Govardhan Puja is a Hindu festival celebrated to commemorate the day when Sri Krishna lifted Govardhan Mountain on his little finger to save Gokul from destructive rain and storm that continued for days. It is fervently celebrated at Mathura, the pace where Krishna spent his childhood. The Govardhan Mountain still exists and is the main centre of addiction on the day.
Devotees from India as well as various foreign countries circumambulated the mountain, chanting bhajans like “Radhe-Radhe” and “Radhe-Krishna”. Annakut festival is also celebrated on this day, in which food offerings are made to Krishna. The offerings consist of sweets, lentils, dry fruits etc.
Long Essay on Govardhan Puja in English
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Govardhan Puja Essay – Long Essay (1700 Words)
Govardhan Puja or Anna Koot Puja is a major festival of Hindus. Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the next day after Diwali. Govardhan Puja is quite famous in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. According to tradition, Mount Govardhan is specially made on this day with cow dung, which is known as Govardhan Pahad.
On this day, Govardhannathji's image is worshiped in the houses that is made up of cow dung and offered food. This tradition has been going on since Dwapara era when Lord Vishnu had taken his incarnation in the form of Lord Krishna in Braj Region. In the Srimad Bhagwat, many references are received about it. According to it, Lord Krishna started worshiping Govardhan Parvat on the day of Kartik Shukla Pratipada (first day of bright fortnight) at the place of worship of Indra in Braj.
Where Govardhan Mountain is and what is its Importance?
Govardhan Parvat is located in Braj region. Located at a distance of 22 km from Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, Sri Govardhan Parvat is also known as Giriraj Ji Maharaj. It is a small hill. But this hill is considered the king of the mountains. That only one remnant of Dwapara Yuga exists in the present time. The river Yamuna changed its direction from time to time. But Govardhan Parvat still stands in its original place at one place. Govardhan Parvat is worshiped as Lord Sri Krishna.
Govardhan Parikrama by Vaishnava devotees has mythological significance. According to the epics, depicting the importance of Mount Govardhan, it is said that Govardhan is the king of mountains and beloved of Hari (God). Like this, there is no other shrine between the earth and heaven. According to the ancient mythology, Lord Krishna had broken the ego of Indra.
The only motive behind celebrating this festival was to protect the Braj people and to save the live-stock. Govardhan Puja is done only to tell the importance of cow because cow has special importance in human life.
Why it is also called Anna Koot?
- To perform this puja, Krishna and Govardhan Parvat are worshipped by making Annakoot. Due to which this festival is also known as Annakoot festival.
- Annakoot is a type of food that is made using many types of vegetables, milk and rice.
History of Govardhan Puja
There is a story behind celebrating Govardhan Puja and according to this legend Lord Krishna advised people to perform Govardhan Puja.
It is said that one day when Krishna's mother Yashoda was preparing to worship Lord Indra, at that time Krishna asked his mother, why is she worshiping Lord Indra? In response to this question of Krishna, his mother told him that all the villagers and she are going to worship Lord Indra so that it can rain in his village. Due to the rain, there will be good crops and grass production in their village and due to this, the cows will get fodder to eat.
While listening to his mother, Kanha (other name of Lord Krishna in his childhood) immediately said that if this is the case then we should worship Govardhan Parvat in place of Indra God. Because only by visiting this mountain, cows get grass to eat. This impact of Krishna along with his mother also affected the people living in Braj and they started worshiping Govardhan Parvat instead of worshiping Indra.
At the same time, seeing the people of Braj worshiping Govardhan, Indra got annoyed and started raining heavily in anger.
Due to the heavy rain, the people of the village started getting into lot of trouble and these people went to Krishna to ask for help. At the same time, due to incessant rains, water started filling the homes of the people and they could not find any place to hide.
In order to protect the people of his village from the destructive rain, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain with his little finger, after which all the people of Braj stood under this mountain. Krishna held on to the mountain for a week. At the same time, when Indra came to know that Krishna is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, he realized his mistake and he stopped the rain.
After the rain stopped, Krishna put the mountain down and he ordered the people of his village to celebrate Govardhan Puja every year, after which this festival started being celebrated every year.
Significance of Govardhan puja
Govardhan Mountain and Lord Krishna is worshiped in Govardhan Puja. This day gives the message that our life depends on everything in nature like trees, plants, animals and birds, river and mountains etc. That is why we should thank them all. The special reason for the balance of climate in India is the mountain and rivers. Thus, this day expresses our feeling towards all these natural wealth.
On this day, worship of cow family is especially important. Their milk, ghee, buttermilk, curd, butter even dung and urine have also benefitted mankind. In such a situation, the cow, which is considered sacred like the Ganges River in Hinduism, is worshiped on this day.
Method of Celebrating Govardhan Puja
Lord Krishna and Govardhan Parvat are worshiped on this day. Especially farmers perform this puja. For this, Govardhan Parvat is made in the house at the entrance of the house, in the courtyard or backyard of the house with pure soil smeared by the cow dung. And they are offered Naivedya of 56 varieties.
- Bathing is done early in the morning.
- Fresh dishes are made at home.
- The idol of Lord Govardhan is made from cow dung in the courtyard of the house or in the field.
- After this, worship is done.
- Naivedya is offered.
- Arti of Lord Krishna is performed.
- On this day, the whole family dines together.
- On this day, cow and bulls are bathed and coloured and a new rope is inserted around their neck. Cows and bulls are fed by mixing jaggery and rice.
- In this puja, milk, curd, holy water of Ganga, honey, batasha (a kind of sweets made up of sugar only) are offered as prasad and then distributed among the devotees.
People of Braj region take rounds of Govardhan Mountain on this day and pray to him for the well being of their family and prosperity in life.
Importance of Govardhan Puja
All Hindus celebrate this puja with great pomp and show. Our life cannot be complete without nature. In this worship, all human beings show their gratitude towards all natural things like nature, trees, flowers, wind, mountain, plateau, sun, sunlight. Humans are nourished only by eating vegetables, milk, fruits obtained from the nature.
No human being can survive without nature. All the edible crops and vegetables grow in the earth. By doing Govardhan Puja, we all thank God that he has nourished us by giving us various natural things.
Anna Koot is Celebrated as a Party in Modern Era
Govardhan Puja is also known as Annakoot. Bhandara takes place in many places. These days, Annakoot lasts for months. It is being celebrated like a party in the modern era.
Padva or Bali Pratipada is Celebrated in Maharashtra on this Day
In Maharashtra, Govardhan Puja is celebrated as Padva or Bali Pratipada and it is believed that the demon king Bali was defeated and pushed into the Hell by Lord Vishnu as Vamana (incarnation of Lord Vishnu).
Cow Family is Honoured on this Day in Some Parts of the Country
In some parts of the country, including Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh, cows are specially ornamented and worshiped. In gratitude to Gau Mata, the milk of that day is left only for the calf. In this way, during the festival of Govardhan Puja, we get a glimpse of our agricultural culture, in which we are taught to show compassion to animals.
Govardhan is Diminishing Day by Day due to a Curse
Five thousand years ago, this Govardhan Mountain used to be 30 thousand meters high and now it is probably only 30 meters. Due to the curse of the sage Pulastya, this mountain is becoming a handful less every day. It is also believed that in Kali Yuga, when this mountain will decrease to an end, then this world will end.
How Govardhan Puja is Celebrated in Modern Age?
Due to inflation and other things, Festivals seem a burden for the people. Also the so called moderns have no interest in celebrating these festivals in traditional way. They look for another ways and celebrate them in their own way.
Also due to modernization, these kinds are festivals are shrunk in rural area. Urban people have either ignored them or do it as their other duties. The formality has been done on the day but the real celebration is ignored.
There is a need of time that we should follow our traditions as they are introduced by our forefathers and relates the scientific measures.
Govardhan Puja is related to mountains and it gives us a message that how important the mountains are in our life. Many kinds of minerals, rare herbs, and biodiversity reside on the mountains and they are helpful for the climate and environment.
Hence it is advised that we should celebrate all our festivals in spite being busy and becoming advanced. Festivals are the mirror of culture that should be celebrated with great joy and zeal by everybody.
Like various festivals celebrated in India, Govardhan Puja is also a festival that is specially celebrated in North India. It is a festival related to nature. People show gratitude toward the nature and worship the mountain and animals. These festivals also work as a social tool to make harmony and peace. This Govardhan Puja festival brings responsibility of the people towards the nature and teaches us to maintain the balance of the nature.