Govardhan Puja is celebrated across the globe in every ISKCON temple to commemorate the story of Lord Krishna lifting Govardhan Hill to protect the inhabitants of Vrindavan.

The Govardhan Puja was started by the Lord Himself. Originally, in Vrindavan, the place where Lord Krishna lived, the residents of the village would hold a harvest festival annually to please Lord Indra, so that He continued to offer water on the lands. As Lord Indra is the Lord who supplies water on earth through rain, worshiping Him was believed to be an assurance that Vrindavan has blessings of abundant agriculture.

However, once Lord Krishna told His father, Nanda Maharaja that instead of worshiping Lord Indra, they must worship Govardhan Hill, the hill in their own village of Vrindavan. He said that Lord Indra has nothing to do with creating the rain as the rain also falls on the ocean, where there is no need of water.

According to Lord Krishna, every single cosmic activity is the manifestation of goodness, passion and ignorance. These factors create, maintain and destruct everything in the cosmic world. Hence, the clouds too are created with passion and not by Lord Indra. So, instead of worshiping Him, Lord Krishna requested His father Nanda Maharaja to worship the Govardhan Hill, feed the cows, and satisfy the Brahmins, so that their land is full of agricultural bliss and blessing.’

At TODU, devotees celebrate this festival by building a replica of Govardhan Hill made of various opulent foods, worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhan Hill, worship the hill as His incarnation, and worship the cows who are dear to the Lord. At the end of the festival, the hill of prasad is distributed to everyone.

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