Canto Three, Chapter One
The Worship of Sri Giriraj
Text 1 Sri Bahulasva asked Narada: Why did Lord Krishna lift Govardhan Hill as a child playfully lifts a mushroom.
Text 2 O best of sages, please tell that wonderful and glorious transcendental pastime of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Text 3 Sri Narada said: As citizens pay an annual tax to their king, so the gopas, farmers all, at the end of each monsoon season offered a tribute to Indra.
Text 4 Noticing the arrangements for the indra-yajna, as the gopas listened, Krishna asked a question of King Nanda.
Text 5 Sri Krishna said: What is the result of this worship of Indra? Do they say it brings a material result or a spiritual result?
Text 6 Sri Nanda said: Worship of Indra brings both sense gratification and liberation. Without it a person cannot be happy in this world.
Text 7 Sri Krishna said: Indra and the other demigods enjoy living in Svargaloka because of their past karma. When their good karma is exhausted they again enter the world of humans. Please understand that worshiping them does not bring liberation.
Text 8 Even the demigod Brahma is afraid of that, so what may be said of fruitive workers on the earth? They are are actually wise say that endless time is the most powerful, the supreme.
Text 9 With all their heart renouncing all material pious results, the wise take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and worship Him with the best of pious deeds. They, and not others, attain final liberation.
Text 10 The cows, saintly persons, fire-gods, demigods, Vedas, and principles of religion are all potencies of Lord Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They who, instead of worshiping the demigods, worship Lord Hari, attain happiness in this life and the next.
Text 11 The hill named Govardhan is the king of the kings of the kings of mountains. It was born from Lord Hari’s own chest. It has come here by the power of Pulastya Muni. By seeing it one becomes free from having to take birth again in this world.
Text 12 First worship the cows, brahmanas, and demigods, and then make a great offering to Govardhan Hill. That offering is the king of yajnas and it is very dear to Me. If you do not desire to make that offering, then do whatever you wish.
Text 13 Sri Narada said: Among them the elderly gopa Sannanda, who throughly knew the real principles of religion, became very pleased. As bewildered Nanda listened, Sannanda spoke to Lord Krishna.
Text 14 Sri Sannanda said: Dear son of Nanda, You are wealthy with a great treasury of transcendental knowledge. How should the hill be worshiped? Please truthfully tell.
Text 15 Sri Krishna said: A person who controls his senses and engages in devotional service should collect the ingredients for the worship, anoint Govardhan Hill with cow-dung, . . .
Text 16 . . . and, as he chants the mantras for the thousand-headed Purusa, with other brahmanas bathe the hill with Ganga water and Yamuna water.
Text 17 Then he should bathe the hill with streams of white milk, panamrta, fragrant flowers, and then Yamuna water again.
Text 18 Then he should offer splendid garments, food, a great throne, many garlands and ornaments, and many lamps.
Text 19 Then he should circumambulate the hill, offer obeisances, and with folded hands recite this mantra:
Text 20 namo vrndavanakaya tubhyam goloka-mauline purna-brahmatapatraya namo govardhanaya ca
Obeisances to you, who are Goloka’s crown and the lap where Vrndavana forest grows! Obeisances to Govardhan Hill, the Supreme Personality of Godhead’s parasol!
Text 21 Then he should offer a handful of flowers and then, as mrdangas, karatalas and other musical instruments make sweet sounds, he should offer arati to Govardhan Hill.
Text 22 Then he should chant the mantra that begins with “vedaham”, and then he should throw a shower of grains. In this way he should worship the hill. Then with great faith he should place a hill of food near Govardhan Hill.
Note: The mantra here is Sri Svetasvatara Upanisad 3.8:
vedaham etam purusam mahantam aditya-varnam tamasah purastat
tam eva viditvati-mrtyum eti nanyah pantha vidyate ‘yanaya
“I know that Supreme Personality of Godhead who is transcendental to all material conceptions of darkness. Only he who knows Him can transcend the bonds of birth and death. There is no way for liberation other than this knowledge of the Supreme Person.”
Text 23 Then he should offer four, six, and five cups of Ganga and Yamuna water mixed with tulasi leaves.
Text 24 Then, with a peaceful heart, he should serve Govardhan Hill by offering it a feast of fifty-six kinds of food. Then with fragrant flowers he should worship the fire-gods, brahmanas, cows, and demigods.
Text 25 After feeding the exalted brahmanas with fragrant and delicious foods, he should also give excellent foods to the others, even down to the dogeaters.
Text 26 Then he should have the gopas and gopis dance among the cows and call out “Victory!” In this way he should perform a festival to worship Govardhan Hill.
Text 27 Now please hear how this worship should be performed when one is not near Govardhan Hill. One should make from cow-dung a model of Govardhan Hill.
Text 28 Human beings on this earth should decorate thet model with many flowers, blades of grass, and a network of vines, and regularly offer worship to it.
Text 29 A person who has a mountain of gold but does not use it to worship a stone he has taken from Govardhan Hill, goes to a terrible hell.
Text 30 A person who regularly worships the Lord’s form as Salagrama-sila is not touched by hell as a lotus leaf is not touched by water.
Text 31 An exalted brahmana who reularly serves a stone from Govardhan Hill attains the result of having bathed in all the holy rivers and lakes in the seven worlds.
Text 32 A person who year after year elaborately worships Govardhan Hill attains all happiness in this life and liberation in the next.
Canto Three, Chapter Two
The Great Festival of Sri Giriraj
Text 1 Sri Narada said: Hearing Sri Krishna’s words, Nanda, Sannanda, and the other rulers of Vraja were filled with wonder. Abandoning what they had done, they performed the worship of Govardhan Hill.
Text 2 O king of Mithila, taking many offerings, King Nanda, Yasoda, their two sons Krishna and Balarama, and Garga Muni, all eager and joyful, went to worship Govardhan Hill.
Text 3 Quickly climbing on a wonderfully decorated great elephant chained with golden shackles, Nanda went, with the many cows and with the wealth of the autumn harvest, to the edge of Govardhan Hill. He looked like Indra Himself, accompanied by his beloved.
Text 4 Bringing the ingredients for the performing the yajna, the Nandas, Upanandas, and Vrsabhanus, along with their wives, children, and grandchildren, went to Govardhan Hill.
Text 5 Dressed in splendid garments and jewel ornaments, and eager as a cakori bird or a bumblebee, as She rode in a palanquin with Her friends, Radha looked like Saci herself.
Text 6 O king, nicely decorated, gracefully moving two beautiful camaras, accompanied by millions of gopi friends, and their faces splendid as two moons, Radha’s best friends, Lalita and Visakha, gloriously stood by Her side.
Text 7 Then Rama, Viraja, Madhavi, Maya, Yamuna, and Ganga, accompanied by thirty-two, eight, and sixteen groups of gopis, arrived.
Text 8 In their previous births these gopis had been the women of Mithila, the women of Kosala, the personified Vedas, the great sages, the women of Ayodhya, the Yajna-Sitas, the women of the forest, . . .
Text 9 The women of Vaikuntha, who have Rama as their leader, the women of the highest Vaikuntha realm, the women of various effulgent realms, the women of Dhruvaloka and Lokacala, . . .
Text 10 Laksmi’s friends splendid with three transcendental virtues, the women riding in airplanes, vines and plants, jalandharis, the daughters of the ocean, the daughters of King Barhismati, the women of Sutalaloka, . . .
Text 11 The apsaras, and all the serpent king’s daughters. Now, as girls of Vraja, nicely decorated, and their hands splendid with many offerings, they approached Govardhan Hill.
Text 12 Then the gopa men, adolescents, and boys, dressed in yellow garments, wearing turbans crowned with peacock feathers, decorated with beautiful necklaces, gunja, and forest garlands, and holding new flutes and sticks, came.
Text 13 Hearing of the Govardhan festival from my mouth, carrying the Ganga in his matted locks, wearing a necklace of skulls, his body anointed with the powder of bones, decorated with a necklace and bracelets of many snakes, . . .
Text 14 Reeling from having drunk dhattura poison, acompanied by Parvati and his many associates, and riding on his carrier Nandi, Lord Siva came to the circle of Govardhan Hill.
Text 15 Many thousands of rajarsis, viprarsis, surarsis, siddhesas, yogesvaras, paramahamsas, and brahmanas came to see Govardhan Hill.
Text 16 O king, its stones jewels, its many peaks golden, and its form splendid with intoxicated bees, beautiful caves,and swiftly-flowing streams, Govardhan Hill was like a great elephant.
Text 17 Then, manifesting humanlike forms and bearing auspicious gifts in their hands, the mountain kings, headed by Mount Meru and Mount Himalaya, offered their respectful obeisances, bowing down to the humanlike form of Govardhan Hill.
Text 18 Following Krishna’s instruction, Nanda, the king of Vraja, had many brahmanas worship Govardhan Hill. Then Nanda worshiped the brahmanas, fire-gods, and cows, and then gave a very opulent offering to Govardhan Hill.
Text 19 Pleased by the earnestly singing Nandas, Upanandas, Vrsabhanus, gopas, and gopis, Lord Krishna circumambulated Govardhan Hill, the king of mountains.
Text 20 As the demigods showered flowers and the Vrajavasis showered grains, Govardhan Hill, the great king of the kings of the kings of mountains, glistened with great glory, as if it were a great monarch in the midst of a yajna.
Text 21 Manifesting a gigantic form different from His own, Lord Krishna appeared from the midst of Govardhan Hill. Declaring, I am this hill,” He ate the entire hill of food that was offered.
Text 22 Seeing Govardhan Hill’s great power and opulence, and their hearts full of joy and wonder, the gopas and gopis asked the hill to grant them a benediction.
Text 23 They said, “The gopas know that You are the Deity worshiped by the kings of mountains. Nanda’s son Krishna has shown Your true nature to us. Please grant that day after day our relatives, friends, and cows may prosper.”
Text 24 Manifesting a handsome divine form decorated with crown and armlets, Govardhan Hill, the king of the kings of mountains, said, “So be it,” and suddenly disappeared.
Texts 25/26 The Nandas, Upanandas, Vrsabhanus, Balarama, Sucandra, King Vrsabhanu, King Nanda, Krishna, all the gopas, gopis, and cows, the brahmanas, the siddhas and yogesvaras headed by Lord Siva, as well as everyone else bowed down and worshiped Govardhan Hill. Then, happy at heart, and all their desires fulfilled, they returned to their own homes.
Text 27 In this way I have described to you Sri Krishnacandra’s transcendental pastime of offering a great festival to worship Govardhan Hill, the king of the kings of mountains. This wonderful and purifying narration frees the people from the greatest sins.
Canto Three, Chapter Three
The Lifting of Sri Govardhan
Text 1 Sri Narada said: When from my mouth he heard that his sacrifice had been stopped and a festival for Govardhan Hill performed in its place, Indra became furious.
Text 2 Unleashing the samvartaka clouds used at the time of cosmic destruction, Indra sent them to destroy Vraja.
Text 3 The clouds thundered with anger. They were many wonderful colors, some black, some yellow, some green, . . .
Text 4 Some the color of an indragopa insect, some the color of camphor, and some the color of blue lotuses.
Text 5 Furious, they showered raindrops as big as elephants and thunderbolts as big as elephants’ trunks.
Text 6 Big as mountain peaks, millions of rocks fell. The wind threw away many trees and houses.
Text 7 O king of Mithila, the earth was filled with ferocious, terrifying, and devastating sounds of thunder.
Text 8 The entire universe, with the seven planetary systems and the expanses of outer space, echoed with the sounds of thunder. The elephants holding the directions trembled. The stars fell to the circle of the earth.
Text 9 Wishing to save themselves, the gopas and their families, with the children in front, ran to Nanda’s palace.
Text 10 Terrified, the people of Vraja bowed down before the two Supreme Lords, Krishna and Balarama, surrendered to Them, and took shelter of Them.
Text 11 The gopas said: Balarama! Balarama! O mighty-armed! Krishna! Krishna! O master of Vraja! Save, save Your people from these calamities brought by Indra!
Text 12 By Your word we stopped the indra-yajna and offered a festival for Govardhan Hill. Now Indra is angry. What should we do? Please tell us!
Text 13 Seeing the gopas, gopis, cows, calves, and all of Gokula very upset, calm and peaceful Krishna spoke to the gopas.
Text 14 Sri Krishna said: Don’t be afraid. With your dependents go to Govardhan Hill. He accepted our worship. He will protect us.
Text 15 Sri Narada said: After speaking these words, Lord Krishna went, with His own people, to Govardhan Hill. Lifting the hill, Krishna playfully held it aloft with one hand.
Text 16 As a child effortlessly holds a mushroom, or as an elephant holds a lotus in its tongue, so Sri Krishna, the prince of Vraja, the kind Supreme Personality of Godhead, held Govardhan Hill.
Text 17 Lord Krishna said to the gopas: Father, mother, kings of the gopas, take your relatives, associates, household paraphernalia, wealth, and cows, and go beneath the hill. There you need not fear Indra.
Text 18 When they heard Lord Krishna word’s, the gopas took their families, cows, and household paraphernalia, and went under the hill.
Text 19 O king, when Krishna asked, Balarama and all the boys His age steadied the the hill with their sticks.
Text 20 Seeing a great flood of water coming, in His mind Lord Krishna ordered Lord Sesa and the Sudarsana-cakra to come under the hill.
Text 21 Brilliant as ten million suns, the Sudarsana-cakra hovered above the hill and drank up the falling streams of water as Agastya Muni drank up the ocean.
Text 22 Coiling Himself around the hill, Sesa stopped the incoming flood as a shoreline stops the waters of an ocean.
Text 23 For seven days Lord Krishna steadily held Govardhan Hill. As if they had become cakora birds, the stunned gopas gazed at Lord Krishnacandra.
Text 24 Mounting his maddened elephant Airavata, and accompanied by his armies, furious Indra went to the circle of Vraja.
Text 25 Wishing to destroy Nanda’s village, Indra threw his thunderbolt from far away. Krishna suddenly paralyzed both the thunderbolt and the arm that threw it.
Text 26 Terrified, Indra fled with the demigods and samvartaka clouds as if he were an elephant wounded by a lion.
Text 27 Suddenly the sun rose. The clouds were gone, the winds stopped, and the streams carried very little water.
Text 28 The ground dried up, the sky became clear, and the animals and birds became happy.
Text 29 By Krishna’s order the gopas, taking their wealth and cows with them, slowly emerged from under the hill.
Text 30 Then Krishna, the lifter of Govardhan Hill, said to His friends, “Go out.” They said to Him, “You go first. We will hold the hill with our own strength.”
Text 31 Then Lord Krishna, the lifter of Govardhan Hill, shifted half of the hill’s weight to the talkative gopa boys.
Text 32 That burden made the gopa boys fall, devastated, to the ground.
Text 33 With one hand Krishna picked them all up. Then, as everyone watched, with a playful flourish Krishna set the hill down where it was before.
Text 34 O king, the gopas and gopis, now understanding that Nanda’s son Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, worshiped Him, showered Him with unbroken grains of rice, offered Him many foods made with milk and yogurt, and humbly bowed down before Him.
Text 35 O king, then Nanda, Yasoda, Rohini, and the gopa elders headed by Sannanda, embraced Krishna, gave Him great wealth, and, filled with kindness and love, spoke many benedictions blessing Him.
Text 36 O king, singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments, the people of Vraja approached Lord Krishna and worshiped Him. In this way all their desires were fulfilled.
Text 37 Then the jubilant demigods showered beautiful flowers grown in the beautiful Nandana gardens, and the Gandharvas and Siddhas in the higher planets sang the glories of Sri Krishna, the lifter of Govardhan Hill.
Canto Three, Chapter Four
The Coronation-Bathing of Sri Krishna
Text 1 Sri Narada said: Then, accompanied by the demigods, Indra went to a secluded place on Govardhan Hill and bowed down before Lord Krishna.
Text 2 Sri Indra said: You are the master of the demigods, the supreme controller, the Lord who is perfect and complete, the oldest, the supreme person greater than the greatest and above the material energy, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Hari. O master of the spiritual sky, O master of the universes, please save me! Please save me!
Text 3 You are the original Supreme Personality of Godhead, perfect and complete, who descends as the ten avataras. Desiring to protect the Vedic scriptures and the cows of piety, and desiring also to kill the demons headed by Kamsa, You have taken birth in this world.
Text 4 O master of the spiritual sky, as a father forgives his son, please forgive me, a proud fool bewildered by Your illusory potency, a fool who has become a great reservoir of offenses to You. O master of the demigods, O home where the universes dwell, please be kind to me.
om namo govardhanoddharanaya govindaya gokula-nivasaya gopalaya gopala-pataye gopi-jana-bhartre giri-gajoddhartre karuna-nidhaye jagad-vidhaye jagan-mangalaya jagan-nivasaya jagan-mohanaya koti-manmatha-manmathaya vrsabhanu-suta-varaya sri-nanda-raja-kula-pradipaya sri-Krishnaya paripurnatamaya te ’sankhya-brahmanda-pataye goloka-dhama-dhisanadhipataye svayam-bhagavate sa-balaya namas te namas te.
Om. Obeisances! Obeisances to You! Obeisances to You, the lifter of Govardhan Hill, the pleasure of the cows, land, and senses, the Lord who resides in Gokula as the protector of the cows, the master of the gopas, the husband of the gopis, the lifter of the elephant among mountains, an ocean of mercy, the creator of the universes, the auspiciousness of the universes, the home where the universes dwell, the enchanter of the universes, the enchanter of many millions of Kamadevas, the lover of King Vrsabhanu’s daughter, a lamp shining in King Nanda’s family, all-attractive Sri Krishna, the perfect and complete original Supreme Personality of Godhead, the master of countless universes, the master of the transcendental abode of Goloka, the companion of Balarama!
Text 6 Sri Narada said: A person who, rising in the morning, recites these prayers of Indra attains all perfections. Dangers will not make him fear.
Text 7 After offering these prayers, Indra folded his hands and, accompanied by all the demigods, bowed down before Lord Krishna.
Text 8 Then, on beautiful Govardhan Hill, the surabhi cow born from the milk-ocean bathed the gopa-king Krishna with great streams of milk.
Text 9 Its four trunks filled with celestial Ganga water, the intoxicated elephant Airavata bathed Lord Krishna.
Text 10 Then the joyful devas, kinnaras, gandharvas, rsis, and personified Vedas offered prayers to Lord Krishna and showered HIm with flowers.
Text 11 When the coronation bathing of Sri Krishna was completed noble Govardhan Hill became to melt with joy.
Text 12 Pleased, the Lord left the mark of His lotus hand on the melting hill. O king, even today that handprint can be seen on Govardhan Hill.
Text 13 O king of Mithila, know that the footprints Krishna left there are a great holy place that destroys the people’s sins.
Text 14 O king of Mithila, next to Lord Krishna footprints were the surabhi cow’s hoofprints.
Text 15 O king of Mithila, the celestial Ganga water that bathed Lord Krishna on Govardhan Hill became the Manasa-ganga lake, which destroys all sins.
Text 16 O king, the streams of the surabhi cow’s milk that bathed Lord Krishna on Govardhan Hill became the Govinda-kunda lake, which destroys the greatest sins.
Text 17 Sometimes the water in that lake tastes like delicious milk. One who bathes there attains Lord Krishna’s feet.
Text 18 Circumambulating Lord Krishna, bowing down, making many offerings, calling out, “All glories!” and showering Him with flowers, the happy demigods returned to their celestial abode.
Text 19 A person who hears this narration of Sri Krishna’s ceremonial bathing attains a result much greater than the result of ten asvamedha-yajnas. He attains the supreme creator’s transcendental abode.