Govardhana Puja

govardhana puja

Today marks the annual celebration of  Lord Krishna’s lifting Govardhana Hill  to protect the residents of Vrindavana from the wrath of Indra.  Typically devotees prepare varieties of foodstuff with grain and ghee (like rice, dhal, halva, pakora, puri etc.) and all kinds of milk preparations (such as sweet rice, rabri, sweetballs, sandesha, rasagulla and laddu). The food is stacked like a small mountain and offered to the Lord.  Then it is distributed to everyone.

Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krishna and Balarama, along with Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities: water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respects to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Krishna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant. (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.18)

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Everyone Can See God

Gopal

…The first thing Kṛṣṇa is looking for is how eager you are to see Him. Kṛṣṇa will respond. If you are actually eager to see Kṛṣṇa, then it is sure your efforts will be successful.

But you must desire Kṛṣṇa only. In this connection, Rūpa Gosvāmī has written a verse:

“My dear friend, there is one boy—His name is Govinda. He is standing on the bank of the Yamunā near the Keśi-ghāṭa, and He is playing on His flute. He is so beautiful, especially during this full-moon night. If you have any intentions to enjoy in this material world with your children, husband, or other family members, then please do not go there.”

The idea is that if you once see Kṛṣṇa, then you’ll forget all this nonsensical materialistic enjoyment. That is seeing Kṛṣṇa.

The gopīs are another example of great eagerness to see Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs came to Kṛṣṇa, being captivated by His beautiful features. They were young girls, and Kṛṣṇa was so beautiful. Actually they were lusty when they came to Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa is so pure that they became first-class devotees. There is no comparison to the gopīs’ devotion, because they loved Kṛṣṇa with heart and soul. That is the qualification. They loved Kṛṣṇa so much that they didn’t care for family or reputation when they went out in the dead of night. Kṛṣṇa’s flute was sounding, and they were all fleeing their homes. Their fathers, their brothers, their husbands all said, “Where are you going? Where are you going in this dead of night?” But the gopīs didn’t care. They neglected their children, their family, everything. Their only thought was, “We must go to Kṛṣṇa.”

This eagerness is required. We must be very, very eager to see Kṛṣṇa.

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Disappearance Day of Srila Madhavendra Puri


Disappearance Day of Srila Madhavendra Puri

Madhavendra Puri appeared almost mad in his love of God. He loudly chanted and sang the names and glories of the Lord without thinking of the time or place. Sometimes in his ecstasy he didn’t know whether it was day or night. Sometimes he laughed and sometimes he wept. Sometimes he danced wildly and sometimes he fell to the ground unconscious. He took absolutely no interest in anything not connected with Krishna, and for fear of talking about anything other than the Lord, he always lived without a companion. He would eat only if someone offered him food—otherwise he would simply fast.

In many remarkable ways Krishna returned Madhavendra Puri’s intense love. Once Madhavendra was fasting and meditating beneath a tree in the forest of Vrindavana, where thousands of years before Krishna had played as a child. Suddenly a beautiful cowherd boy (gopala) came with a pot of milk and placed it before Madhavendra. “Please drink the milk I have brought you,” the boy said. Seeing the beauty of the boy, Madhavendra Puri became satisfied in his mind, and hearing these sweet words, he forgot all hunger and thirst. Then within an instant, the boy left the place and did not return. Madhavendra Puri’s heart was filled with wonder. Later, he realized who the boy actually was and cried out in; great ecstatic love: “I saw Lord Krishna directly—but I could not recognize I Him!”

Western religion usually teaches us that God is someone to fear and revere. In India, though, great spiritual masters have long taught that we can go beyond this limited conception and worship God as our master, friend, or child. And about five hundred years ago Madhavendra Puri taught that we can even worship God as our dear beloved.

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Cow Protection; Lord Krishna’s Example

<Lord Krishna’s Example
To teach by example, the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna and Lord Balaram show us when They descend into this world, how important is to protect, love and serve Cows and Bulls. Krishna is known as Gopala (protector of the Cows) or Govinda (one who gives pleasure to the Cows). Lord Balaram represents plowing the land for agriculture and therefore always carries a plow in His hand, whereas Krishna tends Cows and therefore carries a flute in His hand. Thus the two brothers represent krisi-raksha (protecting Bulls by engaging them in farming) and go-raksha (protecting the Cows). 10.5.20 Purport
“Offering respect to the Cows will help the devotee to diminish the reactions to his past sinful activities” (Skanda Purana)

Vrindavan’s Cows are constant remainders of Krishna’s ecstatic Cow herding lilas (pastimes). By serving the Cows one receives tremendous spiritual benefit. Feeding grains to the Cows, offering puja, or simply a scratch under the neck will please these peaceful personalities and attracts the attention of Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri Govinda. The Gautamiya Tantra says, “One should gently scratch the body of a Cow, offer her a mouthful of green grass and reverentially circumambulate her. If Cows are maintained nicely and comfortably, Lord Gopal will be pleased.”

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