IBSA (ISKCON Bhaktivedanta Sadhana Asrama), Govardhana, India
17 January 2004
The Worship of Sri Giriraja
Sri Bahulasva said: Why did Lord Krsna lift Govardhana Hill as a child playfully lifts a mushroom.
O best of sages, please tell that wonderful and glorious transcendental pastime of Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Sri Narada said: As citizens pay an annual tax to their king, so the gopas, farmers all, at the end of each monsoon season offered a tribute to Indra.
Noticing the arrangements for the indra-yajn, as the gopas listened, Krsna asked a question of King Nanda.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: What is the result to this worship of Indra ? Do they say it brings a material result or a spiritual result ?
Sri Nanda said: Worship of Indra brings both sense gratification and liberation. Without it a person cannot be happy in this world.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Indra and the other demigods enjoy living in Svargaloka because of their past karma. When their good karma is exhausted they again enter the world of humans. Please understand that worshipping them does not bring liberation.
Even the demigod Brahma is afraid of that, so what may be said of fruitive workers on the earth ? They who are actually wise say that endless time is the most powerful, the supreme.
With all their heart renouncing all material pious results, the wise take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and worship Him with the best of pious deeds. They, and not others, attain final liberation.
The cows, saintly persons, fire-gods, demigods, Vedas and principles of religion are all potencies of Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They who, instead of worshipping the demigods, worship Lord Hari, attain happiness in this life and the next.
The hill named Govardhana is the king of the kings of the kings of mountains. It was born from Lord Hari's own chest. It has come here by the power of Pulastya Muni. By seeing it one becomes free from having to take birth again in this world.
First worship the cows, brahmanas and demigods and then make a great offering to Govardhana Hill. That offering is the king of yajnas and it is very dear to Me. If you do not desire to make that offering, then do whatever you wish.
Sri Narada said: Among them the elderly gopa Sannanda, who throughly knew the real principles of religion, became very pleased. As bewildered Nanda listened, Sannanda spoke to Lord Krsna.
Sri Sannanda said: Dear son of Nanda, You are wealthy with a great treasury of transcendental knowledge. How should the hill be worshipped ? Please truthfully tell.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: A person who controls his senses and engages in devotional service should collect the ingredients for the worship, anoint Govardhana Hill with cow-dung,. . . .
. . . . and, as he chants the mantras for the thousand-headed Purusa, with other brahmanas bathe the hill with Ganga water and Yamuna water.
Then he should bathe the hill with streams of white milk, pancamrta, fragrant flowers and then Yamuna water again.
Then he should offer splendid garments, food, a great throne, many garlands and ornaments and many lamps.
TEXT 19 Then he should circumambulate the hill, offer obeisances and with folded hands recite this mantra:
Obeisances to you, who are Goloka's crown and the lap where Vrndavana forest grows! Obeisances to Govardhana Hill, the Supreme Personality of Godhead's parasol!
Then he should offer a handful of flowers and then, as mrdangas, karatalas and other musical instruments make sweet sounds, he should offer arati to Govardhana Hill.
Then he should chant the mantra that begins with "vedaham" and then he should worship the hill. Then with great faith he should place a hill of food near Govardhana Hill.
Then he should offer four, six and five cups of Ganga and Yamuna water mixed with tulasi leaves.
Then, with a peaceful heart, he should serve Govardhana Hill by offering it a feast of fifty-six kinds of food. Then with fragant flowers he should worship the fire-gods, brahmanas, cows and demigods.
After feeding the exalted brahmanas with fragrant and delicious foods, he should also give excellent foods to the others, even down to the dogeaters.
Then he should have the gopas and gopis dance among the cows and call out "Victory!" In this way he should perform a festival to worship Govardhana Hill.
Now please hear how this worship should be performed when one is not near Govardhana Hill. One should make from cow dung a model of Govardahana Hill.
Human beings on this earth should decorate that model with many flowers, blades of grass, and a network of vines, and regularly offer worship to it.
A person who has a mountain of gold but does not use it to worship a stone he has taken from from Govardhana Hill, goes to a terrible hell.
A person who regularly worships the Lord's form as Salagrama-sila is not touched by hell as a lotus leaf is not touched by water.
An exalted brahmana who regularly serves a stone from Govardhana Hill attains the result of having bathed in all the holy rivers and lakes in the seven worlds.
A person who year after year elaborately worships Govardhana Hill attains all happiness in this life and liberation in the next.
The Great Festival of Sri Giriraja
Sri Narada said: Hearing Sri Krsna's words, Nanda, Sannanda and the other rulers of Vraja were filled with wonder. Abandoning what they had done, they performed the worship of Govardhana Hill.
O king of Mithila, taking many offerings, King Nanda, Yasoda, their two sons Krsna and Balarama and Garga Muni, all eager and joyful, went to worship Govardhana Hill.
Quickly climbing on a wonderfully decorated great elephant chained with golded shackles, Nanda went, with the many cows and with the wealth of the autumn harvest to the edge of Govardhana Hill. He looked like Indra Himself, accompanied by his beloved.
Bringing the ingredients for the performing the yajna, the Nandas, Upanandas and Vrsabhanus, along with their wives, children and grandchildren, went to Govardhana Hill.
Dressed in splendid garments and jewel ornaments and eager as a cakori bird or a bumblebee, as She rode in a palanquin with Her friends, Radha looked like Saci herself.
O king, nicely decorated, gratefully moving two beautiful camaras, accompanied by millions of gopi friends and their faces splendid as two moons, Radha's best friends. Lalita and Visakha, gloriously stood by Her side.
Then Rama, Viraja, Madhavi, May, Yamuna, and Ganga, accompanied by thirty-two, eight and sixteen groups of gopis, arrived.
In their previous births these gopis had been the women of Mithila, the women of Kosala, the personified Vedas, the great sages, the women of Ayodhya, the Yajna-Sitas, the women of the forest,
. . . the women of Vaikuntha, who have Rama as their leader, the women of the highest Vaikuntha realm, the women of various effulgent realms, the women of Dhruvaloka and Lokacala,. . .
. . . Laksmi's friends splendid with three transcendental virtues, the women riding in airplanes, the vines and plants, the jalandharis, the daughters of the ocean, the daughters of King Barhismati, the women of Sutalaloka,. . .
. . . the apsaras and all the serpent king's daughters. Now, as girls of Vraja, nicely decorated, and their hands splendid with many offerings, they approached Govardhana Hill.
Then the gopa men, adolescents and boys dressed in yellow garments, wearing turbans crowned with peacock feathers, decorated with beautiful necklaces, gunja and forest garlands and holding new flutes and stick, came.
Hearing of the Govardhana festival from my mouth, carrying the Ganga in his matted locks, wearing a necklaces of skulls, his body anointed with the powder of bones, decorated with a necklace and bracelets of many snakes,. . .
. . . reeling from having drunk dhattura poison, accompanied by Parvati and his many associates and riding on his carrier Nandi, Lord Siva came to the circle of Govardhana Hill.
Many thousands of rajarsis, viprarsis, surarsis, siddhesas, yogesvaras, paramahamsas and brahmanas came to see Govardhana Hill.
O king, its stones jewels, its many peaks golden and its form splendid with intoxicated bees, beautiful caves and swiftly-flowing streams, Govardhana Hill was like a great elephant.
Then, manifesting humanlike forms and bearing auspicious gifts in their hands, the mountain kings, headed by Mount Meru and Mount Himalaya, offered their respectful obeisances, bowing down to the humanlike form of Govardhana Hill.
Following Krsna's instructions, Nanda, the king of Vraja, had many brahmanas worship Govardhana Hill. Then Nanda worshipped the brahmanas, fire-gods and cows and then gave a very opulent offering to Govardhana Hill.
Pleased by the earnestly singing Nandas, Upanandas, Vrsabhanus, gopas and gopis, Lord Krsna circumambulated Govardhana Hill, the king of mountains.
As the demigods showered flowers and the Vrajavasis showered grains, Govardhana Hill, the great king of the kings of the kings of mountains, glistened with great glory, as if it were a great monarch in the midst of a yajna.
Manifesting a gigantic form different from His own, Lord Krsna appeared from the midst of Govardhana Hill. Declaring, "I am this hill," He ate the entire hill of food that was offered.
Seeing Govardhana Hill's great power and opulence and their hearts full of joy and wonder, the gopas and gopis asked the hill to grant them a benediction.
They said, " The gopas know that You are the Deity worshipped by the kings of mountains. Nanda's son Krsna has shown Your true nature to us. Please grant that day after day our relatives, friends and cows may prosper. "
Manifesting a handsome divine form decorated with crown and armlets, Govardhana Hill, the king of the kings of mountains, said, "So be it," and suddenly disappeared.
TEXT 25 AND 26
The Nandas, Upanandas, Vrsabhanus, Balarama, Sucandra, King Vrsabhanu, King Nanda, Krsna, all the gopas, gopis and cows, the brahmanas, the siddhas and yogesvaras headed by Lord Siva, as well as everyone else bowed down and worshipped Govardhana Hill. Then, happy at heart and all their desires fulfilled, they returned to their own homes.
In this way I have described to you Sri Krsnacandra's transcendental pastime of offering a great festival to worship Govardhana Hill, the king of the kings of mountains. This wonderful and purifying narration frees the people from the greatest sins.
The Lifting of Sri Govardhana
Sri Narada said: When from my mouth he heard that his sacrifice had been stopped and a festival for Govardhana Hill performed in its place, Indra became furious.
Unleashing the samvartaka clouds used at the time of cosmic destruction, Indra sent them to destroy Vraja.
The clouds thundered with anger. They were many wonderful colors, some black, some yellow, some green,. . .
. . . some the color of an indragopa insect, some the color of camphor and some the color of blue lotuses.
Furious, they showered raindrops as big as elephants and thunderbolts as big as elephants trunks.
Big as mountain peaks, millions of rocks fell. The wind threw away many trees and houses.
O king of Mithila, the earth was filled with ferocious, terrifying and devastating sounds of thunder.
The entire universe, with the seven planetary systems and the expanses of outer space, echoed with the sounds of thunder. The elephants holding the directions trembled. The stars fell to the circle of the earth.
Wishing to save themselves, the gopas and their families, with the children in front, ran to Nanda's palace.
Terrified, the people of Vraja bowed down before the two Supreme Lords, Krsna and Balarama, surrendered to Them and took shelter of Them.
The gopas said: Balarama! Balarama! O mighty-armed! Krsna! Krsna! O master of Vraja! Save, save Your people from these calamities brought by Indra!
By Your word we stopped the indra-yajna and offered a festival for Govardhana Hill. Now Indra is angry. What should we do ? Please tell us!
Seeing the gopas, gopies, cows and all of Gokula very upset, calm and peaceful Krsna spoke to the gopas.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: Don't be afraid. With your dependents go to Govardhana Hill. He accepted our worship. He will protect us.
Sri Narada said: After speaking these words, Lord Krsna went, with His own people, to Govardhana Hill. Lifting the hill, Krsna playfully held it aloft with one hand.
As a child effortlessly holds a mushroom, or as an elephant holds a lotus in its tongue, so Sri Krsna, the prince of Vraja, the kind Supreme Personality of Godhead, held Govardhana Hill.
Lord Krsna said to the gopas: Father, mother, kings of the gopas, take your relatives, associates, household paraphernalia, wealth and cows and go beneath the hill. There you need not fear Indra.
When they heard Lord Krsna word's, the gopas took their families, cows and household paraphernalia and went under the hill.
O king, when Krsna asked, Balarama and all the boys His age steadied the hill with their sticks
Seeing a great flood of water coming, in His mind Lord Krsna ordered Lord Sesa and the Sudarsana-cakra to come under the hill.
Brilliant as ten million suns, the Sudarsana-cakra hovered above the hill and drank up the falling streams of water as Agastya Muni drank up the ocean.
Coiling Himself around the hill, Sesa stopped the incoming flood as a shoreline stops the waters of an ocean.
For seven days Lord Krsna steadily held Govardhana Hill. As if they had become cakora birds, the stunned gopas gazed at Lord Krsnacandra.
Mounting his maddened elephant Airavata and accompanied by his armies, furious Indra went ot the circle of Vraja.
Wishing to destroy Nanda's village, Indra threw his thunderbolt from far away. Krsna suddenly paralyzed both the thunderbolt and the arm that threw it.
Terrified, Indra fled with the demigods and samvartaka clouds as if he were an elephant wounded by a lion.
Suddenly the sun rose. The clouds were gone, the winds stopped and the streams carrried away very little water.
The ground dried up, the sky became clear and the animals and birds became happy.
By Krsna's order the gopas, taking their wealth and cows with them, slowly emerged from under the hill.
Then Krsna, the lifter of Govardhana Hill, said to His friends, "Go out. " They said to Him," You go first. We will hold the hill with our own strength. "
Then Lord Krsna, the lifter of Govardhana Hill, shifted half of the hill's weight to the talkative gopa boys.
That burden made the gopa boys fall, devastated, to the ground.
With one hand Krsna picked them all up. Then, as everyone watched, with a playful flourish Krsna set the hill down where it was before.
O king the gopas and gopis, now understanding that Nanda's son Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, worshipped Him, showered Him with unbroken grains of rice, offered Him many foods made with milk and yogurt and humbly bowed down before Him.
O king, then Nanda, Yasoda, Rohini and the gopa elders headed by Sannanda, embraced Krsna, gave Him great wealth and filled with kindness and love, spoke many benedictions blessing Him.
O king, singing, dancing and playing musical instruments, the people of Vraja approached Lord Krsna and worshipped Him. In this way all their desires were fulfilled.
Then the jubilant demigods showered beautiful flowers grown in the beautiful Nandana gardens and the Gandharvas and Siddhas in the higher planets sang the glories of Sri Krsna, the lifter of Govardhana Hill.