Just got back from a wonderful Govardhan Puja in the temple, and for once I managed to not over-eat and come back feeling like a helium filled balloon (not easy at Mayapur feasts as you will see).

On display since early morning was a transcendentally attractive replica of Govardhan hill, made with love and devotion by our Mayapur-vasis. It featured the main kundas, complete with turtles (look carefully in the water)

with lots of cows, and real grass, caves and Lord Giriraja Himself

Morning darsana was at 8.30AM but well worth waiting for. Lord Madhava had raised his left hand to carry Govardhan Hill and give shelter to the gopis

Clouds gathered ominously at the sides flashed with lightening

and Giriraja sat resplendently in an extra large turban, His eyes glancing appreciatively at the assembled devotees

In front of the altar a beautiful murti of Govardhana-dhari smiled reassuringly at the gathering

There was an abhisek at 10.30AM and then

high curtains went up around the front of the altar. For an hour the bhoga keep coming through the temple room doors and disappearing behind them. Finally at 12.30PM the curtains were thrown back to reveal a huge mountain of rice featured as Girigovardhan, and literally hundreds of pots of delicious prasadam of every variety you can imagine.

After the arati

and chanting of the Bhaktivinoda bhajan ‘yasomatinandana braja bara nagara…’ it was time to enjoy the feast.

A small army of men transported the huge tubs of rice

basket loads of clay pots filled with every variety of subji and sweets

and multiple stainless steel buckets of subji

Both temple rooms filled rapidly with eager and hungry devotees

Srila Prabhupada’s disciples (surprisingly less than a dozen of us) were given a little respite from the crowd on the Panca-tattva darsana mandap

and before you know it

there was nothing left but a few empty broken pots to tell the tale. That’s Mayapur!

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