Fourth day of Deepawali

KATHMANDU, Nov. 14: Gaipuja or cow worship, Goru Puja or ox worship and Mha Puja or worship of the self is being observed throughout the country today on the fourth day of the five-day-long Tihar festival celebrated by the Hindus.

The cow is revered and worshipped as the representation of Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, by applying oil on its hoofs and horns and putting red and yellow marks on its body. Hindus also honour the cow as the mother and benefactor.

The Govardhan Puja ritual is also observed today. A replica of the Govardhan Mountain is made out of the cow dung. People prepare a mixture of the cow dung and ochre formed into a paste and apply on the courtyard of their homes and on the floors.

This ritual is linked to the Hindu god Sri Krishna who, according to the legend, lifted the Govardhan mountain by his hand and protected the people of a place called Gokul from torrential rains caused by Indra, the god of rain. It is believed the rain god was angered and thereby caused the heavy downpour.

Similarly, the ox is also worshipped today as it is a very useful animal in different agricultural works in Nepal which is a predominantly agricultural country.

Likewise, the people of the Newar community observe the Mha Puja ritual in the evening today. Mha Puja is the worship of the self.

Mha Puja is based on the religious belief that the soul or self is the most important in the world and that if the soul is satisfied, the gods are also satisfied and one´s life becomes meaningful and prosperous.

Also today, a new year of the Nepal Sambat, an indigenous calendar year of Nepal begins.

The Nepal Sambat or calendar year was begun by Shankhadhar Sakhwa by relieving the people of Nepal off debt during the rule of Lichchavi King Raghavdev.

Recognizing the contribution of Shankhadhar Sakhwa to the country and people, the government led by then Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai had announced Sakhwa a national luminary on November 18, 1999.

Likewise, the Council of Ministers chaired by first Prime Minister of Republic of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ´Prachanda´ had on October 23, 2008 nationally recognized the Nepal Sambat propounded by national luminary Shankhadhar Sakhwa.

Source: Republica

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