The Glories of Govardhana

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

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 purusa 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 variety of word roots (dhatus).

By the Lord’s grace Dhruva traveled beyond Maharloka. Similarly, by the mercy of the Lord, Govardhana has surpassed the splendor of Vaikuntha and become famous as the best of mountains. Just as Kartikeya, the commander who is difficult to conquer, supports the king of heaven, Govardhana holds many difficult to enter caves. Many snakes surround the valuable sandalwood trees adorning the Malaya Mountain, but there are no snakes guarding the unlimited treasures found on Govardhana Hill.

Lord Siva holds the moon in his topknot, but Giriraja’s peaks touch the moon. Siva is fearsome, but Govardhana is kind and gentle. As Kṛṣṇa is adorned with forest garlands that reach to His ankles, Govardhana is decorated with long lines of forests. Cascading waterfalls caress all sides of Govardhana. Bhu-mandala is made pleasant by the Loka-loka mountain range, whereas Govardhana pleases the eyes of all devotees. Govardhana is made glorious by banyan trees that distribute joy to everyone. The interiors of its caves are the embodiments of bliss. It is Govardhana’s nature to protect the deer and other forest creatures.

Mt. Kailasa, Mt. Meru, or even the best of metaphors cannot 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 eternally manifested, and made of inconceivably precious jewels.

Just as dancers enhance the sweetness of theatrical performances, the sonalu trees increase the sweetness of seeing Govardhana Hill. 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, camaras, 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 cloth. The large emeralds reflecting the golden rocks look like Narayana adorned in His golden dhoti. The yellow sapphire platforms standing on beds of diamonds appear like Siva and Gauri. The waterfalls pouring over the emerald cliffs look like Lord Rama carrying His curved bow. The ruby platforms standing on silver bases appear like Brahma mounted on his swan. 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 many thrones made of cooling stones for the sitting pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. Its flat, jeweled-studded areas await to serve Kṛṣṇa’s rasa dance. Its wonderful caves look more enchanting than temples made of jewels. For serving Kṛṣṇa there are many flower canopies that pour down fragrant pollen when shaken by the wind. The dense cool forests provide soothing relief from the hot sun. Animals such as deer and tigers live there in peace and harmony.

An excerpt from the book Ananda Vrndavana Campu.

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