All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga


Report by Gauranidhi das:

Sri Govardhan Puja Maha-Mahotsav, Mexico City, Sunday 26th October 2003.

Om ajnana-timirandhasya jnananjana-salakaya
caksur unmilitam yena tasmai sri-gurave namah

Dandavats honorable Vaishnavas, 

I have been asked to write a report about the recent Sri Govardhan Puja Maha-mahotsav held in Mexico City:

This year the Sri Govardhan Puja festival was done in grand style. We were honored to have the divine presence of 3 Govardhan Silas (Worshippable Deities in rock form, taken from Govardhan Hill.) Right from the outset, I must thank Sundari and Krishnavani didis for bringing their Govardhan Silas to the program.

Sri Giriraj received worship in the following way...

We started the program by reciting the Pranam-mantras (Vande ham sri guroh...) and then with some Maha-mantra Kirttan. Then it was time for the lecture/class (see the photos!). Many devotees don't know much about Govardhan so these topics were covered :

1.  The appearance of Govardhan Hill on the Earth and how he came to be in Vraja Dham.
   (Taken from the Govardhan Parikrama book)
2.  Stories about Govardhan Hill in Krishna-lila.
  (We read the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.25 and 10.25)
3.  Stories about Govardhan Hill in Gaura-lila.
(Paraphrased from the Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita)
4.  Stories about Govardhan Hill and some activities during the month of Karttik in our Gurus' lila.
(Paraphrased from stories that Srila Govinda Maharaj has told us)
5.  Current stories and activities.
(Things we learned or noticed while we lived in Govardhan)

After this, we read and/or sang 6 songs that glorify Govardhan Hill (see the photos!). We sang and read the translation of numbers 1 and 2 below, and read translations of the rest :

1.  Sri Govardhana-vasa-prarthana-dasaka by Srila Raghunath das Goswami
(This is an excellent song, and it is inscribed in marble to the right of
Sri Anu-Giriraj's altar in SCSMath's temple in Govardhan.)
2.  Sri Vraja Dhama Mahimamrita
(Jaya Radhe Jaya Krishna Jaya Vrndavan...)
3.  Sri Govardhanasraya-dasaka by Srila Raghunath das Goswami.
4.  Sri Govardhanastakam by Srila Visvanath Chakravarti Thakura.
5.  Prathama-Govardhanastaka by Srila Rupa Goswami.
6. Dvitiya-Govardhanastaka by Srila Rupa Goswami.

I must thank Sundari didi for translating all of the material we sang and read. Also I would like to point out that a different person read each article (at least 10 people were given the opportunity to read.)

Then we bathed the Govardhan Silas (Abhishek). There was a huge kirttan going on during the bathing ceremony, with various devotees taking the lead in turns. Sundari didi was the Pujari, assisted by Krishnavani didi and Gauravani didi. About 50 people bathed the 3 Govardhan Silas with milk and yoghurt (see the photos!) Every so often the Pujari would rinse the Silas with water before the milk and yoghurt bath continued. After we had all bathed the Deities, the Pujari bathed them with Honey, ghee  and fragrant oils like Aguru.

After the Silas were dressed and ready for the next offering, they were offered a huge feast (see the photos!) We all sang the Bhoga-arati-giti (Bhaja bhakata vatsala sri gaurahari).

After this, we all did Parikrama (circumambulation) of the Silas 4 times. Imagine! So many people in a small room -- we had to send one group at a time to do their Parikrama while the others sang Maha-mantra and cheered (see the photos!)

After the Parikrama and Kirttan, Sri Giriraj received his Arati ceremony. We sang the Arati song that Srila Govinda Maharaj recently composed for Sri-Anu-Giriraj in SCSMath's temple in Govardhan (Sri Sri Giriraj Govardhan Arati -- jaya jaya girirajer aratika sobha...).  The ladies made the hulu-hulu sound with their tongues and others blew Conch shells. Sri Giriraj even received a 108-lamp offering (In the absence of the proper Puja article for this, we improvised; 108 candles were put on a metal plate, held in place by sand!) Unfortunately the camera we were using ran out of memory and we don't have any photos of the Arati or what happened afterwards...

After the Arati everyone honoured (i.e. drank) Charanamrita (Sri Giriraj's 'bath water' -- A mix of water, yoghurt, milk, honey, ghee, and Aguru) and sat down to honour (i.e. to eat) sumptuous Prasadam. I say that the festival was extremely successful because so many Vaishnavas took part and everyone was pleased. No one was left out (...and bells were ringing when we finished! )

Everyone who participated left smiling and seeing this I thought to myself that Srila Govinda Maharaj must be very pleased by this festival. If He is pleased, then surely Sri Giriraj must be pleased too (and vice-versa).

I want to offer thanks to Lakshmirani didi, who is the leader of the programs in Mexico City, and to Prabhus Anumitra and Gaurakinkara, who assist her. I offer special thanks to Prabhu Dvijamani, who is an unassuming devotee, always in the background doing Seva.

I want to thank last but not least, all those Vaishnavas who had a hand in the writing, transliterating, translating, editing, printing etc. of the 'Srimad Bhagavatam', 'Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita', 'The Color Guide to Govardhan Hill' (a.k.a The Govardhan Parikrama book), and all of the songs we read and sang. Without their huge sacrifices, we wouldn't have had anything to sing or read. We wouldn't know who Govardhan is or why He is so special. Thank you for your efforts!

Being highly fallible, I may have left out some important detail or I may have forgotten to thank someone for their valuable participation. If so, please forgive me.

Vancha-kalpatarubhyas' ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah

-- Gauranidhi das.

P.S. If anyone would like copies of the 7 songs we sang in glorification of Govardhan Hill, please contact Prabhu Mahananda

He has them in both English and Spanish (transliterated verses + translations), in .PDF format.