Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is one of the most widely celebrated festivals in India. It marks the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. The festival is spread over five days, with each day holding its own significance. While the main day of Diwali is celebrated with great enthusiasm, the day after Diwali is also of great importance. This day is known as Govardhan Puja, and it holds a special place in the hearts of Hindus. In this blog post, we will explore the significance and traditions associated with Govardhan Puja.
The Legend of Govardhan Puja
The legend of Govardhan Puja dates back to ancient times. It is believed that Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu, played a significant role in this celebration. According to Hindu mythology, the people of Vrindavan used to worship Lord Indra, the god of rain and thunder, by offering elaborate prayers and sacrifices. However, Lord Krishna, in his divine wisdom, advised the people to worship the Govardhan mountain instead.
Lord Krishna explained that the Govardhan mountain provided them with everything they needed for their survival – fertile land for agriculture, lush green pastures for their cattle, and a source of water. He encouraged the people to show their gratitude towards the mountain by offering their prayers and devotion. The people, trusting Lord Krishna’s wisdom, followed his instructions and celebrated the first Govardhan Puja.
Enraged by this shift in devotion, Lord Indra decided to punish the people of Vrindavan with torrential rains and thunderstorms. However, Lord Krishna came to their rescue. He lifted the entire Govardhan mountain on his little finger and provided shelter to the people and their cattle. Lord Indra, realizing his mistake, sought forgiveness from Lord Krishna and the people of Vrindavan.
The Significance of Govardhan Puja
Govardhan Puja is a celebration of gratitude and appreciation for the bountiful gifts of nature. It symbolizes the importance of recognizing the natural elements that sustain our lives. The festival teaches us to be humble and grateful for the resources that Mother Earth provides us with.
On this day, people create a replica of the Govardhan mountain using cow dung or clay. They decorate it with flowers and offer various delicacies as a form of gratitude. This ritual represents the act of offering thanks to nature for its abundance and seeking blessings for prosperity and well-being.
Traditions and Celebrations
Govardhan Puja is celebrated with great enthusiasm in many parts of India. People wake up early in the morning and take a ritual bath before performing the puja. They decorate their homes with colorful rangoli designs and light diyas to welcome positive energy.
The main highlight of the festival is the preparation and distribution of a special food called “Annakut.” People cook a variety of vegetarian dishes and arrange them in a circular pattern, representing the Govardhan mountain. The food is then offered to Lord Krishna and later distributed as prasad to the devotees.
Devotees also visit temples and offer prayers to Lord Krishna. They sing devotional songs, chant mantras, and listen to religious discourses that highlight the significance of Govardhan Puja. The atmosphere is filled with joy, devotion, and a sense of unity.
Govardhan Puja is a beautiful festival that reminds us of the importance of nature and the need to express gratitude for its blessings. It teaches us to value and protect our environment, ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come. By celebrating Govardhan Puja, we honor the divine bond between humans and nature, fostering a sense of harmony and reverence. Let us embrace this festival with open hearts and minds, and may the spirit of Govardhan Puja inspire us to live in harmony with nature.