Govardhan Puja 2023: Celebrating the Divine Bond with Lord Krishna
In India, where every festival is celebrated with unwavering zeal and devotion, Govardhan Puja holds a special place. This festival, also known as Annakoot Puja, is a crucial part of the grand Diwali celebration. It commemorates the defeat of Lord Indra by Lord Krishna and is a day when worshippers pay homage to both Lord Krishna and the revered Govardhan Mountain. As we prepare to celebrate Govardhan Puja in 2023, let’s dive into the legend, significance, and the essential rituals associated with this auspicious occasion.
Govardhan Puja 2023 Date and Tithi
Mark Your Calendar
Govardhan Puja typically follows Diwali, taking place on the fourth day of the five-day Diwali festival. In 2023, this special day falls on Tuesday, November 14th. It is essential to understand the auspicious timings associated with this day:
- Govardhan Puja Pratahkala Muhurat: 06:43 AM to 08:52 AM
- Pratipada Tithi Begins: 14:56 on November 13, 2023
- Pratipada Tithi Ends: 14:36 on November 14, 2023
Govardhan Puja Significance
Embracing Divine Significance
For Hindus, Govardhan Puja carries immense spiritual significance. This day is dedicated to worshipping Lord Shri Krishna, the Govardhan Parvat (Mountain), and the sacred cow. It symbolizes not only reverence for Lord Krishna but also deep appreciation and respect for Mother Nature. Devotees believe that by worshipping Govardhan Hill and Lord Krishna’s beloved cows on this day, they receive divine blessings and protection.
The Legend of Govardhan Puja
According to the Vishnu Puran, Lord Krishna once questioned why people worshiped God Indra. The answer, as provided by mother Yashodaji, was to seek rain for agriculture and prosperity. Dissatisfied with this explanation, young Krishna suggested that instead of appeasing Lord Indra, they should worship the Govardhan Parvat. This would bring them abundant rainfall as cows graze on the hillsides, and trees contribute to good rains. Lord Krishna’s advice led to the villagers redirecting their offerings and practices.
However, Lord Indra, known for his temper, became furious upon realizing that the villagers had ceased their worship. In retaliation, he unleashed heavy rainfall upon the region, causing fear and distress among the people. Witnessing their suffering, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain with a single finger to shield the villagers and their animals from the torrential rains. He held the mountain aloft for seven consecutive days, during which the villagers sought refuge beneath it. Eventually, Lord Indra recognized Krishna’s divinity and sought forgiveness.
This legend highlights Lord Krishna’s strength and compassion, demonstrating that he is the ultimate source of strength for all. Govardhan Puja serves as an expression of gratitude to Lord Krishna for his protection.
Annakut Puja & Chappan Bhog
The Pilgrimage to Govardhan
On the occasion of Annakut Puja, numerous pilgrims make their way to Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, to worship the Govardhan Mountain. For those who cannot trek the mountain, especially the elderly, Chhappan Bhog prasad is prepared for Lord Krishna. Chhappan Bhog consists of 56 different food items, including sweets and savories. Offering this prasad symbolizes respect for Mother Nature and is believed to bestow divine blessings. Following the worship of Lord Krishna, devotees gather to distribute Chhappan Bhog prasad and sing Govardhan Puja bhajans.
Govardhan Puja Vidhi
- Devotees follow a series of rituals during Govardhan Puja:
- Early Preparation: Devotees rise early and prepare themselves for the day.
- Temple Illumination: They light diyas and incense sticks in their home temples.
- Idol Creation: Many engage in Govardhan Puja drawing to create an idol.
- Cow Dung Art: Devotees craft an idol of Govardhan using cow dung and adorn it with flowers.
- Chhappan Bhog Offering: As part of the ritual, Chhappan Bhog is prepared and offered as prasad to the Govardhan idol.
- Revolving Around the Idol: Devotees sing devotional songs and mantras while circumambulating the idol of Govardhan.
- Aarti and Prasad: The puja concludes with Govardhan Puja aarti, followed by the distribution of prasad to fellow devotees.
Govardhan Puja Mantra
Invoking Divine Blessings
To complete the puja, recite the following Govardhan mantra in front of the Govardhan idol:
“|| श्रीगिर्रिराजधरणप्रभुतेरीशरण ||”
As we approach Govardhan Puja 2023, let us remember the profound significance of this festival. It is a day to honor Lord Krishna, express our gratitude to Mother Nature, and reflect on the legend that exemplifies Krishna’s strength and compassion. By participating in the rituals, we not only seek divine blessings but also reinforce our bond with the divine and the natural world.
Govardhan Puja is more than just a festival; it is a reminder of our interconnectedness with the cosmos and the eternal grace of Lord Krishna. May this Govardhan Puja fill your life with prosperity, joy, and a deeper spiritual connection.