Part 7 of "Essence of Pure Devotion"

Giri Govardhana -- Appearance and Pastimes

by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Promode Puri Gosvami Maharaja

The great sage Garga was previously the priest of the Yadu Dynasty. He personally had conducted the ritual of the name-giving ceremony for the divine brothers Krishna and Balarama at the palace of Nanda Baba in Gokula Mahavana. He also related the pastimes of Lord Krishna in full to Saunaka Rshi and this he described in his book 'Garga Samhita".

In the 'Vrndavana Khand' portion of this book is written: once, seeing the great disturbances in the area of Vraja, Nanda Maharaja beckoned his confidential friends Sunanda, Upananda, Vrshabanu and other elders for a council and began to address them." In this area of Mahavana, we are often seeing many calamities. Now all of you should think seriously about what we should do about this". Sunanda, an experienced elder, hearing this remark, "We should not even delay for a minute here, but should immediately leave with our children for Vrndavana which is most serene and picturesque. O King, your son Krishna is the life and soul of all the residents of Vraja. Gracious! It is our incredibly good fortune that the young boy was saved from the demons Purana, Trnavarta and Sakada as well as the falling of the huge Yamala Arjuna trees but we cannot be certain that there will not be any further misfortunes. Anyway, we can always return here when things get back to normal'.

To the questions asked by Nana Maharaja about the distance of this area from Gokula, its approximate size the appearance of the forest, now, beautiful it was and other questions. Sunanda replied: "North-East of Barhisat town, South of Yadupura, West of Sonepure is the area of Mathura Mandal also termed as termed as Vraja by the saintly people. This I have heard from the sage Garga in the house of Vasudeva, that place is even worshipped by the King of holy places 'Prayaga". In this area is a very superior forest called Vrndavana. This delightful place of Vrindavana is the most ideal place for the enacting of the wonderful pastimes of Lord Krishna. Even though there is never a greater planet than Vaikuntha and there will never be one in future, still this place Vrindavana is par excellence in comparison. There too is the presence of the Giriraj mountain surrounded by the beautiful banks of the River Yamuna which flows there; also two prominent mountains stand out called Nadisvara and Vrhatsanu (Barsana). The lush countryside is so incredibly beautiful. The whole area is about twenty-four crores of forest-land which contains pastures for sweet-milk giving cows and also creepers, shrubs and flowers which serve the needs of the cowherd boys and girls.

During the time of periodic annihilation, when Lord Brahma was sleeping, a fierce demon names Sankhacuda stole the Vedas from Brahmaloka by overcoming all the higher planetary demigods and then submerged himself in the ocean. This act diminished the power and luster of the demigods who became frantic with despair. Then the compassionate Supreme Lord Hari, taking the form of a gigantic fish, entered the heavy swirling waters of the vast ocean at the time of periodic annihilation and waged a terrific battle against the demons.

Lord Hari then enacting His fighting pastimes with the demon, finally cut the head of the demons with his sharp disc and returned to the higher planets where the Vedas were reinstated as before. Lord Brahma with other demigods soon very joyfully performed all the necessary purificatory ceremonies for this occasion. The holy place Prayaga was also invited to participate and was coronated with pomp and from this time Prayaga began to be known as the King of the holy places. From then on te fame of Prayaga became gradually wide spread. The Rivers Ganga and Yamuna, with their gentle waves, began to shower on this River their holy waters in the manner of fanning a whish in adoration. All the other holy places in Jambudvipa arrived there similarly, with the necessary utensils of worship and worshipped Prayaga Raja with pomp and opulence by authorized procedures. Soon after completing the different rituals of worship and prayer they began to revert or return to their own place of residence. At this opportune time, the great sage Narada who was always fond of intrigues, arrived there, singing the songs of Hari as usual with his musical vina. The personified Prayaga greeted him with the usual formalities of cordiality and respect required as when meeting with a great sage. The sage, after being seated on a comfortable sitting place, began to speak. "Oh Tirtha Raja, you may be the King of all holy places and by right every place is awarding you all respect and worship. However, the holy places in the land of Vraja like Vrndavana have not come to offer you any formal worship, hence you have been insulted by them."

Hearing the words from Devarsi Narada, King Prayaga became infuriated with anger wile the sage Narada then continued on his way. With his ire raised, King Prayaga then traversed and reached the spiritual world of the court of Hari. After paying the customary obeisances like circumambulating the Supreme Lord, he, with his hands folded, began to protest with vehemence: "Oh Lord! It is a sure fact that you have de me the King of all pilgrimage centers in the world but except for this Mathura Mandal, all other holy places have paid the necessary tribute to me. This Vraja Tirtha, being over intoxicated by pride, has not afforded me the proper worship, in this way slighting me. Please tell me the reason for this." To this outburst, the Supreme Lord replied gravely: "It is true that I have placed all the places of pilgrimage under your sovereignty but in my own house you do not have any rulership and I have not entrusted you with as such. You are overly eager to posses My own realm. You have lost your composure and are speaking in an unintelligible fashion. Go back to your own place and listen to My parting words. Mathura Mandal is my own private retreat and supersedes all others. It is above the three worlds and not destroyed during the time of annihilation, being completely transcendental"

On listening to these poignant words of the Supreme Lord, the personified Prayaga became completely astonished and his pride was vanquished. Soon afterwards, coming directly to Mathura Mandal, he began to pay the necessary obeisances and carried out worship as befitting to this holiest of all places. After the circumambulation of Mathura mandal, he returned to his own abode. At another time of periodic annihilation, the Supreme Lord Sri Hari, appearing as a boar with hard tusks, rescued the Goddess Earth from the depths of the ocean on the brink of Rasatala (lower planet). Amidst the waters, He showed her an amazing sight of beautiful lustrous shrubs and creepers saying to her: "Oh Goddess! In front of you are some divine bushes and shrubs in these waters. This is the land of Mathura mandal which is related to the spiritual world Goloka. Even in the final annihilation, this is never destroyed". The Goddess Earth, on hearing this became surprised, for it was her contention that she was solely maintaining the sustaining all living and non-living entities on her land and no one else could do so. But now she realized the glories of Vraja. Vraja area is the most elevated of all holy places of pilgrimage and worshipable by all the holy places including Prayaga Raja. It is eternally existing and completely transcendental.. In this holy Vraja, the mountain of Govardhana which is non-different from the divine body of the Lord is present and His most beloved the River Yamuna also flows through this place. To the question of Nanda Maharaja, the sober Sunanda continued: the Lord of the innumerable worlds and the ruler of Goloka advented from the spiritual world to execute the task of removing the Earth's burden. At that time he requested Srimati Radhika to accompany Him to planet Earth. Srimate Radharani then pleaded, "where the holy Vrindavana is not present or where the Yamuna River or Giri Govardhana is not present, My mind does not take delight in going to such a place". Giving in to Her request, Lord Sri Hari then gave the order for the whole spiritual 84 crores area of Vraja to descend to the planet Earth. This spiritual land of Vraja is praised by all the three worlds.

The Bhu-Mandala planetary system is divided into seven islands resembling a lotus flower in shape, namely: Jambu, Plaksa Salmali, Kusa, Krauncha, Saka, and Puskara. Each island is divided further into nine different divisions. In the Ajanabha division of Jambudvipa, by virtue of the oldest son of King Rsabha named Bharatha, this existing region has been termed Bharata Varsa. West of this land called Bharata is the island of Salmali, where from the wife of the mountain Drona, Govardhana Hill became born. On that auspicious occasion, all the demigods began to shower flowers on him and all other great mountains like Himalaya, Sumeru, etc. coming to that place with the usual rites, worship, prayer and circumambulation began to glorify him. The main predominating mountains prayed thus: "Oh Govardhana! You have appeared from the spiritual world Goloka Vrindavana where the omniscient Lord Krishna resides with His confidential associates-cowherd boys and maidens. From today, you are the ornament or crown-jewel of Goloka. You are the form of the umbrella of the all-absolute Supreme Brahman. I offer my obeisances to you." The mountains, after glorifying Govardhana in this way, went back to their respective homes. Henceforth Govardhana became to be called by the name 'Giriraj", King of the mountains.

At one time the sage Pulastya, while touring the different places of pilgrimage, came to the spot where Giriraja was situated. He observed the wonderful serenity of the cool flowing breezes and the lush beauty of the greenery of shrubs and bushes with their intertwined variety of fruits and flowers. It was rampant with various auspicious sounds of peacocks intermingled with those of other birds and animals. In short, a perfect environment for austerity. Thus being dazzled and captivated by the impeccable beauty of Giriraja, the sage approached his father Dronachal with a desire to possess this mountain. Dronachal Mountain, as usual bestowed the necessary respect and honor on the arrival of the great Rsi. The Rsi being pleased by the warm reception give, spoke: "Oh sage! This son is very dear to me; though I cannot bear any separation from my son but because of my fear of your irate curse, I will put my son under your care according to your desire." He then summoned his son and addressing him, told him to accompany the sage to the land of fruitive work-Bharata Varsa where all the four-fold objects of life can be obtained up to liberation.

Thus in obedience to the order of his father Govardhana began to accede to the wishes of Pulastya Muni. However, he informed the sage: "I am 8 yojanas in length, 5 yojanas in breadth and 2 yojanas in height. How will you possibly carry me to your residence?" The Muni replied: "My son, if you please seat yourself on the palm of my right hand, I will carry you in this manner and walk to Kasi", Sri Govardhana Deva then replied with a condition: "Oh Muni, in the course of wandering, if you unable to bear my weight, place me at any one spot, then I will never move from that spot at any event, this is my promise." Pulastya Muni replied similarly, "My son, don't worry, I too, from this Salmalidvipa right down to Kosaladesh will never place you along the path and this is my word". Without further ado, the Mountain Govardhana, after paying obeisances to his tearful and distressed father, climbed unto the palm of the Muni. The great sage then revealing his extraordinary mystic powers by holding the Govardhana Hill with his right hand began to trudge along the path until finally he reached the land of Vraja Mandala. At this juncture, Govardhana became haunted with past reminiscences and began to reflect:" The Lord of the infinite universes, complete in Himself, Lord Sri Krishna, will advent in person in this land of Vraja. Here in this, place He will perform many sweet and wonderful pastimes with His cowherd friends ad other associates in loving mellows. Therefore I will never leave this land of Vraja especially by these banks of Yamuna and go elsewhere. Sri Krishna will appear here with Srimate Radhika from Goloka, and by Their pure vision, I will be able to achieve all perfection". Contemplating in this way, be began to resort to his full weight on the palm of the Muni. The sage being heavily taxed and overburdened to the extremes by such incredible weight, placed the mountain on the ground and left undaunted to do his daily purificatory rituals, forgetting his vow. After completing his systematic bath, toilet, followed by his daily meditation on the Gayatri mantra, he again approached Govardhana to be seated on his palm. But this time Govardhana refused to budge. The sage then began to attempt by the force of his own spiritual powers to lift him but in vain. He then tried incessantly to plead and coax him, but the mountain did not move an inch. Finally, Govardhana spoke reminding the sage: "Oh Muni! This is no fault of mine. You have placed me here voluntarily of your own will but my previous condition still stands which is, I will never move once being placed on any spot along the path of the journey to Kasi". The Muni became angered by these words of Govardhana which penetrated into his very being and with trembling lips counteracted with a curse at the mountain:

'tasmatu tilamatram hi nityam tvam ksinatam vraja'
"You have impudently refused to accede to my earnest request O mountain, henceforth, you will reduce in size by the measure of 1 till seed daily".
After proclaiming this verdict, the Muni returned to his native place Kasi and from then on as a result, Govardhana began to be reduced by the size of one till daily. Sunanda concluding to Nanda Maharaja on the appearance of Govardhana, commented: "Until the time the Ganga and Giriraja, in this earth, will exist, for that time vile Kali cannot exert its dire influence on the planet Earth."

The pastime by which the stone form of the Govardhana mountain becomes reduced in size is another feature of the inconceivable potency of Lord Sri Krishna. In these pastimes relating to the Govardhana mountain everything happened by the Absolute will of the Supreme, the sage being the mere agent. Here Sri Krishna in the form of His devotee, has appeared to exhibit the proper way of servitorship as an ingredient in His pastimes. The same Sri Krishna saying: "I am this mountain" repeatedly in His original form as Sri Krishna accepted the natural adoration and worship of this residents of Vraja also besides exhibiting reciprocally His own affection for them. The devotion of Srila Rupa Raghuantha for this Govardhana Hill is beyond description.

vibhrano yah sri bhujadandopari bhartuh
schatibhavam nama yathartham svamakarsit
krsnopajnam yasya makhastithati sohayam
pratyasam me tvam kuru govardhana purnam
"He was situated on the hand of his master Lord Krishna like an umbrella, earning his name consequently as the King of Mountains (Giriraja). The sacrifice of this worship of Govardhana Hill satisfy all my aspirations"
jhamajhamiti varsati stanita cakravikridaya
vimustharavimandale ghana ghatabhirakhandale
raraksa dharani dharoddhir tipatuh kutumbani yah
sa darayatu dharunam vraja purandaraste dharma
When King Indra unleashed the huge clouds with their rumbling sounds which covered the sun and began to cause heavy showers with splattering sounds of 'jham! jham! At that time Lord Krishna holding Govardhana Hill, protected His own kinsmen and loving devotees. May the Lord Krishna protect us from all fears. Sri Govardhana is very affectionate to His devotees and easily gives His lotus feet to His own surrendered devotees, protecting them from all fear and lamentation, granting them all fearlessness. However, we can pray to Him in this way: "May Sri Govardhana grace this lowly soul by his merciful glance! Only by his causeless mercy can I remain obedient to Sri Rupa-Raghunatha and be entranced in the service of the spiritual master who is the pure servitor of Sri Rupa-Raghunatha."

saptaham murajit karambuja paribrajat kanisthanguli
prodyad valgu varata kopari mila mugdha dvirepho' api yah
pathahksepak-satrunakra mukhatah krode vrajam dragapat
kastum gokula badhavam girivaram govardhanam nasrayet
"The mountain Govardhana while being lifted and held for seven days with the little finger of his master Lord Krishna, remained like an intoxicated bee in His lotus hand while protecting the whole of Vraja form fearsome rains. Why do not living entities take shelter of Govardhana Hill?"

giri-nrpa haridasa sreni varyeti namam
mrtam idam uditam sri Radhika vaktra chandrat
vrajanabha tilakatve klrpta vedaih sphutam me
nija nikata nivasam dehi govardhana tvam
"The nectar of your name as the best of the servants of Sri Krishna has been uttered by the lotus mouth of Srimati Radhika Herself. The Vedas have placed you as the Tilak mark adorning the land of Vraja. My prayer to you, O Govardhana, is to allow me to reside in proximity to you."

This lowly self in obedience to the path chalked out by Srila Rupa-Raghunatha may protect me from all obstacles to the devotional path. In this way by giving up all false prestige, I may be able to drench everyone with the pure devotional conclusions of scriptures. May I therefore remain fixed in the service of Sri Guru, Vaishnavas and the Supreme Lord"!

Giri Govardhan-Pastimes

At the time of the Autumn season, Lord Krishna entering into the beautiful forest groves of Vrndavana begins to blow melodious notes on His flute. At that time, hearing this music, the cowherd damsels of Vrndavana, being overcome by pure loving sentiments while in contemplation of His Lotus Feet, begin to recite and sing of Lord Krishna's untarnished fame and glories saying, 'Oh companions! One who does not take shelter of the great souls can never attain the object of their desired ends. Only the devotees of the Supreme Lord Hari are outstanding and are considered great. Of them Sri Govardhana, the King of Mountains is the chief. This I have personally heard from the lips of our most Noble Gargi devi. Therefore this very day, we will take a bath in the Lake of 'Manasa Ganga' and consequently visit the original Deity of Narayana named 'Sri Harideva' by that place. This will pacify our spiritual elders and they will not be moved with suspicion of our whereabouts. Usually our most beloved Sri Krishna (Lord of souls) sports there in that place and we will definitely get an opportunity to meet him there." Hence, formulating this plan of action the cowherd damsels began to glorify Sri Govardhana which was the means for attaining their beloved object of Sri Krishna. (Bhag. 10/21/18)

hantayam adrir abala hari-dasa-varyo
yad rama-krsna-carna-sparasa-pramodah
manam tanoti saha-go-ganayos tayor yat
"Oh destitute companions! Govardhana is experiencing great exhilaration in feeling the touch of the lotus feet of Sri Krishna and Rama, for this reason he worships the cows and the cowherd boys, by providing them all facilities in the form of fresh water, fruits and roots, fresh grasses replete with caves for their resting places. He is the best of all the devotees of Lord Hari".

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has mentioned in his commentary that all of the devotees or pure servitors of Lord Hari, Yudhisthira, Uddhava and Govardhana are the most superior and of these three, Sri Govardhana Hill is the best servitor. The contact of the muddy foot-prints of Sri Krishna and Rama on the stony surface of Govardhana, leaves the tell-tale marks of the auspicious thunderbolt, the flag, goad imprinted on the stone which begin causing Sri Govardhana to experience great ecstasy. His tears of bliss results in water-falls cascading from Govardhana and the fresh buds of grass which sprout from the very mountain slopes represents his condition of horripilation (ecstatic symptoms). The 'Rama' that is implied here in the verse, is used incidentally to cover the deep transcendental emotions of the gopi dearest of Sri Krishna (meaning Srimati Radharani). 'Rama' can be interpreted to mean one who engages in loving sports with Sri Krishna. The word 'abala' here means one who is indifferent of the protection of their husbands while desiring eagerly to secure the shelter of Sri Krishna who is their only strength, ['bala']. 'Yat" means because of experiencing great ecstasy He worships the cowherd boys with their cows to obtain the mercy of Lord Krishna. Govardhana Mountain therefore supplies the cows and cowherd boys and Sri Krishna with fresh spring water for drinking, gargling, including washing their legs., also provides sweet beverages like honey and different juices from the various fruit-trees like mango juice, as refreshment, etc. Dhurva grass which is used to make respectable offerings (argya), plus fragrant fresh green pastures fro all the cows which are nourishing and milk producing. For lodging and taking rest during the cold winter seasons or in the extreme heat of the summer, there are hollows or deep caves which serve these purposes. For a nutritious repast, there are fresh fruits and roots which are succulent and bountiful. In that place too, all the necessary ingredients of service to Lord Krishna are naturally present like jeweled daisies, pedestals and lights.

In the same chapter of Srimad Bhagavatam it mentions that the Supreme Lord (10/25) manifested a gigantic figure and ate all the offered foodstuffs of the residents of Vraja, thereby increasing their faith in Him, in that event. After this incident, adoration or worship of cows, which are the livelihood of the denizens of Vraja, is mentioned. The cows are usually worshipped by provision of fresh grass and water.

Srila Rupa Gosvami writes in his prayer to Govardhana:

vindad bhiryo mandiratam kandera vrndaih
kaindaiscendor bandhu bhirananda yatisam
vaidurya bhairnirjhura toyair api sohayam
pratyasam me tvam kuru govardhana purnam
He who pleases Lord Sri Krishna in his enacting of nectarine pastimes by the provision of such ingredients as a nest of cozy caves for rest, succulent roots, tasting like ambrosia and sparkling crystal cascading water. May this Sri Govardhana fulfill all my hopes and longings.!

Sri Raghunatha Das Gosvami has prayed for residence in proximity to Govardhana Hill with the following verse:-

pramada madanah lila kandare kandare te
racayati navayunor dvandam asminn amandam
iti khila kalanartham lagnakas tad-dvayor me
nija nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana tvam
"The Divine Couple have in great bliss performed many profound and sweet loving pastimes while nestling in your caves. For this reason, I have become most eager to get the divine vision of this transcendental Couple. Therefore, please allow me to stay in proximity with you."

anupama-manivedi ratnasimha sanorvi
ruhajhara-darasanudroni-sanghesu rangair
saha bala-sakhibhih sankhelayan sva-priyam me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhan tvam
"Oh Govardhana Hill, may you grant my obsession to stay in proximity with you because you are the cause for the diverse, delightful sports of Lord Krishna with His cowherd friends under the tree tops, in rocky caves, valleys and amidst the plains with the presence of necessary ingredients like super-excellent jeweled daisies and thrones while you yourself experience great ecstasy in witnessing such sports.

Sthala-jala-tala-saspair bhuruha-chayaya ca
paripadam anukalam hanta samvardhayan gah
tri-jagati nija-gotram sarthakam khyapayan me
nija-nikata nivasam dehi govardhana tvam
"Oh Govardhana! You are always providing for the nourishment of cows by supplying them with water, leaves, green grass together with protection from the sun by the presence of shady trees thus increasing their pleasure (go-vardhana: increasing the pleasure of the cows). You have been glorified in all the three worlds because of this. Therefore please give me a place of proximity to you whereby I may have the chance to see the rare divine sight of Lord Krishna when He is returning home from pasturing the cows."

Lord Krishna did conduct the sacrifice and worship of Govardhana though His own beloved devotees i.e., the residents of Vraja. In the age of Kali, His merciful incarnation, Lord Gaurasundara also initiated and induced His confidential associates to perform the worship of Govardhana. Once, Sri Sankarananda Sarasvati came to Puri dhama from Sri Vrndavana to deliver to Sriman Mahaprabhu a piece of the Govardhana stone together with a string of 'gunja mala' (beads) wrapped in two bundles of cloth which he presented to Sriman Mahaprabhu who, at that time was residing at Gambhira. The Lord became exceedingly pleased on receiving these invaluable items. In continuous remembrance of the divine pastimes of Sri Radha-Krsna, He used to wear the mala (beads) round His neck. By contemplation of the Govardhana stone as non-different form the transcendental body of Sri Krishna, He used to place this stone over His head and eyes, becoming overwrought with loving emotions. In the loving moods, He would exuberantly place it on His head or near His nose as if to catch the overpowering transcendental fragrances of the stone and more often than no, would drench it with tears flowing form His eyes. In this regard, Sriman Mahaprabhu used to visualize the Govardhana stone and the gunja mala together as the personification of the Divine Couple Sri Radha-Krishna. He, in this manner conducting worship of the Govardhana stone for a succession of three consecutive years, later handed it over to His most affectionate associate Sri Raghunatha as Goswami speaking;

prabhu hake ei 'sila krsnera vigraha
ihara seva kara tumi kariya agraha
ei silara kara tumi sattvika pujana
achirat pabe tumi-krsna-prema-dhana
Sriman Mahaprabhu instructed: "The method of worshipping the Govardhana stone is very simple. Simply bathe the stone by using a pot of water together with eight Tulasi manjaris which is to be offered with devotion to the Govardhana stone on both sides." {a Tulasi manjari is contained between two Tulasi leaves}

The great soul Sri Raghunatha, having obtained these priceless items from the hands of Sriman Mahaprabhu Himself, realizing His internal moods by His mercy began to engage in the service of the Govardhana stone with great devotion. In worship, he placed on the feet of the stone, the gunja beads which were the representation of Srimati Radhika. His bliss in his devotional service knew no limit. His only ingredients for worship was one water pot for collecting water, two pieces of cloth each the measure of half an arm length and a small wooden pedestal. He, by this type of devoted worship, began to actually perceive the pure form of Sri Krishna-Vrajendra-nandana- during the course of worship and meditation. Srila Krsna Das Kaviraja writes:

jala tulasira sevaya sukhodaya
sadasopacara pujaya tata sukha naya
His joy that he experienced in worship was beyond comparison, more so that what one could possibly attain by using all the sixteen articles to worship in a grand way. The Lord who is naturally affectionate to His devotees becomes completely subjugated by pure devotional service only. In Vishnu-dharma, there is mention of how the Lord can be brought over by in devotional service. In this context, how Sri Advaita Acarya was able to move the Supreme Lord to hear his plea is given:

tulasi dala matrena jalasya culukena va
vikrinite svamatamanam bhaktyebhyo bhakta vatslah
Lord Krishna, being overcome by the spontaneous affection of His devotee, becomes bought by such devotees in the course of offering Tulasi leaves and a handful of water. In Caitanya Caritamrta it mentions:

krsnake tulasi jala deya yei jana
tara rna sodhite krsna karen chintan
Sri Advaita Acarya began to reflect that the faithful devotee, in simply offering some handful of water and Tulasi leaves to the Supreme Lord in pure devotion, will result in Sri Krishna not being able to free Himself from His great debt to such a pure devotee. Therefore, only by the Supreme Lord manifesting His original form, will He be able to give up His debt.

Therefore Advaita Acarya, in order to make Sri Krishna appear in His original form began to offer with great devotion, some holy Ganga water and a few Tulasi manjaris. The inaugurator of religious principles, Sri Krishna appeared to exhibit the magnanimous pastimes of Lord Caitanya in order to distribute love of Godhead and to fulfill the prayers of His great devotee Sri Advaita Acarya. In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the world teacher Lord Brahma glorifies the Lord in this way:-

tvam bhakti-yoga-paribhavita-hrt-saroja
asase sruteksita-patho nanu natha pumsam
yas-yad-dhiya ta urugaya vibhavayanti
tad-tad-vapuh pranayase sad-anugrahaya
"Oh Lord! The means of obtaining You by devotional service becomes available through oral reception of the messages and instructions of the spiritual master. You are present in the heart of Your devotees who have become purified by devotional service to You. The devotees in this way worship You with their individual natures while You, by Your causeless mercy, reciprocate with them in that very form of their meditations. ('srute ksitapato'- one who, after hearing from Sri Guru and later by initiation, embarks on devotional service- Srila Visvanatha Thakura). Consequently, Srila Raghunatha Das Goswami was exemplary in his method of worshipping Giri Govardhana with pure devotion.

Once on the order of Sri Svarupa Damodara, Govinda the servant of Sriman Mahaprabhu, began to send him daily some sweet meats ('sandesh') for offering to the Govardhana Sila. Srila Raghunatha das began to start offering these sweets to the Lord with great feeling. The Supreme Lord, unable to resist the offerings of His pure devotee, began to virtually devour these offerings with great relish and joy. Srila Raghunatha das in his Manah siksa, has given the method or way of worshipping Sri Govardhana Hill:-

samam sri - rupena smaravivasa-radha-giribhrto
vraje saksat-seva-labhanavidhaye tad-gana-yujoh
tad-ijya akhya-dhyana-sravana-nati-panchamrtam-idam
dhayan nitya govardhanam anudinam tvam bhaja manah
"Oh mind! You should be in obedience to Sri Rupa Goswami who, in the association of Sri Lalita Devi and Subala, the transcendental servitors strive for the divine service of the transcendental couple Sri Radha-Krishna who are always merged in the conjugal devotional mellows."

In other words, drink the nectar of service to Sri Govardhana in the form of correct worship to Him, by chanting his glories, hearing his glories, meditating and paying obeisances to him with devotion as a daily function.

Sri Srila Prabhupada, in his commentary writes (Cc. Antya 6th chapter):

The form of Govardhana is directly Vraja-nandana Sri Krishna. Sriman Mahaprabhu verifying this tone as the spiritual body of Sri Krsna, worshipped it continuously for three years, afterwards enlightening the heart of Sri Raghunatha Das and inducing him with this transcendental service. Many so-called followers of the traditional varna-asrama system pose as devotees externally, but by nature are both atheistic and materialistic to the core. These people are naturally antagonistic to the devotees and make them the target of their baseless accusations. For example, they consider the deity form of the Lord as material, the spiritual master as an ordinary man and they try to judge the devotee according to his previous birth and caste. In this regard they dare to suggest that Srila Raghunatha Das was not of brahmin caste and because of not having taken brahmin initiation was not a bona fide brahmin. The contention of these envious people is that unless one is born from brahmin family by right, no pure devotee can touch or worship the deity form of the Lord. In committing such great offense to the lotus feet of the pure devotee, these revilers will be forced to be degraded into hellish lives. The novice devotee (kanistha) and the middling (madhyama) devotee has to be very careful in the association of these type of offenders. The symptoms of these so-called ritual brahmins is that they usually consort with women and can never hope to come to the proper standard of the pure devotees, inevitably making their destination to the Hellish planets.(commentary end)."

In the Srimad Bhagavatam and the works of Srila Rupa Goswami, the astounding beauty of Govardhana Hill with its lush grass, sweet fruits and roots, water falls and cozy caves have all been described. Even if this does not present itself to our vision, still not an iota of these statements are false. Sri Govardhana is the actual form of the Supreme Lord, completely spiritual in nature and therefore how is it possible to understand Him through our turbulent personal senses? Nonetheless, the original pure form of Govardhana can be identified if our senses become gradually spiritualized in the devotional service of the transcendental whole.


Publisher: Sripad B.B. Bodhayan Maharaja
Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha

This book was printed on the conjunction of the 100th Advent Day of Sri Gurudeva,
Nitya lila pravistha om visnupad paramahamsa astottara sata
His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Pramode Puri Gosvami Maharaja

18 Padmanabha 512 Gaurabda
7 Aswin 1405 Bangabda
24th September 1998 Kristobda

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