GOVARDHANA PUJA KATHA
16 October 2022
Giriraja Govardhana ki, Jai!
Sacinandana Sawmi Maharaja ki, jai!
Not only we welcome Maharaja but we worship Maharaja too. Krsna instructed that we worship Govardhana but also to worship the brahmanas and the cows.
namo brahmanya devaya
govindaya namo namah
‘Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Lord krsna, who is the worshipable Deity for all brahminical men, who is the well-wisher of cows and brahmanas, and who is always benefiting the whole world. I offer my repeated obeisances to the Personality of Godhead, known as Krsna and Govinda.’ [CC Madhya 13.77].
We have Sacinandana Swami, a brahmana, every year on Govardhana Puja day. So this is becoming like a nitya lila. Maharaja is always here and gives us association and, of course, for we to honour him. He is one of the imported brahmanas.Srila Prabhupada was known for being importer and exporter.
I introduced Srila Prabhupada in Delhi on one occasion and Prabhupada had liked it. I said that Prabhupada is the exporter of Krsna consciousness to the foreign land. Then he imports American brahmanas and German brahmanas and vaisnavasin India.
I came in contact with Hare Krsna movement for the first time in Bombay. That festival was promoted all over Bombay. And one part of the advertisement was, “American sadhus are in town, European sadhus are in town”. We were surprised and we were wondering,“really”? And I said that American scientists are okay but American sadhus we have never heard before. But I did visit that festival and by seeing those American and European sadhusI was convinced that yes, they were sadhus. So this is the glories of Srila Prabhupada and also the devotees of Lord Gauranga from all around the world.
This American, German are all nonsense business. This is illusion in fact. Prabhupada has given us a family or he has made the whole worldinto onefamily.We have assembled here to celebrate Govardhana Puja. I thought we could understand about who we,assembled here, are. And Sacinandana Swami Maharaja is also here. Of course, we have devotees from all over the planet here. So we are one family.Vasudeva kutumbakam, everyone in this planet is a part of this family.
5000 years ago on this day, at the foothill of Giriraj Govardhana, precisely, at Anniyor village, Govardhana Puja celebration took place. All of them were Vrajavasis.We have assembled hereby Srila Prabhupada’s divine arrangement to celebrate Giriraj Govardhana Puja. We are Vrajavasisor we are becoming Vrajavasis or Srila Prabhupada is making us Vrajavasisagain.So, we thank God and thank Guru and Gauranga. Today, those who are here, we are nowhere else but in Vraja. We are being taken aroundVraja mandala darsana.
This is the month of Kartika with so many festivals. Just yesterday was the Damodara pastime day. This month is full of festivities that I cannot even make a list. Ananta lilaya devaya tubhyam, the pastimes of the Lord are unending. Each pastime is a festival. Every step is a dance in Vraja and every word is a song. So today is a very special and extraordinary festival.
We are also thankful for Maharaja providing all the details, blow by blow. As we were hearing, Maharaja was kind of painting a picture and his audio was turning into video for us. Maharaja transported us back into history of 5000 years ago. This gap from today and then was diminished or nullified. That is what is expected when we hear.sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranam, what we hear we remember or by hearing we remember. And when we remember we are there. Remember meaning going back.
During the namakaran ceremony, whatNanda Maharaja had said is something to take note of.
ya etasmin maha-bhagah
prItim kurvanti manavah
narayo ’bhibhavanty etan
Demons [asuras] cannot harm the demigods, who always have Lord Visnu on their side. Similarly, any person or group attached to Krsna is extremely fortunate. Because such persons are very much affectionate toward Krsna, they cannot be defeated by demons like the associates of Kamsa[or by the internal enemies, the senses].[SB 10.8.18]
tasman nandatmajo ’yam te
In conclusion, therefore, O Nanda Maharaja, this child of yours is as good as Narayana. In His transcendental qualities, opulence, name, fame and influence, He is exactly like Narayana. You should all raise this child very carefully and cautiously. [SB 10.8.19]
Garga acarya said, “if you were in trouble, oh Nanda Maharaja and residents of Vrndavana, all you have to do is approach your son.”
esa vah sreya adhasyad
yuyam anjas tarisyatha
To increase the transcendental bliss of the cowherd men of Gokula, this child will always act auspiciously for you. And by His grace only, you will surpass all difficulties. [SB 10.26.19]
“Whatever type of great difficulties you may be facing, this boy, Krsna, will take care of it. And those manava, those human being, those who love this child Krsna, klesa nasayaparamananda dayine, those persons will be made free from all the difficulties.
On the Govardhana Puja day is a demonstration of what Nanda Maharaja had heard from Garga Acarya. As we heard from Maharaj all the residents of Vrndavana were put through a big trial and turbulationand Indra was the cause behind all that. Nanda Maharaja remembered what Garga Acarya had said during the name giving ceremony. All the residents, headed by Nanda Maharaja, ran to Krsna asking for protection, “please protect!”
Krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna pahi mam
Krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna raksa mam
Krsna told them to follow Him and come that way and did not share what He was going to do. Then they all went to Giriraj Govardhana. They asked why did He bring them there. The next thing that Krsna did was beyond the imagination of all the residents of Vrndavana. The Lord put His handbeneath Giriraj. His hand becoming longer and longer, reaching and touching the centre of Giriraj from underneath. Giriraj has the heaviest body in Vraja by 16 feet tall and 41His circumference. Krsna threw Giriraj up in the airthenheld it on His little finger,just like a child throwing a ball up in the air and catching it.
The pastime of Krsna lifting Govardhana did not happened today. Today is the puja day and there was annakuta. The offerings that were made to Giriraj was as huge as Giriraj. Anna means food and kuta means mountain.That was not satisfying, that’s why anniyor, bring more. I was just there, yesterday, at Anniyorvillage and did parikrama in the car. Then Lord had appeared, “shilo asmi,I am Govardhana hill! I am Govardhana!”
Then Krsna asked, “just see, you have been worshiping Indra for years. Did you ever seen him? Well, only with a remote way, he was accepting the offerings. He never left his Indraloka.And today I was the one who told you to worship Govardhana and now Govardhana has appeared, “Shilo asmi, this whole mountain is myself!”Krsna and Balarama are also worshiping Giriraj. Krsna is worshiping Krsna.
That evening, Govardhana puja was going on and on and He kept asking for more food, anniyor, including all the milk products that Maharaja mentioned like rasamalai and kheera. All the cows were around and the varjavasis were milking the cows, following with boiling the milk and making them into many different milk preparations.
All the items were poured into differentkundas. It was not like in the temple where the pujaris put bhoga offerings into one small or big plate and fill in small cups with dishes. But there, different kundas were filled with food items which Krsna was cleaning up and still He was unsatisfied. Later, a smart Vrajavasioffered a Tulasi leaf, after which Giriraj was finally satisfied. Then after, Giriraj was cleaning His teeth by using his uprooted big and tall bamboos.
Afterwards, they circumambulated Giriraj. Everyone present in the puja perfomed the parikrama festival. Not only Govardhana were worshipped that day, Krsna and Balarama were personally the participants in that puja.Can you all see this? You have to come out of your bodies a little bit and abandon this bodily concept of life.
atmanah saha saktibhih
The merging of the living entity, along with his conditional living tendency, with the mystic lying down of the Maha-Visnu is called the winding up of the cosmic manifestation. Liberation is the permanent situation of the form of the living entity after he gives up the changeable gross and subtle material bodies. [SB 2.10.6]
The merging of the living entity of Kali yuga are not even ready to hear about Lord krsna and the identity of your relations and activities are all for the Lord and never get influencedwith any other matters of the world.Bygiving up all the forms, the mental and subtle body as we situate ourselves in the self and we become the soul, then we could see or we could be part. This is called nitya lila pravisthah. We are jivana mukta, we have not given up our bodies, yet. That is the idea of following the process of Krsna consciousness. Just like Santana Goswami asks,“ke
ami keneamaya jare tapa traya,who am I”?
ke ami’, ‘kene amaya jare tapa-traya’
iha nahi jani — ‘kemane hita haya’
“Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited?[CC Madhya 20.102]
Of course, we should not just keep asking questions but also realise who we are and what is our spot in that abode of the Lord and in the different pastimes of the Lord. So, we are not there yet, but that is the idea – to get there. That is why we are doing this Kartika vrat. With that aim in mind we are doing Vraja mandala parikramaand we are celebrating different festivals, especially, the festival of Govardhana Puja.
Of all the things we do in Krsna consciousness, hearing is the first item. There are 9 processes of devotional service: sravanam kirtanam visnoh smaranampadasevanam arcanam vanadanam dasyam sakhyam atmanivedanam.You begin with sravanam and then you complete with atmanivedanam,surrendering everything. So we are very, very fortunate. And I do not have to explain why and how we are fortunate. I expect by now that we understand and realise how fortunate we are. Where are you today? In Vrindavana Dhama.And what are you doing today? The same things that the residents of Vrndavana did. And generations after generations, what the devotees, the residents of Vrndavana, the acaryashad done, that is what we are doing today.
The first and last instructions that Srila Prabhupada gave to me were both in connection with Giriraj. The first one had to be, of course, 50 years ago in 1972 as I had come to Vrndavana from Bombay. Prabhupada had sent myself and Pancadravidha Swami who was then, a brahmacari. Prabhupada ordered, “go to Agra.” Prabhupada wanted to organise a big Govardhana Puja festival in 1972. He had sent me to Agra, just as Nanda Maharaja and company had gathered the ingredients and items of worship. And I do not thinkthey went outside of Vraja for shopping and buying and collecting items. But Prabhupada sent me to Agra and afterwards we had returned back to Vraja at Radha Damodara temple with a good size full of rice, sugar, ghee, flour and so on.
This year we are having ISKCON’s 50th anniversary of Govardhana Puja festival. The first one being in 1972 where I had lots to do. This was Srila Prabhupada’s instructions in connection with Giriraj. Then his last instructions was in 1977 which you all know as it is quite a famous one. Srila Prabhupada was at Krsna Balarama temple and he was not well. He instructed me, “you bring me to Govardhana”. I wondered how. So this was Prabhupada’s idea, “in a bullock cart you bring me to Govardhana. Sri Giriraj Govardhana ki, Jai! Srila Prabhupada was preparing to leave this world, and go back home. He wanted to go to Govardhana in his mind. This is considered to be the last will of Srila Prabhupada. And it was my last instructions from Prabhupada. This was like 5 or 6 days before Prabhupada’s departure.
Although, Prabhupada had asked me to bring him to Govardhana on a bullock cart thatyear in 1977, 45 years ago, it did not happen. So this year we have managed, as you know. We brought Srila Prabhupada in his deity form from his quarters at Krsna Balarama temple to Govardhana. Most of you were there in that procession. Then one day, we did Govardhana parikramawith Srila Prabhupada. This way, finally, after 45 years, I was able to, kindly, execute the last will of Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupad ki, jai!
Nitai Gaura Premanande, hari bol!