Giri Govardhan

The term "Govardhana' has two meanings. The word "Go' means cows, and "vardhana' means nourishment. In the other meaning "Go' stands for senses and "vardhana' means to increase the diversion of the senses towards Sri Krishna. Both these jobs are done by Sri Giriraja. He kindly blesses the devotee by increasing his devotion. Thus by residing in the foothills of Sri Giriraja, all the senses and their respective duties of a soul attain divinity and are inclined to serve the Lotus Feet of KrishnaSri Giri Govardhan ki jaya, Giriraj Maharaj ki jayaSri Sri Krishna Balaram ki jayaIn the western coast of India, in the island of Salmali, lived Dronachala, the king of the mountains. Once a sage by the name of Pulastya Muni, came to him to take his son Giriraja with him to Kashi (Varanasi). After offering some initial resistance, Giriraja, somehow agreed to go with him only on condition that he should not put him down on the earth in between. If he does so, he would stay there forever.When they were flying over the Vraja bhumi, Giriraja increased his weight to the extent that Pulastya had no option but to put him down. Pulastya understood the mischief of Giriraja. He became furious and cursed him that he would decrease by a grain everyday. But then repenting on the curse he gave to Giriraja, he assured him that he would be blessed in the Dvapara Yuga and everybody would start worshipping him since then.This happened in the Satya yuga. Brahmaji wished to create the Dvapara Yuga but because of the portentous phenomenon of Ravana, he had to create the Treta Yuga. In this yuga, Hanumanaji on the instructions of Lord Rama, came to take Giriraja for the cause of constructing a pull on the ocean.Giriraja at once agreed to go for the service of Lord Rama. But before they reached, the pull was ready and there was no need of additional stones. Giriraja was very dissappointed on not having the darshana of Lord Rama.On knowing the sorrow of Giriraja, Lord Rama sent a message saying that, " the end of the Dvapara Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna will Himself appear and play on you and will also worship you. In the kaliyuga, the devotees shall attain numerous divine supernatural powers by worshipping you.''In Sarasvata Kalpa, i.e. the end of the Dvapara Yuga, Bhagavan Sri Krishna stopped the worship of Indra and started the Govardhana Puja by doing Himself. It was a wonderful sight. Being worshipped by Sri Krishna, Giriraja himself became like Sri Krishna. It was like He (Sri Krishna) worshipping Himself. Since then all the six seasons resided permanently on Giriraja.Besides this, the eight gates of the Asta Sakha's from where they entered the nitya lila, are also on the Govardhan hill. The Asta Sakha's, who reside on the Govardhan hill are in differrent places, each of which were passionately attached to their respsctive Deities of those places.About Govardhan Puja In brief: The day after Deepawali is celebrated as Govadhan Puja when Mount Govardhan, near Mathura, is worshipped. Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook fifty-six (or 108) different types of food for the bhog (the offering of food) to Krishna. This ceremony is called ankut which means a mountain of food. Various types of food – cereals, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chutneys, pickles, and salads – are offered to the Deity and then distributed as prasada to devoteesI had an opportunity to read a beautiful devotional bookabout 'Vishnu Shatpadi Stotra'- the Prayer glorifying Lord Krishna,composed by Jagadguru Adi Shankara, explained in a speech bySri Akhandaananda Saraswati of Vrindavan, India.In the fourth verse, starting as 'uddhRta naga...'the lifter of Mount Govardhana is glorified.The story of Govardhana hill revealed in that book is very interesting.Govardhana hill was a peak of the mountain range originally belongedto Mount SuMeru. In Treta yuga, when Lord Ramachandra was building thebridge across the ocean to fight a war with Ravana, Hanuman ji wasbringing the Sumeru mountain to be used in the construction.As he reached Vraja (Vrindavan) he learned that construction of thebridge was completed and there was no need for the Sumeru.So Hanumanji felt dropping down the Sumeru right at Vraja but themounain lamented for being separated from its original family andloved ones. So even this separation and pain was in vain. Sumeru couldnot be used in the great cause and felt devoid of divine service toLord Rama in spite of Hanuman ji's effort by carrying it so far. Nowits destiny seemed bad since it was left some where far away from itsown family and the Lord.Then Hanumanji was concerned about the fate of this Sumeru andasked Lord Rama for advice.The Lord had told Hanumanji that after the pastimes of Rama'sIncarnation in Treta yuga, He would return as Lord Krishna and sporton the same mountain in the Land of Vraja.If the Lord had used the mountain in building the bridge across theocean, He could simply tread upon it and its divine service, Seva,would thus be of limited importance.On the other hand, in Dwapara yuga, He as Lord Krishna would come backto play on the mountain itself day and night, He would engage in Hisconfidential pastimes in its caves and groves along with Hisplaymates. He and His cattle would be bathing in its streams andnourished by its trees with their produce.It would become very famous as a central stage for His cowherd-role-play.In course of time He would also lift up by hand the whole mountainover His own head as an umbrella to protect the inhabitants of Vrajasaving them from the torrential rain storm sent by Indra, the king ofheaven.Not only He would simply be treading upon the mountain as if it werejust a bridge but also it would be given a great honor as themajestic crown held upon the Lord's head!Reduced: 88% of original size [ 580 x 471 ] - Click to view full imageThe peak of Mount Sumeru became happy and satisfied, remained therein Vraja for a long time awaiting the Lord's return. Later on it isknown as Govardhana hill.Jaya Sri Radhe!Jai giri Govardhana maharaj!!
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