The Govardhana Puja festival was celebrated at ISKCON Bangalore on October 20, 2017. This is an important festival in the holy month of Kartika. The celebration is centered on Govardhana-lila – one of the fascinating childhood pastimes of Lord Krishna. Worship of the Govardhana Hill and cows (Go-puja) is the main feature of this festival.
By lifting the Govardhana Hill, Lord Krishna demonstrated His love and protection for the residents of Vrindavana who had taken complete shelter of Him. At the same time, He shattered the pride of demigod, Indra who had forgotten his real position of being subservient to the supreme will of the Lord. This pastime also teaches that one who is fully surrendered to Lord Krishna, need not fear anybody else, however great he may be.
The Govardhana Hill is non-different from Lord Krishna. Further, Lord Krishna is described in the Vishnu Purana as ‘go-brahmana-hitaya ca’, the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas. He is also known as Gopala – the protector of cows. Thus both Govardhana Puja and Go-Puja (worship of cows) have special importance on this day.
On this occasion, the Deity of Lord Krishna in the temple was gorgeously decorated in Giridhari alankara, carrying the Govardhana Hill on the little finger of His left hand.
The Govardhana Puja was conducted in the evening at the Open Air Theatre. The utsava Deities of Lord Krishna in Giridhari Alankara and Srimati Radharani were brought to the venue. A large cake, (pure vegetarian), crafted in the shape of a hill representing the Govardhana Hill, was a major attraction. The Govardhana cake weighing 675 kg along with 25 types of home-made preparations by the initiated congregation, 56 types of traditional delicacies, cookies and fruits, was offered to Lord Krishna. This was followed by the worship of the cows in the temple’s goshala and feeding them with special treats – fruits, etc.
After the Go-Puja, the audience watched a Little Krishna animation show on the Govardhana-lila. His Grace Chanchalapathi Dasa, Senior Vice President of the temple performed Govardhana Puja to the accompaniment of Sri Govardhanashtaka, a Sanskrit prayer on the glorious qualities of the Govardhana Hill. After this all the devotees took part in the Govardhana Parikrama, seeking its blessings.
The concluding part of the festival was Damodara arati followed by a splendid fireworks display. The celebration ended with the distribution of Govardhana cake prasadam to all the devotees present at the venue.