Padwa & Govardhan Puja
The day following the Amavasya is "Kartik Shuddh Padwa"
and it is only on this day that the King Bali would come out of Pathal Loka
and rule Bhulok as per the boon given by Lord Vishnu. Hence, it is also
known as "Bali Padyami"
. This day also marks the
coronation of King Vikramaditya
and Vikaram-Samvat was
started from this Padwa day.
is symbolic of love and devotion between the
wife and husband. On this day newly-married daughters with their husbands
are invited for special meals and given presents. In olden days brothers
went to fetch their sisters from their in-laws home for this important day.
Govardhan-Puja is also performed in the North on this day. Govardhan is a
small hillock in Braj, near Mathura and on this day of Diwali people of
Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar build cowdung, hillocks, decorate
them with flowers and then worship them. This festival is in commemoration
of the lifting of Mount Govardhan
by Krishna. As per
Vishnu-Puran the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival in honor of
Lord Indra and worshiped him after the end of every monsoon season but one
particular year the young Krishna stopped them from offering prayers to
who in terrific anger sent a deluge to submerge
People were afraid that the downpour was a result of their neglect of
Indra. But Krishna assured them that no harm would befall them. He lifted
Mount Govardhan with his little finger and sheltered men and beasts from the
rain. This gave him the epithet Govardhandhari
this, Indra accepted the supremacy of Krishna.
This day is also observed as Annakoot
meaning mountain of
food. Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook fifty-six or 108
different types of food for the bhog (the offering of food) to Krishna. In
temples specially in Mathura and Nathadwara, the deities are given milkbath,
dressed in shining attires with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls,
rubies and other precious stones. After the prayers and traditional worship
innumerable varieties of delicious sweets are ceremoniously raised in the
form of a mountain before the deities as "Bhog"
and then the devotees approach the Mountain of Food and take Prasad from it.