Govardhan Pooja: What Is The Story Behind Lord Krishna And The Govardhan Mountain?

Govardhan Pooja is about worshiping Lord Krishna in his Baal roop (child form). This pooja is celebrated on the very next day of Diwali when different family members worship the Govardhan Mountain. Govardhan Pooja is also known by other names like Annakut or Annakoot, which means a mountain of food. People in India celebrate this festival on the first day of Shukla Paksha tithi of the Kartik month.  The term Govardhan is derived from a huge Mountain in Gokul, Lord Krishna's city. According to the most popular belief, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain on his one hand to defeat God Indra. Since then, people in the Brijbhoomi started worshiping the Mountain as a token of gratitude for saving their lives.  Earlier, the Govardhan pooja was only popular in and around the areas of Gokul, but now people across the country celebrate this festival to worship Lord Krishna and pray for the protection of all. 

What is the significance of Govardhan pooja? 

Govardhan pooja is celebrated to uphold the powerful bond of devotion, faith and protection among the Gods and their devotees. Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain to provide shelter to every resident of the Gokul city, which was drowning due to heavy rains. So, people worship Lord Krishna to show their sign of faith that God is omnipresent to save us all from the difficulties and challenges of life. Lord will protect us from all odds to bring peace and harmony in the country.  The story behind Govardhan pooja educates every individual that respecting the forces of nature is our primary duty. We all are dependent on Mother Nature for food, air and shelter and we should never try to ignore that power with the ill will to benefit ourselves. 

How Govardhan Pooja is Celebrated?

The process of pooja starts step by step. Let’s look at the details in depth.
  • To begin with the puja process, the devotees make heaps of cow dung, which are kept in the form of a mountain. This formation represents the symbol of mount Govardhan. Now the devotees cover this mountain with flowers and different colours to make it look more vibrant. 
  • Once the mountain is decorated, devotees perform parikrama (done by moving around the symbolic mountain, also known as Giriraj), and this is combined by a combination of traditional music and dance moves. 
  • Next, prayers are said and arti is done to worship the mountain and ask for the family’s protection. 
  • Following this, the devotees present 56 bhog (56 varieties of food items) as a sign of respect towards Nature and its power. 
The best part of Indian festivals is the diversity we see and observe from different parts of the country. Similarly, Govardhan Leela is also celebrated differently in different states. For instance, in some states people worship Lord Indra, Lord Vishwakarma to please the Gods and ask for support to live a comfortable life on earth.

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