Govatsa Dwadashi- Festival for Cows
Govatsa Dwadashi, also known as Nandini Vrat Vrat is the Hindi term of fast . It is a process in which devotees do not consume food or/and water on the days dedicated to the Gods they believe in, to show their dedication and to gain health and prosperityas Nandini was a divine cow, is a festival dedicated to cows and calves who are worshipped and thanked for their help in sustenance of human life. The day is celebrated one day before dhanteras and on the twelfth day of the dark lunar fortnight in the month of Kartik which corresponds to the months of October-November according to Gregorian calendar. In Maharashtra, the day is known as Vasu Baras and is celebrated as the first day of Diwali.
According to a legend, there was a king named Uttanpad and he was childless. He tried all kinds of procedures and praying rituals but nothing helped him. Then a sage suggested him to keep a fast on Govatsa Dwadashi and soon after performing all the rituals in the rightful manner, the king was blessed with a baby after a year. Therefore a childless couple should observe a fast on this day in order to gain the happiness and pleasure of a child.
Cows and calves are worshipped on this day. They are given a ritualistic bath and then offered vermillion. They are decorated by putting some beautiful cloth pieces or making them wear garland of flowers. Turmeric or sandalwood paste is applied on their forehead and offerings of flowers, fruits, wheat and copper are made. Married women observe a fast on the day and can consume only one meal. If one cannot find a cow nearby his house, he can make a cow of mud or install an idol to offer his prayers. One should also pray to VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. as KrishnaKrishna
It is described that there are three aspects of the Supreme that must..., one of his incarnations had profound love and gratitude for them and understood their importance.
In the evening, a special Aarti It is a Hindu religious ritual of worshipshould be performed and the cow should be offered sprouted bean or gram.
The following Mantra A group of sacred words chanted in order to gain something, be it materialistic pleasures or peaceful mindshould be chanted by performing the above mentioned rituals
Sarvdemaya Matarghanadharya Namo Namah
People celebrating this festival abstain from eating wheat and milk products. They should not indulge in any physical activity, stay vigil at night meditating or if they want to sleep then the activity should only be performed on the floor and not on bed.
Cows are considered by sacred by Hindus. They are treated as holy mothers and as a mother helps a child in each and every step of his life in the same manner cows provide nourishment to humans through their milk throughout their lives. They are also used as a help in farming lands for agricultural purposes. One who worships cows on this day is blessed with abundance and healthy life.
It is believed that cows are the manifestation of Gods or the Gods and Goddesses reside in a cow so one who offers prayers to them are unknowingly offering prayers to all the Gods. Thus the devotee is blessed with all kinds of materialistic and spiritual pleasures.
The devotees observing fast, wake up early in the morning. They take single day meal, avoiding milk products. The cow is given a bath along with its calf and inwrought with necklace of flowers. The devotees break their fast on the next day after sunup.