The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Govardhana


Sri Giri Govardhana Darshan
Sarpoi, Madhya Pradesh

Apr 18, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 60.

There is such a wealth of information about Sri Giri-Govardhana and the environs of Govardhana Hill that we can't possibly include it all here. Instead, we offer this nectarean passage from Srila Visvanath Cakravarti glorifying Haridas-varya, Lord Hari's greatest servant, who Srila Bhaktivinoda specifically mentions in his 'Glossary of Places' listing for Govardhana. Following that is the story of Sri Giriraj's arrival in Vraja.

Sri Govardhanastaka
from Sri Stavamrta Lahari by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti

"Eight Prayers Glorifying Govardhana Hill"

Verse 1
krsna-prasadena samasta-saila-
samrajyam apnoti ca vairino pi
sakrasya yah prapa balim sa saksad
govardhano me disatam abhistam

May Govardhana Hill, which by Krsna's mercy became the king of all mountains and received the respectful tribute of its arch-enemy Indra, fulfill my desire.

Verse 2
sukhanubhuter ati-bhumi-vrtteh
mahendra-vajrahatim apy ahanan
govardhano me disatam abhistam

As it was held above the earth it became so filled with happiness by experiencing the softness of its beloved Krsna's lotus hand it did not even know it was being struck by Indra's thunderbolt. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.

Verse 3
yatraiva krsno vrsabhanu-putrya
danam grhitum kalaham vitene
sruteh sprha yatra mahaty atah sri-
govardhano me disatam abhistam

Trying to collect a toll, Krsna quarreled there with King Vrsabhanu's daughter. The personified Vedas yearn to listen to that quarrel. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.

Verse 4
snatva sarah svasu samira-hasti
yatraiva nipadi-paraga-dhulih
alolayan khetali caru sa sri-
govardhano me disatam abhistam

Bathing in a nearby lake, the elephant of a pleasant breeze, covered with pollen of kadamba and other flowers, gracefully plays there. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.

Verse 5
kasturikabhih sayitam kim atrety
uham prabhoh svasya muhur vitanvan
govardhano me disatam abhistam

How is it that sweet fragrance of the musk deer and the various natural scents there make the Lord so calm and relaxed? May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.

Verse 6
didrksavo yatra harim harinyah
yantyo labhante na hi vismitah sa
govardhano me disatam abhistam

Searching there for Lord Hari on the path of His flute music, the astonished deer do not find Him. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.

Verse 7
yatraiva gangam anu navi radham
arohya madhye tu nimagna-naukah
krsno hi radhanugalo babhau sa
govardhano me disatam abhistam

As the divine couple travelled on the Ganges there the boat began to sink in the middle. Krsna was splendidly handsome as Radha clung to his neck. May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.

Verse 8
vina-bhavet kim hari-dasa-varya-
padasrayam bhaktir atah srayami
yam eva saprema nijesayoh sri-
govardhano me disatam abhistam

Without taking shelter of the feet of the hill that is the best of Lord Hari's servants and full of love for the divine king and queen, how is it possible to attain pure devotional service? May Govardhana Hill fulfill my desire.

Verse 9
etat pathed yo hari-dada-varya-
mahanubhavastakam ardra-cetah
sri-radhika-madhavayoh padab ja-
dasyam sa vinded acirena saksat

May the reader of these eight verses glorifying Lord Hari's greatest servant, his heart melting with pure love, quickly attain direct service to the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha-Madhava.

Krishna Lifting Govardhana Hill
Pahari, North India, c. 1775

Giriraj's coming to Vraja:

Following the inquiry of Nanda Maharaj to his brother Upananda Prabhu concerning the appearance of Giriraj Govardhan in Vrndavan, Upananda Prabhu related the story as told by Bhismadev (citing the Garga Samhita) to Maharaj Pandu, who had also asked the same question.

In Goloka Vrndavana, Lord Sri Krsna informed Srimati Radharani that She should make ready for Their coming to this particular material universe to appear on the Earth planet to enact Their transcendental pastimes. Srimati Radharani replied that unless Vraja Dhama, the Yamuna and Govardhana Hill were present there, She would not come. Krsna assured His Beloved that Vraja Dhama, the Yamuna and Giriraj Govardhana had already made Their appearance on the Earth planet, and were awaiting Srimati's and Krsna's coming.

Thousands of years before this conversation, in the land of Salmali Dvipa, Dronacal's (a flying mountain) wife gave birth to a son named Govardhana. At the time of Govardhana's birth all the demigods appeared in the sky and showered flowers upon him. The great mountains, led by the Himalayas and Sumeru came, offering their respects and prayers, praising Govardhana for having descended from Goloka Vrndavana. They accepted Govardhan as their king, described Him as the "crown jewel of Vraja," and performed parikrama of Govardhana.

At the beginning of Satya Yuga, the great sage Pulastya Muni came to Salmali dvipa. Seeing the beautiful Govardhana covered with many lovely creepers, flowers, rivers, caves and chirping birds, Pulastya Muni felt that Govardhan was capable of giving liberation. He then went to meet Dronacal, who immediately offered his respects and inquired from the sage what service he could render. Pulastya Muni informed Dronacal that he was on pilgrimage to all of the holy places, his explaining that he resided in Kasi. He explained that although Kasi was so auspicious due to the presence of the Ganga flowing through the city, there were no hills possessed of such beauty present in the city. He asked Dronacal if he would give his son Govardhana to him so that he could bring Govardhana to Kasi, so that he could perform his tapasya sitting on top of the hill.

Dronacal did not want to give up Govardhana, and began crying in thoughts of possible separation from his son. Govardhana, not wanting to see Pulastya Muni become angry and curse his father, asked Pulastya Muni how he would be able to carry him all the way to Kasi. Pulastya Muni said he would carry him in his right hand. Govardhana agreed to go with the sage giving one condition; if the sage put him down anywhere during the course of the journey, he would not be able to lift him again. Pulastya Muni agreed, and left, carrying Govardhana in his right hand.

On his way to Kasi Pulastya Muni entered into Vraja, Govardhana's desiring to remain there. Govardhana then arranged for Pulastya Muni to feel the urgings of relieving himself, so Pulastya Muni attended to the call of nature, putting Govardhana down. When Pulastya Muni returned, he was unable to again lift Govardhana to any degree, despite the tremendous strength he was using to do so.

In great anger Pulastya Muni then cursed Govardhana that He would daily sink into the ground, the measurement of one mustard seed. When Govardhana first came to Vraja in the beginning of Satya Yuga, he was 64 miles long, 40 miles wide, and 16 miles high. It is explained that after 10,000 years of the Kali Yuga, Govardhana (and Yamuna Devi) will have completely disappeared.

After narrating the wonderful story of Govardhana's appearance, (another brother of Nanda Maharaj), Sunanda Prabhu informed Nanda Maharaja that as long as Govardhana Hill and the river Yamuna remained manifest, Kali Yuga would not take its full effect. Sunanda Prabhu also explained that anyone who is fortunate enough to hear the description of the appearance of Giriraj Govardhana would be freed from all sins.

Giriraj's Going to Vraja


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