Is Krishna Govardhana or Meru? One or the other, or both?

Krishna says He is Meru. Krishna also says He is Govardhan? And in some places it is mentioned that Govardhan is a devotee of Krishna. How is all this possible?

Brajanath Das, 12 November 2016

Hare Krishna Dear Devotees,

I offer to you my respectful obeisances!

All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to Srila Gurudeva!

Please help me to understand –

In Bg 10.23 Krishna says “… and of mountains I am Meru.” Then who is Govardhana? Govardhana is Krishna or His devotee?

your servant,
Brajanath Das

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 03 December 2016

Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Wrt. “In Bg 10.23 Krishna says “… and of mountains I am Meru.” Then who is Govardhana? Govardhana is Krishna or His devotee?”

It is incorrect to think that Krishna can be either one or the other. Krishna is unlimited.

In SB 10.24.35, this is the direct statement of Krishna:

kṛṣṇas tv anyatamaṁ rūpaṁ
 gopa-viśrambhaṇaṁ gataḥ
śailo ’smīti bruvan bhūri
 balim ādad bṛhad-vapuḥ

“Kṛṣṇa then assumed an unprecedented, huge form to instill faith in the cowherd men. Declaring “I am Govardhana Mountain!” He ate the abundant offerings.”

The purport states this:

quote
In Chapter Twenty-four of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes: “When everything was complete, Kṛṣṇa assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Kṛṣṇa Himself are identical. Then Kṛṣṇa began to eat all the food offered there. The identity of Kṛṣṇa and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Kṛṣṇa in the temples. The followers of the Krsna consciousness movement may therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship.”

Lord Kṛṣṇa had induced the residents of Vṛndāvana to assume a significant risk on His behalf. He convinced them to neglect a sacrifice to what is, after all, the powerful government of the universe and to worship a hill called Govardhana instead. The cowherd community did all this simply out of love for Kṛṣṇa, and now to convince them that their decision was correct, Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in an unprecedented, huge transcendental form and demonstrated that He Himself was Govardhana Hill.

unquote

Also, in the 10th chapter of Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is answering these questions by Arjuna:

Bg 10.16 — Please tell me in detail of Your divine opulences by which You pervade all these worlds.
Bg 10.17 — O Kṛṣṇa, O supreme mystic, how shall I constantly think of You, and how shall I know You? In what various forms are You to be remembered, O Supreme Personality of Godhead?
Bg 10.18 — O Janārdana, again please describe in detail the mystic power of Your opulences. I am never satiated in hearing about You, for the more I hear the more I want to taste the nectar of Your words.

The words of Krishna describe His opulences. But His opulences are unlimited, still Krishna wants to give a hint of His greatness.
For example, it is not that Krishna is every shark or every banyan tree, or the Gandharva named Chitraratha…
But we can understand that the opulence of every shark, every banyan tree, that is a spark of Krishna’s splendor.

Srila Prabhupada writes this in the purport to BG 10.40:

“As stated in the Vedic literature, although the opulences and energies of the Supreme are understood in various ways, there is no limit to such opulences; therefore not all the opulences and energies can be explained. Simply a few examples are being described to Arjuna to pacify his inquisitiveness.”

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport to BG 10.42:

“The Supreme Lord is represented throughout the entire material universes by His entering into all things as the Supersoul. The Lord here tells Arjuna that there is no point in understanding how things exist in their separate opulence and grandeur. He should know that all things are existing due to Kṛṣṇa’s entering them as Supersoul. From Brahmā, the most gigantic entity, on down to the smallest ant, all are existing because the Lord has entered each and all and is sustaining them.”

your servant,
Mahabhagavat Das

Shyamapriya devi dasi, 19 December 2016

Hare Krishna! Brajanath Prabhu,

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All glories to His Grace Sriman Sankarshan Das Adhikari Srila Gurudeva.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
By the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga, I had a great fortune to go on Vraj Mandal Parikrama this year. On the day of Govardhan Parikrama (22 0ct 2016), all devotees (about 1200 in number) reached Govind Kund. And we had a Srimad Bhagavatam class there. The speaker was His Holiness Prabodhananda Sarasvati Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Radha Raman Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Bhakti Narasimha Swami Maharaj were among the audience.

The question Prabodhanana Sarasvati Swami Maharaj ji put to the audience was

“Is Govardhan- Krishna or Bhakta? Or both?”

Maharaj ji asked us to raise hands. Many hands were in the air for Govardhan is ‘Krishna’. Many hands again for Govardhan is ‘bhakta’. And of the few hands raised for Govardhan is both-Krishna and His devotee, my hand (hesitatingly!) was up too. I remember from a lecture that Govardhan is both Krishna and His devotee but apparently, forgot the details.

Maharaji beautifully explained how Sri Giri Govardhan is both Bhagavan and bhakta.

Inconceivable, but a fact! And this is how we can understand.

[Please note that I am writing on the strength of what I noted down in my journal during the SB class (mentioned above), personal query to His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj and from various lectures I came across (by His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj, His Holiness Giriraj Swami Maharaj, His Holiness Radha Govind Swami Maharaj and His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj)]

Sri Giri Govardhan – Sri Krishna Himself

Mahabhagavat Prabhu has already quoted and given many references to explain this in detail.

Also, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gives a Govardhan shila to Srila Raghunath Das Goswami (with the thumb impression of Mahaprabhu on it) and says, He could see this Giriraj Shila as Brajendra Nandan, Lord Himself. Even today one can visit Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda Temple in Vrindavan and have darshan of this shila. I remember, Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Gurumataji took all of us to this temple during their Vrindavan visit last kartik (year 2015).

Sri Giri Govardhan – devotee

The simple-hearted Gopi-girls of Vraja say:

hantayam adrir abala hari-dasa-varyo
yad rama-krsna-carana-sparasa-pramodah
manam tanoti saha-go-ganayos tayor yat
paniya-suyavasa-kandara-kandamulaih

“Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Krsna 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 Krsna and Balarama, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.” (SB 10.21.18)

Srila Prabhupada translates, hanta, “oh” (expression reflecting how Gopis were so happy and with great joy talking with other Gopi girls) ayam adrir, “this hill (Govardhan)” is hari-dasa-varyah, “the best among the servants of the Lord (Hari)”, “which is touched by the lotus feet of Sri Krishna and Sri Balaram”- rama-krishna-carana-sparasa. And “he appears very jubilant” (pramodah).

So here is a devotee, who descended from Goloka (a wonderful story of Sri Govardhan’s appearance on planet Earth is described in Garga samhita), only to please the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna. And he is considered the best of the devotees of Sri Krishna (hari-dasa-varyo) because he dedicates his entire body in the service of the Lord and His associates (cowherd boys, girls and cows etc.) He supplies them nourishment by providing clean, refreshing drinking water, different varieties of fruits and roots to eat. The caves and green lustrous pastures on the hill became the sporting grounds for the Lord to play with His friends and for herding His cows and calves. And it is very significant to note here that Gopis mention that Sri Govardhan was so happy and joyfully rendering this service (pramodah). The servant is so happy serving his master and the master is so happy that His servant is so happy serving Him as if a transcendental competition is set between the duo.

This wonderful reciprocation between the Lord and his devotee is further seen in the Govardhan lila- the puja of Govardhan followed by the attack by Indra and how Lord lifts Govardhan on His little (pinky) finger and how Govardhan faced the brunt of the ferocious, thunderous attacks by the ‘pralaya’ clouds (I forgot the name of the clouds summoned during the devastation of the material creation) with great joy just for the Lord and to protect His devotees.

So the conclusion is Giriraj is both Sri Krishna and His devotee simultaneously.

Then the obvious question may arise:

What mood we sadhakas should develop so we get full mercy of Sri Krishna or Sri Giri Govardhan?

Being followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who came in the mood of Lord Hari’s servant and taught us gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah, by becoming and serving the servant of the servant of the Lord, we become recipients of Sri Krishna’s full mercy. And sastras show many pastimes of the Lord where a devotee of the Lord exhibited more mercy and compassion.

No doubt, it is equally potent to worship Sri Govardhan as both Sri Krishna or His devotee, but by following the mood of Lord Chaitanya, the mood of the gopis, the mood of becoming the servant of the servants of the Lord we will always get more mercy and please Sri Guru and Sri Krishna is the conclusion of the lecture.


In the same regard, couple of years ago, in a personal meeting (myself with my brother and parents) I had an opportunity to ask a question to His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj.

(The following is based on what little I could remember from the conversation with His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaj, on evening walk outside his asrama, at the foot hill of Sri Govardhan, and also from a lecture by His Holiness on Govardhan Puja, this year 2016 at Barsana)

Q: What is the significance of Govardhan Pastime? (My doubt was why this pastime had to take place for 7 days and nights when the All Mighty, Sri Krishna could have stopped it immediately)

A: It gave an opportunity to all the living entities of Vrindavan to have personal and close association of Sri Krishna. They all spent 7 days and nights at the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. And there were many reciprocations between Krishna and every devotee (which of course were very special and unique to each individual.)

And while remembering and writing all this, it suddenly dawned on me what the above answer meant. This pastime clearly shows- when we take shelter of a devotee (Sri Govardhan) we get direct shelter of the Lotus feet of Sri Krishna.

Brajanath Prabhu, I thank you very much and appreciate for asking this wonderful question on this forum, for while attempting this exercise, it helped me drive home with the following message that Indirectly we get the direct benefit of associating with Lord Sri Krishna, when we serve the devotee(s) of the Lord.

Hope this answer is of some help.

And if further inputs or corrections needed in the above, I humbly beg the readers to add/ point them out for better understanding.

Your servant,

Shyamapriya devi dasi


Nashvin, 20 December 2016

Hare Krsna!

Yes, an important aspect of the reason for the Govardhana pastime is that Krsna wanted to associate with all His various devotees. Generally, He associates with different groups of devotees at different times (with cowherd boys during the day, gopis during the night etc). However, during this pastime, He was able to exchange loving glances and feelings with all the residents of Vrndavana, simultaneously.

your servant,
Nashvin

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Why are there no temples dedicated solely to Arjuna?

While there are so many temples dedicated to Hanuman, who is a servitor of Rama, why are there no temples dedicated to Arjuna who is so close to Krishna?

KV Rao, 13th December 2013

Hare Krishna dear devotees!

Please accept my humble obeisances!
All Glories to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
All Glories to your devotional service!

I hope you all had a blissful Gita Jayanti. While reading Bg Chapter 1 verse 20, the following question came to mind. Could you enlighten me, please?

Hanuman and Arjuna are devotees of the Lord. Hanuman has temples and people worship Hanuman, whereas Arjuna has no temples and people do not worship him (Arjuna). Why?

Haribol!

your servant,
Rao

Mahabhagavat Das SDA, 28th December 2013

Dear Sriman Rao,

Hare Krishna!

Please accept my humble obeisances.
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva.
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Any temple where Hanuman, the eternal servitor of Lord Ramachandra is worshipped but His eternal Lord and master Lord Rama is not worshipped is an aberration, it is not bona fide. If you want to please someone, we aim to do what they want done. Hanuman has never asked anyone to worship him, in fact, he always worships Lord Rama and is very happy when others worship Lord Rama.

If a servitor is glorified more than the master, if the servitor is not a traitor to the master, he feels embarrassment, and passes it all up to his master. Sri Hanuman does take everything and pass it up to Lord Ramachandra, but would rather have him spoken of as a servant, not lord.

So while it is appropriate to have on an altar Sri Hanuman in his usual position as an associate of Lord Ramachandra along with Sri Lakshman and Srimati Sitadevi, it is not appropriate to worship Hanuman alone in exclusion as is commonly done in temples not authorized by any Paramnpara or disciplic succession. Of course, materialists who are after some good muscles, strength in celibacy, and some other material benedictions will worship “avidhipurvakam” – in a wrong way, as stated by Sri Krishna in BG 9.23 “Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me, O son of Kunti, but they do so in a wrong way.”.

We are very happy that Sri Arjuna is not being embarrassed in the same way that Sri Hanuman is.

Sincerely,
Mahabhagavat Das

Hari Katha Das, 28th December 2013

Hari bol! Very convincing answer!

Sincerely,
Hari Katha Das
Haladhar Das, 30th December 2013

Hare Krsna !

Jai Srila Gurudeva
Jai Srila Prabhupada

I totally agree to what Mahabhagavat prabhu ji has mentioned. A devotee one and only desire is to always hear the glories of his worshipable Lord and similarly the Lord is also very pleased when His devotee is glorified.

A almost similar topic was discussed earlier in this group. Arjuna is worshipped with Lord Krsna as Nar-Narayana Rishi. Details of earlier discussion are included herein below. Please see the details,

Also as clarified by Mahabhagavat prabhu mail, we have to understand that people generally worship different different demigods/people/ghosts etc according to their so called whims and desires. So what they will get from Arjuna, nobody would like to face what Arjuna and his brothers (the pandavas) faced as they cannot appreciate what they had, Lord Krsna Himself as their eternal companion.

Moreover as we know this universe is not all in all, and even we dont know much about this universe itself where we are living, so how can we know about others. There are some villages in India where people worship Dryodhana, Ravana etc. Even the area from where I am (Uttranchal, North India), in most of the villages people do glorify the pandavas brothers for almost continuous 14 days by celebrating pandav leela (pastimes of pandavas). It is a very popular festival being celebrated since many generations in the hills of Uttranchal.

thank you.

your servant
Haladhar Das

Details of earlier discussion :

Bhakta David :

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada,
All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srimati Guru Mataji.
All Glories to Sri Sri Nitai Gauracandra.

Hare Krishna
Arjuna is always so close to Krishna, so much that Krishna chose him to explain Bhagavad Gita to. So my question is, is Arjuna a jiva? Or is he a demigod?

your servant
Bhakta David

Haladhar Das :

Hare Krsna Prabhu !
How do you differentiate between a jiva and a demigod. Isn’t a pure devotee better situated than any demigod, as he is eternally liberated as well as eternally associated with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srimad Bhagvatam purport 3.5.51
The demigods are amongst the conditioned souls who have developed this pure consciousness of service to the Lord but who at the same time continue to desire to lord it over the material energy. Such mixed consciousness puts a conditioned soul in the position of managing the affairs of this creation. The demigods are entrusted leaders of the conditioned souls. As some of the old prisoners in government jails are entrusted with some responsible work of prison management, so the demigods are improved conditioned souls acting as representatives of the Lord in the material creation. Such demigods are devotees of the Lord in the material world, and when completely free from all material desire to lord it over the material energy they become pure devotees and have no desire but to serve the Lord.
The demigods are entrusted by the Lord to create different species of living entities according to their past deeds. They are herein asking the favor of the Lord for the intelligence and power to carry out their task. Similarly, any conditioned soul may also engage in the service of the Lord under the guidance of an expert spiritual master and thus gradually become freed from the entanglement of material existence.

Srimad Bhagvatam 4.1.59
tav imau vai bhagvato
harer amsav ihagatau
bhara-vyayaya ca bhuvah
krishnau yadu-kurudvahau

TRANSLATION
That Nara-Narayana Rishi, who is a partial expansion of Krsna, has now appeared in the dynasties of Yadu and Kuru, in the forms of Krsna and Arjuna respectively, to mitigate the burden of the world.

PURPORT
Narayana is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Nara is a part of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. Thus the energy and the energetic together are the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Maitreya informed Vidura that Nara, the portion of Narayana, had appeared in the family of the Kurus and that Narayana, the plenary expansion of Krsna, had come as Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, with the purpose of delivering suffering humanity from the pangs of material burdens. In other words, Narayana Rishi was now present in the world in the forms of Krsna and Arjuna.

your servant
Haladhar Das

Rathin Mandal :

Hare Krishna,

Please accept my humble obeisances,
All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Gurumataji,

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Be it a soul living in planet earth or any other heavenly kingdom, he is always a jivas. Demigods are also jivas. The following words were said to Arjuna by Sri Krishna:
BG 4.5: The Personality of Godhead said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!

In the purport of this verse Arjuna is referred as a pure devotee and a jiva part and parcel of Supreme Personality of Godhead. But as the jiva living in the material world gets affected by modes of material nature, he cannot remember his past life. Even we can see that in this kalpa the knowledge was first given by Sri Krishna to  Sun-God, Vivasvān. Vivasvān being a demigod administering Sun may have knew teaching of Bhagavat Gita in his past life but in the beginning of this era he was again given the knowledge so that it can be passed from one generation to another.

In the following two verses also Sri Krishna address Arjuna as his pure devotee and distinguished him from demigods. Sri Krishna said to Arjuna that My Universal Form seen by you as a devotee but the demigods are just hoping to see this form.
BG 11.49: You have been perturbed and bewildered by seeing this horrible feature of Mine. Now let it be finished. My devotee, be free again from all disturbances. With a peaceful mind you can now see the form you desire.

BG 11.52: The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Arjuna, this form of Mine you are now seeing is very difficult to behold. Even the demigods are ever seeking the opportunity to see this form, which is so dear.

By the above verses we can also say that a pure devotee is even higher than Demigods, because they are blessed with opportunity to associate personally with Supreme Personality of Godhead. Such opportunity is not available to demigod. Arjuna been pure devotee of Lord was given the opportunity to see Universal Form of Sri Krishna. But said this one should never imitate the position of pure devotees like Arjuna, Mata Kunti, Nanda Maharaj, Mother Yasodha or all the cowherd boys and Gopis of Vrindavan.

your Servant
Rathin

 

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