Govardhana Puja

The 4th day of Diwali is celebrated as Govardhan Puja or Annakut (meaning heap of grains)

Govardhana Puja is the festival celebrating Sri Krsna’s Leelaa of lifting Govardhana Hill to protect the residents of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra’s storm. The village cowherds and local vaisyas/merchants arranged to worship King of Gods, Indra, hoping for boons of rain and good crops to feed the cows. Krsna’s father, Nanda Maharaja, was arranging a yajna to the Indra, but Krsna encouraged him instead to make many opulent preparations from ghee and grains for offering to the cows, the Brahmanas and to Govardhana Hill. The residents of Vrindaban did just that, circumambulating Govardhana Hill worshipfully. Krsna then expanded Himself into the giant form of Govardhan and accepted their offerings.

This all greatly agitated Lord Indra, who called forth the samvartaka clouds to produce an intense storm and flooding that would destroy the entire village. Lord Krishna saved the residents of Vrindaban by lifting the entire Govardhana Hill aloft, keeping it raised on his one little finger for 7 days while everyone took shelter beneath it from Indra’s wrathful storm.

To mark this day when Krishna protected his devotees from the wrath of Indra, Hindus celebrate this day as Govardhan Puja.

“O Govardhana! You make your name, “nourisher of cows”, successful by constantly giving land, water, grass and the shade of your trees to the cows and thus you are famous in the three worlds. Please allow me to live close by you!”~Sri Govardhana-Vasa-Prarthana-Dasakam

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