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Date Of Govardhan Puja
Goverdhan Puja is a Hindu festival wherein devotees prepare and offer various types of vegetarian food to the idols of Parmatma (God) to show their gratitude. This festival is also known as Annakut or Annakoot (translated as “a mountain of food”). Goverdhan Puja falls on the 4th day of Diwali. It is also the first day of the new year in the Vikram Samvat calendar. This year it falls on November 8, 2018.
Govardhan Puja is a principal ritual performed during Annakut. Although some texts treat Govardhan Puja and Annakut as synonymous, the Govardhan Puja is one segment of the day-long Annakut festival.
The Significance Of Govardhan Puja
The festival is observed by many Hindu denominations but is particularly prominent among the Vallabh Sampradaya (Pushtimarg), the Gaudiya Sampradaya of Chaitanya, and the Swaminarayan Sampradaya. Govardhan Puja and offering food to God is also significant as it gives us the message of conserving our natural resources. Worshipping the natural elements has always been a practice in Hinduism.
Shubh Muhurat For Goverdhan Puja
Govardhan Puja Pratahkal Muhurat = 06:52 to 09:04
Duration = 2 Hours 12 Mins
Govardhan Puja Sayankal Muhurat = 15:41 to 17:54
Duration = 2 Hours 12 Mins
The Story Behind Govardhan Puja
Govardhan Puja commemorates the incident when Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Hill to provide shelter to the villagers of Vrindavan from torrential rains. As per the scriptures, the folks of Vrindavan used to offer lavish meals to the God of rain and storm, Lord Indra to ensure that he blesses them with proper rainfall and good harvest. But Child Krishna found the practice to be too harsh for the small-time farmers, and he convinced them to discontinue making these offerings to Lord Indra and instead feed their families. This enraged Lord Indra, who sent down rain and thunderstorm out of anger in Vrindawan. The rains continued for days.
The village folk were afraid and they approached Krishna for help who then asked everyone to proceed to the Govardhan hill. When they arrived, Lord Krishna lifted the entire hill with his little finger, people trickled under the hill to take shelter from the storm.
Krishna was there for seven days, held the mountain for 7 days on his little finger. Finally, Indra had to bow to the might of Krishna and stop the rains. After this episode, women of Vrindavan cooked 56 dishes for Krishna. It is believed that Krishna took 8 meals in a day. As he had stood there for seven days without any food, the women decided to make up for it with a lavish Chappan bhog (a meal consisting 56 items like halwa, ladoos, mishri and peda).
Thus, it came out that God will protect all devotees who take full refuge in him. So, devotees offer a mountain of food, metaphorically representing the Govardhan Hill, to God as a ritual remembrance and to renew their faith in taking refuge in God.
Rituals Performed On Annakut
The rituals surrounding Goverdhan Puja are closely related with the rituals of the five days of Diwali. While the first three days of Diwali are days of prayer to procure wealth and invite greater happiness into the devotee’s life, the annakut day is about offering gratitude for Krishna beneficence.
On Annakut day, several pilgrims go to the Govardhan hill and offer food and delicacies to Lord Krishna. Those who are unable to go to Govardhan hill, offer him the bhog of 56 items in their homes. Devotees celebrate Govardhan pooja by literally offering a mountain of food to Lord Krishna called Annakoot.
With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team
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