Gopastami is an important festival dedicated to Lord Krishna and cows. It is an auspicious occasion celebrating the induction of Krishna to graze the cow in the jungle of Vrindavan. It is known that Krishna loves calves and used to take care of them in the stable. Maharaja Nanda organizes a special celebration on the occasion before handing charge of taking care of cows to him. It means Krishna and Balarama have qualified to be a cowherd from calf rearer. To commemorate his love for cows, this festival is celebrated on eighth day in bright half of Karthik month every year with religious fervor and devotion.
Importance of Gopastami Festival
Cow is deeply connected to ancient societies in India. The sacred animal has got special mentions in holy books with its roles in supporting human being. Like a mother, cows provide milk for good nutrition of human baby to adult. This is why cows were being worshipped by people since the ancient time. Even Sri Krishna himself worshipped cows during this festival.
On this day, cows are given bath and decorated with special clothes and jewellery. Devotees go to stables to clean and perform Gow puja to acquire blessing. Horns are painted with special turmeric powder and put sindhura on forehead before worshipping. Special food and fodders are provided to cows to deliver good health. Pradakshina or circumambulation is conducted to acquire blessing and it is considered an important ritual for devotees. In Vrindavan, people bring cows to temples to be worshipped and perform rituals dedicated to them. Krishna’s love for cows are displayed in different parts of India with dramas and verses recitation by sages in various temples.
Role of Gopastami in Cow Preservation
Millions of cows remained abandoned and hungry in different places of the country. Some of the people even ill treat sacred animal. This is an important festival for creating awareness for its preservation and protection. Special conferences are held on this day in societies to raise fund for their maintenance and deliver a better living. It is a festival for cow lovers to pledge to deliver a better living and help in its preservation.