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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

“Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura lists the natural opulences by which Govardhana Hill serves Sri Krsna: Krsna and Balarama drink the fragrant, cool water from Govardhana’s many waterfalls, and use it to wash Their feet and mouth. Govardhana offers tasty beverages, such as honey and mango juice. Govardhana also provides grass that is fragrant, soft and conducive to the strong growth of cows and increased production of milk.

“Thus this grass is used by Krsna to feed the transcendental herds. There are many caves where, Krsna, Balarama, and Their friends play, sit and lie down. These caves give pleasure when the weather is too hot or too cold, or when it is raining. Govardhana also features soft roots for eating, jewels for ornamenting the body, natural mineral dyes for body painting, flat places for sitting, and lamps and mirrors in the form of smooth stones, glistening water and other natural substances.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18p.)

In Vraja-riti-cintamani, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura gives another vivid and poetic description of Sri Giri-Govardhana’s services. “Govardhana Hill is like a flag of intense sweetness placed in the opulent land of Vrndavana. As the king of mountains, Giriraja offers pleasing and royal service to the young prince of Vraja. The rocks of Govardhana Hill are many kinds of splendid jewels that provide thrones, couches, and other kinds of furniture for Sri Krsna, the supreme monarch of all nectar mellows. Govardhana Hill’s beautiful forests and caves are Krsna’s nectar pastime palaces—each one perfect for the supreme good fortune of His beloved and His friends. Govardhana Hill’s trees and vines serve Krsna by offering blossoming branches with sweet fruits, and flowers filled with honey, nectar and fragrant pollen.

“The red, vermilion, yellow and other colored pigments of Govardhana Hill decorated Sri Krsna’s transcendental body for the pleasure of His beloved gopis. The musk left by the deer, as well as the kunkuma, camphor and aguru, naturally produced by Govardhana Hill, were all used to give a sweet fragrance to the transcendental body of Sri Krsna. The peacocks dance enthusiastically, the bees and cuckoos sing melodiously, and many other birds chirp a rhythmic accompaniment, as they all gaze on the service to Sri Hari done by Govardhana Hill, the best of Sri Hari’s servants.”

An excerpt from the book Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama.

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Although serving in many capacities as the greatest devotee of Krsna, Sri Giri-Govardhana is also a direct incarnation of the Supreme Sri Krsna. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami received a Govardhana-sila and gunja-mala (necklace of small red berries) from Sri Caitanya, and he worshiped them as being non-different from Radha-Krsna. Sri Giriraja-puja, therefore, may be performed in the same manner as the regular deity worship of Radha and Krsna. “When everything was complete,” said Srila Prabhupada, “Krsna assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vrndavana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Krsna are identical. The identity of Krsna and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill, and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Krsna in the temple.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.24.35p.)

Sri Krsna, in His eternal form as Sri Giriraja-Govardhana, is very merciful and easily pleased with a daily love offering of Yamuna water for drinking, eight Tulasi manjaris to embrace His lotus feet and a little milk sweet like sandesa. Sannyasis and “Vrajavasi devotees” often keep Govardhana-silas, because the worship is simple, sweet and sublime.

An excerpt from the book Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami had an extremely intimate relationship with Giri-Govardhana. In Jagannatha Puri he began worshiping Giriraja upon receiving Sri Caitanya’s personal Govardhana-sila. While worshiping his Govardhana-sila, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, in the mood of taking shelter of Srimati Radharani, would wear the gunja-mala around his neck. After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s disappearance Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami felt overwhelmed by the pain of separation. He went to Vrndavana to end his life by jumping off Govardhana Hill. Convinced to continue living by Srila Rupa and Srila Sanatana Gosvamis, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami remained for forty-one years at Radha-kunda. He performed intensive bhajana, worshiped his Govardhana-sila, honored the Lord and the Vaisnavas and spoke for three hours a day about the all-attractive glories of Lord Gauranga. In his Govardhana-dasakam, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami reveals his heart’s desire.

“O Govardhana! When Sri Radha spoke these words — ‘My dear friends, this mountain is the best of Krsna’s devotees’ all the Vedas then confirmed that you attained the unsurpassable position of becoming the tilaka mark on the forehead of Vrndavana. Please allow me to live close by You.

“O Govardhana! You affectionately and secretly embrace the neck of Your own dear friend, Sri Radha-kunda, the place which is very dear to You and to Sri Hari. Please allow me to live close by You and show me the intimate pastimes of the youthful Divine Couple there.”

An excerpt from the book Appreciating Sri Vrndavana Dhama