Wonderful Krsna

Krishna Balarama and friends and cows

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KRSNA, The Supreme Personality
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Volume 1, Chapter 26

Wonderful Krsna

Without understanding the intricacies of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and without knowing His uncommon spiritual opulences, the innocent cowherd boys and men of Vṛndāvana began to discuss the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa which surpass the activities of all men.

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Worshiping Govardhana Hill

Lifting Govardhana Hill

Today in honor of Govardhana-puja, we are posting the entire chapter from Krsna Book, entitled “Worshiping Govardhana Hill”

…The sacrifice known as Govardhana-pūjā is observed in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, so His land, Vṛndāvana and Govardhana Hill, are also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa said that Govardhana Pūjā is as good as worship of Him. From that day, the Govardhana Pūjā has been still going on and is known as Annakūṭa. In all the temples of Vṛndāvana or outside of Vṛndāvana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From these instances, we can understand that prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction.

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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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Importance of Visiting the Holy Places

Nectar of Instruction

Continuing with our series on the Nectar of Instruction (Upadeśāmṛta), we are posting Text 9, the very important instructions given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī on visiting the holy places of pilgrimage.

The Nectar of Instruction
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Text Nine

vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ

SYNONYMS

vaikuṇṭhāt—than Vaikuṇṭha, the spiritual world; janitaḥ—because of birth; varā—better; madhu-purī—the transcendental city known as Mathurā; tatra api—superior to that; rāsa-utsavāt—because of the performance of the rāsa-līlā; vṛndā-araṇyam—the forest of Vṛndāvana; udāra-pāṇi—of Lord Kṛṣṇa; ramaṇāt—because of various kinds of loving pastimes; tatra api—superior to that; govardhanaḥ—Govardhana Hill; rādhā-kuṇḍam—a place called Rādhā-kuṇḍa; iha api—superior to this; gokula-pateḥ—of Kṛṣṇa, the master of Gokula; prema-amṛta—with the nectar of divine love; āplāvanāt—because of being overflooded; kuryāt—would do; asya—of this (Rādhā-kuṇḍa); virājataḥ—situated; giri-taṭe—at the foot of Govardhana Hill; sevām—service; vivekī—who is intelligent; na—not; kaḥ—who.

TRANSLATION

The holy place known as Mathurā is spiritually superior to Vaikuṇṭha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathurā-Purī is the transcendental forest of Vṛndāvana because of Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vṛndāvana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the superexcellent Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa stands supreme, for it is overflooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Where, then, is that intelligent Person who is unwilling to serve this divine Rādhā-kuṇḍa, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?

PURPORT

The spiritual world is three fourths of the total creation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and it is the most exalted region. The spiritual world is naturally superior to the material world; however, Mathurā and the adjoining areas, although appearing in the material world, are considered superior to the spiritual world because the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself appeared at Mathurā. The interior forests of Vṛndāvana are considered superior to Mathurā because of the presence of the twelve forests (dvādaśa-vana), such as Tālavana, Madhuvana and Bahulāvana, which are famous for the various pastimes of the Lord. Thus the interior Vṛndāvana forest is considered superior to Mathurā, but superior to these forests is the divine Govardhana Hill because Kṛṣṇa lifted Govardhana Hill like an umbrella, raising it with His lotuslike beautiful hand to protect His associates, the denizens of Vraja, from the torrential rains sent by the angry Indra, King of the demigods. It is also at Govardhana Hill that Kṛṣṇa tends the cows with His cowherd friends, and there also He had His rendezvous with His most beloved Śrī Rādhā and engaged in loving pastimes with Her. Rādhā-kuṇḍa, at the foot of Govardhana, is superior to all because it is there that love of Kṛṣṇa overflows. Advanced devotees prefer to reside at Rādhā-kuṇḍa because this place is the site of many memories of the eternal loving affairs between Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī (rati-vilāsa).

In Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā) it is stated that when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu first visited the area of Vrajabhūmi, He could not at first find the location of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. This means that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was actually searching for the exact location of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. Finally He found the holy spot, and there was a small pond there. He took His bath in that small pond and told His devotees that the actual Rādhā-kuṇḍa was situated there. Later the pond was excavated by Lord Caitanya’s devotees, headed first by the six Gosvāmīs, such as Rūpa and Raghunātha dāsa. Presently there is a large lake known as Rādhā-kuṇḍa there. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has given much stress to Rādhā-kuṇḍa because of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s desire to find it. Who, then, would give up Rādhā-kuṇḍa and try to reside elsewhere? No person with transcendental intelligence would do so. The importance of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, however, cannot be realized by other Vaiṣṇava sampradāyas, nor can persons uninterested in the devotional service of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu understand the spiritual importance and divine nature of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. Thus Rādhā-kuṇḍa is mainly worshiped by the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, the followers of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

radha_kund

Govardhana Pūjā

Krsna lifting govardhan hill1

On November 3rd the festival known as Govardhana Pūjā is celebrated.

The sacrifice known as Govardhana Pūjā is observed in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, so His land, Vṛndāvana and Govardhana Hill, are also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa said that Govardhana Pūjā is as good as worship of Him. From that day, the Govardhana Pūjā has been still going on and is known as Annakūṭa. In all the temples of Vṛndāvana or outside of Vṛndāvana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From these instances, we can understand that prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people, therefore, collect it and eat with great satisfaction. (Kṛṣṇa, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, chapter 24)

…Formerly, at the end of Dvāpara-yuga, all the cowherd men of Vṛndāvana had arranged to worship King Indra, but they gave this worship up, following the advice of Kṛṣṇa. Instead, they performed a ceremony whereby they worshiped the cows, brāhmaṇas and Govardhana Hill. At that time Kṛṣṇa expanded Himself and declared, “I am Govardhana Hill.” In this way He accepted all the paraphernalia and food offered to Govardhana Hill. (from purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 4.86)

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Childhood Pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa

Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill

…Lord Kṛṣṇa picked up Govardhana Hill with one hand, exactly as a child picks up a mushroom from the ground. Thus He exhibited His transcendental pastime of lifting Govardhana Hill. Lord Kṛṣṇa then began to address His devotees, “My dear brothers, My dear father, My dear inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, you can now safely enter under the umbrella of Govardhana Hill, which I have just lifted. Do not be afraid of the hill and think that it will fall from My hand. You have been too much afflicted from the heavy rain and strong wind; therefore I have lifted this hill, which will protect you exactly like a huge umbrella. I think this is a proper arrangement to relieve you from your immediate distress. Be happy along with your animals underneath this great umbrella.” Being assured by Lord Kṛṣṇa, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana entered beneath the great hill and appeared to be safe along with their property and animals.

…The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana and their animals remained there for one week without being disturbed by hunger, thirst or any other discomforts. They were simply astonished to see how Kṛṣṇa was holding up the mountain with the little finger of His left hand.

… After this incident, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, surrounded by His dear friends and animals, returned to His home. As usual, the gopīs began to chant the glorious pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa with great feeling, for they were chanting from the heart. (Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Chapter 25)

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Jaya Radha Madhava

Jaya Radha Madhava

Jaya Radha Madhava
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
with Purport by Srila Prabhupada

jaya rādhā-mādhava kuñja-bihārī
gopī-jana-vallabha giri-vara-dhārī
yaśodā-nandana braja-jana-rañjana
yāmuna-tīra-vana-cārī

Translation
from the 1974 Edition of “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”

Sri Rādhā-Mādhava have their loving pastimes in the groves (kuñja) of Vrndavana. Gopī-jana-vallabha means “one who attracts and reciprocates loving pastimes with the gopis. Giri-vara-dhārī is Krishna’s name in the pastime of lifting Goverdhana Hill. Yaśodā-nandana is the son of Yasoda (“nanda” means son and is also the name of Krishna’s father, so Krishna is also Nanda-nandana). Braja-jana-rañjana means the attractive darling of the inhabitants of Vrndavana. He is always playing in the groves (vana) on the bank (tira) of the Yamuna River, therefore Krishna is also known as Yāmuna-tīra-vana-cārī.

Srila Prabhupada was very fond of this song and sang it just before his lectures. In Allahabad and Gorakhpur Srila Prabhupada fell into a trance after singing the first two lines, and after some time he came back into external consciousness and said, “Now just chant Hare Krsna.” Srila Prabhupada said that this song is “a picture of Vrndavana. Everything is there–Srimati Radharani, Vrndavana, Govardhana, Yasoda, and all the cowherd boys.”

Purport by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada More

Devastating Rainfall in Vṛndāvana

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On this very auspicious day, Govardhana-puja, we are reminded of Krsna’s lifting of Govardhana Hill, as told by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in chapter 25 of the Krsna Book.

…Kṛṣṇa has declared in the Bhagavad-gītā that the worshipers of the demigods are not very intelligent. He has also declared that one has to give up all kinds of worship and simply concentrate on Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Kṛṣṇa’s invoking the anger of Indra and later on chastising him is a clear indication to His devotee that those who are engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness have no need to worship any demigod, even if it is found that the demigod has become angry. Kṛṣṇa gives His devotees all protection, and they should completely depend on His mercy.

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 25

Devastating Rainfall in Vṛndāvana

When Indra understood that the sacrifice offered by the cowherd men in Vṛndāvana was stopped by Kṛṣṇa, he became angry, and he vented his anger upon the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, who were headed by Nanda Mahārāja, although Indra knew perfectly well that Kṛṣṇa was personally protecting them. As the director of different kinds of clouds, Indra called for the Sāṁvartaka. This cloud is invited when there is a need to devastate the whole cosmic manifestation. The Sāṁvartaka was ordered by Indra to go over Vṛndāvana and inundate the whole area with an extensive flood. Demonically, Indra thought himself to be the all-powerful supreme personality. When demons become very powerful, they defy the supreme controller, Personality of Godhead. Indra, though not a demon, was puffed up by his material position, and he wanted to challenge the supreme controller. He thought himself, at least for the time being, as powerful as Kṛṣṇa. Indra said, “Just see the impudence of the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana! They are simply inhabitants of the forest, but being infatuated with their friend Kṛṣṇa, who is nothing but an ordinary human being, they have dared to defy the demigods.”

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Worshiping Govardhana Hill

Brajabasi is Worshiping Govardhana Hill with obeisances

Today we celebrate Govardhana-puja with a chapter from Srila Prabhupada’s Krsna Book, entitled “Worshiping Govardhana Hill”

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead
By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
Chapter 24

Worshiping Govardhana Hill

While engaged with the brāhmaṇas who were too involved in the performance of Vedic sacrifices, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma also saw that the cowherd men were preparing a similar sacrifice in order to pacify Indra, the King of heaven, who is responsible for supplying water. As stated in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, a devotee of Kṛṣṇa has strong and firm faith in the understanding that if he is simply engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental loving service, then he is freed from all other obligations. A pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa doesn’t have to perform any of the ritualistic functions enjoined in the Vedas; nor is he required to worship any demigods. Being a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa, one is understood to have performed all kinds of Vedic rituals and all kinds of worship to the demigods. Just by performing the Vedic ritualistic ceremonies or worshiping the demigods, one does not develop devotional service for Kṛṣṇa but one who is engaged fully in the service of the Lord has already finished all Vedic injunctions.

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Wonderful Kṛṣṇa

“O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for liberation, nor eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon. My only prayer is that Your childhood pastimes may constantly appear in my mind. O Lord, I do not even want to know Your feature of Paramatma. I simply wish that Your childhood pastimes may ever be enacted in my heart.” (Sri Damodarastakam, verse 4)

KRSNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead – 1970 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Vol 1, Chapter 26

Wonderful Kṛṣṇa

Without understanding the intricacies of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and without knowing His uncommon spiritual opulences, the innocent cowherd boys and men of Vṛndāvana began to discuss the wonderful activities of Kṛṣṇa which surpass the activities of all men.

One of them said, “My dear friends, considering His wonderful activities, how is it possible that such an uncommon boy would come and live with us in Vṛndāvana? It is really not possible. Just imagine! He is now only seven years old! How was it possible for Him to lift Govardhana Hill in one hand and hold it up just like the king of elephants holds a lotus flower? To lift a lotus flower is a most insignificant thing for an elephant, and similarly Kṛṣṇa lifted Govardhana Hill without exertion. When He was simply a small baby and could not even see properly, He killed a great demon, Pūtanā. While sucking her breast, He also sucked out her life-air. Kṛṣṇa killed the Pūtanā demon exactly as eternal time kills a living creature in due course. When He was only three months old, He was sleeping underneath a hand-driven cart. Being hungry for His mother’s breast, He began to cry and throw His legs upwards. And from the kicking of His small feet the cart immediately broke apart and fell to pieces. When He was only one year old, He was carried away by the Tṛṇāvarta demon disguised as a whirlwind, and although He was taken very high in the sky, He simply hung on the neck of the demon and forced him to fall from the sky and immediately die. Once His mother, being disturbed by His stealing butter, tied Him to a wooden mortar, and the child pushed it towards a pair of trees known as yamala arjuna and caused them to fall. Once, when He was engaged in tending the calves in the forest along with His elder brother, Balarāma, a demon named Bakāsura appeared, and Kṛṣṇa at once bifurcated the demon’s beaks. When the demon known as Vatsāsura entered among the calves tended by Kṛṣṇa with a desire to kill Him, He immediately detected the demon, killed him, and threw him into a tree. When Kṛṣṇa, along with His brother, Balarāma, entered the Tālavana forest, the demon known as Dhenukāsura, in the shape of an ass, attacked Them and was immediately killed by Balarāma, who caught his hind legs and threw him in a palm tree. Although the Dhenukāsura demon was assisted by his cohorts, also in the shape of asses, all were killed, and the Tālavana forest was then open for the use of the animals and inhabitants of Vṛndāvana. When Pralambāsura entered amongst His cowherd boy friends, He caused his death by Balarāma. Thereafter, Kṛṣṇa saved His friends and cows from the severe forest fire, and He chastised the Kāliya serpent in the lake of Yamunā and forced him to leave the vicinity of the Yamunā River; He thereby made the water of the Yamunā poisonless.”

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