DIWALI & GOVARDHAN PUJA
Time & Location
About This Event
Diwali or Dipavali (meaning “a row of lamps”) is synonymous with light and divinity. It is a jubilant occasion celebrated by Hindus and Vaishnavas throughout the world, signifying the triumph of light over darkness, of goodness over evil. It was first celebrated by the citizens of Ayodhya many thousands of years ago to welcome Lord Rama back to His kingdom after His fourteen-year exile. At another time, this was the day when Lord Krishna broke pots of yogurt and was chastised by His mother, Yashoda. She then caught Him and bound Him to a grinding mortar, signifying that Krishna is only bound by the pure love of His devotee. On Diwali many extravagant food preparations are offered to the Lord, fireworks are ignited, and lamps and candles are lit as a symbol of divine peace and joy.
Govardhana Puja and Go-puja
At the center of Lord Krishna’s spiritual abode lies Govardhana Hill, the majestic mountain that is a manifestation of Krishna Himself, held by Lord Krishna on His little finger for seven days and nights to protect His devotees from a devastating rainstorm. Govardhana Hill is simultaneously the greatest servant of Lord Krishna and His devotees, providing all the necessities for their livelihood in Vrindavan. Govardhana Puja commemorates this pastime of Krishna’s lifting Govardhana Hill and Govardhana’s extraordinary position as the master and servant.
Go-puja is also celebrated on this day by worshiping the cows and bulls who are dear to Lord Krishna. Krishna devotees celebrate by building a replica of Govardhana Hill with delectable sweets and other foods and by joyously circumambulating the hill and singing Krishna’s names and glories. The hill of sweets is then distributed to everyone as prasada, the mercy of God.