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Diwali/Govardhana Puja

 

 

The multiplex of holidays in the holiest month of Kartik (Damodara) includes Diwali and Govardhana Puja. Diwali, properly known as Dipavali, celebrates the day that Sri Ramacandra, Sri Laksmana, and Srimati Sitadevi return to Ayodhya after their exile of fourteen years. To welcome them properly, the citizens of Ayodhya lit many lamps of light. This holiday is celebrated on the new moon (amavasya) of the month of Kartik (Damodara). In this spirit, devotees would celebrate this as a day for Sri Rama’s pastimes and honor it in this manner. Today, Diwali is a wide-spread celebration. To some regional calendars, they mark it as the “new year.” Despite people lighting many lamps, Diwali has turned into the day of worshipping of wealth. The true essence should be about illuminating our devotional service and glorify Sri Rama as a devotee.

 

The day after Diwali is another grand celebration. Govardhana Puja is the celebration of the worshipping ceremony of Govardhana Hill. Govardhana Hill is an expansion of Krsna that flourishes Vrndavana and the land of Vraja. During the original ceremony to please Govardhana Hill, the residents of Vraja offered many hundreds of dishes in order to please Govardhana Hill. In turn, Sri Govardhana protected the residents of Vraja through Krsna. In the same spirit, devotees prepare hundreds of dishes to the Lord in His Govardhana form. In addition, devotees make a mountain of food and top it off with Lord Krsna on top. After having a maha-arati, devotee circumambulate the mountain of food, which becomes of mountain of prasadam.

 

UPDATED: August 31, 2010