What is Annakut?

The auspicious occasion of Annakut is celebrated each year towards the end of year as per Hindu calendar. It is celebrated to commemorate an event that took place when Bhagwan (God) Vishnu took avatar as Krishna on earth. Well known for his mischievous behavior as a kid he won everyone's heart with his peaceful flute and priceless words of wisdom. During his childhood Krishna once asked his father, why would people offer their crops and food to Bhagwan Indra, the rain God. To this his father replied that people of the village would thank and praise Bhagwan Indra for showering rain, as rain is inevitable for agriculture. Little Krishna replied to this saying that men earns everything as a result of his own actions. He also said that it is Indra's duty to shower rain, whether or not the villagers praise him. The villagers agreed to this advice and stopped praising and offering to Bhagwan Indra. Indra gets furious when this is brought to his light. He soon starts pouring heavy rainfalls over the village and the village is soon found drowning in this rage of Indra. Krishna helps the villagers by lifting the Gowardhan Mountain on his little finger and securing every villager under the mountain. It went on for 7 days with Krishna still holding the Gowardhan Parvat (Parvat means mountain) without eating or caring for himself. Bhagwan Indra soon realizes his mistake and apologizes to Krishna. In order to recuperate, he offers Krishna with royal meal for each Paher of 7 days (3 hours = 1 Paher). Thus, he offers Krishna with 56 royal dishes. Therefore, this event of Annakut is also known as "Chappanbog" (Chappan=56). Since, then this tradition of offering Krishna with royal food dishes and asking for forgiveness for our sins has been followed.
There may be some other beliefs of following this auspicious tradition, however everyone celebrating this has one common aim of pleasing Bhagwan and purifying our souls. In its real essence, it is not important how much amount of food is offered and if the food is lavish, however it is very essential that one realizes his sins and asks for forgiveness. It is important for one to offer what he wishes to offer him, with a pure heart and without any lust, expectations and desire for a return.

Image source: http://www.interessantes.at/Govardhan_Shila.htm

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