Hindus are gearing to celebrate Govardhan Puja today. Govardhan Puja is a Hindu festival that is celebrated a day after Diwali. It is also referred to as the Annakut Puja by the devotees. Devotees prepare lavish food preparations consisting of 56 items called Annakut to please Krishna. The Puja is dedicated to the day when Lord Krishna (eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu) came to the aid of his fellow villagers by lifting a mountain on his little finger! Intrigued? Read on to know the significance of the ancient pooja, rituals and prasad.
Significance of Govardhan Puja 2017
According to Hindu scriptures, people in the forest of Vrindavan followed a practice of offering lavish meals to Lord Indra - The God of rain and storm to make sure he is pleased enough to bless them with timely rainfall and good harvest. The age old custom was questioned by Little Krishna who found the practice to be a little harsh for the poor farmers who found it very hard to arrange food for the lavish bhog. He slowly convinced the entire village to stop making these offerings to lord Indra and look after themselves and the village instead. Angered by the lack of food offered, Indra sent down torrential rain and thunderstorm out of anger to the region of Vrindavan. The storm continued for days, and the houses begin to drown. Fearing for their lives, the villagers approached Krishna for help who then asked everyone to proceed to the Govardhan hill. Once there, he lifted the whole hill with his little finger, urging everyone to come under the hill to take shelter from the storm, and thus saving them from the wrath of Indra.
The torrential rain continued for 7 days, and Krishna kept holding the mountain on his little finger all through these days without moving. Ultimately Indra bowed to the might of Krishna and stopped the rains in Vrindavan. Since then, Govardhan Puja has been celebrated by people, mainly in the northern states such as Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Bihar.
On this auspicious day several pilgrims go to the Govardhan hill and offer food and delicacies to thank Krishna for his blessings and protection.
What is Annakut? What does it contain?
Devotees celebrate the pooja by literally offering a mountain of food to Lord Krishna called Annakoot. The annakoot contains a large fare of vegetarian dishes. From vegetables, pulses, dals, sweets and savoury snacks served in tiers The bhog is also called the ‘Chappan Bhog’. As an offering to the Lord, people put together a list of 56 food items. When Vrindavan was hit by rain and storm, Krishan stood still for seven whole days continuously, until Lord Indra realised his mistake. Lord Krishna would usually eat eight food items every day, but he didn’t consume any food during these seven days. So at the end of the seventh day, everyone made Lord Krishna a total of 56 dishes (eight dishes for each of the seven days), out of gratitude. Some of the common items found in the Chappan Bhog are Makhan Misri, kheer, rasgulla, jeera ladoo, jalebi, rabri, mathri, malpua, Mohan Bhog, chutney, murabba, saag, dahi, rice, dal, kadhi, ghewar, chila, papad, Moong Dal ka Halwa, pakoda, khichadi etc.
On this day, people also decorate their houses with diyas and flower petals. People light diyas (oil lamps), decorate their houses with rangoli, coloured rice and flower petals.There is also a common ritual of making small mounds of cow dung to represent Govardhan mountain and which is then beautifully decorated with flowers.
This year the Govardhan Pooja would be celebrated on 20th October 2017.
Here is the Muhurat Time to Start Govardhan Puja
Govardhan Puja Pratahkal Muhurat = 6:12 a.m to 8:29 a.m
Govardhan Puja Sayankal Muhurat = 3:22 p.m. to 17:39 p.m
Happy Govardhan Puja 2017!