Pradipta & Govardhan Puja
The fourth day is Padwa or
Varshapradipta which marks
the coronation of King Vikramaditya and Vikaram-Samvat was started from this
The day after the Lakshmi Puja,
most families celebrate the new year by dressing in new clothes, wearing
jewellery and visiting family members and business colleagues to give them
sweets, dry fruits and gifts. Among the business communities of Gujarat,
Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, Diwali is the festival when the new
business year begins. All business establishments and families perform muharat
pujan or veneration of their books. Stock brokers do mahurat trading or symbolic
auspicious business deals.
Govardhan-Puja is also performed in the North on this day.
This festival is in commemoration of the lifting of Mount Govardhan by Krishna. As per Vishnu-Puran
the people of Gokul used to celebrate a festival in honour of Lord Indira and
worshipped him after the end of every monsoon season but one particular year the
young Krishna stopped them from offering prayers to Lord Indra who in terrific
anger sent a deluge to submerge Gokul. People were afraid that the downpour was
a result of their neglect of Indra. But Krishna assured them that no harm would
befall them. He lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger and sheltered men
and beasts from the rain. This gave him the epithet Govardhandhari. After this,
Indra accepted the supremacy of Krishna.
Govardhan is a small hillock in Braj, near Mathura and on this day of Diwali
people of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar build cowdung, hillocks,
decorate them with flowers and then worship them.
This day is also observed as Annakoot meaning mountain of food.
Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook fifty-six (or 108) different
types of food for the bhog (the offering of food) to Krishna. In temples
specially in Mathura and Nathadwara, the deities are given milkbath, dressed in
shining attires with ornaments of dazzling diamonds, pearls, rubies and other
precious stones. After the prayers and traditional worship innumerable varieties
of delicious sweets are ceremoniously raised in the form of a mountain before
the deities as "Bhog" and then the devotees approach the Mountain of
Food and take Prasad from it.
Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in every Hindu household and her blessings
sought for success and happiness. This day is looked upon as the most auspicious
day to start any new venture. In many Hindu homes it is a custom for the wife to
put the red tilak on the forehead of her husband, garland him and do his "Aarathi"
with a prayer for his long life. In appreciation of all the tender care that the
wife showers on him, the husband gives her a costly gift. This Gudi Padwa is
symbolic of love and devotion between the wife and husband. On this day
newly-married daughters with their husbands are invited for special meals and
given presents. In olden days brothers went to fetch their sisters from their
in-laws home for this important day.