Gopashtami- Celebrating Devotees’ Love for Krishna
Ashtami tithi begins on 18th November 2015 at 14:09 and ends on 19th November 2015 at 12:38.
The term Gopashtami is a compound of two words which are ‘Gopa’ meaning cowherd and ‘Ashtami’ meaning the eighth day of the month. Gopashtami is celebrated on the eighth day of the dark lunar fortnight in the month of Kartik (October-November), according to the Hindu calendar. KrishnaKrishna
It is described that there are three aspects of the Supreme that must... was in love with the cows and vice-versa. He use to eat curd and butter in an ample amount and whenever he played flute, the cows use to surround him to listen him play. The festival is majorly celebrated in Vrindavan It is an important Hindu pilgrimage site where Krishna spent his childhood days. Mathura- It is a city in North Indian State, Uttar Pradesh, known for being the birthplace of Krishnawith love and sincerity.
Krishna, from a very young age, wanted to be a cow-herder. He asked for his mother’s permission who then consulted a saint named Shandilya. He said that the auspicious time to start this activity would be on the eighth of the dark lunar fortnight in the month of Kartik, which later came to be known as Gopashtami. Krishna felt attached to the cows and he paid his respect to them by offering prayers and then started his work.
According to a legend, Krishna asked the people of his village to stop offering prayers to Indra. He believed that the true earner of such respect was the Govardhan Parvat. Indra was immensely hurt and thus he decided to induce a high amount of rainfall on Krishna’s village, Braj, for various days. Krishna lifted the complete Govardhan Mountain on his little finger to give shade to his people and animals. Finally on the eighth day, Indra realized his mistake and Krishna’s power. The rain stopped on the eighth day and it came to be known as Gopashtami. Indra himself came down to Vrindavan and paid a visit to Krishna with his cow named ‘Surabhi’ or ‘Kamadhenu’. Indra touched Krishna’s feet to seek forgiveness and the cow then showered its milk on both the Lords. Indra himself gave the name ‘Govinda’ to Krishna which means the Lord of Cows.
The rituals are almost similar to Govatsa Dwadashi in which people after waking up early in the morning and taking a ritualistic bath, worship cows and their calves as they were the favorite companions of Krishna. Cows are decorated with new piece of clothes and flowers. Their horns are also gilded and painted with various colorful paints. Beautiful crows made by peacock feathers are placed on their head and they are made to worn ankle bracelets. Tilak is also applied on their forehead and they are caressed too. They are offered incense sticks, flowers, jaggery, vermillion, rice and water. Charity is also a part of the day. People give food to cows and their babies. They also gift clothes or money to the cow herders.
Cow-herders roam around the village or city with their cattle and give people the opportunity to offer prayers to the animal. In the evening the cows return to their sheds which are properly cleaned. They are worshipped and people seek for their blessings after touching their feet. The soil beneath the cow’s feet is picked up and then applied by humans on their own forehead. This helps in leading a happy and content life.
Cows are considered a symbol of purity and selfless love in Hindus. They are considered both Goddess and mothers. They are believed to have divine qualities and whoever prays to them are bestowed with the same. They are also a symbol of abundance, hence they are prayed to for prosperity.
The day is also a reminder of cow protection and how one should live in harmony with other living being and the Mother Nature.