A majestic, magical, celestial, transcendental festival descended
upon the forest-mountains of New Vraja Badger, California
on June 17, 2005. This festival has been taking place in New Vraja
each year at this time for the past nine years, since 1996, when Srila
Narayana Maharaja had first installed Govardhana after calling him
from Goloka Vrndavana.
Over 600 devotees took part in the celebrations. Many devotees had
spent several happy hours cooking over 765 preparations, decorating
the Govardhana Hill and making garlands. After that Srila Narayana
Maharaja requested that the ladies and men make two kirtana parties,
in order to inaugurate the festivities with nagara-sankirtana.
The parties chanted and danced, purifying all the living entities
throughout the pathways and forests of New Vraja, and then they proceeded
to the large pandal in front of the home of Sripad Nirguna dasa Adhikari
and family. There, Srila Narayana Maharaja and his helpers placed
paper plates with the various preparations on top of the devotees'
heads, and the devotees then continued their nagara-sankirtana chanting
until they arrived at the foot of Govardana.
Once the devotees reached Govardhana, Srila Narayana Maharaja led
them in the performance of Go-puja, offering arati to the large sacred
cow arati. The cow also received hand-prints made of tumeric and other
auspicious substances all over her body. Under Srila Maharaja's guidance
the devotees then performed Govardhana-puja, which consisted of arati,
prayers, abhiseka (the bathing of several Govardhana silas with pancamrta
(ghee, honey, milk, yogart, sugar, and water) and an offering of the
variety of food preparations. Srila Maharaja also uttered prayers
to Govardahana in the English, which the devotees repeated a few words
at a time: "O govardhana, you take great pleasure in witnessing
the confidential pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, which They perform
in your caves and kunjas. Please grant me a residence near you so
that I may also witness and serve those pastimes."
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of pictures accompanying this report.