The worship and observation of Govardhana Puja and Srila Sridhara Maharaja’s appearance were celebrated together this year in Guanajuato, after the marathon and mayhem of the International Cervantino Festival.
Appreciating the last few days of Bhakti Srirupa Madhava Maharaja’s time at Centro Bharati for this year, the day began with the glorious kirtana of Sri Vraja-dhama-mahimamrta, Jaya Radha Madhava and the Maha-Mantra.
After the reading of the translations, a short discussion was held highlighting the importance of the day as service at Sri Govardhana being the highest aspiration in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Six Gosvamis. Arrangements were made for the main programme in the evening, and it was decided amongst the fourteen devotees serving Guru Maharaja at Centro Bharati that the celebration would be a more intimate, internal program; for the devotees, with prasadam distribution scheduled the next day for our various friends and well-wishers. With this in mind and heart, the service mood felt quite different; concentrated and communal, with Srirupa Madhava Maharaja’s encouragement that the day be exclusively dedicated to remembering, appreciating and serving Sri Giriraja Govardhana.
Once all the bhoga preparations were completed and brought up to the new temple room, Govardhana Hill in the form of annakuta was decorated and Bhakti Srirupa Madhava Maharaja began the puja of govardhana-sila as Vasudeva Dasa led kirtana. Honouring the appearance of Bhakt Raksaka Sridhara Maharaja, class was taken on a reading from Loving Search of the Lost Servant from the chapter dedicated to govardhana-puja entitled Lord of the Cows. Daruka Dasa then performed aratik, Bhakti Srirupa Madhava Maharaja led kirtana, followed by circumambulation and abhisheka of Govardhana with milk, yoghurt, ghee, honey, flowers and warm water. Sumptuous prasadam was greatly appreciated, Maharaja mentioning that the feast proved that all devotees at Centro Bharati certainly can cook - the newer devotees having prepared for the first time Indian preparations such as rasa-malai and chakli, accompanied by plain rice, curd rice, dhal, paneer pakoras, various subjis, an opulent paneer pistachio salad, Mexican pozole and sweets.
Sri Giriraja Govardhana ki Jaya!
Srila Guru Maharaja ki Jaya!