Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
Sri Yamunaji & Giriraja Ji
The Yamuna River
While meandering through the forest of Vrindavana, the famous River Yamuna appears like a garland of blue lotuses, a moat of kajala, a dark blue sari, or a necklace of blue sapphires around the neck of Vrnda-devi, the presiding deity of Vrindavana. Though agitated with waves, the Yamunaji holds unlimited lotus flowers in her pure waters to offer to the dark Lord of her heart—Shyama!
Herons continually play in her waters, and delighted fish swim in large schools enjoying the ebb and flow of prema. Yamunaji grants happiness to anyone who surrenders to her or bathes in her sacred waters. And to Krishna’s devotees, Yamunaji forever thrills them with premananda.
Yamunaji looks resplendent with her multi-colored bodice composed of the many tiny saivala creepers floating on her surface. Her breasts are the cakravaka birds, and her colorful yellow dress is the pollen of white lotuses. Swarms of meandering bumblebees form her hair braid.
The blue lotuses—her eyes; the red lotuses—her lips; the blooming lotuses—her face; the wide riverbanks—her hips; and her waist belt—a flock of herons. Sonorous geese chortle as her ankle-bells. Yamuna-devi, the personification of bliss, worships Krishna by constantly offering Him lotus flowers with her fickle wave-like hands.
The flower-filled trees on her banks reflect in the water to appear like a second blossoming forest. Seeing the reflections of birds in the water, the foolish fish come there and nibble at them. At night when they see the reflections of the stars on the water the small fish, mistaking them for food, swim up to surface and try to eat them.
The shimmering white banks of the Yamuna appear like streams of camphor; attractive lightning flashing in the dark; sandalwood paste smeared on the limbs of Vrnda-devi; or malati garlands in the braid of a woman.
On these banks stand flowerbeds situated between emerald green strips of grass. There are also many attractive kunjas and beautiful sub-forests containing cintamani cottages. Parrots, cuckoos, cakoras, and water birds such as ducks, herons, sararis, kuraris, and cakravakas move about the courtyards surrounding these cintamani cottages singing happily.
They appear like a group of rasika devotees discussing the delightful pastimes of Krishna. Bathing ghatas made of rubies, coral, emeralds, and vaidurya gems line the Yamuna’s shores. These ghatas appear like the embodiment of auspiciousness.
The Glories of Govardhana
An exquisite line of mountains called Govardhana stretches down the middle of Vrindavana. Giriraja’s thousands of peaks appear like the thousands of hands and feet of the virata rupa avatara. Many smaller hills surround these peaks, and many jeweled plateaus and lakes like Radha-kunda provide additional beauty.
In this way, Giriraja appears just like a romantic hero decorated with many jeweled bracelets and earrings. Just as Giriraja contains many minerals (dhatus) of red clay and arsenics, similarly, the Sanskrit language features a wonderful variety of word roots (dhatus).
By the Lord’s grace, Govardhana has surpassed the splendor of Vaikuntha and become famous as the best of mountains–GIRI RAJA!!! Govardhana holds many difficult to enter caves. For Radha-Shyama the interiors of these caves are the embodiments of bliss. Lord Siva holds the moon in his topknot, but Giriraja’s peaks touch the moon. Govardhana is kind and gentle, and decorated with long lines of forests, as Krishna is adorned with forest garlands reaching to His ankles.
Cascading waterfalls continually bathe all sides of Govardhana. The glorious and beneficial sight of Giriraja Baba pleases both the eyes and hearts of one and all! The banyan trees around Giriraja are grand and glorious. Their abundant cooling shade always give joy to all the Vrajavasis. It is Govardhana’s nature to protect the deer, forest creatures, and anyone who takes His exclusive shelter.
The grand glories of Mt. Kailasa, Mt. Meru, or even the best of metaphors can never compare with the unlimited glories of Govardhana. Kailasa is composed of silver, and golden Mt. Meru is born of the material nature. They pale in comparison with Govardhana, which is made of divine cintamani gems, and eternally manifested as the transcendental energy and form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself!
Just as dancers enhance the charm of a theatrical performance, the gracious trees of Govardhana forever increase the endlessly sweet splendor in seeing Him. The streams flowing by the roots of the many sandalwood trees growing there pick up the divine fragrance, and pass it on to the valleys and grass growing on Govardhana.
When all the different animals such as rurus (black deer), camara, gavayas, gandharvas, srmaras, rohisas, sasa, and sambaras bathe in the parrot-green colored streams flowing under the densely foliated green trees they appear to be made of emeralds. No one can tell whether they are real animals or made out of green jewels.
The crystal rocks of Govardhana reflect the blue rays of its sapphires to appear like Balarama dressed in blue. The large emeralds reflected in the smooth golden rocks look like Narayana adorned in His golden dhoti. The waterfalls pouring over the emerald cliffs look like Lord Rama carrying His curved bow. The clear waterfalls rapidly falling from the tall peaks of Govardhana carry the reflections of many multi-colored jewels and appear like long rainbows.
The light coming from the various stones and jewels in the plateaus reflect in the sky like a rainbow. The effulgence from the peaks of vaidurya gems appears like the tail of a comet streaking over Govardhana, or like a flock of flying gray birds.
Govardhana offers its many cooling stone thrones as sitting for Krishna’s pleasure. Its flat, jeweled-studded areas await to serve Krishna’s rasa dance. Its wonderful caves look more enchanting than temples made of jewels. For serving Krishna there are many flower canopies that pour down fragrant pollen when moved by the wind. The dense cool forests provide soothing relief from the hot sun. Animals such as deer and tigers always live there in peace and harmony.
Sri Yamunaji ki jai! Sri Giriraja Baba ki jai!
Kaviraja Sri Karnapura Goswami’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!
Radha-Govinda Vraja Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!