Worship of Sri Goverdhan

Srila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami prays to Giriraja Govardhana as follows:

giri-nripa! haridasa-sreni-varyeti-nama
mritam idam uditam sri-radhika-vaktra-candrat
vraja-nava-tilakatve klpta! vedaih sphutam me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana tvam

(Sri Govardhana-vasa-prarthana-dasakam, verse 8)

“O Gririraja Govardhana, when your nectarean name was uttered from the lotus lips of Srimati Radhika in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.21.18), ‘Hantayam adrir abala hari-dasa-varyah,’ i.e. ‘O simple-hearted innocent gopis, this mountain is foremost amongst all the servitors of Sri Hari,’ then you were consecrated by all the Vedas as the new beautiful tilaka (sandalpaste mark) of Vraja-dhama. I therefore pray to you to bestow me a dwelling place in your vicinity.”

The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna stopped the worship of the demigods and introduced the worship of Govardhana, i.e. He introduced the service of Krishna and Krishna-bhaktas. One meaning of Govardhana is to enhance the sense-organs, so Govardhana-puja signifies the enhancement of the transcendental eternal spiritual sense-organs of Krishna and Krishna-bhaktas.

Since heaps of various items of cooked vegetable dishes were offered to Giriraja Govardhana in Govardhana-puja, this festival is also well-known as the Annakuta Festival. Sri Govardhana-dhari Gopala was originally installed by Vajra (the grandson of Krisha and son of Aniruddha). Due to Srila Madhavendra Puripada’s extraordinary pure devotion, Govardhana-dhari Gopala reappeared in Govardhana near the bank of Govinda-kunda. Srila Madhavendra Puripada performed the Annakuta Festival in Kali-yuga. This topic is narrated in detail in the Caitanya-Caritamrita (Madhya-lila, chap. 4).

 

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