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Spirituality

Updated on: Friday, November 05, 2021, 07:30 AM IST

Govardhan puja 2021: Expressing gratitude to Lord Krishna and mother nature

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Govardhan puja, celebrated on the fourth day of the five-day festival of Diwali, falls on November 5 this year. The festival, which is celebrated on the Pratipada tithi of Kartik Shukla Paksha, is also known as Annakoot puja and Bali Pratipada. It was on this day that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Parvat (hill) on his little finger, thus saving the people of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra – who had flooded the village with thunderstorms.

Teaching the King of Devas a lesson

Lord Krishna wanted to teach the arrogant Lord Indra, King of the Demigods, a lesson. He requested the villagers in Vrindavan to worship the Govardhan Parvat, which provided grass for all the cows to graze and honour the cows and bulls whose milk was the livelihood of the gopalas. This infuriated Lord Indra and he flooded the village with a thunderstorm that destroyed the homes and shelters of the village residents.

With the village having nowhere to go, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain with his little finger, providing the village with shelter from the ferocious storm. Lord Krishna held the mountain for seven days and nights, until Lord Indra realised his mistake and asked for forgiveness.

One of the rituals during Govardhan puja is making a small ‘hill’ out of cow dung and mud, to symbolise the parvat and worship Lord Krishna who saved the people of Vrindavan. Another popular ritual is that of Chhapan Bhog, where devotees prepare 56 different types of dishes, including a variety of sweets made from milk, and offer it to Lord Krishna.

Annakoot puja

Annakoot, which means mountain of food, is a way of honouring and expressing gratitude to God and to food. A mixture of cereals and grains (like rice and wheat) is prepared and offered to Lord Krishna on Govardhan puja. Devotees sing songs and perform dances in celebration of their Lord.

Bali Pratipada

The fourth day of the Diwali festivity is also known as Bali Pratipada. It is the day that the demon King Bali visits Earth and blesses his devotees. According to a popular legend, Lord Vishnu, in his Vamana avatar, pushed Bali to Paatal lok but moved by the King’s generosity and devotion granted him a boon to be able to visit earth and bless his devotees.

Nature’s gracious blessings

Govardhan puja reminds us to express our gratitude to nature and all that it has blessed us with. Let us pray to Lord Krishna with devotion and express our gratitude for the anna we get to eat.

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Published on: Friday, November 05, 2021, 07:30 AM IST
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