Prayers  To Begin Govardhan   Parikrama


Let us all sincerely beg the blessings of Srila Prabhupad and all of our beloved previous acharyas,so tha we may give them pleasure by our efforts by performing this sacred act of worship,parikrama  of Sri Govardhan Hill .Without the blessings  of the great souls no endeavour will be truly pleasing to the supreme Lord. Placed in our head dust of the feet of the great souls we all beg from our hearts for their permission and their blessing . Govardhan parikrama has been performed since the time of Lord Krishna ,when Nanda Maharaj was preparing for the Indra Puja.Krishna convinced Nanda maharaj that there is no  need to worship Indra ,who provides rains, as really  we are sustained by the grace of Govardhan Hill ,who is supplying water and grass for our cows and bulls,so let us take all this parepernalia and use it to worship cows ,the brahmanas, and the Govardhan Hill.Krishna was speaking in such a nice way ,ultimately Nanda Maharaj’s only desire was to please his heart. And then Krishna explains how the worship of Govardhan hill should be performed .There should be prepared mountains and mountains of nice preparations ,made of milk and yogurt and ghee of cows and butter and all the grains ,vegetables and fruits and we should offer them all to the Govardhan  Hill. And then Krishna explained to Nanda maharaj that all the vraj vashis ,the Gopis and the Gopas along with the cows and the calf of the entire Govardhan hill  would circumbulate or perform parikrama of the entire Govardhan hill.So Krishna first established this way of worshipping Govardhan hill and doing the puja ,which comomerates  to that day.Today is Govardhan puja day.Today Krishna revealed that he is non different from Govardhan.Krishna manifested a form in which everything ** and Govardhan accepted all of the offerings . Thus performing Govardhan Puja is performing parikrama around mercy manifest of Shri Krishna. Madhevandra puri performed Govardhan puja,Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu when he came to Govardhan hill he first saw a single rock of Govardhan ,in mood of Srimati Radharani he embraced that rock and wept tears incessant tears of love.Lord Chaitanya had Govardhan sila at jagganath puri ,he kept around his neck at all times for several years.He understood that each and every sila ,every stone is non different than Krishna.Each stone is non different than Krishna .Krishna is manifesting a form in each stone of Govardhan.That stone was always moistened by the tears of his love,he wore upon his heart and later being extra ordinarily pleased with the loving devotion and renunciation of Sri Raghunath Das Goswami ,Sri Chaitanya mahaprabhu offered as a gift of his love ,his own Govardhan sila to Raghunath Das.

When Mahaprabhu was in Vrindavan about the time 1540 , Mahaprabhu performed the parikrama.And since that time all of our acharyas in our Gaudiaya Sampradaya had considered it as one of the highest and intimate forms of worship ,to perform the Govardhan puja.Today by their blessings we are allowed to do this thing*.We know Srila Prabhupad ,in his last weeks during his manifest lila on this earth he could’nt even stand up.He requested his devotees to take him on the Govardhan by Ox cart. He wanted to reveal to his followers how sacred this Govardhan puja was to him and he  even said it would be glorious dying during the Govardhan puja.It is by his mercy that we are gathered together today.Let us sincerely take the dust of his feet and acharyas he represented and beg their permissions and blessings .We should be very careful to follow Sri Chaitanya’s mood .He would not step his feet over Govardhan hill .Even Gopal the supremely worshippable diety of Madhevendrapuri was on top of the hill.Lord Chaitanya longed to see it,but he understood that Giriraj is Krishna,I cannot step upon Krishna.Although he intensely longed to see Gopal ,he would not climb the hill,but Gopal longing to see Lord Chaitanya MP, created a rumor that Turkish soldiers were coming to attack the village ,so they brought Gopal down from the hill to the village of Nandigram to hide him.There Chaitanya MP spent all day dancing and chanting before the beautiful glance of Shri Gopal.So be very careful ,no one should collect a single stone from Govardhan hill, that is very important ,unless the Govardhan sila is given as a gift by our guru or Great Saint even then with proper ritual ,Giriraj can never be taken from Govardhan hill.So please be very careful in this regard .While dong the GovardhanParikrama  we should  obsorb our consciousness in the purifying activities of devotional service.We should take vow or resolution not to speak any prajalpa or to speak any unnecessary material talk.We should constantly be hearing about glories of the Lord and doing this parikrama and constantly chanting the names exclusively.There is nothing else to be done during the Govardhan parikrama.Some of the managers in their selfless service to the rest of us,they may have to speak about different types of seva to be performed .For the rest of us the holy names and the glories of the Lord should be only thing that touches our lips or our ears.It is a time of absorbtion .Today following the path of many others we are doing the parikrama in two days.We have choice ,three choices ,one is to stop in various holy places and arrive back at vrindavan at two in the morning ,second is donot see anything just walk which also is a great tradition and return back in the evening and the other is to stop at many of the holy places and absorb the atmosphere of that place ,hear the glories of that place and perform the parikrama in two days.Is that to your satisfaction?(Haribol).I am open to whatever you like. Two in the morning ,silently kirtan and go around,or stop in each place (******).

The Garga samhita describes the origin of Shri Giriraj.In Goloka Vrindavan,Shri RadhaGopinath was performing the Raslila,at that time Shrimati Radharani spoke to Shri Krishna-if you are pleased with my love ,with the love of Gopis ,with the Raslila and the beautiful forest of Vrindavan ,please fulfill the desire of my heart.Krishna responded that my only desire is to please you.Shrimati Radharani ,she replied please create a supremely satisfying pleasurable place for us to perform our pastimes in the vrindavan forest. Krishna then closed his eyes and searched deeply within his heart the essence of his own love.And that essence of Krishna’s love emerged from his heart as the tiny seed of bilss.That seed fell into the arena of Rasdance ,began to grow.First it became a pebble and then a rock ,then it became a hill and then a mountain .And manifesting on that mountain, caves and rivers and waterfalls ,trees and tunnels and birds.this was the appearance of Shri Giriraj in GolokVrindavan.Giriraj Maharaj ki (jai).

It is the manifestation and essence of Krishna’s love as we offer it to the pleasure of Shrimati Radharani .Krishna and Radha and gopis, very pleased to see this and began to wonder upon Govardhan hill.They went into the caves and inspected all around in great great happiness. Krishna told Shrimati Radharani that Ihave promised LordBrahma  I  would descend on your planet ,but I would not be happy unless you come with me.Shrimati Radharani will do anything for Krishna .But we know Radharani even on earth she did not care to go to Dwarka or Mathura. She told Krishna what ever pleases you my Lord but I will not be happy with out the river Yamuna, vrindavan forest and the Giriraj. Krishna told I have already sent the Yamuna ,vrindavan forest and the Giriraj to earth.Govardhan took birth on earth as the son of Purna chala in the province of samhila dwip.At that time mountains specially were great personality, for all mountains and the presiding Diety of the mountains understood ,that Govardhan has descended ,has incarnated upon earth from Golok Vrindavan,at the will of Radha and Krishna.The demigods showered flowers on Giriraj and all of the mountains accepted him as the King,there fore he Is known as Giriraj,the king of all mountains.According to the Ari baraha puran ,it is explained that at the time of Shri Ramachandra ,he ordered Hanuman and monkeys to build the bridge across Indian Ocean from Rameshwaram to srilanka.And on SriRamachandras instruction ,Hanuman picked up Govardhan and was bringing him and as they were coming over Vraj bhumi a divine voice came from sky and told Hanuman that bridge is complete ,no need for any more rocks.Hanumanji ,placed Govardhan right there and Govardhan ji was very sad ,he said I have been longing to have the dust of Shri Ramji’s Lotus feet upon my head.

Now I deprived of that.Even Hanumanji was despondent .But he explained ,Hanuman told Govardhan ,that in the Dwapar yuga, lord will come to Vrindavan and he will hold you out with his own hands.Hanumanji went back to Indian Ocean and he explained all situations of Govardhan separation .When Lord Ram began speaking of Govardhan he became very emotional and he explained that at the end of Dwapar yuga I will come as Krishna inmy original form and when Indra sends torrents of rain upon the vrajvashis to curb his pride and to give supreme pleasure to my devotees I will lift up that Govardhan with the little finger of my hand and hold him for seven days and night.Govardhan will be Haridas**,the greatest of all devotees ,I will perform such ……,not only will he get the touch of my feet but my entire body will be his.My cowherd friends the gopas will be herding the cows and having most intimate lilas of Sakhya ras,upon Govardhan hill. And in the spring season with Gopis ,we will perform the Raslila ,upon Govardhan hill. According to Garga samhita ,in another kalpa ,Pulastya Muni ,he was in the area of Samali Dwip and he saw Govardhan hill most beautiful of all mountains and all of the existence.He was thinking where I live in Kashi there is no mountain.How am I to do Bhajan at Govardhan?He asked Purna chala ,can I take your son to Kashi?He was weeping(Purnachala) how can I ,it was very difficult ,bit how do you say No to Pulastya muni.Govardhan said I will go with you.Govardhan had a plan ,he wanted to come to Vrindavan because he knew that Vrindavan forest and Yamuna was already here and he wants to be here for Krishna’s lilas. Govardhan told Pulastya muni that you have to make me a vow ,if you ever put me down any where I will stay there.Pulastya muni said no problem .With his mystic power he was carrying Govardhan and just as they came over Vrindavan ,few things happened .One Giriraj wanted to be there so he started increasing his weight .And second Krishna wanted to him to be here,Lord and the Paramtma,Krishna is the parmatma in the heart,the controller of all controllers so he induced special effect .Pulasty  muni who is so self controlled ,he is above all bodily agitations, somehow or other he came under the control of his need to respond to the call of nature.We all know how it is,first it whispers and then it speaks and then it calls and then it cries and then it screams .He came to that stage ,he place govardhanand washed his hands and went to lift Govardhan .

Govardhan said I told you .Pulastya muni cursed Govardhan ,you will reduce in size the size of a mustard seed every year .At the time of Krishna ,Govardha hill was two miles high.Today it is about eighty feed high,but our acharyas tell us that Pulastya  muni’s curse is quite superficial as Govardhan is not subjected to such curses.Actually Govardhan in separation of Prakat lila ,the manifest lila of Radha and Krishna ,the Govardhan is shrinking in the esctacy of love in separation.So this way ,to reduce size of Govardhan is honoured and worshipped as a great ornament of Shri Giriraj by the vaishanvas.It is explained the Govardhan is Haridas. Shri Radha rani spoke this in Shrimad Bhagwatam .There are many great devotees ,Yudhisteer ,Uddava but Govardhan is the greates of al the servants of the lord.Although he Is Krishna himself ,he is also acting in the role of a Devotee of Krishna and because he is so immersed in the ecstatic trance of devotional service to the lord he() the eight esctacies of love are manifested on the bodies of Govardhan.One is hair standing on end in the form of the trees and the grass.The grass of Govardhan is always profusely watered bythe milk of Surabhi cows.And it as four special qualities .Sugandah –means it is so fragrant ,it intoxicates the heart by smelling the aroma of this grass,specially to the cows.It is also Sukamala- very soft very tender.When the cows ar e eating the grasses of Govardhan it gives them emmense pleasure.And pustivardhana- it is supremely nutritious.The cows never get sick,they are always full of energy and full of perfect health,because they are eating the pustivardhana grass of Govardhan.And DhughaSambak- whichmeans the grass of Govardhan hill produces the most necterean flavours and nutritious milk from those cows.Another symptom of esctacy is  tears of the eye.The ecstatic tears of Govardhan are the lakes and the waterfalls .Therefore the waters of the rivers  and the lakes and the waterfalls are thousand of times sweeter than the nectar available to the demigods.And the gopas ,when the gopas drink this water they become intoxicated and they roll in the dust and laugh and cry out in happiness .And the water is always very cool and very refreshing .And the waterfalls they make beautiful sounds like kirtan chanting the glories of the lord.Sri Giriraj provides these beautiful lakes and with these lakes ,when Krishna,Balaram,Gopas bathe on these lakes ,Govardhan is actually embracing them with his love.Even the Gopis they will think in this way that Govardhan gets to embrace Krishna publicly in front of everybody ,everyday, what a great fortune.Haridas. greatest of all devotees.And the stones  of Govardhan hill ,for the pleasure of Krishna ,whenever Krishna or cows or calf or any gopas or gopis step upon any stone that stone becomes soft.In winter the stones are very warm ,in summer they are very cool.And sometimes when Krishna stands on them then the stones are in esctacy that they melt and many places around Govardhan Hill we will see footprints of Krishna and his associates with rocks of Govardhan melted over their feet. There is also ,even the thorns of Govardhan,they appear thorns ,but when Krishna or his associates,any of his associates step on thorn,the thorn becomes a flower.And there are many caves in Govardhan Hill.Giriraj manifested such wonderful places for Krishna and cowherd boys to rest .They are cool in summer ,warm in winter ,they are bedecked with the priceless valuable Chintamani jewels, illuminating the cave.there are nice mirrors and nice soft places to rest.Very private places where even Radha and Krishna would meet in the cave of Govardhan.In this way Sri Giriraj,offers his most loving service to Krishna and the devotees .And in the early morning ,when the morning dew manifest over the grass and the trees ,the Acharyas explain to us that this is the esctacsy ,the ecstatic symptom of perspiration of Shri Giriraj.

Govardhan facilates endless lilas and never asks for anything in return.We are now sitting at Kusum sarovar lake which was one of the great symbols of Shri Vrindavan dham.It was visited by ShriChaitanya MP. At that time it was known as Sri manas sarovar and ShriChaitanya MP bathed here in great happiness according to Sri Chaitanya caritamrita.Arond the lake of Kusum sarovar ther are wonderful holy places.There is pusha van,pusha van is a place for everyday in the aprakat lila,for all eternity .Shrimati Radharani  comes here to pick flowers ,fragrant sweet flowers to make garlands and other decorations to offer Shyam Sunder,when she meets in Radhakund.There is also Ashok van where Shri Lord Krishna meets Radha rani and braids her hair and offers her ornaments and flower decorations and cosmetic for her pleasure.There is also Uddav bhaitak. Just in that corner.We know when Krishna was in Mathura ,he requested uddava to bring a message to Gopis on his behalf which he did.When he delivered his message to Gopas and the Gopis he came to a very very deep realization ,that everyone in Mathura is thinking that I am the top most associate of Lord Krishna ,but the love of the Vrajvashis specifically of Radharani and the gopis ,the love that they are exhibiting in separation from Lord Krishna is so deep ,it is unfathomable. In comparison ,I donot have even a slight degree of devotion myself.their devotion their love ,their surrender is like an ocean.In comparison I am hardly a drop.Now great devotees are never envious. Lord Krishna tells in Bhagwad Gita to Arjuna –You can understand my message because you have no envy in your heart. That is the qualification of pure devotional service.

No envy,to be everyones well wisher.So Uddhava seeing the ecstatic love of separation of Vraj vashis ,was so deeply moved he only wanted to take the humble position to get the dust of their Lotus feet.But Uddava is like a prince ,he is in the Royal family of Yadus .If uddava was to start taking dust from the simple village maids of Vraj ,they would be too much embarassed  ,they will suffer ,so he did not want to create a humiliation.So he meditated and prayed and performed tapasya because he wanted to trade his position as the greatest of the devotees of the Yadus to take birth as Gurmalata,as a simple creeper on ground in Vrindavan. Gurmalata is like a little piece of grass .Because he is expecting ,that Radharani or her gopi friends ,even the maid servants or the maid servant of the maid servant would step atop his head with their Lotus feet and give him their supreme blessing of the dust of their Lotus feet.

That is the glory of Vrindavan.And it is just here,Vajanav,the great grandson of Krishna five thousand years ago came and actually revealed to the world that this place is where Uddava is eternally residing as Gurmalata,as the small creeper to take the dust of the feet of the vraj Vashis.This is Kusum sarovar.

There is another story when,we will be doing the parikrama sometime later today(laugh).Naradamuni ,wanted to have so much of darshan of Krishna’s lilas with the Gopis ,so he approached Sada shiva and expressed his desire.Sada Shiva is Mahadev ,he can fulfill everyones desire.Lord Shiva told him you should go to Vrindavan and approach Vrindadevi .Because Vrindadevi is the presiding deity of Vrindavan forest .So Narada muni came down and went to Brahma kund in vrindavan and approached Vrindadevi ,the presiding Godess of Vridavan and expressed his desire to Vrida devi.She told him,what you are asking is very difficult .You should remain in Vridavan and perform prayers ,chanting the names and glories of the Lord in Vrindavan,to purify yourself.At the end of our parikrama we will go there ,it is Narada kund.Narada Kund is the place where Naradamuni performed his tapasya.One day he saw Vrinda devi after a long time ,with her associates and he fell at her feet and begged her for mercy.

Vrindadevi  gave a very special benediction.The water of Kusum sarovar are sacred ,Radha and Krishna performed their lilas in this water.The tears of love of Radha and Krishna are within this water.She instructed Narada muni ,you go to the North west corner of Kusum sarovar and take your bath.By the grace of Vrindadevi Naradamuni took his bath and when he came out of the water Narada became Naradi gopi.He had a female form .He was allowed to go to Radha kund to observe the beautiful pastimes of Radha and Krishna .Krishna met him and told him that he should write a literature called as the Narada Bhakti sutras ,to share with the world,the glory of Vrindavan devotion.After all his desires wer fulfilled Vrindadevi came to Narada and told him to take his bath in Kusum sarovar ,which he did ,and Naradi came out Narada.As Narada muni again went back to Naradakund ,there he compiled the Narada Bhakti sutra.His scripture is so wonderful ,Srila Prabhupad actually translated and gave purports to a major part of that wonderful scripture.

Let us offer our prayers and our sincere obesiences at this holy place of Kusum sarovar ,place of Krishnas eternal pastimes.A place which has been visited by all of our acharyas and each of them.As well as ech place we go to today and tomorrow.there places were not only visited and worshipped by great Acharyas but their mercy and their love was invested in this place.If we have humble and prayerful hearts and sincere desire we will be receptive to receive the blessings and the love of great souls.So now we will begin our worship of Shri Giriraj .Please take very seriously the rules of the yatra .Our next stop will be Shyam van.At this time everyone offer your prostrated obesiences in the dust of Giriraj keeping Giriraj on your right side always.Pray for his mercy and we will begin our Parikrama .Gaur prema nandi. ( haribol )

Written by

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.

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About Me

Radhanath Swami

H.H Radhanath Swami is one of today’s most beloved and respected spiritual teachers. A Bhakti Yoga practitioner for 40 years, he is a guide, community builder, philanthropist, and acclaimed author.Born and raised in Chicago,at the age of 19 he discovered India's Mystical devotional tradition and now spread his message of compassion and love around the world.