulation or going around clockwise) of Lord Govardhan. It is believed that by worshipping Lord Govardhan with devotion and a sincere heart, you will be able to receive the grace and blessings of Lord Krishna throughout the year.
Lord Govardhan is usually made with cow dung in the form of a man lying on the ground. An earthen lamp is placed in the place of the navel. While performing the Puja, milk, curd, honey, Gangajal, batashe, etc. are put in the lamp. These items are later distributed as Prasad.
The cows are considered significant and auspicious on this day. On this day, cows and other animals used in agricultural work are also worshipped. They are bathed and worshipped with flower garlands, sandalwood, incense, etc. Feeding cows on this day is considered auspicious. Aarti is also offered to them.
On the occasion of Govardhan Puja, a special bhog is made. This bhog consists of various food items such as different dishes, fresh fruits, sweets, etc. This is called the Chappan Bhog. To appease Lord Krishna and show him gratitude, the devotees offer the Annakoot preparation to Lord Krishna. Annakoot is a mixture of a wide variety of dishes that are offered to Lord Krishna. After the Puja, these dishes are distributed among the family members and friends as Prasad.
The Govardhan Pooja 2020 auspicious time and date is given below-
Govardhan Puja festival date - 15th November 2020 (Sunday)
Govardhan Puja evening time (Sayankala Muhurat) - 15:19 PM to 17:27 PM
Pratipada Tithi (Starts) - 10:36 AM (15th November 2020)
Pratipada Tithi (Ends) - 07:06 AM (16th November 2020)
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