Goverdhan was a docile but a mighty mountain that co-existed in harmony with his father, Dronachala, centuries ago. One day, the great sage, Pulastya, happened to pass by the mountain. And, he took such an instant liking to Govardhan that he desired to carry him off to Banaras, so that he could perform his meditation peacefully, in the secluded caves of Govardhan.
Respecting the sage, Govardhan agreed to go, but on one condition. That wherever and whenever, Pulastya, would keep him down, after lifting him up, he would not move from that spot. The sage readily agreed to this. He lifted Goverdhan, and began to fly towards Banaras. But, as they flew over Vrindavan, Goverdhan felt, an intense attraction to settle down there. So, with his mystic power, he caused an irresistible urge in Pulastya, to attend to nature’s call. Sage Pulastya, forgetting, the one and only one condition, was compelled to place Govardhan down, in Vrindavan.
After relieving himself, when, Pulastya tried to lift Goverdhan to continue his onward journey to Banaras, but the mountain didn’t budge an inch. Pulastya, tried with all his might but Goverdhan stayed put. This enraged the sage. He cursed Goverdhan, to shrink in size and eventually become a small hillock. Govardhan, accepted the curse with a woeful heart, taking it, as the unshakeable will of the Almighty.
But as fate would have it. Much later in Treta Yuga, God Hanuman, lifted ‘Govardhan Parbat’ for bringing it to Dhanushkodi, as part of the magnificent bridge that was being constructed for Lord God Rama to cross over the present day Palk-Strait (India to Sri Lanka). But, suddenly a mysterious voice resounded (Akashwani) in the sky, announcing, that the bridge was already completed. Disappointed, God Hanuman, returned to the spot from where he had lifted Govardhan and placed him back in that same very spot, in Vraja-bhoomi, where the mountain stood earlier.
Goverdhan, felt sad because he missed a golden opportunity to serve the divine mission of lord God Rama. Yet, he waited patiently for many years hoping against hope, to be of some service to Lord God Krishna in Dvapara yuga.
When Krishna grew up, into a young boy, his heart was irresistibly attracted to this magic hill, Goverdhan, whose slopes were full of lush pasture grounds, for crows to graze, and also served as a playground for Krishna and the cowherd boys, and girls to revel in various sport and relax and refresh themselves in the crystal clear waters of Govardhan’s lake, and secluded caves.
Krishna wanted to teach Indra a lesson, since he had become too proud, because of the traditional ‘yajna’ that the Vraja-wasis were offering to him. So, he convinced Nanda baba, to discontinue the ‘Indra-yajna,’ and instead, have a glorious festival, to honour Govardhan. Deeply mortified, the enraged king of heaven decided to drown the inhabitants of Vraja with unseasonal devastating rains, stormy winds and hailstorm for seven long days.
Krishna, however, thwarted Indra’s ruthless plan by effortlessly holding Govardhan on his little finger, like a gigantic umbrella, for the protection of the terrified residents of Vraja Bhoomi.
In stark contrast to Indra’s arrogance and reckless conduct, Govardhan’s gentle and submissive nature attracted the favour of Krishna who elevated the mountain to the status of a sacred deity.
Govardhan Parvat, adds special charm and enchantment to the holy land of Vraja-bhoomi and whom millions of devotees circumambulate throughout the year, even till date.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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