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Govardhan Pooja

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Introduction

Govardhan Pooja is celebrated immediately after Diwali in commemoration of Lord Krishna’s victory over Lord Indira. There are many legends about the history of this festival. It is however celebrated majorly in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Maharashtra. It is celebrated under different names in different parts of the country according to the significance of the festival that is prevalent in that area. This festival is more focused on the puja or the prayer ceremony for the deity and not on the celebrants in themselves.

 

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History of Govardhan Pooja

According to the Hindu epic and legend, the "Vishnu Puraan", the people of Gokul, Mathura used to worship Lord Indra for providing them with rains. They believed that it was him who blessed them with the rains for their welfare.

But Lord Krishna explained to them that it was mount Govardhan (a small hillock situated at Braj, near Mathura) who caused the rain and not Lord Indra, so the mount should be worshipped and not Lord Indra. So the people followed Lord Krishna and started worshipping mount Govardhan.

This made Lord Indra really furious and as a result of his anger of not being worshipped, the people of Gokul had to face heavy rains. Lord Krishna came to the people's rescue and after prayers and offerings to the mount Govardhan, he lifted it as an umbrella on the little finger of his right hand in order to provide shelter to the people. Lord Krishna was called Giridhari or Govardhandhari only after this event.

 

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How to celebrate Govardhan pooja

Annakoot

Govardhan is also known as 'Annakoot' which literally means 'Mountain of food'. It is a custom to prepare fifty six or one hundred and eight varieties of dishes to offer to Lord Krishna. This offering is referred to as 'Bhog'.

Especially in Mathura and Nathdwara, the deities in the temples are given a milk bath and are decorated with new shining clothes, dazzling gems such as diamonds, rubies and pearls. After which they are worshipped and offered the “bhog" which is arranged and presented in form of a mountain in front of the idols as per the customs.

 

Gudi Padwa

This day has a major significance in Hinduism. As per the customs and traditions, wives put 'Tilak' on the forehead of their husbands, garland them and pray for his long life. Also the husbands give a token of love (a gift) to their wives for their care, love and affection. There is a custom to invite newly married daughters with their husbands to feast and are presented with gifts and sweets.

 

Padwa

The day following 'Amavasya', which is the fourth day of the Diwali celebrations also marks the day when King Bali came out of the 'Patal lok' which is the nether land. Also this is the day when he would start ruling the 'Bhoo lok', which was given to him as a boon by Lord Vishnu. Hence this day is famously known as 'Bali Padyami'.

 

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