New Braja Festival 2006
June 17, 2006
This year, the annual Badger hari-katha festival with Srila Narayana Maharaja took place from June 13-18th. On June 17th, the traditional Govardhana annakuta was held.
The day began with mangala arati, bhajanas, and a 7:30 class on the glories of Giriraja Govardhan. Then, at about 10 am there was harinama-sankirtana. Srila Narayana Maharaja at first divided the devotees into a men's party and a ladies party for the kirtana. The devotees then assembled in the pandal to pick up plates full with bhoga (un-offered foodstuffs) to carry on their heads to Giriraja Govardhana. Over 800 preparations were made to offer to Giriraja. Srila Narayana Maharaja led the bathing ceremony of Giriraja and then performed arati. Before returning to his quarters, he led everyone in go-puja, worship of mother cow, and after that the devotees honored the Annakuta feast.
Srila Narayana Maharaja recited the following prayer to Govardhana and the devotees repeated after him:
pramada-madana-lilah kandare kandare te
racayati nava-yunor-dvandvam asminn-amandam
iti kila kalanartham lagna-kastad-dvayor me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana! tvam
["Oh Govardhana! Please grant me a dwelling near your side so that I can easily witness and serve the youthful lovers Sri Radha-Krsna as They perform newer and newer secret, amorous lilas within your many caves where They become completely maddened from drinking prema. You are present and making everything possible."] (Sri Govardhana-Vasa-Prarthana-Dasakam, verse 2 by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)
"Oh Govardhana, Sri Sri Radha and Krsna are playing in your groves. Be pleased with us. Please give us your mercy so that we can always have the fortune to see that Radha and Krsna are playing in your kunjas. Be merciful so that we can be in Govardhana. Oh Govardhana, be pleased. Give a place where, under your guidance, we can see the sweet pastimes of Radha and Krsna. We want to be maidservants of Srimati Radhika. We don't want anything else. Please remove all our worldly desires. O Govardhana, this is our prayer."