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Mahanidhi Swami

Before introducing a most wonderful and simple Karttika vrata, we will highlight the ultimate vow of austerities to please Sri Sri Radha Govindadeva.

In 1972, during his Karttika vrata in Vrndavana, one devotee asked, “Srila Prabhupada, this is the beginning of Urja-vrata. Can you describe what that is and how it should be observed?”

Srila Prabhupada: “Urja-vrata means—you chant the Hare Krishna Maha Mantra twenty-four hours a day for one month. That’s all. And don’t sleep and don’t eat. This is Urja-vrata. Can you execute it?” (Vrndavana Days (1972/Hayagriva Dasa)

Indeed, Srila Prabhupada prescribed the ultimate Karttika vrata for those rare, austere few who have acquired such a refined taste for Sri Harinama, which comes, according to the Puranas, after hundreds of births of chanting Hare Krishna! The majority of devotees, however, will opt for a more feasible vrata which suits their status.

And since Karunamayi Srimati Radharani is in charge of dispensing the results and benefits of all Karttika vratas, one can certainly expect to receive lots of mercy and spiritual strength from any pure hearted simple vrata regularly performed to please our beloved Swamini Sri Radha during the most beautiful and auspicious month of Karttika.

As the perfect transcendental exemplars of the topmost form of immaculately pure and self-less love, Sri Sri Radha-Govindaji derive the greatest happiness by praising, serving and satisfying each other. This truth is seen in all the writings of the Gaudiya Vaisnava rasika mahajanas i.e. Sri Rupa Goswamipada, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami, Sri Narottama Dasa Thakura and Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti.

Our Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas have written many amazing prayers in praise of Sri Krishna, Sri Radha, Radha-Govinda Yugala, Radha/Syama Kunda, Govardhana, Vrndavana, Yamunaji and more. Reciting their perfect prayers greatly pleases the Divine Couple.

And it simultaneously purifies, enlightens, enriches, satisfies and delights the heart of the reciter. As a great way to please Srimati Radharani during Karttika, you can daily recite the following astonishing prayer written by Radha-kunda nivasi, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami.

Sri Sri Govardhana Vasa Prarthana Dasakam
Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami

***This prayer is in “mallini meter”. The / mark in each line indicates the break between chanting the first half of the line and the second.

  1. nija-pati-bhuja-daṇḍac/-chatra-bhāvaṁ prapadya
    pratihata-mada-dhṛṣṭod/ daṇḍa-devendra-garva
    atula-pṛthula-śaila-/ śreṇi-bhūpa priyaṁ me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ /dehi govardhana tvam
  2. pramada-madana-līlāḥ / kandare kandare te
    racayati nava-yūnor / dvandvam asminn amandam
    iti kila kalanārthaṁ / lagnakas tad-dvayor me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ / dehi govardhana tvam
  3. anupama-maṇi-vedī/-ratna-siṁhās anorvī-
    ruha-jhara-dara-sānu/-droṇi-saṅgheṣu raṅgaiḥ
    saha bala-sakhibhiḥ-saṅ/ khelayan sva-priyaṁ me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ / dehi govardhana tvam
  4. rasa-nidhi-nava-yūnoḥ /sākṣiṇīṁ dāna-keler
    dyuti-parimala-viddhāṁ/ śyāma-vedīṁ prakāśya
    rasika-vara-kulānāṁ / modam āsphālayan me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ / dehi govardhana tvam
  5. hari-dayitam apūrvaṁ / rādhikā-kuṇdam ātma-
    priya-sakham iha kaṇṭhe / narmaṇ āliṅgya guptah
    nava-yuva-yuga-khelās/ tatra paśyan raho me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ/ dehi govardhana tvam
  6. sthala-jala-tala-śaṣpair/ bhūru hac-chāyayā ca
    pratipadam anukālaṁ / hanta samvardhayan gāh
    tri-jagati nija-gotraṁ /sārthakaṁ khyā payan me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ / dehi govardhana tvam

  7. sura-pati-kṛta-dīrgha/-drohato goṣṭha-rakṣāṁ
    tava nava-gṛha-rūpas/ yāntare kurva taiva
    agha-baka-ripuṇoccair/ datta-māna drutaṁ me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ / dehi govardhana tvam
  8. giri-nṛpa hari-dāsa-/ śreṇi-varyeti-nāmā-
    mṛtam idam uditaṁ / śrī-rādhikā-vaktra-candrāt
    vraja-nava-tilakatve/ kḷpta-vedaiḥ sphuṭaṁ me
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ / dehi govardhana tvam
  9. nija-jana-yuta-rādhā/-kṛṣṇa-maitrī-rasākta
    vraja-nara-paśu-pakṣi-/ vrāta-saukh yaika-dātaḥ
    agaṇita-karuṇatvān / madhuri –kṛtya- tāntaṁ
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ/ dehi govardhana tvam
  10. nirupadhi-karuṇena / śrī-śacī nandanena
    tvayi kapaṭi- śaṭho ’pi / tvat-priyeṇ ārpito ’smi
    iti khalu mama yogyā/ yogyatāṁ tām agṛhṇan
    nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ / dehi govardhana tvam

SRUTI PHALA

rasada-daśakam- asya/ śrīla-govardhanasya
kṣitidhara-kula-bhartur / yaḥ prayatnād adhīte
sa sapadi sukhade ’smin/ vāsam āsādya sākṣāc
chubada-yugala-sevā-/ ratnam āpnoti tūrṇam

TRANSLATION

Sri Sri Govardhana Vasa Prarthana Dasakam
Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami

  1. O Govardhana Hill! Held by the staff-like arm of your personal Master, You became an umbrella to destroy the pride of Devendra, the intoxicated, bold and arrogant one. Thus, O Govardhana, You are the incomparable King of mountains. And You are so dear to me, so please give me residence near You!
  2. O Govardhana! Please grant me residence near You, so I can get a chance to see the youthful Divine Couple, Radha-Govinda, as They enthusiastically enjoy maddening amorous pastimes in Your many caves.
  3. O Govardhana! In great delight, Krishna, Balarama and the cowherd boys play many games in Your plentiful valleys, caves, waterfalls, the hollows of Your trees, on the peaks of Your hills, and Your incomparable bejeweled thrones. O Govardhana! You are so dear to me, so please give me residence near You!
  4. O Govardhana! By manifesting as the splendorous and fragrant blue stone platforms at Dana Ghati, You witness the tax lila of Radha-Krishna—the youthful Divine Couple and the ocean of rasa. Thus You increase the ecstasy of all rasika Vaisnavas! O Govardhana! Please give me residence near You!
  5. O Govardhana! You affectionately and secretly embrace the neck of Your dearest friend, the unprecedented Radhika kunda, the beloved of Hari. O Govardhana! Please give me residence near You, so I can see the confidential pastimes of the youthful Divine Couple!
  6. O Govardhana! The full meaning of Your name, “sustainer of the cows” is established by Your many shady trees and pasture lands full of succulent grass. Alas! At every moment and with their every step the cows are being fully nourished by You. Thus You are famous throughout the three worlds. O Govardhana! Please give me residence near You!
  7. O Govardhana! Agha/Bakaripu honored You immensely by engaging You as a new home for the Gosthavasis to protect them from the sustained anger of Surapati Indra. Please give me residence near You!
  8. O Girinrpa! Because the nectar of your name as “Haridasa varya” arose from the moonlike mouth of Sri Radhika, and was recorded in the Srimad Bhagavatam (10.21.18), You are famous in the Vedas as the nava tilaka of Vraja. O Govardhana! Please give me residence near You!
  9. O Govardhana! You are a dear friend of Radha-Krishna and Their families. And You give special happiness to all the Vrajavasis, and the hosts of animals and birds attached to You. Out of Your immeasurable mercy and sweetness, O Govardhana, please accept this tired and unhappy one and give him residence near you.
  10. O Govardhana! Although I am certainly vile and deceitful, Your dearmost, endlessly merciful Sri Sacinandana has offered You to me. Without considering whether I am qualified or not, O Govardhana, please give me residence near You!

Final Blessing Verse (phala-sruti)

By carefully reciting these ten rasa-bestowing verses praising Sri Govardhanaji, the beautiful ruling Master of all mountains, one will quickly obtain a blissful residence here, and the most auspicious jewel of Radha-Govinda Yugala’s direct blissful seva.” (translation: Mahanidhi Madan Gopal das)

Sri Girirja dharana teri sarana ki jai! Giriraja Baba ki jai ho!
Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

Why do raganuga bhaktas especially worship Govardhana shilas?

Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja answers in Chaitanya-caritamrita (3.6.294-307):

“One day during His gambhira-lila in Jagannatha Puri, Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu lovingly gave Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami the Govardhana Shila that He had been personally worshiping for three years. At that most auspicious time, Mahaprabhu said, ‘This Govardhana Shila is directly the transcendental form of Sri Krishna. You should attentively worship Sri Girirajaji with great eagerness.’ ”

prabhu hahe ei shila Krishnera vigraha
inhara seva kara tumi kariya agraha

Mahaprabhu continued, “Worship Sri Girirajaji with purity, then you will quickly attain the wealth of Krishna prema”.

ei shilara kara tumi sattvika pujana
acirat pabe tumi Krishna prema dhana

‘To worship Sri Girirajaji, you need a jug of water and tulasi manjaris. You should serve Sri Girirajaji with all purity and gopi bhava”. sattvika seva ei shuddha bhava kari[gopi-bhava is the purest bhava, shuddha bhava].

“With faith you should offer eight soft tulasi manjaris [four to each lotus foot].”

dui dike dui patra madhye komala manjari
ei mata ashta manjari dibe shraddha kari

“After receiving the Govardhana Shila, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami served Sri Girirajaji with great bliss, anande raghunatha seva karite lagila. Svarupa Damodara gave Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami two cloths, a wooden platform and a water jug for Sri Girirajaji puja”.

“When Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami worshiped Sri Girirajaji, he saw the shila as directly Vrajendranandana”, puja kale dekhe shila vrajendranandana.” [The carefree, funny, witty lover of the cowherd girls]. In other words, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami worshiped Sri Girirajaji in the raganuga mood of worship.

Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja continues, “Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami submerged in Krishna prema whenever he remembered how Mahaprabhu had given him the Govardhana Shila with His own hand”.

prabhura sva hasta data Govardhana Shila
ei chinti raghunatha prema bhashi gela

“Great happiness would arise in his heart when Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami simply offered water and tulasi to Sri Girirajaji [in the simple Vraja mood of gopi-bhava in raga marga.] Such joy does not arise even if one worships with all the 16 different articles of Thakuraji puja”. [as done in vaidhi-marga]

jala tulasira sevaya tanra yata sukhodaya
shodash opacara ujaya tata sukha naya

“One day Svarupa Damodara said, ‘O Dasa Goswamiji! Now start offering Sri Girirajaji a small amount of khaja [a rich and sweet, crunchy grain sweet] and sandesh [a mild milk sweet]. If you offer these with faith, they will taste just like nectar.’ ”

ashta khaja sandesha kara samarpana,
shraddha kari dile sei amritera sama

“Upon receiving the Govardhana Shila and the garland [mala] of small, shiny red and black dried seeds of the gunja shrub from Mahaprabhu, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami thought, ‘By giving me this Govardhana Shila, Mahaprabhu has awarded me a place near Govardhana Hill. And by giving me this gunja mala, Mahaprabhu has offered me the beautiful, sweet lotus feet of Srimati Radhika.’” [Bengali trans. Sri Advaita dasji]

shila diya gosani samarpila govaradhane
gunja mala diya dila RADHIKA CHARANE

Sri Radhika charanashraya ki jai! Sri Giriraja Maharaja ki jai ho! Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja ki jai! Sri Raghunatha Dasa Goswami ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!