Why is Gopashtami Celebrated During Kartik Ashtami? Read and Know its Vrat Katha!

Many fasts and festivals pertaining to Lord Krishna are observed and celebrated in  Hinduism and Gopashtami is one of them. The day of Gopashtami is mainly considered to be a symbol of Lord Krishna’s love for cows.  

As per mythology, from Pratipada of Kartik Shukla Paksha till Saptami, Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Parvat with his hand to protect cows, Gop-Gopis. After this, on the 8th day, Lord Indra’s arrogance got affected and then Kamdhenu anointed Lord Krishna and the latter was named as Govind on the same day. It is said that the tradition of celebrating Gopashtami on Ashtami started since then.

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Gopashtami on Sunday, November 22, 2020

Ashtami Tithi Begins – 09:48 PM on Nov 21, 2020

Ashtami Tithi Ends – 10:51 PM on Nov 22, 2020

Why is Gopashtami Celebrated?

The festival of Gopashtami is celebrated in Shukla Paksha during Kartik month. It is believed that on this day, Lord  Krishna lifted Govardhan Parvat on his finger to protect Braj natives from the fury of Lord Indra. Owing to this, Lord Indra’s arrogance got destroyed. In this context, the tradition of celebrating the festival of Gopashtami in Braj region and the entire India started.

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Gopashtami Pujan Vidhi

  • The tradition of venerating cow, calf along with Gopal has been defined on the day of  Gopashtami.
  • As per beliefs, it is believed that one who feeds cows with food and worships them with Panchopachara Vidhi in the evening, must be blessed by Lord Krishna with the fulfillment of all desires.
  • If you desire, you can take steps to perform cow donation or protect cows on this day. This gives the full fruits of Gopashtami.  
  • Feeding Shyama cows on the day of Gopashtami is considered to be highly fruitful.

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Complete Pujan Vidhi

  • During Brahma Muhurat on Gopashtami, a bath is given to the cow and her calf and then, they are made ready.
  • After this, revolve around the cow mother and take her out and walk upto some distance.  
  • Donating to cowherds is considered to be highly auspicious on this day.
  • Worship the cow when she is brought back home in the evening.
  • Feed the cow with green fodder, green peas, and jaggery etc. on this very day.
  • If you don’t have a cow, you can visit cowshed and perform all the rituals.
  • Offer Gangajal, flowers to cow on this very day and worship her by lighting a Diya/lamp.
  • In addition to this, items of food and other things should be given in donation to cows at cowshed.

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Remedies to Wish for the Longevity of Children

Women venerate cow mother/Gau Mata to wish for the long life of their children on the day of Gopashtami. On this day, women come out from under the cow and revolve around the same. It is said that one who comes out from under the cow, must be blessed with all desires of life. Gopashtami is considered to be the most important one among all the Ashtamis falling in a year.

Legend Pertaining to Gopashtami Vrat

This festival of Gopashtami is celebrated with great pomp and show in Gokul, Mathura, Braj, Vrindavan etc. It is said that one hears the legend of this fast or makes others hear the same, gets blessed with the most desired fruits. So, let us know the legend of  Gopashtami Vrat.

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In ancient times, when Lord Krishna turned six he told Maa Yashoda that he had grown up and he would not take the calf for grazing but he would go with the cow mother. Mayuri Sudha advised pertaining to the same several times that if he was still small  and in this pretext, he only needed to take calf for grazing.  

Lord Krishna went to Nand Baba and he said to him, ‘Baba/father, I will go to graze the cows, not the calves.’ Then Nand Baba replied, ‘Okay but first go and call Pandit ji so that he can find out the auspicious time for Gau Bharan.’

Hearing this from Nand’s mouth, Bal Gopal came running to Panditji and said, “Panditji, you have been invited by Nand Baba to decide the Muhurat of Gau Charan. Please tell them something auspicious today. If you do this, I will give you a lot of butter.’

Pandit ji reached Nand Baba and after looking at the Panchang said that auspicious time for Gau bharan. Apart from this, Pandit ji also said that if not today, the auspicious time of Gau bharan is after one year.

In such a situation, after listening to Panditji,  Bal Gopal was given permission to graze cows. Lord Krishna started grazing cows from the same day. It is said that from the day Bal Gopal started Gau Baran, it was the Ashtami Tithi of the Shukla Paksha of Kartik month. Lord Krishna started grazing the cow on the same day, due to which it was called Gopashtami Tithi.

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