Govardhan Puja falls on the day after Diwali Puja, and it is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated Lord Indra. Sometimes there can be a gap of one day between Diwali and Govardhan Puja. In religious scriptures, the festival of Govardhan Puja is observed on the first day of Kartik Maas. Based on the start time of the first day, the day of Govardhan Puja can fall one day before the Amavasya (New Moon) day on the Hindu calendar. For the Gujarati community, the festival is also celebrated as New Year’s Day.
So, let’s get to know more about the Date, Rituals and Significance of Govardhan Puja 2023.
Govardhan Puja 2023: Date, Muhurat and Timings
This year, Govardhan Puja will be observed on Tuesday, November 14, 2023
- Govardhan Puja Pratahkala Muhurat: 06:44 a.m to 09:00 a.m
- Duration – 02 hours 15 mins
- Pratipada Tithi Starts: 02:56 p.m on November 13, 2023
- Pratipada Tithi Ends: 02:36 p.m on November 14, 2023
Significance of Govardhan Puja
In literal terms, Govardhan Puja and Annakut are separate observances, and these two festivals are distinct in nature. Both Govardhan Puja and Annakut hold significance in various mythological and religious contexts, but they differ in their procedures and practices.
Govardhan Puja is a sacred ritual observed by the people of Gokul, where they worship the Govardhan mountain. This mountain was lifted by Lord Krishna with his finger to provide shelter to the people of Gokul from heavy rain. This ritual signifies the power of the mountain and the natural protection it offered.
Annakut, on the other hand, involves the presentation of a large variety of food items, often in the form of a mountain made from food (symbolizing an offering to God). Devotees offer this food as a form of worship and surrender to God. This festival symbolizes God’s blessings and grace, and through it, devotees seek prosperity and happiness.
In this way, Govardhan Puja and Annakut, although celebrated together, have distinct importance and practices, each carrying its own significance.
Mythological Stories Behind Govardhan Puja
As per Hindu mythological stories, the people of Gokul used to worship Lord Indra, who is also seen as the deity responsible for rainfall. However, Lord Krishna advised the people to worship the Govardhan Hill or perform an Annakoot (a mountain of food offerings), believing that these were more powerful deities. The Govardhan Hill is often worshipped by devotees who seek sustenance and protection from challenging circumstances in life. The hill is revered as a sacred entity that provides nourishment and shelter to its devotees in times of need.
After receiving Lord Krishna’s guidance, the people of Gokul began to worship the Govardhan mountain in place of Lord Indra. During the worship of this mountain, Lord Indra became greatly angered and started to pour heavy rainfall upon Gokul. In response, Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan mountain with His little finger and sheltered the people of Gokul underneath it, protecting them from the rain.
Puja Rituals on Govardhan Puja
Since the festival of Annakut closely coincides with Diwali, the rituals of both festivals are intricately connected. During Annakut, similar to the Diwali festival, the first three days are dedicated to prayers to sanctify wealth and invite greater prosperity into the family. Devotees pray to Lord Krishna and express their gratitude to Him for His blessings.
Govardhan Puja Vidhi 2023
On the occasion of Govardhan Puja, various rituals are observed, practised by different communities. One such tradition involves the worship of deity idols, often featuring the idol of Lord Krishna. This idol is typically crafted from cow dung and is later adorned with embellishments like clay lamps (known as “diyas”) and candles. Devotees also offer their prayers to this idol. Many families also create rangoli art (decorative patterns made using colourful powders, coloured sand, and flower petals) outside their homes.
What is the Importance of Annakut?
In Hindu families, the elderly consider Annakut Offerings as an auspicious occasion to impart religious and cultural values to the younger generations. With complete sincerity, they dedicate themselves to this practice and seek forgiveness from the divine while instilling these values.
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