Today we are celebrating Govardhan puja. I will speak for sometime and then Srila Prabhupada will bless us with Giriraj maharaj to speak about Giriraj maharaj. This incredible pastime which is described by Sri Sukadeva Goswami in Srimad Bhagavatam, it is described in Harivamsa, Vishnu purana, it has been elaborted through spiritual visions and realizatons by countless great paramahamsa acaryas. Krishna who has acintya shakti, inconceivable potencies, the most powerful of all of his potencies is the power of his affection for his devotees, bhakta vatsalya. Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakura calls it the crest jewel of all the infintely good qualities of Krishna. Krishna can fulfill limitless purposes through any action. An expansion of expansion of expansion of Krishna is Kshirodakashai Vishnu or Maha Vishnu. Simply by a single glance He activates the entire cosmic manifesation. He impregnates with in the mahattattva unlimited living entities. He activates through His glance the power of time which sets the three modes of material nature into action. And the whole process of creation, maintenance an destruction is happening by the power of His one little glance.
In Govardhan lila Krishna wanted to keep His promise. It is Krishna’s eternal promise. He states in Bhagavad Gita
kaunteya pratijänéhi na me bhaktaù praëaçyati
I will always protect my devotees. And in this particular lila Krishna is protecting so many devotees in very different ways. He is protecting Indra from his fasle pride. Where there is false pride or ahankar the will to serve with devotion is crippled. It is the most powerful enemy to true devotional service. Indra is actually a devotee sometime of you may laugh at him since he makes mistakes. He is such a great devotee Krishna utilizes him to make these mistakes. And he is repeatedly in Srimad Bhagavatam. Krishna takes very powerful people when He wants to teach lessons to he world, in both the positive and negative ways. Krishna wanted to protect Indra from false pride because it was impeding his whole purpose in life. At the same time He protected all vrajvasis by giving them an experience they all yearned for. For seven days and seven nights they were all with Krishna, 24 hrs a day. It was a festival like no other festivals. At the same time Krishna wanted to teach that, “My devotees should know that I am the cause of all causes, the source of all incarnations and should not be distracted by the worship of devatas.” In Vrindavan there are places where devatas are worshipped, but they are worshipped for developing for love for Krishna, for enhancing our Krishna consciousness and not as a diversion.
The story begins on this day, it is being celebrated with so many fire crackers. The monkeys dancing on the roof is such a pleasing sound. Krishna in the village of Vrindavan happened to see Nanda maharaj and other gopas were arranging a very elaborate religious ceremony. Krishna understood exactly what was hapenning. But in His own child like way, at that time He was only 7 years old. He approached Nanda maharaj and told, “I see every where there are peole running here and there for some kind of a yajna. Can you tell me what is it, who is it for, and why?”. Nanda maharaj was hesitating to explain since He was a small child and these yajnas are very technical sometimes, even for adults. Krishna said, “why are you hesitating, there should be no secrets among honest people and family members. and I am your son. So tell me”. So Nanda maharaj explained, “we are a community of cowherd men and women. We depend on agricultural crops and grass to grow and all of this is only possible due to rain. whether it rains or not is beyond the ability of humans to control. It is controlled by the great demigod Indra. To satify Indra our to provide rains forefather for generations have done this Indra puja evry year at this time.”
Krishna then spoke a philosophy that He didnt even believe in nad He didnt want any of us to believe in. But He spoke it just to enchant our hearts for a higher purpose and one of those higher purposes was to make Indra very angry.
This seven year old talkative boy said, “Father, there is no reason to worship Indra. After all everything is happening according to the good results and bad results of our karma. If we perform good work we are going to get good karms and if we do bad work, we will get bad karma. And all the demigods could do is be the agents to deliver the karma we deserve. So we are pious people, we are doing good. Thefore Indra has to send us the rains.” So for the creation of our crops and grass and prosperity and for the filling the rivers and lakes all we have to do is perform our duties with proper intentions. Because work is worship. Brahmanas duty is to perform yajnas, teach others read scriptures, Kshtriyas to maintain law and order, to protect the citizens. Vaishyas to cow protection, trading, commerce and money lending. And the sudras by assisting those who are protecting them. We are vasihyas, we are in a community where we protect cows. Why should we indirectly uselessly waste our time worshipping this Indra. After all Indra has to give what he is destined to give. But the reality what ever prosperity we have is because we are blessed by brahmanas and the cows are giving so much milk to us and bulls are tilling our fields and fresh water and sweet grasses are being given by Govardhan. So with the same parapharnalia that you have assembled to worship Indra we should worship the cows, the brahmanas and Govardhan. And then he gave instructions to Nanda maharaj about how to do it. All of this bhoga and everything else there is in vraja bhumi, all of the milk and the ghee from the cows, we should make mountains of bhoga. Cakes, sweetcakes, kheer, subjis, rice and we will cover it with Ghee and we will make an annakuta, mountains and lakes of food and we will offer it to Govardhan hill. Also we will have the brahmanas perform the yajnas and the we will decorate and feed the cows with the freshest most sweetest grasses. Nanda maharaj and all the vrajavasis ultimate wish in life was to simply make Krishna happy. If Krishna was happy everything was a success.
ataù pumbhir dvija-çreñöhä varëäçrama-vibhägaçaù svanuñöhitasya dharmasya saàsiddhir hari-toñaëam
what ever our occupation, ashram, status in society is the only true success comes when the sincerity of our effort gives pleasure to Krishna. It is the perfection. And if we dont please Krishna çrama eva hi kevalam. Its all a waste of time.
patraà puñpaà phalaà toyaà yo me bhaktyä prayacchati
Krishna says even if you offer to me even a leaf, a flower, or fruit oe water, if offered with devotion, I am pleasd to accept it. Understand the nature of Nanda maharaj and vrajavasis they had no hesitation to go against a tradition of the king of demigods, Indra, if it pleases Krishna.
Govinda das the great poet prayed bhaja hüre mana, çré nanda-nandana, abhaya-caraëäravinda re
“My dear mind, just worship Sri Nandananda, because by pleasing him you become fearless.” The predominating emotion in the whole material creation is fear. Fear of loss, fear of humilation, fear of not getting what we want, fear of disease and fear of death. Most of the money that is invested directly or slightly indirectly, if we examine its motivation is fear. But here we find the simple pure hearted residents of Vrindavan were fearless becasue their only desire in life was to please Krishna. Anxiety and fear are only becasue we have seperate desires other than that. Maya tricks us in so many ways into thinking that if only i can get this desire fulfilled I will some peace, security and happiness. But actually everytime we fulfill our desires or strive to fulfill our desires that are seperate from Krishna we are only implicating and complicating the anxieites of this world. Its so simple. If we have no other aspiration to please Krishna in that state of mind and what ever situation comes we can become blissful and fearless when we call out His holynames..
Nanada maharaj, Yashoda mayi and all the vrajavasi unanimously accepted what ever Krishna wantes that was their goal in life . Krishna knew what was about to come. So they prepared these mountains and lakes of food, bhoga. And mean while the brahmanas were perforing the fire sacrifices and chating Vedic mantras and Nanada maharaj and their people how they gave happiness to all the cows. For many years I took care of cows and sometimes they kick. But it is really purifying when they kick you. But ultimately cows they just liek to llok nice, they just want to feel nice and they want to be loved. And when I brush their faces, after I milk the cows and feed them, I would brush every hair on their body exactly in the direction it naturally went, with a special cow brush. And when the cows would come out of the goshala they would be dancing and smiling becasue they would be looking so nice. And its not that they look nice, its the time, the attention and the affection that you give to make them look nice. Srila Prabhupada taught us that cow protection in the spirit of Vrindavan is not just about not killing them. Its about giving them extreme happiness through feeling that they are loved and cared for. They were feeding the cows the freshest grasses. They were putting gold plated ornaments with jewels on their horns and silver plated jeweled oranments on their hoofs. And they had hand embroided silks put around their bodies.
In this way this was a beautiful festival, where the cows and brahmans were so happy and every one was giving blessisings and under then Krishna’s direction they offered these massive mountains and lakes of bhoga to Govardhan. At that time Krishna personally manifested himself in a gigantic form on top of Govardhan hill. It was extra ordinary, how I wish we could have the eyes to see this. Govardhan hill 5000 years ago was a gigantic mountain and equal in size standing on top of Govardhan was Krishna in the form of Govardhan. And when all vrajvasis saw this they were struck with wonder. Then the beautiful form of Lord spoke, “I am Govardhan and I have come to receive all of your offerings.” Krishna and Balaram bowed down to himself and all the vrajavasis bowed down to Krishna who manifested the eternal truth that Govardhan hill is his transcendental body.
Srila Prabhupada tells us since that time when some one has the blessing of their guru when they are very well equipped devotees they can worship a single stone of Govardhan hill and it is non different from worshipping the deity of Krishna. We spoke the other day, Sri Caitnaya Mahaprabhu came to Vrindavan when He was doing his Govardhan parikrama, the first stone of Govardhan He saw, in the mood of Srimati Radharani, he embraced that stone and wept incessant tears. Sri Radha was again intimately again with Sri Krishna in the form of Sri Giriraj. And in Puri for 3 years H worshipped a small little Govardhan sila and that Govardhan sila he knew he felt that this is the body of Krishna.
éçvaraù paramaù kåñëaù sac-cid-änanda-vigrahaù
and that sila was constantly moisted by tears of Lord Caitanya’s love.
On that day Krishna revealed himslef as Govardhan hill.
And then he had inconceivable potencies to accept everyone’s offering. There were offerings everywhere as far as Nanadagaon. He was just reaching at once. He had long arms, short arms and all of a sudden just ate everyting and there was nothing left, since it was all offerd with love and devotion. This is Krishna’s inconcevable power to receiprocate with the love of His devotees. Since there was nothing left, there is a village in the Govardhan parikrama named anior. becasue after Lord Giriraj ate everything, he said anior “give me more”. Please know when he was saying anior, it was a mountain that was thunderouly speaking and there was nothing left in whole of vraja bhumi. Krishna had a single tulsi offered with love and Giriraj said , “I am satisfied.” And just to reciprocate with His devotees, witin a moment all that massive prasad manifested again and under Krishna’s instruction they fed the brahmanas, they fed the kshtriyas, they fed the cowherd men and women, they fed the cats and dogs, and fed everyone. There was such an incredible feast that no one was left out. And then totally satisfied by this incredible experience Krishna lead them on a Govardhan parikrama, Where they all were doing Giriraj parikrama and what a blissful parikrama that was. Krishna was sometimes playing His flute and the Brahmanas were chanting mantras, the gopas dancing and laughing, there were people playing instruments and there was incredible chanting of the holynames
Everyone was just so happy. Everyone’s full consciousness was totally immersed in Krishna, remembering his pastimes, his qualities, his beauty, his names, his love! This was the festival of all festivals because when you water the root of the tree every part of the tree is nourished. When Krishna is satisfied, everyone feels highest happiness. So many years they did this Indra puja and it was always boring, but this Govardhana puja – incredible! Can you imagine the happiness, Krishna manifest in this gigantic form and eating all of this Prasad. And everyone was dancing and singing as they did parikrama of Govardhana hill. And they went back to home so happy. Everyone was happy except Indra! He was furious. He felt totally insulted and humiliated in front of his wife, his servants, and all other demigod. It was unbearable to him. What was rightfully his in his eyes was being offered to a hill!
Indra called for the Samvartaka clouds. These are the clouds that are especially called for universal destruction. They have so much power, when they shower rains on earth then there is no more land. The entire planet becomes a deep ocean. Indra called for them. Indra was so angry and intoxicated by wrath, he said, “I want you to go with all your powers you destroy planets, I want you to destroy this village of Vrindavan, because the Brajavasis have so much prosperity due to cows and good agricultural crops and they have become proud and they are intoxicated and they have offended me being misguided by this insignificant talkative little child Krishna. This is very revealing. The world is a mirror of our own consciousness. One of the main purposes of Krishna’s doing all this is to deflate Indra’s pride. But Indra is thinking that Krishna is proud and Brajavasis are intoxicated with false pride. If you are envious, you see envy in others. If you are crooked, you see crookedness in others. If you are proud, you see pride in others. This is Indra.
Indra is telling Samvartaka clouds that I’m going to cure the Brajavasis for once and all of their pride, but what actually is going to happen is Krishna is in process to destroy his intoxicating false ego. So Indra says, go destroy everything and I’ll be behind you on Airavata, with my thunder bolt and I’ll bring with me the most powerful wind god to create tornados and cyclones. The clouds obeyed their master, and here in Vrindavan suddenly these massive, dark clouds filled the sky. They were forming thicker and thicker and thicker. They were so dense and dark that it made everything absolutely pitch dark except Krishna because from his body only Brahmajyoti is manifested, Brahma samhita says. It was dark above but everyone could see because of light coming out of Krishna. But no one was able to understand. We have never seen clouds like that. When you see them, you are about to die, unless you are Brajavasi.
Thunder……., lightning……., then torrents of rains! Our scriptures tell us that it wasn’t drops of rains, but it was coming down with so much force – it was like 100s of 1000s of rivers falling from sky simultaneously. SB explains that it was like columns, like pillars of rains falling. One of our acaryas explains that it was like gigantic ancient banyan tree with its endless trunks coming down. Freezing cold, and the winds were unbearable.
There were cows trying to protect their little baby calves. That loose skin under their necks – they were putting that as umbrella over their calves to protect them from rains and winds and cold. Cows’hairs on their bodies were standing on end, and tears were coming to their eyes as they mooed with pain. The bulls were looking up with their eyes red in anger as the rains were falling on their humps and backs and heads. They were groooing… and the Brajavasis came running to Krishna because after all he was their own child or friend or a lover or when there was a difficult situation they didn’t see him as God but they understood there was no other shelter than him. Brajavasis prayed “Krishna Krishna Maha Bhag. They prayed O! Krishna, Don’t you see the intense pitiable condition of your beloved cows? Look at us. we are freezing. Everything has become like an ocean, we can’t even see ground.”Krishna smiled, he understood that Indra was very angry.
Then he said to his family members of Vrindavan “Do not be afraid.” According to our acaryas, by Krishna’s yogamaya potency, temporarily where Krishna went from his home to Govardhana hill, no rains fell and it was completely dry. And then to please his devotees and to crush the pride of Indra, 7 year old Gopal lifted the Govardhana hill as effortlessly as a small child lifts a mushroom. We don’t eat mushrooms but we lift mushrooms. So he lifted Govardhana hill with the tip of the little finger of his left hand, then he called out to Brajavasis, “Just see! Because you gave so much happiness to Govardhana by worshipping him with love and devotion, giving him so much bhoga now he has become umbrella to protect us from the rains. Please bring your valuables and cows and let us enjoy under Govardhana hill.” Everyone brought whatever was dearest to their hearts and all assembled under Giriraja. Govardhana is non different from Krishna.
Krishna can contain the entire universe in his mouth. So even though there were many cows and so many Brajavasis, the Harivamsa explains that because Govardhana was non diff from Krishna so the entire universe could have been safe under its umbrella. Everyone gathered, and as Krishna lifted, it made such a tumultuous sound. Can you imagine a mountain being uprooted from the ground? And by Krishna’s own will, his ichhashakti, some dirt and rocks fell from Govardhana to make a little boundary wall and whatever water fell down it dried up before reaching ground so it was all dry inside. Beautiful arrangement! In all 4 directions, all Gopas and Gopis and cows surrendered Giridhari, the lifter of Govardhana hill. Everyone – cows, buffalos, goats, gopis, gopas, brahamanas, peacocks everyone – they were thinking and experiencing that Krishna is only looking at me. They were in full circle around Gopal but yet Krishna was exchanging the deepest, the most intimate pastimes of love with everyone through his glance. Each resident of Vrindavan was reciprocating with Krishna according to his particular relationship. The Brahmins would blessing him, The Gopas joking and laughing with him making funny sounds, and Krishna is doing same with them and the Gopis, a little distance away, through the love of their glance, they were offering Krishna the intimacy of the love of their hearts, and through his glance he was entering in their hearts and deep into the core of their hearts they were satisfied the all of their innermost desire to embrace Krishna and feel Krishna’s embrace. This was all happening through their eyes. And Yashoda! And those who had parental affection for Krishna! They were feeling ecstasy of distress. There is a particular verse in SB where Sukadeva Goswami explains that when Krishna Balarama were crawling in Vrindavan their mothers Rohini and Yasoda were always worried thinking that they may get stabbed by the horn of the cow or bull or they may get scratched by teeth or claws of monkeys or cats, or they may get pierced by thorns or they may get hurt by some rocks or pebbles on road, calves and cows can step on them. In this way, Krishna and Balarama’s mothers were always immersed in transcendental ecstasy of anxiety. This is bhakti.
Srila Prabhupada by his example and inspiration didn’t teach us to avoid anxiety. He taught us to be absorbed in whatever situation, in loving service to Krishna and if we are actually absorbed with such spirit to serve, then our anxiety only intensifies our ecstasy.
Madhumangal said, “Don’t think that Krishna is tired because by my Brahman tejas, I’m chanting mantras and that is causing Giriraja to float in the sky.”Yashoda mayi was looking up at Krishna thinking “This mountain is so huge and hard and all of it on my little child’s finger. He must be so tired. It’s already so many hours that he is holding Govardhan. Look at perspiration on his face.”Krishna said, “Mother don’t think like this. I’m having fun. Because we please Govardhana so much, he is so happy he is just floating. I’m just instrument standing here but doesn’t weigh anything. Giriraja is floating on his own.”Yashoda said, “How can you say holding hard heavy thing is happiness? If Giriraja is actually floating on his own, then remove your finger and let me show float it in sky. Why you had to make Indra angry like this?” Madhumangal said, “Why are you so speaking like this? Yashoda mayi said, “ my son is so impudent he is so naught, why He had to make Indra angry like this? Madhumangal said, “If Indra would not be angry then we would not get to incredible festival of standing under Govardhan hill with Krishna.” In this way that was beautiful resiprocation according each devotee’s Ras or particular temperament of Love with Krishna. all devotees were so happy – incredible festival because all day and all night no one was separated from Krishna.
The rains were pouring down on top of Govardhana hill, but please understand that these rains of devastation were pouring so hard and Indra was sending countless of the most powerful thunderbolts in the universe on the Govardhana hill, but because Giriraja was feeling the touch of the tip of Krishna’s left hand, Krishna was investing so much nectar, love and ecstasy into Govardhana that even though it is massive mountain that little tiny tip of the finger touch infused so much happiness that made him so indestructible that Govardhana didn’t feel anything. He felt thunderbolts to be showers of soft lotus flower petals. He felt the rains of destruction to be a very pleasing abhishekam. In fact instead of causing any destruction to Govardhana, the more the rains fell, the more Govardhana glowed with beauty as if it is being cleansed and nourished by rains. Days were passing and Indra was becoming so frustrated. The strongest winds of universe were completely fixed on Indra’s instruction of one mission of blowing Govardhana hill off Krishna’s finger, but they couldn’t do it.
Meanwhile the wild animals living on top of Govardhana hill were so empowered by Krishna’s little finger and by His mercy that even though they were on topof the hill, they were completely happy. The lions were so empowered by Krishna that they went to peaks of Govardhana hill and saw these massive samvartaka clouds and the lions were thinking them to be big elephants. They started roaring and with their claws started scratching at the samvartaka clouds. This was too much for the clouds and they ran in all different directions to escape from the lions who were empowered by Krishna. The peacocks were dancing blissfully! There was a storm on the top of Govardhana and there was another type of storm underneath. The rainbow was Krishna’s peacock feather on His hair. The rain cloud was Shyamsundar, the beautiful monsoon cloud like complexion of Lord Krishna. The lightning was Krishna’s lightening like colored dhoti and outer cloth, and the love that was pouring from Krishna’s glance and from Krishna’s lovely smile was like a storm that was flooding the hearts of all the Brajavasis. The Kaustubha mani on Krishna’s chest was like a sun that was illuminating all directions. Indra was really getting frustrated.
As he was increasing the intensity of his attack, with His left hand, Krishna was holding Govardhana hill and with right hand He placed His flute to His mouth. He started playing wonderful sweet songs to enchant the hearts of all of his devotees. As Krishna started to play the flute, Madhumangal cried out “Don’t play it. We have seen the effect that your flute has on on your devotees. Govardhana is Haridasavarya, He is the best of all the devotees. If Govardhana hears it, He may fall unconscious and fall off your finger and crush everybody.” Another gopa was thinking out loud. He said, “We have seen that when Krishna plays flute liquid objects like ponds became solid and mountains melt. If Govardhana melts in ecstasy then we’ll all be destroyed.” Another gopa said, “No. No. Govardhana is very sober, he’ll not melt. Krishna will protect.” Meanwhile, Krishna was glancing on all devotees as he played on His flute, and acaryas tell us that Krishna gazed upon the beauty of Sri Radharani and she showered upon him Her sweet love through Her glance, and Krishna, experiencing love of Radharani, His own pleasure potency, He began to tremble and cowherd men were thinking that Govardhana hill is about to fall as Krishna is getting tired, so they took sticks and they stuck the sticks against the hill and they were thinking, “We are holding it up.” . Madhumangal said, “”Don’t waste time. Do you not know that my friend Krishna is the younger brother of Balarama. He doesn’t need your help. He is all powerful. You are uselessly scratching the bottom of hill with your sticks.” Krishna said, “Why are you saying like that? Let are expressing their parental loving affection toward Me. Let them offer their love for Me in this way.” But gopis understood and Balarama understood the reason of Krishna’s trembling – the power of the love of Sri Radha. Some of our acaryas explain that from Gopis’ perspective, through Her glance, Radharani was empowering Krishna to lift Govardhana hill. There are literally unlimited various descriptions from different perspectives of Divine love that was going on during the Govardhana lila.
Yashoda Mai said, “Already from many days you are holding this Govardhana hill, and your face is shrivelled and your stomach is all caved in and you are perspiring. You need something to eat. I’ve brought sweet warm cakes for you to eat. Don’t you see that cows are also very hungry. If you eat they’ll also eat. Put down your flute and eat. Krishna said, “I’m not hungry or thirsty or tired but if it makes you happy, I’ll eat your cakes.” Madhumangal said, “Yes. Yes. Then we’ll all also eat her cakes.” This way there was such a beautiful festival beneath Govardhana hill.
At the end of 7 days and nights samvartaka clouds came back to Indra with report that “With all our powers we could not move even slightly a single grain of dust from Govardhana, we couldn’t separate a single leaf from a tree. We could not uproot a tiny blade of grass from Govardhana and we were totally exhausted. We can’t do anything else, we are crippled. We give up Indra.” That only made Indra more angry. He was totally exhausted and now he saw that how Krishna can totally deflate a person’s pride thoroughly. Can you imagine he couldn’t move even a grain of dust? Just to make Indra really really feel himself insignificant, before lifting Govardhana hill, Krishna didn’t even bother to tighten his belt which he did with practically all the demons before attack. After 7 days and nights, as Brajavasis were gazing at this tribhanga, three fold bending form of Krishna playing his flute while lifting Govardhan, Indra realized that this little boy is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and I’m so ignorant and so foolish that I’m condemning Him saying that He is telling the Brajavasis to worship a hill instead of me, the God. He is God. It is explained that those seven days for Indra were like seven millenniums of intense agonizing pain, but for the Brajavasis under the hill, those seven days were like 7 hours of ecstatic happiness. Ye yatha mam prapadyante… Krishna reveals Himself according to how we approach him.
Indra wanted to devastate Vrindavan but in the end, it was Indra who was devastated. In the end, in shame he left that place. Clouds dispersed, rains stopped and the sun came out. Nobody wanted to leave. Gopas would usually be in separation from Krishna all night, waiting for the next morning. The cows and the calves felt the same way. Yashodamai and Nanda Maharaja and others were in separation with Krishna whole day when they would be herding the cows waiting for Him to come back at night. So the samboga and vipralambha was always activating and interacting to increase the ecstasy of loving relationships between Krishna and devotees. But for the first and only time, during this Giriraj lila, everyone was constantly with Krishna and was feeling that Krishna’s love, intimately, only for them. Krishna said, “Now rains have stopped and everything is safe, now you can return to your homes.” With great difficulty, embracing Krishna in their heart, everyone left. But cows again came back out of great love, but Krishna again herded them back with His glance. And then as effortlessly he had lifted Govardhana, Krishna placed Govardhana down exactly from where he had picked Him up from.
At home, everyone was exclaiming how wonderful is Krishna! All that could be heard throughout Vrindavan was the chanting of Krishna’s names and his glories. Krishna came out from Govardhana hill and everyone expressed their love and gratitude according to their relationships. Krishna’s seniors embraced and kissed Him. Brahmins came and chanted mantras to bless Him. Krishna’s friends embraced Him and joked and danced with Him. Gopis, from little distance, embraced Him in hearts and He did same to them. Yashoda Mai massaged Krishna’s finger and kissed Him. She massaged his arms. Yashoda, Rohini, Nanda Maharaja and Balarama showered Krishna with such affection. The gopas, the elder gopas went to meet Nanda Maharaja, “Please tell us how is this possible? Krishna is just a sevn year old little boy and His body is soft like butter, and not only He lifted Govardhana for seven days but He completely conquered Indra, the king of heavens. We have been noticing such things from his birth – He sucked the breast of the gigantic rakshasi, Putana, then with his little tiny lotus foot he kicked and destroyed Shakatasura.” This is speciality of Vrindavan’s lila – Krishna doesn’t have to exert Himself to kill demons.
When Vamanadeva wanted to conquer Bali Maharaj, He expanded to such an incredible size to take two massive steps. To take those steps He had to become that big to cover the universe. When the Lord wanted to liberate Hiranyakasipu, He took form of Nrsimhadeva and fought with him for hours before tearing him with his nails. Krishna did the same thing with powerful demons but didn’t become big or hard. He was just a little tiny baby with soft tiny lotus foot and just touched the cart with the tip of His toe and destroyed it. Gopas said, “We have seen Trnavarta, Aghasura, bakasura, Dhenukasura.. and how He subdued Kaliya and now what we saw today! Who is your son Nanda Maharaja?” Srila Prabhupada named this chapter of Srimad-Bhagavatam “Wonderful Krishna!” Nanda Maharaja told that when Gargamuni performed the name giving ceremony, he secretly told me that this son comes in different ages in different colors. Sometimes red, sometimes white, sometimes yellow and now He has come in a blacking form. He comes to annihilate all the obstacles and He is friend of demigods and removes all inauspiciousness. He is protector of his devotees and he is as good as Lord Narayana. So all cowherd men thought, “Oh, that’s it. Our Krishna is empowered by Lord Narayana. So they were satisfied and they all went home. Meanwhile, Giridhari understood the condition of Indra. Indra was beside himself in guilt and grief, because Krishna is his Guru and worshipable Lord. And he made such an offense. He was approached by his Guru Brahaspati and Indra asked what am I going to do now. He said, “You are such a fool, Indra”. What have you done? Intoxicated by your power, opulence, wealth and fame, look what you have done! I don’t know what to tell you, but you should go to Lord Brahma. He is the only one who can help. Indra went to Lord Brahma.
Indra went to Lord Brahma, seeking some guidance and Brahma said “recently I also made some mistakes. I stole all his cows and all his cowherd boys. I am not in a position to tell you what to do but I can tell you what you should to do. Krishna loves the cows. So go to Surabhi.
There is a material planet in this universe called Goloka, where Surabhi is the presiding mother of the cows. If she begs for Krishna to forgive you, then Krishna will forgive you. So here is the king of heaven, Indra, the leader of the devatas, the wearer of the thunder bold who is falling at the lotus like hoofs of the mother cow? This is humbling for Indra. But it’s just what he needed and he is begging this mother to save him, because she loves Krishna and Krishna loves her.
This is a very important principle.
In this world, all of us have made countless offences due to false pride trying to be the controller, the enjoyer the proprietor. Krishna will hear our prayers, if we humble ourselves, before those who Krishna loves.
Surabhi said, let us go to Vrindavan and Indra was behind her.
Krishna did not want to further humiliate Indra any long, he already had enough of this Medicine. so he went to a secluded place.
At the Gowardhan parikrama there is a place called Surabhi Kund. Surabhi Told Indra you wait here. Surabhi went before Krishna and Krishna was very very happy to see her and she said, Indra has performed grievous offences, but he is feeling deeply repentant. He is your devotee, please let him come to you and forgive him.
Then Surabhi went and told Indra, now you go before Krishna and you surrender to him
When a devotee on our behalf, prays for Krishna to forgive us and accept us, if we are sincere like Indra was then Krishna will forgive and accept us.
We began the Yatra by quoting Srila Prabhupada. He was asked, “What was our qualification to receive this most elevated spiritual knowledge and the highest opportunities for Prema Bhakti?”
Srila Prabhupada said “you had no qualifications. I made your qualifications.”
Srila Prabhupada is speaking about Srimati Radharani. He said, if we become the servant of the servant of the servant of Srimati Radharani then Radharani will come before Krishna and say please accept this devotee; he or she is better than me. And then When Srimati Radharani asks Krishna that then Krishna naturally on the power of her love Krishna must accept us and on power of Srila Prabhupada love, Srimati Radharani and Krishna will naturally accept us. He has given us everything in loving service. So two things are required, the intervention of the lover of Krishna and our own Sincerity.
Surabhi pleaded on behalf of Indra and then Krishna opened his heart to receive Indra.
And Krishna sees what’s in the heart. Indra placed his crown head on Krishna feet, even though he had the jewels of this crown as the king of Heaven, the beautiful light of the jewels of Krishna’s toe nails made Indra’s crown insignificant. King of heaven falling down and Krishna is just a little cowherd boy roaming through the forest.
And Indra offered beautiful prayers, “You are the supreme lord, the cause of all causes, you descent to this world to annihilate the ignorance and the darkness and to protect your devotees and you have so expertly, mercifully protected me. Because of my power and my fame and my prestige and because of all the wealth that I am surrounded by and all the enjoyments that are at my disposal I became so proud; so intoxicated; that I turned envious and violent towards you and your devotees. But you are so kind that you performed this beautiful past time as Girivardhari, just to crush that pride and now I am standing before you as your eternal loving servant. Please accept me.
Indra was grateful for the punishment he received.
“ …Sushikshamano “
This is the principle. When we are grateful for the purifications, or the punishments or the rectifications that Krishna gives us, however painful they may be, and then we are actually candidates, to receive Krishna’s full mercy. Indra was humiliated, he was totally defeated, but he was grateful.
Srila Prabhupada describes, the first meeting with his Guru Maharaj. It’s a very different situation but it is so interesting to hear. Giriraj Maharaj was taking about it.
That on the first meeting with Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakur Prabhupada, Prabhupada presented certain arguments to him and Prabhupada with such gratitude and with such joy he would say, “And I am Happy to tell you my Guru Maharaj defeated me.”
To be grateful, to be defeated by Krishna, by the Vaisnavas, is a qualification and that was Indra ‘s qualification.
He surrendered, and Krishna told Indra “Yes I had to smash your false ego. Now go back to your abode, I am not going to take away your post, whatever you are doing, I’m giving you the post, I’m giving you the power to do it, I’m not going to take it away. Rectify yourself, go back but don’t become arrogant anymore, be sober.”
This is Krishna’s definition of being sober, to be humble, because ego is an intoxication. It is the worst of all intoxications.
To be sober spiritually means to be humble.
Then Surabhi approached Krishna and said “As the mother of the cows, we do not need Indra’s like this one. We want you Krishna to be our Indra. So we want to perform the Abhishekam to coronate you as our King”.
And Krishna accepted it. And Surabhi with the milk from her udder and the Surabhi cows they bathe Krishna. And Indra had the Airavat to bring water from the Aakash Ganga of the heavenly worlds, to offer Abhishekam to Krishna and there was beautiful, beautiful Abhishekam and Krishna’s eternal name from the spiritual world of Goloka descended at that time and Krishna was then given the name, here in Gokul vrindavan, Govind.
Lord Shiva came, Lord Brahma came, the wives of the Devas and then Rishis came, they performed this incredible Abhishekam, and they installed Krishna on a beautiful throne, and they offered him wonderful Aarati and each of the Devas were giving Krishna special gifts and then they all went back to their abodes with great happiness.
And the Little cowherd boys, they happened to come by and they saw these heavenly chamaras, and these heavenly paraphernalia for the aaratis. And they just in playful way, they Called Balaram, and put Krishna on a little throne of stone with Balaram and they started offering all of these things to Krishna and smiling and laughing and making jokes.
And when the demigods looked down and they saw the intimacy of the love that the gopas were offering their worship of Krishna, the demigods realized that our worship was devoid of any real love at all.
And then Nand and Yashoda came with the elder cowherd men and cowherd ladies and they saw this incredible paraphernalia and gopas were just playing with it all, having games and they said “What is happening here?”
And Sri Dhama said “Oh! This was all lying here and we are just playing with it”
And Madhumangal said “Should I tell you, what I saw? I saw a talking cow, and then I saw this big person with thousands of eyes and crowns bowing down to Krishna and Then I saw a person with 4 heads and another person with 5 heads with folded palms offering prayers to Krishna ”
And then the Brijwasi’s told Yashoda mayi that Krishna is our beloved. And Mother Yashoda with her loving parental affection, she offered aarati to Krishna not as the Supreme Lord like the demigods were doing, but she was offering for Krishna’s protection and for Krishna’s happiness.
Gowardhan puja is a past time that Krishna performed so that for all time to come, we could look forward to this day for the most joyous beautiful festival, to be together, to remember Krishna with love, to pray to Krishna with love, to Learn all these invaluable lessons of pure devotional service and to loudly chant the holy names
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
And now, the brief introduction is complete. We are so honored to hear the glories of Giriraj Maharaj from Giriraj Maharaj. Let us welcome him to our Yatra.
Hari bol !
Thank you very much!
Lecture by Giriraj Maharaj
Again it is a great pleasure and privilege and honor to be here with all of you in this auspicious place on this auspicious occasion.
When His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj described how Srila Prabhupada informed devotees that they could worship a piece of Gowardhan hill as Krishna, it reminded me of my initiation letter from Srila Prabhupada. I met the devotees and joined the temple in Boston and after about 2 and half months, the temple president recommended me for initiation by mail and after a few days I received a letter in which Srila Prabhupada said that your name is Giriraj. Giriraj is a name for the Gowardhan hill where Krishna used to tend his cows and sometimes Devotees take a stone from Gowardhan hill and worshipped it as representation of Krishna.
So it sounded very intriguing to me.
You can imagine, someone born in America, never been to India, just beginning to understand the process of deity worship. So it sounded very exotic. And speaking of pride, I was very proud of my family name which is “Titan”. In the United States there is a mountain range and national park called the Grand Titan and as far as I knew, my grandparents, and my uncle and his family, my father and his family, we were the only ones with the name “Titan” and so I had this pride like Indra and when I got by initiation letter that Giriraj is the name, actually Srila Prabhupada said that it is the name for Gowardhan mountain, I thought “vow Srila Prabhupada knows everything. He knew that I was attached to my mountain name and he gave me another mountain name, a better mountain name.”
So we are here by his mercy and I will read one verse from Srimad Bhagavatam spoken by the Gopis. In fact Srila Sanatana Goswami says that it was actually spoken by Srimati Radharani but Srimad Bhagavatam says it was spoken by the Gopis.
It comes from the 21st chapter of the 10th canto.
The gopis glorify Krishna’s flute, the Venu Geet and it is a verse in glorification of Gowardhan hill and it has many deep lessons for us.
So please repeat after me.
“Om Namoh Bhagwate Vasudevaya ! Om Namoh Bhagwate Vasudevaya! Om Namoh Bhagwate Vasudevaya!”
We read from Srimad Bhagavatam canto 10, chapter 21 text 18.
hantäyam adrir abalä hari-däsa-varyo
mänaà tanoti saha-go-gaëayos tayor yat
Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities — water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.
This translation is quoted from Çréla Prabhupäda’s Caitanya-caritämåta
Srila Vishwanath Chakravarty Thakur explains the opulence of Govardhana Hill as follows: Pänéya refers to the fragrant, cool water from the Govardhana waterfalls, which Kåñëa and Balaräma drink and use to wash Their feet and mouths. Govardhana also offers other beverages, such as honey, mango juice and pélu juice. Süyavasa indicates dürvä grass, used to make the religious offering of arghya. Govardhana also has grass that is fragrant, soft and conducive to the strong growth of cows and increased production of milk. Thus this grass is used for feeding the transcendental herds. Kandara refers to the caves where Kåñëa, Balaräma and Their friends play, sit and lie down. These caves give pleasure when the weather is too hot or too cold, or when it is raining. Govardhana also features soft roots for eating, jewels for ornamenting the body, flat places for sitting, and lamps and mirrors in the form of smooth
stones, glistening water and other natural substances.
So this verse was spoken by the gopis when they were at home in the village when Krishna and Balaram went out to pasture. But the gopis had such intense love for Krishna and such deep attachment for him that they actually envisioned Krishna’s past times within their hearts and they felt as if they were present with Krishna at Gowardhan hill.
The first word “Hanta”, it’s the synonym is “Oh”. But it in that “Oh” we can have different moods the mood here is of great joy. The Gopis are experiencing great joy.
And “Ayam Adri”.- Ayam means This and Adri means hill.
Ayam, we would use this world for Something that is very close. Like this microphone is very close that video camera is a little far away; but this microphone is very close and the Gopis were saying “Ayam adri”, as if they were there, as if they were right there with Krishna
And “Abala “means – friends.
The litereal meaning means “Bala”, Bala means strong and Abala means weak.
The gopis are addressing each other as “Abala” as weak, weak in resisting the attraction of Krishna
We pray to have that kind of weakness not the other kind of Weakness that we pray to Mayas for the allurements.
Haridasavarya … that this O friends, this hill is the best of all the servants of Lord Hari.
Srimad Bhagavatam describes different devotees or Haridas. And 3 are prominent.
One is Maharaj Yudhisthira. IT is described that when he performed the Rajasuya Sacrifice, so many great saints and sages came, so many kings and great personalities and they came to see; of course ;Krishna, he was there, but they also came to see Maharaj Yudhisthira and pandavas. And it is described that they took great pleasure in describing Maharaj Yudhisthira as Haridas. As a great servant of Lord Hari; And Lord Krishna would regularly visit their home, he would act as their friend, their servant, as their advisor. He was very intimate with them.
And Maharaj Yudhisthira and the Pandavas were all devotees of Krishna. Their wife was a devotee of Krishna and they engaged all their family members and citizens In the service of Krishna
So they were such an exalted family, that People came to the Rajasuya sacrifice to see them along with Krishna
Another Haridas mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam is Uddhav,
Uddhave was Krishna’s cousin and In Dwarka he was Krishna constant companion. He looked like Krishna and he was qualified like Krishna. And When Krishna wanted to send someone to Vrindavan, to pacify the residents of Vrindavan in separation from him, he sent Uddhav. And Srimad Bhagavatam described that for many months Uddhav remained in Vrindvan and made the residents of Vrindavan enlivered with his talks of Krishna and they forgot the prangs of separation from Krishna while he was there. So he is also glorified as Haridas.
But of all the Haridas, this Gowardhan hill is the Haridasavarya, he is the best of all the servant s of Lord Hari.
And Why is he considered the best?
There is also described… “Ram Krishna Charan…..”
Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balaram he was “Pramod, jubilant. We heard from His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj how jubilant the Gowardhan felt being touched by the tip of the little finger of Krishna’s left hand. He felt jubilant and everything was a pleasure for him, all the torrents of rain, and wind. IT was pleasure for him and he felt cleansed and ecstatic, that was Gowardhan leela. But everyday Krishna and Balaram would go to Gowardhan hill and walk on him and Gowardhan hill would feel jubilant being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balaram
And this is the secret of a good servant hat he takes great pleasure in serving his master.
If we have a servant who really wishes he did not have to do this service, it is not very pleasing, if the servant is thinking: “I’m hungry, I wish I could be taking Prasad right now or I am tired; I wish I could be taking rest right now.”
So It is not going to be very encouraging to the master, but if the servant is feeling joy in serving the master, is eager to render more and more service to the master, that will please the master very much, and when the master is pleased, the servant becomes even more pleased and when the servant becomes more pleased, the master becomes more pleased.
And thus there is a beautiful transcendental competition, where the servant is jubilant and by his mood he makes the master happy and seeing the master happy, he feels more happy; and seeing the servant more happy the master becomes more happy which makes the servant more happy.
We see the same kind of competition between Krishna and Gopis, that seeing the beautiful form of Krishna the gopis become happy and their beauty increases and seeing the beauty of the gopis Krishna becomes happy and his beauty increases which makes the Gopis even more happy and beautiful which makes Krishna even more happy and beautiful.
And this is the mood of the best servant of Lord Hari.
Srila Prabhupada also was in the same mood. He was happy to serve Krishna under any condition. Once one disciple was discussing with Srila Prabhupada arrangements for Srila Prabhupada to do programs in different places and he was asking Srila Prabhupada “Would you like to go here, would you like to go there, what should we arrange for you?”
Srila Prabhupada said “I am just like a cow, wherever you put me, I will give milk. So it doesn’t matter where you take me because I will do the same thing wherever you take me.”
And once His Holiness Bhakti Damodar Swami Maharaj said to Srila Prabhupada that “I have just one department the Bhakti Vedanta Institute and there are so many problems, there is so much difficulty just to manage one department and you have the whole movement, the whole world wide movement how you deal with all the problems and difficulties?”
And Srila Prabhupada replied “problems, I do not see any problems! I just see service to my Guru Maharaj.”
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