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The economy of brij, being agrarian in nature till today, largely depends on rainfall. Accordingly brijmandal had a tradition to worship Indra, the lord of rains to ensure adequate rainfall so that grain, grass and fodder are available aplenty. The innocent folk never knew it was the duty of Indra to ensure equitable distribution of rains to all and that he had no right to ask to be worshipped for that. Lord Krishna explained the primacy of karma to Nand Baba and other elders (Shri Madbhagvat Mahapuran, Dasham Skandh, 24th chapter, verse 13) as:


Karmana jayate jantuh karmanaiv vileeyate |

Sukham duhkham bhayam kshemam karmanaivabhipadyate ||


That is, all living beings are born according to their deeds and they die because of their deeds only. They experience happiness, sorrow, fear and blessings according to deeds only. Further (Shri Madbhagvat Mahapuran, Dasham Skandh, 24th chapter, verse 18):


Tasmat sampujayet karma svabhavasthah sva karmakrit |

Anjasa yen vartet tadevasya hi daivatam ||


Therefore it is desirable that men regard his duties as supreme in accordance to varna and ashram set by his earlier deeds. The deity to be worshipped by a man is the one through whom he is able to earn his livelihood comfortably.


By such explanations Krishna persuaded elders to worship the Goverdhan hillock in place of Indra, since it was because of Goverdhan that the ecology of brij is maintained. Nobody had seen Indra while Goverdhan was there for everybody to see. Anybody can verify the gifts of Goverdhan, in the form of fresh water from its fountains, vast grasslands in its vicinity, abundant fruits, grain and fodder grown in the orchards and fields around Goverdhan. Convinced by Krishna’s forceful arguments, elders agreed to worship Goverdhan and thus the tradition started.


Now see the Leela (Shri Madbhagvat Mahapuran, Dasham Skandh, 24th chapter, verse 35):


Krishnastvanyatamm roopm gopvishrambhanam gath |

Shailosmeetibruvan bhoori balimadvad brihadvapu ||


Then to develop confidence, that they were doing a right thing, Krishna appeared over the Goverdhan hill assuming a huge form. Declaring that he is Giriraj, the presiding deity of the hill, he accepted all the offerings, variety of food items in person! Goverdhan therefore is not different, Goverdhan Pooja is basically worship of lord Krishna himself.


In Shri Bankey Bihari Mandir, you see two small canopies in the courtyard, under one of w

Festival Significance : Govardhan Pooja
Festival Date (Hindu Calender) : Kartik Shukla Pratipada
Festival Date (English Calender) : Fri, Nov 01, 2024

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