Diwali is one of the most important five-day festivals. It is the second day of this festival when the Govardhan Puja or Annakoot festival is celebrated. Observed on the Pratipada of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartik, this festival honors the victory of Lord Krishna over Indra. The lunar cycles affect the gap of days between Diwali and Govardhan Puja. Worshiping and serving cows on this day also holds great significance as cows are considered to be as pure as Mata Ganga.
Govardhan Puja Story
As mentioned in the Vishnu Purana, Govardhan Parvat which is a small hill in Braj is said to be the King of the Mountains. Govardhan Puja Story says that back in the Dwapar Yuga, there was a time when the people of Gokul worshipped Lord Indra-God of Ego for sufficient rainfall and agricultural production. Lord Krishna then asked people to worship Govardhan Parvat instead of Devraj Indra as it is the former who is responsible for rains, pure air, and fodder for cows.
On hearing this everyone agreed with Lord Krishna and began worshipping Govardhan, which angered and insulted Devraj Indra. As a result, God Indra started torrential rains to destroy Gokul which left the Brajvas in a panicked and terrified state.
Lord Krishna then lifted the entire Govardhan Parvat on his little finger with all his supreme power & sheltered the people from those heavy rains. On observing this, Indra made rain pour extremely heavy for 7 uninterrupted days but was not successful. He realized that the person to whom he is challenging is not an ordinary person and is the incarnation of the divine Lord Vishnu. Ashamed of one's foolishness, God Indra soon apologized to Lord Krishna, the Govardhan Parvat was laid down and the puja celebrations began with great zeal and reverence.
Govardhan Puja Vidhi
Lakhs of devotees all over the country visit Govardhan Parvat situated in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh on the auspicious occasion of Diwali. Pradakshina (revolution) around the Parvat is completed and along with special Govardhan Puja Vidhis Lord Agni, Fire, Thunder, Oceans, and Varuna are also worshiped. Have a look at some of the most important rituals associated with this day.
● Cow dung is made use of to make the Govardhan, is decorated with flowers, and worshiped early morning or late in the evening. Garlands, sandalwood, incense sticks, fruits, water, and prasad is offered in this puja.
● As cows & bulls are of great importance in agricultural activities and on this day, these animals are bathed & worshiped. Many factories and industries worship the machinery, whereas Lord Vishwakarma- the Divine Architect is also.
● The piece made of cow dung with a clay lamp on top is placed in the courtyard of the house. Curd, milk, honey, Bataashe(crystalized sugar), and Gangajal are then offered to the same.
● Once the puja is done, people make revolutions around the Parvat made of dung symbolizing Govardhan Parvat. On completing the revolutions, barley is sown in the ground.
● Lord Krishna is offered with Annakoot which is a combination of fruits, flowers, cereals, sweets made from milk, khichdi, and other delicacies & then distributed among the family members.
Govardhan Puja Shubh Muhurat & Time
This year Govardhan Puja will be celebrated on the 5th of November which is the 1st day in the Vikram Samvat calendar. Observed on Amavasya, this puja with special importance in the Hindu tradition is performed on a specific Muhurat. Those performing this puja need to consider the following Govardhan Puja Time.
Govardhan Puja Shubh Muhurat -
Pratipada Tithi Prarambha - Morning - 06:35 AM (5 November 2021)
Performing Govardhan Puja Vidhi with great dedication and faith always leaves behind a message that reminds us of not letting oneself disrespect our Mother Nature & natural forces.