Govardhana Puja – Remembering Krishna during Diwali
This day has a separate importance in the mythology books of Hinduism when the world witnessed the strength of lord to protect his followers. Govardhan Puja is celebrated during Diwali in most parts of the country. According to puranas, on this day, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Parvat to show his strength to Lord Indra, who is king of Gods and also king of rain, and thereby protected the villagers from heavy rains and floods.
Legend behind Govardhan Puja :
Earlier, on this day, people used to have a festival in the honour of Lord Indra. However, Lord Krishna said that instead of that, people should start worshipping the Govardhan Mountain which gives shelter to the cows and villagers and provides fertile soil for the farmers. On seeing this, Indra got angry and showered heavy rains on the village. Krishna then lifted the Govardhan Mountain with his little finger and held it as a shield to protect the villagers from the heavy rain. From that day onwards, Govardhan Puja is held on this day and Lord Krishna is worshiped on this day by the devotees.
Rituals of Govardhan Puja :
On this day, people make a replica of the Mountain with various food items and place it in front of Krishna idol or photo. This festival is also known by the name Annakoot in various places for this reason. In Sanskrit Anna means rice and grains. On this day, food items made of rice and grains are used for this festival. Usually the Vaishnava temples across the country celebrate this festival in a grand way. People come to temples in huge numbers and participate in the puja ritual. Thereafter, arati is performed and bhajans are recited singing the praise of Lord Krishna. People consume the prasad which is offered to the God in the Annakoot. This is also to signify that nature is above every God in this planet. There is no other bigger element than nature and hence one must follow its rules. Lord Krishna showed this to us in a symbolic way.