Today, Annakuta Mahotsava, is a very
auspicious day. This day is observed in India during the month of
Kartika. Many of Krsna's other sweet pastimes were also performed in the
month of Kartika. In this month, under the guidance of Nanda Baba, the
Vrajavasis observed Govardhana puja. They did this, having given up the
puja of Indradeva, and that resulted in Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill on
His little finger. Yasoda-devi bound Krsna in this very month, which is
how the song Sri Damodarastakam originated. Kartika is also the month
in which Krsna and the gopis performed Saradiya Rasa (Autumn rasa-lila).
After Krsna lifted Giri Govardhana, Indra understood that his torrential
rain would have no effect, and thus he began to repent his actions. He
thought that Krsna would punish him, and that the only way to save
himself would be to take shelter of Surabhi cow. Surabhi would be able
to please Krsna. She would pray to Krsna on his behalf, "Please, excuse
him." No one else would be able to achieve this. Krsna considers Himself
the servant of the cows and always supports them. It would therefore be
easy for Surabhi to please Him. If Surabhi would not go, Krsna would
not be pacified and would therefore punish him. Indra thus took shelter
of Surabhi, walking behind her, and they both approached Krsna. Krsna
said, "O Mother, you have come!" Surabhi said, "Yes. I have brought my
son with me. I request that You please excuse him." Surabhi then began
to supply large quantities of milk, and Indra, the demigods, and the
great sages present began to abhisheka (bathe) Krsna, just as we did
here today. Krsna then became very happy and said, "In the future I
don't want to have to tolerate your nonsense activities. For your own
good you should go to Navadvipa, and there, in the company of Surabhi,
perform austerities. In that way you will be excused." Indra thus
understood that Krsna was the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Up until the time of that abhiseka, Krsna was known as Yasoda-nandana
and Nanda-nandana Krsna. Now, He would also be known as Govinda. Go
indicates gopa, gopi, go (cow), govatsa (calf) and Veda. Krsna gives
pleasure to all these gos and He also protects them; therefore His name
is Govinda. Govinda and Govardhana are in the same line: He has the same
duty, the same function, as Giriraja Govardhana (vardana means to
Now our Govardhana-puja is completed. Giriraja is Krsna Himself; and
moreover, He has come from the heart of Radhika. He can fulfill our
every desire very easily, and he can even give krsna-prema. He very
rarely does so, but he can.
We should also remember that the Annakuta Mohotsava was also performed
by Srila Madhavendra Puripada, as we saw in the drama play.
Madhavavendra Puri went to Vrajabumi,Vrndavana, and there he stayed on
the banks of Govinda-kunda at Govardhana. One day, after taking his
bath, he sat beneath a tree on the banks of Govinda-Kunda. Krsna came
there in the form of a cowherd boy and said to him, "Oh, why you sitting
here, starving. No one starves here. My mother has sent some milk.
Please drink it."
Madhavendra Puri thought, "Throughout my entire life I have never been
attracted by any human, and especially to any lady, but now I am
attracted to this boy. Who is He?" He took the milk and he began to
weep, his heart melting. Then he cried, "Oh! That cowherd boy was
actually Krsna, and now He has left me." And he wept bitterly.
In the last part of the night Madhavavendra Puri had a dream. In that
dream he saw that same boy, that very Gopala, come to him and said, "I
have been here, waiting in this bush for you for a very long time; and
now you have come. I’m feeling very hungry and very hot. Please make a
temple for Me, and perform My abhiseka ceremony and Annakuta festival
(festival in which there is cooked rice that is stacked like a small
mountain) so that I shall feel satisfied." When Madhavavendra Puri
awoke, he fixed his mind on executing the order of the Lord. After his
morning bath he gathered some of the villagers and together they went to
the kunja where Gopala was waiting and that kunja is still there today,
nearby Govardhana. After clearing away the thick bushes, they very
easily dug Him out and took Him to the top of Govardhana Hill. They
erected a throne from stones there – one piece for the seat and one to
support Him from behind. Then they began to worship Him.
Annakuta was performed for several months. Many wealthy persons from
Mathura heard that Gopala had arrived and they became very happy. They
brought all types of paraphernalia, such as gold, cloth, scents and
bhoga. Cooking was performed for Thakurji daily, and for many months
lakhs and lakhs of people honored the maha-prasadam of Gopala at that
After 2 years Gopala again came in a dream to Madhavavendra Puri and
said, "I’m satisfied by taking all of your offerings, but My body is
still hot. Can you bring malaya-candana sandalwood from Jagannath Puri?"
Thus, Madhavavendra Puri once again set off to fulfill the desires of
We are very lucky to be in the line of Madhavavendra Puri. Every year,
in the month of Kartika, we observe the Annakuta Mohotsava (festival) of
Giriraja Govardhana, and hundreds of devotees attend. There we worship
Giriraja Govardhana Himself, not one piece (as Govardhana-sila).
Actually, although a piece of Govardhana and Govardhana Hill Himself are
one, still, Govardhana Hill in Vrndavana has a special glory.
In Vrndavana we worship Govardhana with many pounds, not
only a little, of milk, ghee, and yogurt, with many types of
preparations – even more than here in Badger. Many of you have been to
our Kartika-vrata and have personally seen this festival. We are
fortunate to take part. We will continue to perform this festival every
year; and we will do so until our life in this world is over. We cannot
obtain pure bhakti without the mercy of Govardhana.
Many sweet pastimes take place at Govardhana. For example, Srimati
Radhika, Lalita and Visakha and the other gopis are on their way to the
fire sacrifice of Bhaguri Rsi. During their journey there is a
discussion with Krsna. Krsna wants to check them and make them pay a
toll tax, the gopis defeat Him, and He has to apologize. There is so
much history there, and it is all coming in our mind and hearts.
Wherever you are, you can worship Giriraja by mind and pray:
samrajyam apnoti ca vairino pi
sakrasya yah prapa balim sa saksad
govardhano me disatam abhistam
"May Govardhana Hill fulfill my deepest desire – to get darsana of Sri
Radha and Krsna’s lilas. By Sri Krsna’s mercy Govardhana became the
emperor of all mountains, and received the offerings meant for Indra
despite Indra’s enmity."
(Sri Govardhanastakam, verse 1)
yatraiva krsno vrsabhanu-putrya
danam grhitum kalaham vitene
sruteh sprha yatra mahaty atah sri
govardhano me disatam abhistam
"Demanding a road tax, Krsna quarreled for several hours at Dan Ghati
with the daughter of Vrsabhanu Maharaja. Rasika-bhaktas visiting
Govardhana are eager to listen to that sweet prema quarrel. May that
Govardhana fulfill my desire that I also can hear that verbal battle."
(Sri Govardhanastakam, verse 3)
These prayers will do as much for you as worshipping Govardhana Himself,
because there are many moods contained within them. Try to pray in this
way. This is bhajana.
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