Sri Govardhan Blesses All
Govardhan Puja was celebrated at the temple on 14 November 2012 with much fervor and devotion. The festivities at the temple began with a special Govardhan parikrama (and tour) video telecast organized by Narsimhanandan Das during the Srimad Bhagavatam lecture. In the parikrama video, HH Bhakti Caitanya Swami took his viewers on the tour of Sri Govardhan in Vrindavan and visited several Holy Place at Sri Govardhan including Sri Radhakunda, Sri Shymakunda, Mansi ganga kunda and many others. The festivities continued later with Go-Puja whereby a cow and her calf were garlanded, worshipped with lamp, flowers and incense and offered jiggery and bananas. Young and old took much delight in offering obeisances to gomata and feeding her jiggery. Go-puja was followed by a maha-abhishek of Sri Giriraj on the temple altar with pancamrita, seasonal juices, flower petals and coconut water.
The highlight of the festivities was the center of the courtyard where devotees had prepared thousands of offerings which included savories, sweets, vegetables, roties and parathas, variety of rice preparation and much more. Sri Govardhan was depicted in form a mountain of a halava and rice respectively. A miniature Govardhan hill made from cake with sprinkled with buttercream flowers, colorful juices to depict Sri Radhakunda and Sri Shyamkunda and decorated with Tulsi leaves attracted several onlookers.
Deities of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Giriraj from the temple altar were placed on baskets of foodstuff and They were offered special raj-bhoga preparations and sweets. The bhoga offering was followed by Maha-arati and kirtan and concluded with devotees and visitors performing a parikrama of Sri Giriraj.
The festivities concluded with distribution of colorful Sri Giriraj prasad for every person who visited the temple.
To know more about the pastime of lifting of Govardhan Hill as enacted by Lord Krishna in Vrindavan, please read the information below:
As per the story, Krishna saw huge preparations for the annual offering to Indra and questioned his father about it. He told his father that as farmers and cowherd men, they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and protection of their cattle. He continued to say that all human beings should merely do their 'karma' (action), to the best of their ability and not pray or conduct sacrifices for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer) and offering to Indra. As appealed by Krishna, the residents of Vrindavan offered choicest foodstuffs and prayers to the Govardhana Hill that supplied them with succulent grass for the cows, cooling waters, caves for cowherd boys to play in and appealing fruits and flowers.
Indra was thus angered and flooded the entire village with fierce rain and thunderstorm. Krishna subsequently lifted Govardhana Hill and held it up on His left little finger of the hand for seven days as protection for the residents and cattle of Vrindavan from the incessant rain mercilessly lashed out by Indra. Indra finally realized his mistake of being overtly proud and recognized Krishna as the supreme and accepted defeat.
Govardhana Hill attained special status on being lifted by Lord Krishna. Also, at the time of Annakuta ceremony (offering foodstuffs to the Deity), Krishna declared that He was non- different from Govardhana Hill. The Vedic scriptures also acknowledge Govardhana hill as the most sacred mountain in all the three worlds and inform us that Govardhana hill is to be understood in two different ways; first as the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna and second as being non-different from Krishna Himself.
The name 'Govardhana' has two primary translations. In the literal meaning, 'Go' translates to 'cows' and 'vardhana' translates to 'nourishment'. Another meaning of 'Go' is 'the senses' and 'vardhana' can also mean 'to increase' – thus the name is also translated as 'that which increases the senses' in their attraction to Krishna. Thus, it is believed that the personality of Govardhana blesses the devotee by increasing his devotion.
For Govardhan Puja picture gallery, click here.