In the month of Kartik, we have many tales like Raas Leela, Radha Kund nirmaan, Damodar Leela which takes place on the day of Diwali, and Goverdhan puja. On the very next day to Diwali when every resident of Braj did Govardhan puja in place of Indra. The next day to this is Bhai dhooj which is the symbol of love between brother and sister. And then comes Gopastami when Lord Krishna was handed the burden of big cows. Earlier, Lord Krishna used to graze small cows nearby. So, on this day Nanda Maharaj sent his sons Krishna and Balaram to graze cows in the forest for the first time. Lord Krishna became a Gwala on this day. Before this, he was Bal Krishna and after that, he was called Gwal Krishna.
How is Gopastami Celebrated?
In Hindu culture, cows are called “gaumata” and are worshiped like goddesses. For Hindus, cows are considered the soul of their religion and culture. According to Hindu mythology, some gods, goddesses, and gods live in cows, so they occupy such a special place in the Hindu mind.
Moreover, this pure beast is considered the owner of spiritual and sacred qualities and even the manifestation of the Goddess Earth. It is believed that those who worship Gaumata on the eve of Gopasutami are blessed with a happy, prosperous and happy life.
Nanda Maharaj is the father of Sri Krishna. At that time, the children were given the job of caring for the calves. Sri Krishna and Lord Balarama agreed that the cowherd men should watch over the pasture cows after the fifth year. Nanda Maharaj decided to hold a ceremony when Lord Krishna and Balarama first went to the cattle pastures of Vrindavan.
Lada, the spouse of Lord Krishna’s God, wanted her to graze cows, but she was forbidden to be a girl. So she disguised herself as a boy because she looked like Subarasaka. She dressed with his Dhoti and joined Sri Krishna on a cow grazing with her companions for her enjoyment.
Go-puja is ready for the day. Believers visit Nosara to bathe and clean cows and Nosara. Cows are adorned with cloth and jewels before offering special rituals by believers. For good health, special feeds are given, and special efforts are organized to maintain them.
On this day, Sri Krishnan Puja and Kaupja will be held with Pradaksina, and the blessing for a happier life will be obtained. Believers also pay special respect to the usefulness of cattle in their daily lives. Cows provide milk that helps meet the nutritional needs of people like mothers.
For this reason, cows are sacred in Hinduism and respected as mothers. Skilled believers discuss the fame of cattle and their protection, and everyone feeds cows and participates in feasts near Nosara.
Why Do We Do-Puja On This Day?
There is a Story of Gopastami. It is a tradition to decorate and worship cows with calves on this day. Shri Krishna’s father, Nanda Maharaj, held Shri Krishna responsible for the cows, and Shri Krishna grazed the cows in the forest. Nanda Maharaja decided to hold a ceremony when Lord Krishna and Balarama first went to Vrindavan to graze cattle. Sri Krishna’s sacred wife, Lada, wanted to feed the cow, but she was refused to have a girl.
Therefore, like Subarasaka, she disguised herself as a boy, dressed in Dhoti and robes, and joined her companion to enjoy with Lord Krishna by raising cows. The festival is celebrated in Ashtami by Shukla Paksha of the Cardi month.
It is also believed that Sri Krishna broke Sri Indra’s pride on this day. After bathing in the morning, the cow will perform an arati with the calf using water, axhat, loli, jaggery, jalebi, clothes, and smoking lamps. If you don’t have cows in your house, you’ll have to go to the barn to serve them.
Cows are adorned with clothes and jewels before the followers perform special rituals. Special foods are given to ensure good health. The ritual of worshiping cattle and calves is similar to Govatsa Dwadashi in Maharashtra.
On this day, Shree Krishnapuja and Kaupuja will be held with Pradaksina and seek blessings for a good and happy life. Believers also pay special respect to the usefulness of cattle in their daily lives. Cows provide milk that helps meet the nutritional needs of people like mothers.
For this reason, cows are considered sacred in Hinduism and are respected as mothers. High-ranking supporters are discussing the honor and protection of cows. They all graze cows and participate in feasts near the barn.
What is The Story of Gopastami?
Gopastami has been described in different ways in different scriptures. The story is very interesting and it goes something like this. It was the Saptami day of Kartik month when Lord Krishna was feeding the calves. Looking at him all the Gwal Bal friends started laughing and said, “Krishna your father does not trust you enough and so you are still grazing calves instead of big cows and on top of that you are given a boundary to not cross” this is how all of them teased Krishna. They said, ” You don’t have that ability and that’s why he is not letting you take care of big cows” and Krishna in his head thinks that they are right. While all of this was going on in the jungle, the scene at the house was different where Yashoda Maiya tells Nandbaba,”
Look, Krishna has grown up, and now we can give him the responsibility of big cows.” So that day Krishna arrives home in rage and lies face down to show his anger. That day there was no storytelling, no bathing, no changing of clothes, no coronation nor did he eat butter which used to be his everyday doings. Yashoda is worried. She is ready to give the good news but lord Krishna is in no mood to hear anything. Usually, the lord wakes up and plays his flute, and on hearing the mesmerizing sound of his flute Gwal Bal wakes up and does the daily chores. But that day lord Krishna did not wake up in the first place and so every Gwal Bal gets up on their own and after getting ready goes to Krishna’s house along with their calves but Krishna has hidden his face in the pillow. Yashoda tries to wake him up but her efforts go in vain.
Gwal bal is at his front door waiting for their friend Krishna because everyone was told that Lord Krishna will be going with them with his big cows. Everyone was happy to go along with their adorable Krishna and every cow there was standing in a line waiting for him in groups. Various breeds of cows were waiting for their little lord. Then Nand Baba tells Yashoda,” Go and whisper in his ears that from today onwards you will be responsible for big cows” and when Yashoda does so Lord Krishna wakes up in a hurry and gets ready to go. After looking at the beautiful cows and the people who came to his house he regrets not waking up earlier.
Then Yashoda tells him, “The path to the jungle is very stony and sunny and that’s why we’ve brought shoes and umbrellas for the both of you. Wear them.” To this Krishna replies, ” I will only wear the shoes after all of my cows wear them and I will only take the umbrellas when the cows have them too. Whatever I have, they should have it too.” Yashoda says, ” But I don’t have that many shoes and umbrellas. Now you wear them or leave them.” But this kid is Lord Krishna, not just a simple kid. He is the lord of the whole world, the lord of the universe and the favorite of all God and Goddesses. So Krishna started walking barefoot. The cows who were there and witnessed the whole situation decided to go along with Krishna and to show affection towards him they would crush all the stones in his way and turn them into powder. Remembering Krishna, there are always tears of love in their eyes and milk drips from the udders of those cows and falls on the earth, due to which the soil becomes even more soft and cold. The affection towards each other is equal from both sides.
The cows decided with the Gwal Bal that now when Lord Krishna will walk on this soft, wet, cold earth, his beautiful feet will be imprinted on the surface and none of them will walk over those imprints and that was how these imprints were made all over the land of Braj and looking at them people remember that the lord walked on this path. Today many of these imprints are gone but some remain and it is mentioned in Garga Samhita that whosoever gets to see those imprints will not be reborn in this material world again. While returning from their long walk to the jungle Gwal Bal thinks that if Yashoda Maiya sees Krishna tired, she won’t let him go with them the next day and that’s why they all try to make him relieved. They cracked jokes and had fun to make him feel delighted so that he returns home with a smile on his face. And now when he returns to Nand village he sees cows spread all over the place. To call them Lord Krishan climbs on a tree and plays his flute. In the sound of a flute, every cow heard their name including the ones who were not owned by Krishna. Every cow gathered around and then the song started and all of them went to Nanda Baba’s house and Krishna reached there with a smile on his face.
Everyone gathers at Nand baithak where Krishan and Balram talk about what all happened with them the whole day and after that everyone went to their house. This was the start of this festival of Gopastami. This day every resident of Braj decorates their cows and worships them and then lets their cows roam around. Food is specially cooked for them on this day. To participate in this Leela, Radha Rani also assumed the form of a friend. Hence in the temple of ISKCON on this day we can witness Goddess Radha in her form of a companion. The main objective of the festival of Gopastami is to draw our attention towards cow protection which Lord Krishna himself is trying to tell us from his example.
Why Do We Celebrate Gopastami?
There is a great Significance of Gopashtmi. Gopastamipuja or Gopashtamivrat is observed on the 8th day of the bright half of the Kartik moon (Kartik Shukla Ashtami). Sri Krishnan Pooja and Go Pooja are the most important rituals of the day. According to Prana, Sri Krishnan and his brother Balarama became qualified cowherds on Gopastami Day. Before that day, he was a calf keeper.
Cows bathe and are adorned with colorful clothes and jewels. Believers paint the horns of the cow with turmeric and place Sindura on the forehead. They also put bills on their bodies. Gopastami provides cattle with special feed recipes and fresh grass. Pradaksina (circulation) around the cow is the most informative ritual of the Gopastami festival.
Gopastami and Go Puja are enthusiastically celebrated at all Krishna temples in India and abroad. Mayapur Temple, Wrindabangbangkebihariji Temple, Maturasli Krishnamandir, Dwarka’s Sarkadish Temple, and Nasdwarashulinati Temple are the most popular temples of the Gopastami Festival. At Mayapur Temple, Mahayaguna and Charandalshan will be performed by Sri Matira Darani on this festive day.
Aside from legend, cows are considered auspicious animals by Hindus, and cow worship is considered a good sign. The mother of this earth, “Gaumata,” is the source of many things and gives life. We get five different elements from her, and even her milk provides us with so many nutrients. Cows are also considered a symbol of love, care, compassion, purity, and motherhood.
The cow is believed to be the home of 33 gods and goddesses, and her worship will remove all calamities from our lives. According to Hindu mythology, cows are the owners of spiritual and sacred qualities and a form of the goddess on earth. Hindu beliefs also state that worshiping cows on this day brings happiness and happiness to their lives.
Cow Protection Is Necessary
Cows are the symbol of our prosperity. If the cows are there then the world will remain and the happiness of the cows is the biggest witness of the humanity of the living beings of any civilization. To protect cows means to create an environment around them where they can enjoy and be protected mentally, emotionally and physically. They should have an atmosphere of love and care and this atmosphere was present in Vrindavan. And Lord Krishna himself has appeared in Braj Dham and has served the cows and has told through his deeds, words and his tales how one should serve, protect and keep the cows happy.
To know more about the Celebration of Gopastami you can visit our website and lose yourself in the world of Sri Krishna. Radhe Radhe.