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Gopashtami falls on the eighth day during Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartik every year. This year it will be observed on Friday, 16th November. This festival is marked as a day when we pay respect to cows, the most sacred animal of the Hindus. It is said that 33 crore gods and goddesses reside in the body of a cow. It symbolically points towards the purity and sacredness of a cow.
Pujas and religious functions are organised on the day of Gopashtami. A Puja can also be performed at home. Here is the Gopashtami Puja 2018: Puja Vidhi, Muhurat And Katha. Read on.
A Simple Gopashtami Puja At Home
Wake up early in the morning, take bath and touch the feet of a cow. This puja is generally performed by a priest. However, we can perform a simple puja at home or in a cow shelter. Both the cow and its calf are first given a bath and then they are offered nice ornaments such as a necklace, anklets, etc.
Apply a tilak on the forehead of the cow as well as the calf. Then sprinkle some Gangajal, show a lighted lamp and offer flowers. Thereafter, offer some jaggery to both. Make sure you offer all these items with the right hand. You can also offer fruits to them apart from jaggery. Now, perform two parikramas (take two rounds) around both the cow and the calf. Join your hands before the cow and ask for blessings.
An Auspicious Day For Donations
Those who cannot perform a Puja at home should visit a cow shelter and perform the rituals there. It is an auspicious day to make all kinds of donations towards the cows. Hence, people generally donate food items to cows or money in cow shelters.
When Krishna Took A Cow For Grazing For The First Time
According to a story, as a child cowherds boy, Lord Krishna was permitted to take only the small calves for grazing outside. Taking the cows for grazing was not allowed for him. However, he equally loved spending time with the cows as well. When he was finally considered grown up enough to take the cows out, and his parents finally permitted him, he went out with his cows for the first time and the day came to be known as Gopashtami.
Even Radha Accompanied Lord Krishna
It is believed that Radha too as a child loved to go to the forest. However, doing so was not safe for her. But Radha often accompanied Krishna in the disguise of a cowherds boy and would go to the forest. Remembering the event, Goddess Radha is also worshipped on this day.
The Gowardhan Story Is Also Remembered On This Day
The Gowardhan Parvat story says that Lord Krishna lifted the Gowardhan Parvat on his little finger for seven days; it was on the day of Gopashtami that Lord Indra accepted his defeat and stopped the heavy rains. It was then that Lord Indra named Lord Krishna as Govinda. Hence, this incident is also remembered on this day and religious processions are taken out.