Go Puja, Govardhan Puja celebrated at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Govardhan Puja is a celebration of Lord Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the inhabitants of Vrindavan from the wrath of Indra who under the influence of false pride wanted to demonstrate his superiority over Lord Krishna.
Worshipping Indra was an annual feature of life in the rural vicinity of Vraja where the inhabitants would offer oblations to Lord Indrato obtain sufficient rains for a bountiful harvest. Lord Krishna advised His father, Maharaja Nanda that instead of offering to Lord Indra, the offerings be made toGovardhanaHill, which supplied all the necessities for the people and cattle of their agrarian community. This infuriated Lord Indra and he sought to admonish the inhabitants by showering torrents of devastating rainfall on the land of Vraja.
To protect the beleaguered denizens, Lord Krishna lifted the entire Govardhana Hill on the little finger of His left hand and effortlessly held it up for seven days and seven nights, as a child would hold a mushroom. Under the shelter of Govardhan the inhabitants of Vraja were free of all worldly sufferings like hunger, thirst and lamentation and danced joyfully. While Indra summoned the most ominous clouds reserved for universal annihilation, the people of Vrajarejoiced in ecstasy beneath the GovardhanaHill held up by little Krishna. With his greatest powers indifferentlyvanquishedby Lord Krishna, Indra utterly humbled, bowed down before Him begging forgiveness.
Devotees at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir, set out at the break of dawn to perform a parikrama (circumambulation) of the Govardhana Hill. Starting from Manasi Ganga, the devotees covered the twenty-twoKilometre path, stopping at various holy places along the route. By late afternoon, the devotees had reached RadhaKunda, where they bathed in the holiest waters of the universe. By evening they finished the GovardhanaParikrama on returning to the starting point of Manasi Ganga. His Grace Suvyakta Narasmiha Dasa, senior Vice President, lead the procession of devotees and gave vivid descriptions of all the holy places the devotees visited.
The Devotees then returned to Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir, where they participated in Go Puja, worship of cows, which was performed at the Go Shala (Cowshed) of the temple. Devotees prepared a hill made of varieties of foodstuff, called ‘Annakuta’, modelled after the Govardhana Hill in the temple hall. This was offered to Sri SriRadhaVrindavanachandra. His Grace Yudhishthira Krishna Prabhu, Vice President gave a talk describing different spiritual aspects of the pastime of Lord Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill.
The performance of DamodaraDeeptsava, or the festival of lamps, in which devotees sang the DamodaraAshtaka, a famous song glorifying the Damodara pastime of Lord Krishna, followed this. Then everyone offered ghees lamp to the Deities. The ‘Annakuta’ or hill of food was distributed as Prasadam to all the devotees present and everyone was served a dinner feast. Thus concluded the ecstatic celebration of Go Puja and Govardhan Puja at Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir.