By Acarya dasa, All-India Padayatra leader
On November 15, 2020, Govardhan-puja day, padayatra was in Lodhva in Gujarat’s Junagadh district, the village of Bhakti Vikas Maharaja disciple Prabhu Krupa dasa. When he got the news that padayatra was coming to his village, Prabhu Krupa was delighted for he had a strong desire that the padayatris should stay at his house. However, as there was insufficient space at the house, we ended up staying in a school.
ISKCON was conducting a six-day Gita course in Lodhva, so all those devotees were invited for the celebration along with the villagers and their sarpanch and together we observed Govardhan-puja. Normally at Kartik the padayatris are on Vraja-mandala parikrama at Varsana for Govardhan-puja. The lockdown in India prevented us from travelling to Vrindavan in 2020 and everyone was missing the dhama, but nevertheless the celebrations must go on that bring enthusiasm – utsava brings utsaha.
We made a Govardhan Hill of halwa, there was an abhishek of Sri Sri Nitai-Gaurasundar, and fifty-six bhoga were offered to Their Lordships and Giriraj ji. We had katha on the glories of Giriraj and the padayatris then did parikrama of the Giriraj we had made and the villagers followed us. The programme ended with a grand sankirtan followed by prasadam. About 100 people attended the festival, the first time the villagers had witnessed such a big celebration.
After the programme we went for sankirtan in Lodhva, just as we do in Varsana, and distributed 5kg of halwa.
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