Annakut Mahotsav and Govardhan Puja


By Ashish Agrawal

HOUSTON: Govardhan Puja is the celebration of one of Lord Krishna’s most memorable pastimes.  During his descent on this earth, Lord Krishna, as a cowherd boy, lifted Govardhan Hill on one pinky finger in order to protect the residents of Brajdham from the wrath of the Demigod Indra.  Indra was upset because the brajvasis this year had decided to worship Giriraj Govardhan, instead of the annual ritual of worshipping Indra.  This, not coincidentally, was changed under the instruction of Krishna the supreme Lord.  The demigod Indra had no idea that this cowherd boy Krishna was in fact the Supreme Lord.  So, Indra decided to lash out at the villagers by pouring heavy rains and flooding and destroying them.  The helpless villagers then went to Krishna and blamed him for angering Lord Indra.  This is when Lord Krishna, lifted the Govardhan Hill.  All the villagers took shelter underneath Govardhan Hill, which protected them from the heavy rains.  This lasted for seven days, until Indra finally gave up, bowed down to the Lord, and restored peace.


He did abhishek of Krishna and gave him the name Govinda i.e. the protector of senses, cows, cowherd boys, gopis and brahmans. The villagers then offered a massive bhog of various foods to Govardhan.  Once it was over, the villagers remembered nothing of boy Krishna’s amazing feat.

 Giriraj Govardhan is Krishna himself in one form as well as Krishna’s best devotee in another form. He takes the form of a mountain to serve the Lord. He is extremely merciful and famous for fulfilling all the desires. More than that he can give pure love and devotion unto  the lotus feet of Lord Krishna for sincere seekers. It is a verdict of the scriptures that even if one offers one grain of rice to Giriraj Govardhan, that person will never be poor in the life.

Shri Govindji Gaudiya Matha, under the guidence of Srila Gurudev, Shri Bhakti Vedanta Narayan Goswami Maharaj celebrates this festival yearly.  This year, however, was on a grand scale, as it was the first celebration in front of the beautiful deities installed earlier this year.  The program included kirtanas, an adult class about the meaning and significance of Govardhan Puja, and Maha-Aarti.  The children attended their weekly Sunday class, where the various age groups learned about this pastime of Lord Krishna.  In fact, my son came running to me after his class, and said “Look papa!!! Did you know that Krishna lifted this huge mountain on one finger for seven days!!!”

 And of course, anyone there can never forget the massive bhog of over 1000 preparations offered to Giriraj Govardhan.  A real Govardhan Shila was placed in the center of the alter, and with all the food preparations, loud kirtanas, and smiles on everyone’s face. The whole temple hall was resounding with the chanting of the holy name with several mridangas and other musical instruments.  It truly felt as if we experienced the same joy that those villagers felt under Govardhan Hill.