Pu:jas on Special Occasions
Krishna:shtami/Janma:shtami is the birthday of Lord Sri Krushna whose favorite childhood pastime during his incarnation in dwa:pariyuga was playing with cows, feeding them in the pastures/forests as a cowherder, taking care of them, and playing music on His flute to entertain them. So, special pu:jas are offered every year on Janma:shtami day to Lord Sri Krushna and all the cows in the Go:sa:la.
Makara Sankranthi is a cultural festival celebrated for 4 days to commemorate the harvest season in January as well as to mark the Sun god ending his southward journey called Dakshinaya:na and beginning his northward movement called Uttara:yana. The 3rd day of Makara Sankranthi festival is called Kanuma. On Kanuma day, the animal kingdom is remembered for the role they play in the ecosystem thereby supporting human life in various ways and therefore animals, birds, and fish are fed with grains as a symbol of sharing. Of all the animals, especially the Go:ma:tha is remembered and worshipped on this day because of the central role she plays in our lives by giving the panchagavyas (milk, curd, ghee, panchakam/urine, mayam/dung) which we consume directly as food or medicine or indirectly as organic manure to crops. The cow also gives male calves which become oxen and help in ploughing agricultural fields and transporting agricultural products and other goods.
Bramhothsavams At the asramam, we celebrate Bramhothsavams during Makara Sankranthi festival and on Kanuma day we perform special sa:mu:hika go:pu:jas (mass worshipping of all the cows in go:sa:la) with great fervor.
Yagnas Go:Pujas are conducted during yajnas and devotees are educated about the importance of protecting indigenous cows. Pu:jas are performed to Go:mathas and devotees circumambulate around them in devotion.