India is a land of diversity, where festivals are not merely celebrations but a way of life. One such unique and spiritually enriching festival is Govardhan Puja, also known as Annakut. This festival holds a special place in the hearts of devotees as it symbolizes faith, gratitude, and unity. In this blog, we will delve into the significance, history, rituals, and the spirit of Govardhan Puja.
Significance of Govardhan Puja / why Goverdhan Puja is celebrated?
Govardhan Puja, celebrated on the fourth day of Diwali, holds immense significance in Hindu culture. It is primarily observed in the northern states of India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, where Lord Krishna is revered. The festival revolves around the episode from the Bhagavata Purana, where Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain to protect the villagers of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra, the god of rain and thunderstorms.
The underlying message of Govardhan Puja is that faith in God and nature’s bounties should surpass devotion to gods who seek to control the elements. This festival encourages people to express gratitude for the gifts of nature and to recognize the importance of sustainable living.
Historical Context / Story behind Goverdhan Puja
The history of Govardhan Puja dates to the time when Lord Krishna resided in Vrindavan. The villagers of Vrindavan, primarily cowherds, used to worship Lord Indra, believing that he was responsible for the rains that nourished their crops and cattle. However, Lord Krishna, with his divine wisdom, advised the villagers to stop the grand Indra puja and instead worship Govardhan, a sacred hill. This angered Lord Indra, who retaliated by sending thunderstorms and torrential rains.
In response to this calamity, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain with his little finger, providing shelter to the villagers and their cattle for seven days and nights. This act of divine protection showcased the importance of nature over a specific deity’s wrath and established Govardhan as a symbol of the environment’s significance.