#5 | Diwali Celebrations & Govardhan Puja
Following the Master | Mauritius Pilgrimage 2019
29 October 2019
On Sunday morning, we started the day with Maha Abhishekam on Sri Ranganath. The temple was filled with devotees and we sang bhajans for the Lord. Guruji reminded people about the importance of Diwali, the festival of lights. Lighting ghee lamps is very symbolic; He said that one should light the lamp of devotion inside the heart while lighting ghee lamps.
In the evening, we celebrated Diwali with Guruji. It started with touching Ram Leela theatre play prepared by the devotees. In the final scene of the play, devotees surprised Guruji by inviting Him to the stage and crowning Him as Sri Ram. Everybody was deeply touched. Afterwards, Swamis and Swaminis talked to all about the importance of bhakti. They said: "Ayodhya is where Ram lives. Similarly, bhakti is where Gurudev lives."
We also had a special guest in the evening; Vrinda Devi Mata, a baby cow from Goshala who came to visit Guruji on the special occasion of Diwali and stayed here the entire night. The kids and matajis enjoyed her company very much. After the play, there were also fireworks which Guruji enjoyed a lot. We had a late-night dinner and right after that, the theatre stage changed into a dancefloor whereby devotees started dancing and Guruji joined us all.
Monday morning the pilgrims went to visit Casela park. In the evening, Guruji made a beautiful Krishna holding Govardhan Hill with cow dung and soil in the temple.
Govardhan prayers started in the evening with some bhajans. Acharya Devendra Appaya also came and started chanting mantras to mark the beginning of the Govardhan puja. Guruji performed abhishekam on Giridhari and other deities from devotees. Everybody had the chance to offer water to Giridhari and Govardhan shilas. 56 bhog (types of food) were offered all around the Govardhan Hill and lamps were also lit all around it. Guruji then asked everybody to make parikrama of Govardhan hill three times and He gave lamps to few people and asked them to light them around the Govardhan Hill.
After puja, Guruji explained about the story of Govardhan Hill and the Leela of Govardhan Leela, explaining to us that Krishna planned this leela already thousands of years before it happened.
The night ended with Guruji singing and dancing with all the devotees. At the end of the everybody got the chance to offer dakshina to Guruji and receive blessed rice from Govardhan.
Stay tuned for more posts as we ‘Follow the Master’ on a pilgrimage to the Divine!