CREDOS : Govardhan Puja

The puja performed on the fourth day of Deepawali (today) is called Govardhan Puja. The origin of this day goes back to the Dwapara Yuga, and to Lord Krishna. According to legends, he lifted Mount Govardhan on this day and hence the day is dedicated to the worshiping of the mountain. Govardhan Puja is offered as a tribute to Krishna’s heroic feat.

The people of Mathura, where Krishna lived, were basically farmers and had a practice of offering yearly puja to god Indra. The worship was a means of thanking the god for a good crop and all the celebrations happened at Mount Govardhan. One particular year,the residents of Mathura started their journey towards the mountain and Krishna accompanied them.

People were preparing to carry out the puja to please Indra, when Lord Krishna approached them and questioned the rationale for this practice. He told them to worship the fields where they grow their produce instead of Indra. The people of Mathura under the guidance of Krishna made all the preparations for worshiping the cattle and the fields, when terror struck.

Indra, angered by the insult, caused a thunderstorm and incessant rains which threatened to blow away or drown not only the cattle but also the people. The scared people ran to Krishna for help and he lifted the Mount Govardhan with his little finger. The people and the cattle took shelter under the mountain and were saved from the storm. Humbled by this act, god Indra approached Lord Krishna and apologised. (— Compiled)