Vrindavan Vraja, 2016.11.08 (VT): On the auspicious festival of Gopashtami on Tuesday, devotees visited the cow sanctuaries (gaushalas) of Vrindavan and other parts of Vraj, to offer their prayers to the holy cow. They venerated the cows by performing arati with ghee lamps, worshipping them with flowers and applying sacred markings (tilak) on their foreheads. The cows were fed green peas, jaggery, and other delights by the devotees. People donated food and other items to the gaushalas.
Gopashtami is a famous festival in Vraj. As a small child, Lord Krishna only took care of small calves, but on this sacred day He was allowed to tend cows for the first time. A special puja was organized by His father, Nanda Baba. This year on this day, processions of cows were taken out from various gaushalas all over Vraj, in which the Brajwasis carried sticks to help Krishna tend the cows for the first time. Brajwasi boys dressed as Krishna and His brother Balaram walked along with the cows. When the cows came back from grazing in the evening, they were greeted once again with a special pooja.
On this day, Krishna was given the name Gopal, the Protector of the cows. He was the greatest protector of the cows. Cows are considered sacred by Hindus and they are extremely important in Vraj, this land where Krishna Himself used to tend the cows.
Gopashtami is considered particularly sacred for worshiping cows, meditating on them, as well as doing something for their wellbeing. Gopashtami day falls on the lunar calendar’s ashtami tithi during Kartik shukla paksha.
Special event were organized at the Mataji Gaushala in Varsana which is the home of 40,000 cows. Many civil servants and professionals came to the gaushala to serve the cows.
Panchayati Gaushala, Shri Krishna Gaushala, Hasananda Gaushala and other gaushalas of Vrindavan also celebrated this day for the cows. The Veterinary College of Mathura announced they would provide free medical treatment for 250 cows of Vrindavan.