Sri Govardhana Puja

Nov 11 2015 - Krishna Talk 192

The following talk was given by Srila Sridhara Maharaja on the day of Govardhana Puja on 16th November 1982 at Sri Caitanya Sarasvata Matha, Navadvipa-dhama, West Bengal.

deve varsati yajna-viplavarusa vajrasma-varsanilaih
sidat-pala-pasu-striyatma-saranam drstvanukampy-utsmayam
utpatyaika-karena sailamavalo lilocchilindhram yatha
bibrad gosthamapan mahendram adabhit priyan na indro gavam
(Bhag. 10.26.25)

“May that Lord of the cows be satisfied by us. Who is Indra when compared to Krsna? Krsna is the master of Indra, and yet the Supreme Absolute Truth has accepted a simple position as the keeper of cows. Superficially, He is a mere cowherd boy, but let that cowherd boy who holds within Him the power of controlling the whole universe, be satisfied with us. We want to worship that Lord who has taken the humble position of the king of the cows.”

The very gist of the govardhana-lila has been expressed in this sloka. Sukadeva Gosvami has inaugurated govardhana-lila and Gopala in this way. With all their might, the cowherd-kings used to perform some sacrifice for the satisfaction of Indra, the god of clouds, who is the controller of the subtle powers of nature, who is supposed to manage the necessary rain, by which the grass will grow, which becomes the foodstuff of their cows, buffaloes etc. Their main income was the cows. So many chiefs were there. They were not always having a permanent seat in one place, but according to the necessity of the grazing, they used to move from place to place in that vicinity. First Nanda was in Gokula when Krsna was born – again he moved to Nandagrama and he also moved to other places.

So many cow-keepers were under Nanda Maharaja. When He was seven, Gopala gave a proposal to the chiefs of the cow-keepers in a diplomatic way, “You are near Nandagrama and the main fodder – the grass, the jungle, the creepers – the food of the cows, you mainly get from Giriraja-Govardhana. There is no necessity of worshipping or flattering that demigod Indra. Who is he? Rather you should make arrangements to worship Giriraja-Govardhana and stop the annual celebration of worshipping Indra.”

Anyhow, reluctantly and fearfully, they accepted the proposal of Gopala because they heard that He was not an ordinary boy – He had some mystic background. Maharsi Garga had come when the boy was about 6 months old to give His name. He told Nanda Maharaja at the time of the ceremony that, “Your boy is not ordinary. He has His previous record. He was of a white colour in Satya-yuga, in Treta-yuga He was of a red colour and He also takes a yellow colour. Now He has come with a black colour.

varnas trayo kilasyasan grhnato’nu-yugam tanuh
suklo raktas tatha pita idanim krsnatam gatah

"Your son Krsna appears as an avatara in every millennium. In the past He assumed three different colours—white, red and yellow. Now He has appeared in a blackish colour." (Bhag. 10.26.16)

Suklo raktas tatha pita – pita means that it is reserved for Kali-yuga and it helps to understand that this avatara is in disguise – Mahaprabhu. He is pitavatara, the yugavatara. Garga Muni said to Nanda, “There are four specific avataras for four specific yugas. It is found that in Satya-yuga, the golden age, we have the four-handed white incarnation. It is also mentioned in Bhagavatam and Mahabharata etc. that in Treta-yuga He comes in a red colour to inaugurate the yuga-dharma – to instruct the general public what the special religious duty of that age will be. In Kali-yuga He also comes in a yellow colour to establish the yuga-dharma, and now that supernatural figure has come in a black colour.”

This was said by Garga to Nanda Maharaja, and by some other incidents the cow-keepers came to the conclusion that, “This boy is mystical, mysterious – not an ordinary person like us.” Through the arguments of this boy and His influence, He made them accept His proposal. They stopped the yajna for the satisfaction of Indra, which had been done from a very, very early age by their predecessors, and the puja for Govardhana was added. They took all their prepared things to offer near Govardhana and at that time Krsna showed some miracle – one hand appeared from the top of Govardhana and was taking those offerings. The cow-men were satisfied, but Indra came to know that one boy born in Vrndavana, who was said by some to have supernatural powers, had stopped his worship. “He has stopped my regular worship, that the milkmen were doing for such a long time. It cannot be tolerated silently. I must try to teach them a lesson so that they may not venture to stop.” He ordered all the subtle natural powers, “Go and devastate the whole of Vraja-bhumi”

deve varsati yajna-viplavarusa vajrasma-varsanilaih
sidat-pala-pasu-striyatma-saranam drstvanukampy-utsmayam
utpatyaika-karena sailamavalo lilocchilindhram yatha
bibrad gosthamapan mahendram adabhit priyan na indro gavam

Deve varsati yajna-viplavarusa – the gods were enraged by the stopping of their sacrifice, which was directed for their satisfaction. They were very much excited. A revolutionary step has been taken! For such a long time they were performing this sacrifice and now they have suddenly stopped! So much courage! They must reap the result!” It began to rain profusely.
Vajrasma-varsanilaihvajra means thunder and asma meanshail. Storm, hail, rain and thunder were ordered to demolish the whole of Vrndavana.
Sidat – they were very much troubled and distressed. Suffering and exhausted they came to Krsna.
Pala-pasu - the keepers of the cows and the cows themselves.
Striya – the women also were very much afflicted.
Saranam – they took refuge under His feet. “Now save us from this danger! What You have ordered we have done, but now save us from this dangerous position. The whole of Vraja is going to be finished.”
Drstvanukampy – seeing this, Krsna felt a little pity.
Utsmayam – and smiled a little.
Utpatyaika-karena sailam – immediately He uprooted Govardhana Hill with one hand. Avalo – just like a young boy.
Lilo – a playing ball. Just as a young child takes his playing ball, without any exertion, He took that big hill with just one hand.
Gosthamapan – the city where the cows live and accordingly the cow-keepers also is known as ghosta.
Mahendra madabhit – He saved them from the madness, or the intoxication, of Indra, the King of the gods. Inthis way He cowed down that great king of heaven. Indra is known as Mahendra – the commander and controller of great resources.
Priyan na indro gavam – In this way, our King of the cow-keepers, brought Indra. the big King of the heaven, to kneel. Indra has got extensive power over the subtle potencies of the world, and the King of the cowboys brought him to his knees. Let him be propitiated! May He be pleased with us fallen souls.

In this way the story begins – a very wonderful thing for a boy of seven. One may say, “This cannot be relied upon.” Come with trust! He is the controller of everything. In other cases also He showed miracles to Brahma and others who opposed. He is the Master of miracles. It came to my mind that scientifically, if it is possible to stop the gravity of the earth, then there will be no weight – then it is possible that like a playing ball it can be taken up and kept there. It is by His will power – “Let there be water!” There was water! “Let there be light!” There was light! Will power is at the root of everything. What is at the root of what we see and what we feel? Universal will! That is modified by our crude, small, individual will. If the universal will is withdrawn, everything is dark. All comes from the subjective world. The magician controls the subject and can show anything and everything and then, when we come back into the world of science, we feel as if we have been deceived by the magician. But at the time we are helpless. The seer is controlled, not the seen. By control, the drsta, the subject, can show anything and everything – “See this! See that!”

When Krsna enters the playground of Kamsa, different sections of people see Him differently because He is showing Himself to them in a different way. He is controlling. He is the Super Controller and we are submissive subjects of a lower order. The subjects of a higher order can influence the subjective particles of a lower order. The world is such that from the subtle, it comes to the conception of the gross. Everything is possible if we have a conception of God, the Controller of all, and how He is fully independent. Everything is designed and destined by Him. We have to see that past and future are in His consciousness everywhere. We think it is impossible, but all this presupposes that the cause of the world is one perfect, omniscient, omnipotent, all-loving Absolute. If we inspect carefully everyday, we shall come to such a thing that everything is wonderful! Any research by the scientific method is astonishing, but it is already there and the Creator and Protector of the whole world is in the background. He is endowed with omniscience and omnipotence. We are not masters. We are finding only a point of astonishment. At every point we find a new thing with astonishment. We are astounded. So many astounding researches are being made – still, we cannot think that the source, the keeper and the protector of all these astounding incidents is perfect. We can’t advance so far. We are always suffering from the disease of vipralipsa – self-deception. Everything is producing some astonishment, still I won't admit that the cause is outside and He is some perfect principle that can do anything and everything. Our scientific knowledge won’t allow that. Our credit will be buried underground. No credit is there and as His instrument we are doing anything and everything. There is no individual credit for a scientific research scholar – so there is self-deception.

At the time of the govardhana-lila, Krsna accepted what was offered to Him as if a hand was coming and He was taking everything. Thereby it is shown that Govardhana is another aspect of Krsna Himself. The vraja-rasa Vaisnava is attached to the vraja-rasa vrndavana-lila of Svayam-Bhagavan. They take that particle (stone) of Govardhana. Any part of the Infinite is also infinite. That which is seen by us as a particle of Govardhana is also Govardhana. He is fully represented there. It is seen by the practices of the great mahajanas, including Mahaprabhu Himself who gave govardhana-sila to Dasa Gosvami, and Dasa Gosvami understood that govardhana-sila is Krsna Himself. He was also inspired to think that the gunja-mala ornament around Krsna is Radharani – to beautify, to serve and to please Him. That aspect comes from Radharani. In this way Dasa Gosvami began the worship of govardhana-sila, and thence the Gaudiya Vaisnavas generally accept govardhana-sila as a representation of Krsna. This is related in the Bhagavatam and we also know through Mahaprabhu by His giving a govardhana-sila to Dasa Gosvami. Though he was the son of a very rich man, at that time Dasa Gosvami. was a beggar in the street and he used to worship govardhana-sila and the gunja-mala – Krsna and Radha – only with tulasi and water. The only materials of worship were water and tulasi. Bhava-grahi janardana – this is the medium through which the bhava, the internal feeling of worship, goes to the Eternal Cause of beauty and love. That is the medium by which He Himself has established that, “I am this Govardhana!”