The Govardhan episode is a very popular legend related to the deeds of Krishna. Krishna, who was born in Mathura around 5,100 years back was a very precocious child, a child prodigy. Krishna is the central character of the Mahabharatha events. It is Krishna who gave us the sermon of the Bhagavad Gita, which is one of the primary texts of the Indian lore, speaking of the duties of man and his relationship between himself, his soul and the divine Creation.
More on Krishna and his historical personage can be read in the book, “Historical Krishna’ which is part of the Bharath Gyan series.
Historical Krishna Series
Krishna in his childhood, once questioned his elders as to why they were praying to Indra, when instead they should be praying to the hills, the rivers, the forests, the fields and the cows which were so immediate to them, which were near them, which gave them succour in their daily lives.
Krishna opined that instead of praying to Indra, the people of Vrindavan, among others should be praying to Nature and such aspect that gave them the immediate succour. Hearing Krishna’s wrongs of wisdom the people turned their prayers from Indra to the hills, the orchards, the rivers and the cows that were nearby which gave the people the daily nourishment. Indra, the leader of the divine forces obviously did not like being neglected. Indra unsheathed his wrath and sent down lightning after lightning and torrential hailstorms.
The common people who had listened to the advice of Krishna were frightened by the turn of events and turned to Krishna for help. Krishna literally rose to the occasion and lifted up a nearby hillock, collected the local people under it and shielded them from the wrath of Indra, which eventually subsided after wearing out against the steadfastness of Krishna.
This episode was one among the many defining moments in the life and deeds of Krishna. This event which happened over 5,100 years ago, is commemorated to this day as Govardhana Pooja a day after Deepavali.
While at one level this legend seems like a miracle performed by Krishna, at a ground level, the Govardhana Giri episode is symbolic of Krishna steering people towards achieving harmony with Nature by focusing their attention on performing their daily chores bearing in mind the dependency of man on Nature. Through this Govardhan Giri episode and bringing people under the shade of Govardhan, Krishna was bringing people to the fountainhead of knowledge and re-emphasizing the need for rational thought, physical sciences and knowledge in one’s daily life.
This event of Govaradhan Giri is also celebrated as Annakut where varieties of food preparation are decorated in the form of a mountain, symbolizing Govardhana Giri and offered to the divine and later distributed to all.
After all the celebrations and feasting, the Govardhan Pooja is a reminder to people to pay obeisance to the Nature around them that has given them all this prosperity and to pledge to work in harmony with Nature in the forthcoming seasons.
Annakut at Art of Living, Ahmedabad
Start of New Accounting Year
The 1st day of the Karthik month, is celebrated as the start of the New Accounting year by the trading community, especially in Western India, the gateway for trade since the times of Krishna, 5100 years ago. More on this can be found in our work Historical Krishna of the Bharath Gyan Series.
For this community of traders, with new produce, fresh stocks have arrived for trading. New books of accounts were therefore opened to start fresh account keeping. This day was celebrated with prayers for a good financial year ahead and also to commit to conducting business in an honest and righteous manner.
The day after Karthik Amavasya, i.e. the Prathama, Pratipada, according to legends is the day when Vishnu in the form of Vamana, a short statured scholar, sends the mighty Asura king, MahaBali to Patala Loka. More about this legend and where Patala Loka lies, is discussed in out book 2012 – The Real Story of the Bharath Gyan Series.
This event is a reminder to people on how arrogance can bring one down, irrespective of however good one is. Bali was a great king and was loved dearly by his people. He was known for his large hearted charity. But he was so arrogant about his greatness and goodness that he did not deem it fit to listen to his Guru’s advice at a critical juncture and this brought about his downfall.
Vishnu as Vamana, sending MahaBali to Patala Loka
This day of Bali Partipada after Deepavali and all the wealth, is a reminder to people on how not to get arrogant like Bali, about the wealth one has gained but to accept it with grace and share it with all like Bali again.