A young Hindu priest crawls under a cow as part of worship rituals during Tihar festival in Kathmandu (AP)
KATHMANDU, Oct 31: Gai Puja or cow worship, Goru Puja or ox worship and Govardan Puja are being observed throughout the country today on the fourth day of the five-day-long Tihar festival celebrated by the Hindu people in the country.
The Gai Puja and Govardhan Puja rituals are observed today with the replicas of the Gai and Govardhan Mountain 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.
The cow is revered as mata or mother by Hindus and is sacred for them. Modern science has also proved that indigenous breeds of cows abosorb the energy from the sun and the moon in their hump which is transmitted through milk to humans.
The cows are fed with sweets and delicacies as part of the Gai Puja rituals. There is the tradition of tying the sacred thread that is tied around one's wrist on the occasion of the Janai Poornima festival on the tail of the cow while performing Gai Puja. It is believed that doing so the cow would help the person's soul cross the Baitarani River, a mythical river, to heaven, after the person's death.
The rituals are 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 that 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. RSS