June 17, 2005A 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 tumaric 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."
As Srila Narayana Maharaja began arati, devotees became
astonished as Sridam dasa reinacted the appearance of Govardhana's
two-armed form shouting, "Aniyor! Aniyor! Bring more, bring more."