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Narrations on the pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krishna.

Govardhana Puja - The Glories of Giriraja Govardhana

Madhava - Tue, 05 Nov 2002 04:42:13 +0530

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From Siddha Sri Krishna Das Baba's Gutika

The day after Dipavali Nanda baba arranges for the Govardhana-brahmanas to perform the ceremonial bathing (abhiseka) of Giriraja Govardhana with five kinds of nectar - ghi (clarified butter), sugar-water, yoghurt, milk and honey - and makes them cook many kinds of sweets, rice, rotis, and vegetables. They place these preparations on big leaves in front of Govardhana Hill. In one form Krishna sits next to Nanda baba and in another, huge, form He sits on Giriraja and grabs all the offered foodstuffs at once with one very long arm, eating everything! On the other side small Krishna says: "Just see how Giriraja is eating everything!" Nanda and the cowherders look on in joyful amazement how Giriraja finishes his meal with a pan (betel-leaves) and accepts all the flower garlands and sandalwood paste which was offered by the Vrajavasis in huge amounts. Then the local brahmanas offer Giriraja a lamp in arati on a long spear.

Krishna and all the other cowherders offer their prostrated obeisances to Giriraja, who disappears after blessing everyone. When asked what will please him the most, Giriraja says: "I am most pleased when you circumambulate me!", so that's what they do. First the cows go, then the brahmanas (they are also worshiped on that day), then the older gopis, the older cowherds, the young gopis, Krishna and His chums and finally Nanda and Yasoda. After this parikrama of Govardhana Hill Nanda feeds all the brahmanas and gives them cows, gold, silver and garments in charity. Then he eats himself with his family and everyone takes rest in their tents. Radha and Krishna meet as usual in the Giri Nikunja, the mountain grove, returning to Their camps afterwards, and at midday They have Their usual fun at Radhakunda. Then Nanda baba has all the tents broken up and moved to Kaliyadaha in Vrindavana. There They have Their supper and Radha and Krishna have Their usual nocturnal fun at Vamsivata, Vrindavana on the bank of the Yamuna-river.
Malatilata - Tue, 05 Nov 2002 05:49:49 +0530
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saptAhaM murajit karAmbuja pari-bhrAjat kaniSThAGguli
prodyad valgu varATakopari milan mughda dvirepho’pi yaH
pAthaH kSepaka zakra nakra mukhataH kroDe vrajaM drAg apAt
kas taM gokula bandhavam giri-varaM govardhanaM nAzrayet

Who will not take shelter of Govardhana hill. the best of mountains and the friend of Gokula, who protected the people of Vraja from the rains, that came from the mouth of the crocodile-like king Indra, like an innocent blackbee sitting on the seedhusk-like little finger of Sri Krishna’s lotus-like hand for seven days?
Excerpts from Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: In sadhakavesa Sripada Raghunatha reveals the glories of Sri Giriraja Govardhana in this Govardhanasraya Dasakam. In his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu Srila Rupa Gosvami has mentioned that five of the sixty-four items of bhajana are extraordinarily powerful, and one of them is living in Vraja or taking shelter of Vraja-dhama.

The only abode where Krishna can stay enjoying purely sweet, intimate pastimes, that are devoid of even a whiff of reverence is this Vraja-dhama. But even within this Vraja there is again distinction between the different confidential pastime-places. Giriraja Govardhana is said to be at the summit by Srila Rupa Gosvami:

vaikuNThAj janito varA madhu-purI tatrApi rAsotsavAd
vRndAraNyam udAra pANi ramaNAt tatrApi govardhanaH
rAdhAkuNDam ihApi gokula pateH premAmRta plAvanAt
kuryAd asya virAjato giri-taTe sevAM vivekI na kaH

“Greater than Vaikuntha is Mathura, better than Mathura is Vrindavana, because the Rasa-dance took place there, better even than Vrindavana is Govardhana because it was touched by Krishna’s beautiful hand, and best of all is Radhakunda (the abode of Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava’s most passionate pastimes), which is inundated by the stream of nectarean love of the Lord of Gokula (Sri Krishna). Who will not serve this sacred pond at the base of Govardhana Hill?”

By calling Sri Giriraja Gokula Bandhava Sri Raghunatha reminds us of how Giriraja protected Gokula. The king of the demigods Indra had committed a great offense by accepting offerings from Sri Nanda, Upananda and other cowherds, that are worshippable even for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To protect him from the grip of this offense and to establish the service and the glories of Sri Giriraja the merciful Lord stopped the sacrifice to Indra and had the sacrifice to Sri Govardhana commenced. The king of the demigods Indra, intoxicated as he was with pride of his opulences, was unable to understand this merciful pastime of the Lord and began to engage clouds like the Samvartaka, that are used to destroy the universe, to vanquish Gokula with showers of rain and thunderbolts. When these destructive storms and showers of rain, hail and thunderbolts began, the distressed Vrajavasis took shelter of their only resort, Sri Krishna.

kRSNa kRSNa mahAbhAga tvan nAthaM gokulaM prabho
trAtum arhasi devAn naH kupitAd bhakta vatsala

(Bhagavata 10.25.43)

“O Krishna! Krishna! O highly fortunate One! O protector of the devotees! O most powerful One! Please protect Gokula from the hand of Indra, who has become angry with us!”

Seeing that the Vrajavasis were suffering from Indra’s atrocious behaviour and hearing their distress-calls, Sri Krishna said: “With My own power I will protect the Vrajavasis, who are surrendered to Me, who are My proteges and who are My beloved relatives. My only vow is to protect the souls that surrender unto Me.” Saying this, Sri Krishna suddenly lifted the Govardhana Hill and playfully held it on His left hand, just as a child is holding a mushroom.

tasmAn mac charaNaM goSThaM man nAthaM mat parigraham
gopAya svAtma-yogena so’yaM me vrata AhitaH
ityuktvaikena hastena kRtvA govardhanAcalam
dadhAra lIlayA kRSNaz chatrAkam iva bAlakaH

(Bhagavata 10.25.18-19)

Sri Krishna easily held Giriraja with the little finger of His left hand, gave shelter to all the people and cows of Vraja beneath it and remained standing motionlessly like this for seven days.

Sripada Raghunatha says: “Sri Giriaja remained on the lotusseed-like little finger of Sri Krishna’s lotuslike hand like an innocent bumblebee”. This means that just as a kingbee, who is engaged in drinking the honey from a lotusflower, remains on the lotusseed in an intoxicated state, similarly Govardhana, who is the greatest of Lord Hari’s servants, got a place on Sri Krishna’s lotuslike hand for seven consecutive days and nights and remained absorbed there in relishing the mellows of the beauty of the lotuslike hand of his most dearly beloved. In this way he easily saved the Vrajamandala from the grip of the crocodile-like Indra, who was showering it vehemently.
Malatilata - Tue, 05 Nov 2002 19:58:49 +0530
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indratve nibhRtaM gavAM sura-nadI toyena dInAtmanA
zakreNAnugatA cakAra surabhir yenAbhiSekaM hareH
yat kacche’jani tena nandita janaM govindakuNDaM kRtI
kas taM go nikarendra paTTa zikharaM govardhanaM nAzrayet

What pious soul will not take shelter of the king of mountains, Govardhana Hill, who delights everyone and close to whom is Govinda Kunda, where Lord Hari was secretly bathed to crown Him as the king of cows with celestial Ganga-water by the Surabhi-cow of the humbled king Indra?
Exerpts from the Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: For seven days and nights Sri Krishna stood and held up Sri Giriraja with steady hand. Like thirsty Cataka-birds the people of Vraja relished the sweet nectar of this black monsooncloud (Krishna) for seven days and nights.

Even the cows and buffaloes of Vraja were constantly engaged for seven days and nights in relishing the streams of nectar emanating from Giridhari Sri Krishna’s lustrous moon-like face, and so they did not feel any hunger or thirst. Who can then describe the ecstasy felt by Sri Krishna’s dearmost Vrajavasi gopis and gopas when they saw Sri Krishna’s face for seven days? Seeing that the gopas and gopis, who were standing in a circle under the mountain, were constantly drinking the nectar of the vision of Sri Krishna’s lotus-like face, mother Yasoda was filling Sri Krishna’s lotuslike mouth with butter and sweet rice every half hour.

Seeing Krishna’s glorious power, the heaven-king Indra became afraid like an elephant that is attacked by a lion, so he called his clouds back and fled back to his celestial abode. But alas! Could he find any peace there after offending the source of all peace, Sri Krishna? At every moment he expected Krishna’s faithful Sudarsana-disc to come and burn the heavenly planets and their inhabitants. “Or who knows what kind of harsh punishment may be my fate?” In the scripture Sri Gopala Campu it is described: ito gatva dainyam matva skhalad oja vidaujah ksayam gacchan apyasau ksayam rcchann iva sthitavannatu sacim acikamata. na ca nirjara sadasi nirjagama.

Humiliated, Devaraja Indra miserably returned to his heavenly abode, but when he came there he could find no peace. It was as if he whithered away each day in great fear. He found no more joy in the loving conversations with his wife Sacidevi or in the meetings of the assembly of demigods. He constantly spent his time in a solitary section of his abode Amaravati. When the guru of the demigods, Brhaspati, heard this he went to see him and chastised him, saying:

“O King of the demigods! Although you are victorious over all the demons, you can not make any spiritual advancement unless you worship the lotusfeet of Sri Krishna! Can any tree or herb stay alive without the aid of the moon? Although you have a thousand eyes, you are still blind! That is because you are suresa, (king of demigods, or one who is drunk of wine) and this intoxication, the intoxicating opulence of heaven, has blinded you!”

Hearing these chastising words of Brhaspati, Devaraja Indra replied: “O master! I’ve done a great mischief by trying to destroy Vrajabhumi! It was a great injustice! Now please tell me how to become free from the reactions to such an offense!”

Brhaspati said: “O Indra! Only Lord Brahma can advise you in these days of woe, so quickly go to him!”, so Indra went to see Lord Brahma and elaborately told him of the offense he had committed. Hearing the words of Devaraja, Brahma told him:

“Alas! Alas! Although you are the king of the demigods, you committed such a foolish offense! The wise men carefully block their ears when they hear about your misbehaviour even once! Nevertheless I shall advise you what to do, in order to protect my creation! Some time ago I became so impudent as to try to know the greatness of Sri Krishna, and even now I can not find the means by which I can be forgiven for that offense! But Gautama and other sages advised me to daily carress the cows, feed them grass and circumambulate them. By serving the cows, the Lord of cows, Govinda, will swiftly be pleased. Therefore if you want to satisfy the Lord, who is naturally a great lover of the cows, then go to the mother of cows Surabhi, otherwise the demons will surely cause fear and havoc in heaven!”

Hearing Brahma’s advice Indra swiftly went to mother Surabhi, told her about the offense he had committed and brought her along to Vraja-bhumi. The all-merciful Sri Krishna had already engaged His cowherdboys elsewhere and waited for Indra to come. Smilingly He sat on a jewelled boulder of Govardhana Hill when Indra slowly and shyly approached Him, offered prostrated obeisances unto Him and began to praise Him, sitting on his knees before Him and revealing all the great glories of Sri Krishna with a faltering fear-filled voice. After Indra had completed his praises of the Lord mother Surabhi also praised Sri Krishna and showered Him with her own milk. Devaraja Indra also had Krishna bathed, with a shower of celestial Ganga-water, pumped up by the trunk of his Airavata-elephant, and had Him named Govinda, or king of cows, in everyone’s presence. The water that had showered Govinda created Govinda Kunda, a lake that lies at the base of Govardhana Hill even today, delighting the eyes of everyone. Sripada said: “Which fortunate soul will not take shelter of Giriraja Govardhana, the restingplace of Govinda?”
Malatilata - Tue, 05 Nov 2002 22:08:12 +0530
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kAlindIM tapanodbhavAM giri-gaNAn aty unnamac chekharAn
zrI vRndA-vipinaM janepsita dharma nandIzvaraM cAzrayam
hitvA yam prati-pUjayan vraja-kRte mAnaM mukundo dadau
kas taM zRGgI kirITinaM giri-nRpaM govardhanaM nAzrayet

Who will not take shelter of the king of mountains, Govardhana who was honoured and formally worshiped by Mukunda as the crownjewel of mountains for the sake of protecting the inhabitants of wishyielding Sri Vrindavana, making Him leave aside the (worship of) Yamuna (river, the daughter of the sun), all other high mountains and even Hiss own abode Nandisvara?
Exerpts from the Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: At the end of this stava Sripada Raghunatha mentions yet another one of Sri Giriraja’s glories to show the absolute necessity of taking shelter of Govardhana Hill. Although there are many pastime-places in the 168 miles circumference of Vraja-mandala that are endowed with great glory Sri Giriraja is the greatest because it is so dear to Sri Krishna. That can easily be understood, because of all the hills Sri Krishna chose the crownjewel of hills Sri Govardhana to protect the Vrajamandala with, stopping the sacrifice to Indra and initiating the worship of Giriraja instead. Just to establish the worship of Girraja the Lord expounded karma-vada (the path of action) to Nanda and the cowherds, that were accustomed to perform their traditional sacrifice to Indra. In this way He cleverly explained them the necessity of worshipping Giriraja. Hearing the nectarine words emanating from Sri Krishna’s divine mouth Nanda and the cowherds immediately developed faith in the worship of Giriraja, without argument. Being their livelihood, Giriraja was naturally the object of the Vrajavasis’ worship and devotion. This subject is described as follows in Sri Harivamsa:

dAmodara vacaH zrutvA hRSTAs te goSu jIvinaH; tad vAg amRtamAsAdya pratyUcur avizaGkayA
tavaiSA bAla mahatI gopAnAM citta-vardhinI; prINayatyeva naH sarvAn buddhir vRddhi-karI gavAm
tvaM gatis tvaM ratizcaiva tvaM vettA tvaM parAyaNam;
bhayeSvabhayadas tvaM nas tam eva suhRdAm suhRt

“Hearing Damodara’s words, the Vrajavasis became very happy. It is as if their fear vanished simply by drinking the nectar of His words. They told Sri Krishna: “O child of ours! Your excellent intelligence is benefiting the cowherd-clan and causes an increase in our wealth of cows, and thus it greatly increases the love of all of us! You are our only goal, the Vrajavasis are lovingly attached to only You, You alone know what is good for us and what is not. You grant us fearlessness when we are afraid, and You are our greatest friend.”

With great enthusiasm Nanda and the cowherds began to worship Giriraja with different paraphernalia. Govardhana, the crownjewel of mountains, accepted that worship and the great mountains on earth - Sumeru, Himalaya and so - also came there to worship Giriraja, taking different offerings with them.

govardhano ratna-zilA-mayo’bhUt suvarNa zRGgaiH paritaH sphuradbhiH
mattAlibhir nirjhara sundarIbhiH darIbhir uccAnGga karIva rAjan
tadaiva zailAH kila mUrtimanta sopAnayA meru himAcalAdyAh
nemur giriM maGgala pANayas taM govardhanaM rUpa-dharaM girIndrAH

(Garga Samhita)

“When sages like Bhaguri and Garga, who were brahmanas learned in the Vedas, began to worship Govardhana Hill, Govardhana manifested himself with many jewelled boulders and golden peaks. Intoxicated bees buzzed around the thick, flowering vines and there were beautiful cascades and caves there. Then mount Meru, the Himalaya and other great mountains came to offer their devoted obeisances unto him, bringing him auspicious presents. In this way Govardhana bore the form of the king of mountains!”

Then the Lord played another clever trick to reveal the superiority of Giriraja’s power and worship to everyone’s minds and eyes. When Nanda and the cowherds devotedly offered handfuls of flowers and a huge food-offering to Govardhana, Sri Krishna assumed a huge and most astonishingly beautiful form on top of the mountain and said: “O cowherds, headed by Nanda! I am Govardhana, and I have appeared because I am pleased with your worship and your devotional feelings!” Saying this, He began to eat the large amount of food, that was offered to Him by the Vrajavasis, with an amazing expertise.

From this we can easily understand that Sri Krishna did not display the power and the glory of any other place of Vraja-mandala in such a way. After this the Indra-puja was stopped and Indra, who had become very upset, began to shower Vraja-bhumi with devastating rains, planning to destroy it, causing the Lord to protect Vraja by lifting Giriraja.
Malatilata - Tue, 05 Nov 2002 23:16:29 +0530
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saptAhaM muramardanaH praNayato goSThaika rakSotsuko
vibhran mAnam udAra pANi ramaNair yasmai salIlaM dadau
gAndharvA murabhid vilAsa vigalat kAzmIra rajyad guhas
tat khaTTAyita ratna sundara zilo govardhanaH pAtu vaH

May Govardhana Hill, who was lovingly held upon the graceful hand of Sri Krishna, who was eager to protect Gokula for seven days, who was thus given the honour of a worshipable personality by the Lord, whose caves are coloured by the saffron that has fallen from Sri Gandharva and Giridhari’s bodies during Their loving pastimes and whose boulders are like beautiful jeweled couches for the Divine Couple to sit on, protect you.
Exerpts from the Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: Sri Giriraja is Vraja’s saubhagya tilaka (the mark of glory and fortune), and because of him Sri Vrindavana is so lovely. aho vrndavanam ramyam yatra govardhano girih (Skanda Purana) By aborting the cowherders’ traditional sacrifice to Indra and by establishing the worship of Giriraja instead, the Lord has personally announced the glories of Giriraja to the world. He extended the net of logical arguments before His worshipable father Sri Nanda Maharaja to make him lose confidence in the worship of Indra and then preached the worship of Govardhana Hill. Finally Indra became angry and began to cause mischief to Vraja by pouring down rain and thunderbolts upon the area, and the Lord callously held up Giriraja with His left hand, thus protecting the people of Vraja.

One of Sri Krishna’s names is Muramardana, which means that He easily killed a demon named Mura, who was adverse to the demigods, headed by Indra. He could have protected Vraja through so many other means also, but just to establish the glories of Giriraja, Sri Krishna lifted His beloved mount and thus protected Vraja by providing its inhabitants, that were attacked by Indra, a place of shelter under it. Not only that, He Himself worshipped the Govardhana Hill with His lotushands for seven days and nights without interruption. Just as the means of worshipping the deity is laid down in the scriptures, that show how to make pure mudras with the hands, that indicate one’s expertise in ritual worship, similarly Sri Giridhari held Sri Giriraja on the little finger of His left hand and worshipped Giriraja as if He were a worshipper Himself, by holding it continuously for seven days and nights, showing pure mudras with His left hand. By thus personally worshipping Giriraja, who is also known as Haridasa Varya, the best of Hari’s servants, the Lord taught the people of the world how to worship a devotee.

Then Sri Raghunatha shows how Sri Giriraja Govardhana is the greatest of all of Lord Hari’s servants by saying: gandharva-murabhid vilasa vigalat kasmira rajyad guhas tat khattayita ratna sundara silo govardhanah patu vali “May Govardhana Hill, whose caves are coloured by the saffron that has fallen from Sri Gandharva and Giridhari’s bodies during Their loving pastimes, and whose boulders are like beautiful jeweled couches for the Divine Couple to sit on, protect you.”

There are many devotees known as Haridasa in this world, but no one like Giriraja Govardhana can offer a lovely playground to the Lord with his own body. The most lovely solitary caves of Sri-Sri Giriraja are decorated by the saffron that has fallen off Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava’s bodies during Their amorous pastimes, and this shows that the most intimate pastimes of the Divine Pair take place there. In this way Sri Giriraja has become blessed by carrying hundreds of charming caves and groves on his body, that are decorated with Sri-Sri Radha-Madhava’s necklaces, bangles and garlands, that were broken during Their amorous battles. Srimat Rupa Gosvami has written:

gAndharvAyAH keli kalA bAndhava! kuJje kSuNNais tasyAH kaGkaNa hAraiH prayatAGga
rAsa krIDA-maNDitayopatyakayADhya! pratyAzAM me tvaM kuru govardhana pUrNAm


“O Govardhana! You are the assistant in Gandharva Sri Radha’s artistic pastimes, your body has been decorated with Sri Radha’s broken bangles and garlands and Your valleys have been enriched by having been adorned with Sri Radha-Krishna’s Rasa-pastimes. Please fulfill all my desires!”
Malatilata - Tue, 05 Nov 2002 23:27:20 +0530
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yeSAM kvApi ca mAdhavo viharate snigdhair vayasyotkarais
tad dhAtu dvara puJja citritatarais tais taiH svayaM citritaH
khelAbhiH kila pAlanair gavAM kutrApi narmotsavaiH
zrI rAdhA sahito guhAsu ramate tAn zaila varyAn bhaje

I worship the best of mountains in Vraja Sri Govardhana, with whose colorful mineral pigments Madhava and His affectionate friends are decorated as they herd the cows, where they play hide-and-seek, and in whose caves Krishna makes love with Sri Radha.
Exerpts from the Stavamrita Kana Vyakhya: Before Sri Krishna comes to the base of the mount to herd His cows with His friends they first decorate their bodies with Giriraja’s colorful mineral pigments. Srimad Rupa Gosvami has written: sasvad visvalankaranalankrtimedhyaih premna dhautair dhatubhir uddipita-sano (Stavamala) “Sri Krishna, Who is Himself the ornamentation of the world, is easily decorated by the mineral pigments that beautify the slopes of Govardhana Hill and that are sprinkled by love for Him.”

When the time for cowherding comes Sri Krishna and His friends love these colorful pigments, and clothes and ornaments made of leaves and flowers more than ornaments of jewels and pearls. phala prabala stavaka sumanah piccha dhatubhih. kaca mukta mani svarna-bhusita apyabhusayan (Bhag. 10.12.4) “Although the cowherdboys were already decorated by their mothers with ornaments of glass, jewels, pearls and gold they still decorated their bodies with different kinds of fruits, leaves, bunches of flowers, flowers, peacockfeathers and colorful mineral pigments when they came into the forest.”

In this way the cowherdboys also decorated Sri Krishna as they liked with sylvan clothing and colorful mineral pigments, let the cows graze in the large meadows on the slopes of Giriraja and freely played games like hide-and-seek with Sri Krishna.

Although Sri Krishna enjoys playing different free games with His friends in this way, His mind remains fixed on Sri Radha. In Sri Caitanya Caritamrta it is seen: ratri-dina kunja krida kore radha sange; kaisora boyos saphala koilo krida-range “Day and night He sports in the groves with Radha; in this way He made His adolescence a success.”

One may ask here: “If He plays with Sri Radha day and night, then when will He find the time to play in the meadows with His friends and to perform loving pastimes with His parents?” Actually Sri Krishna always thinks of Sri Radha as He performs these other pastimes. Sri Radha, who is endowed with the mahabhava known as madana, pervades Sri Krishna’s entire awareness. From the first time He ever saw loving Srimati Radharani in the preliminary stage of purva-raga, Sri Krishna has always been thinking of Her.

Even though He may be intoxicated by playing with His friends around Govardhana Hill, Syama is afflicted by the heartache of separation from Sri Radha. Meanwhile one of Srimati’s girlfriends or maidservants keeps eager abhisarika Sri Radhika in some cave of Govardhana Hill and comes to search for Syama. Seeing Syama engaged in playing with His friends they give Him a hint in an unnoticed way that Sri Radha has come to meet Him. Syamasundara then leaves His friends on the pretext of admiring the natural beauty of the mount and goes along with the sakhis to meet Sri Radha and perform different amorous pastimes with Her in a hidden, solitary cave of Giriraja.
Madhava - Wed, 06 Nov 2002 04:19:25 +0530


From the 15th chapter of Kavi Karnapura’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu

Nothing else could be heard in Vrindavana except the auspicious vibration of instrumental music. Vedic hymns resounded through the sky. The Vrajavasis felt blissful, and all the living entities entered a jolly mood from the worship of Govardhana. Hearing the melodious voices of the ladies, the cuckoos anxiously tried to learn singing from them. Ears attained their purpose by perceiving those auspicious sounds. The cows were adorned with gold-plated horns, colorful silk cloths on their backs, pearl necklaces, and tinkling bells hanging from their necks. Seeing their mothers so richly ornamented, the calves jumped excitedly.

Nanda Maharaja brought the necessary articles from his house to worship Govardhana Hill. He initiated the puja by respectfully offering padya (water) to wash Giriraja’s feet. In an ebullient mood, he made the Annakuta hill complete with powerful peaks that delighted all in attendance. The peak rising out of the middle of the hill looked like a crown made of white camphor. The multi-colored cakes stuck on the sides of the Annakuta hill looked like stones and boulders. At the base of the hill there were clay pots full of milk, yogurt, and sweet rice. There were also colorful sabjis, lakes of dahl, and very fragrant soups.

Due to its covering of ghee, the Annakuta Mountain looked like golden Mt. Kailasa shimmering under a cover of rain. Different kinds of fruits and flowers decorated its edges. When Nanda Maharaja saw the opulence of Annakuta spreading its sweet aroma of cloves, camphor, and cardamom in all directions, he felt that this was fitting honor to Sri Giriraja, the king of all mountains.

Sri Hari smiled happily upon seeing the amazing Annakuta rivaling the peak of Mt. Sumeru. Suddenly, the playful, fun-loving, indomitable Krishna assumed a huge unprecedented form and stood on top of Govardhana Hill. He did this to anger Indra and instill faith in the cowherd men.

Observing this powerful form glowing like a thousand suns, Krishna, who remained among the cowherd men in His original human-like form, cast a gentle glance upon everyone and said, “Hung ho! Look! Look! By using all the paraphernalia to exclusively worship Govardhana Hill with pure love you have received his favor. Govardhana, the best of all mountains, has now manifested before you as a brilliantly effulgent person. Please look closely! The huge mouth of this expanded form of Giriraja resembles a deep cave. Though his mouth is massive, his face looks as beautiful as the full moon. Usually trees serve as his arms, but now he has two beautiful arms adorned with attractive jeweled armlets. Usually hard rocks cover his body, but now he has assumed a tender sweet form. Look how that beautiful body walks over the other non-moving form!

“Moreover, this non-moving form is sitting like a seat made of costly emeralds, but it appears like the huge chest of the moving one. Glittering like a row of rubies, his teeth look like the crown of the non-moving form. The saffron hue of the minerals on the non-moving form gives an attractive hue to the lips of the moving one. In comparison, these two forms of Govardhana manifest the same elegance. Govardhana is reciprocating with your overflowing love and devotion. He is acting like a hungry person extending his arms bedecked with jeweled bangles. Look! Just see how this hill has appeared in person to fulfill your desires! Now offer respects to him.”

Both Krishna and the people of Vrindavana bowed down to this personified form of Govardhana Hill. In effect, Krishna actually offered obeisances to Himself. When the cowherd men, their wives, and the leading men of Vrindavana saw that form shining like the sun, they raised their folded hands above their heads and said, “Namo! Namo! Namo!” Being overwhelmed in affection, they danced around ecstatically. By joyfully worshiping Govardhana Hill, the Vrajavasis realized that Govardhana is a person.

Music from the temples wherein different demigods were being worshiped resounded in all directions. From all sides intoxicated dancers performed blissfully. The heavenly Kinnaras joined in with euphoric dancing. Relishing the music and singing, the Vrajavasis forgot themselves in that joyous Govardhana festival.

Govardhana caused the entire atmosphere to abound in happiness. Govardhana Hill affectionately accepted the faithful worship of Nanda Maharaja by manifesting a personal form. Anyone who simply hears and chants about the glories of Giri-Govardhana, which are inconceivable to ordinary people, will be delivered from all calamities.

Vrajaraja Nanda, the father of the subduer of demons, concluded the propitious worship of Giriraja by sumptuously feeding the brahmanas and everyone else down to the dogs. He handsomely rewarded the singers and dancers. Everyone attending the festival received precious gems and divinely opulent garments. Their hearts full of joy, the Vrajavasis talked excitedly among themselves as they did parikrama of Govardhana Hill.

Skilled musicians led the way playing the finest instrumental music. The languid muffled tones of bheris, dhakas and kettledrums softened the atmosphere with their pleasing vibrations. With their bodies decorated with designs drawn in kunkuma, the cowherd boys followed behind the musicians. Wielding sticks, they fearlessly drove the multi-colored cows ornamented with gold and jewels.

A second group of talented musicians came along playing flutes and vinas. Next came singers with sweet gentle voices, and ecstatic dancers moving in rows one behind the other. Then the gopis, their faces glowing with happiness, came riding on bullock carts that rivaled the golden chariots of the gods. They sang loudly about the pastimes of Krishna.

Hari, who removes all obstacles, laughed and joked with His cowherd boyfriends as He circumambulated Govardhana Hill. Eternally bound to Him in faith, Krishna’s friends remained fearless and free from all anxieties. Wearing a sweet-smelling flower garland across his broad chest, Nanda Maharaja walked just behind the boys. He was smiling in great satisfaction and accompanied by the leading men of Vrindavana.

In accordance to scriptural injunctions, they gave charity to brahmanas at different places while going around Giriraja. It is impossible to find a suitable container to hold the unlimited bliss that the Vrajavasis felt during their parikrama of Giriraja. Even though tiny in size, the soul can enjoy immeasurable happiness. As a result, their souls drowned in inconceivable joy. The continuous music of the dhakas and kettledrums, which are famous on heaven and earth, increased the bliss of the parikrama.

Soon they arrived on the banks of the Yamuna (which previously flowed near Govardhana). Being the glorious day of bhratridvitiya tithi, which is very dear to both Yamuna and her brother Yamaraja, they decided to take an auspicious bath. Bhratridvitiya tithi is the day when sisters pray for the prosperity of their brothers. Sunanda, the intelligent, well-behaved daughter of Upananda, invited her cousin-brother Damodara (Krishna), who is always jubilant and victorious, to celebrate the festival.

Damodara, who delights all moving and non-moving creatures, gladly accepted the sincere request of Sunanda. His heart overflowed with loving feelings for that dear sister. She affectionately served many types of delicious drinks and tasty cakes to Krishna and His friends. Haladhara and all the boys enjoyed the excellent food while Batu (Madhumangala), the skillful jester, entertained the enchanter of the world with his funny jokes and antics.

Batu quipped, “Alas! Alas! O dear friend, killer of the Agha demon! Why didn’t the foolish creator make every tithi as bhratridvitiya tithi? O brother, whose chest shines with the mark of Srivatsa, we count the year in terms of days. So how come You do not have many sisters like Sunanda, who acting as the embodiments of kindness, will fill us up like this every day of the year? If this had happened, it would have been a great source of pleasure for us. Yesterday’s exciting Govardhana festival has passed. Though heaps of food and drink were offered, and although I am a voracious eater, still I did not enjoy as much as I have today on bratridvitiya.”

Krishna, who steals everyone’s heart with His charming character, enjoyed the simple joking words of Batu as He joyfully ate. Then in mutual affection, Damodara and Sunanda exchanged so much valuable cloth, jewels, and golden ornaments that it astonished the people on earth. Thus, the bratridvitiya celebration ended.
Malatilata - Wed, 06 Nov 2002 20:14:01 +0530

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From Siddha Sri Krishna Das Baba's Gutika

Bhai-phonta: On this day, which follows the Annakuta-day and thus occurs annually on the second day (dvitiya) of the light lunar quarter of the month of Kartika, brothers and sisters show their love for their brothers (bhratri) by making a dot of sandalwood pulp on his forehead and offering him sweets. Many people go and bathe in Mathura's Visrama ghata on this day.

In the morning of the Kartiki Sukla Dvitiya Sri Radhika and Her friends and maidservants all get up from bed and go to the Yamuna for their morning bath, after which the maidservants dress and ornament Sri Radhika. Niece Sunanda-gopi places a dot of sandalwood pulp on the foreheads of Balarama and Sri Krishna and makes Them eat her sweetmeats. Sri Krishna and Balarama reciprocate by offering her garments and ornaments, hearing which Sri Radha similarly places a dot of sandalwood pulp on the forehead of Her brother Sridama-candra. She offers him a plate of sweets, garlands and sandal paste and then offers Her obeisances to him. Sridama-candra then offers clothes and ornaments to Sri Radha. After that everyone heads back for Nandisvara, the abode of Maharaja Nanda.

At Nandisvara Nanda Maharaja offers everyone a simple breakfast and then they all mount their individual bullock-carts to head for the village of Sahara (about 10 miles southeast of Nandisvara), where Nanda Maharaja's elder brother Upananda lives. There they enjoy four kinds of delicious cooked foods and take rest. Sri Radha-Krishna enjoy Themselves in a nearby kunja, perform the Yogapitha-lila there for Their devotees and then return to the house. After this Sri Krishna and His priya narma sakhas (dearmost friends) go out to behold the beauty of the nearby forest. Sri Radha goes to Radhakunda on the pretext of offering Surya-puja, performs Her midday-pastimes there with Sri Krishna and then returns to Yavata in the afternoon, where She has a snack and is bathed, dressed and ornamented. Meanwhile Nanda Maharaja and the others all take leave from Upananda and return to their own abodes. When Sri Radha and Her friends return to Yavata They watch Krishna's Godohana (cow-milking) pastimes as usual.

Thus ends the Bhratri-dvitiya-lila.
Madhava - Sun, 26 Oct 2003 17:20:08 +0530
Happy Govardhana-puja to everyone!
Madhava - Sat, 13 Nov 2004 23:43:53 +0530
Sri Giraraja ki jay!
jijaji - Sun, 14 Nov 2004 00:32:46 +0530
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Happy Govardhana-puja to Madhava and Malatilata,

Thanking you for providing such a nice forum for all the Vaishnavas..

And wishing all Vaishnavas here a most wonderful Govardhana-puja as well.

Jai Giridhari
Malatilata - Sun, 14 Nov 2004 02:30:12 +0530


-Malati & Madhava-