Govardhan Hill was lovingly held upon the graceful hand of Sri Krishna who eagerly protected Gokul for seven days, and who was thus given the honour of worship by the Lord, whose caves are coloured by the saffron that has fallen from Sri Gāndharvā and Giridhārī’s bodies during Their loving pastimes, and whose boulders are like beautiful jeweled couches for the Divine Couple to sit on. May that Govardhan Hill protect you.
saptāhaṁ muramardanaḥ praṇayato goṣṭhaika rakṣotsuko
vibhran mānam udāra pāṇi ramaṇair yasmai salīlaṁ dadau
gāndharvā murabhid vilāsa vigalat kāśmīra rajyad guhas
tat khaṭṭāyita ratna sundara śilo govardhanaḥ pātu vaḥ
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse, Girirāj Sri Govardhan is being praised.
Sri Girirāj is Vraja’s saubhāgya tilak (the mark of glory and fortune), and because of him, Sri Vrindavan is so lovely. aho vṛndāvanaṁ ramyaṁ yatra govardhano giriḥ (Skanda Purāṇa)
By stopping the cowherders’ traditional sacrifice to Indra and by establishing the worship of Girirāj instead, the Lord has personally announced the glories of Girirāj to the world. He extended the net of logical arguments before his worshipable father Sri Nand Maharaj, to make him lose confidence in the worship of Indra, and then preached the worship of Govardhana hill.
Finally, Indra became angry and began to cause mischief in Vraj by pouring down rain and thunderbolts upon the area, and the Lord powerfully held up Girirāj with his left hand, thus protecting the people of Vraj.
One of Sri Krishna’s names is Mura-mardana, which means that he easily killed a demon named Mura, who was adverse to the gods headed by Indra. He could have protected Vraj through so many other means also, but just to establish the glories of Girirāj, Sri Krishna lifted his beloved mountain and thus protected Vraj by providing its inhabitants, who were attacked by Indra, a place of shelter under it.
Not only that, he himself worshipped the Govardhan hill with his lotus hands for seven days and nights without interruption. Just as the means of worshipping the Deity is laid down in the scriptures that show how to make pure mudras with the hands, which indicate one’s expertise in ritual worship, similarly Sri Giridhārī held Sri Girirāja on the little finger of his left hand and worshipped Girirāj as if he were a worshipper himself, by holding him continuously for seven days and nights, showing pure mudras with his left hand. By thus personally worshipping Girirāj, who is also known as Haridās Varya, the best of Hari’s servants, the Lord taught the people of the world how to worship a devotee.
The Lord personally told Sri Uddhava: mad bhakta pūjyābhyādhikā (Bhāg. 11.19.21) “One of the causes of attaining devotion unto me is to know that it satisfies me even more if my devotee is worshipped than if I am personally worshipped.”
For this reason also, the Lord told his beloved associate Arjuna in the Ādi Purāṇa:
ye me bhakta janāḥ pārtha na me bhaktāś ca te janāḥ
mad bhaktānāṁ ca ye bhaktās te me bhaktatamā matāḥ
“O Pārtha! Those who are only my devotees are actually not my devotees, but those who are the devotees of my devotees, I consider to be my topmost devotees!” Śrīman Mahādev also told Devī:
ārādhanānāṁ sarveṣāṁ viṣṇor ārādhanaṁ param
tasmāt parataraṁ devi tadīyānāṁ samarcanam
“O Devi! Of all the worship of gods, the worship of Viṣṇu is the greatest, and even greater than the worship of Viṣṇu is the worship of his devotee!” The reason is:
siddhir bhavati vā neti saṁśayo’cyuta sevinām
niḥsaṁśayas tu tad bhakta paricaryāratātmanām
“There may still be doubts about whether or not one attains perfection simply by serving Acyuta, but there is no doubt about it that perfection is attained when the devotee of Acyuta is served.” Thus:
kṛṣṇa sevā hoite-o vaiṣṇava sevā boḍo;
bhāgavata-ādi sab śāstre koilo doḍho
eteke vaiṣṇava sevā parama upāya;
bhakta sevā hoite se sabāi kṛṣṇa pāya
sevakera dāsya prabhu kore nijānande;
ajaya caitanya siṁha jine bhakta vṛnde
The service of the Vaiṣṇavas is even greater than the service of Krishna, all this has been firmly concluded by scriptures like the Bhāgavata. The service of the Vaiṣṇavas is the greatest means to attain Krishna. The Lord himself revels in the service of the devotees. Thus the devotees subdue the invincible Caitanya-lion.
Then Das Goswami shows how Sri Girirāj Govardhan is the greatest of all of Lord Hari’s servants by saying: gāndharvā-murabhid vilāsa vigalat kāśmīra rajyad guhas tat khaṭṭāyita ratna sundara śilo govardhanaḥ pātu vaḥ: “May Govardhana hill, whose caves are coloured by the saffron that has fallen from Sri Gāndharvā and Giridhārī’s bodies during Their loving pastimes, and whose boulders are like beautiful jeweled couches for the Divine Couple to sit on, protect you.”
There are many devotees known as Haridās in this world, but no one like Girirāj Govardhana can offer a lovely playground to the Lord with his own body. The most lovely solitary caves of Śrī-Sri Girirāj are decorated by the saffron that has fallen off Śrī-Sri Radha-Mādhava’s bodies during Their amorous pastimes, and this shows that the most intimate pastimes of the Divine Pair take place there. In this way Sri Girirāj has become blessed by carrying hundreds of charming caves and groves on his body, that are decorated with Śrī-Sri Radha-Mādhava’s necklaces, bangles and garlands, that were broken during Their amorous Union. Śrīmat Rūpa Goswami has written:
gāndharvāyāḥ keli kalā bāndhava!
kuñje kṣuṇṇais tasyāḥ kaṅkaṇa hāraiḥ prayatāṅga
pratyāśāṁ me tvaṁ kuru govardhana pūrṇām
O Govardhana! You are the assistant in Gāndharvā Sri Radha’s artistic pastimes. Your body has been decorated with Sri Radha’s broken bangles and garlands, and Your valleys have been enriched by having been adorned with Sri Radha and Krishna’s Rāsa-pastimes. Please fulfill all my desires!
In this way Girirāj’s boulders are like beautiful jewelled couches for Sri Radha and Krishna, where the playful Pair can blissfully sit and enjoy a little rest and so forth. Śrīmat Rūpa Goswami has written: prājyā rājir yasya virājatyupalānāṁ kṛṣṇenāsau santatam adhyāsita madhyā: “O Govardhan! Your garland of boulders shines very beautifully because Sri Krishna always sits on them!”
Śrīpāda Dās Goswami says: “May that Govardhan, whose boulders are like beautiful jeweled couches for the Divine Couple to sit on, protect you!”
In other words, “May he protect the surrendered soul by giving him prema!” This is Śrīpād Goswamicaraṇa’s merciful blessing upon the world.
mura-nāśana śrī govinda, rakṣā lāgi kori chanda,
prāṇa priya vraja vṛndāvana
yāra pūjā jānāite, nija manohara hāte,
sapta dina korilo dhāraṇa
yugala vilāsa kāle, duhuṅ aṅga sveda jale,
vigalita kuṅkuma candane
yāra guhā surañjita, ratna-khaṭṭā śilā-yuta,
rakṣā korun sei govardhane
May Govardhana hill, who was held for seven days on the enchanting hand of Mura-nāśana Sri Govinda, who wanted to protect his heart’s beloved Vraja Vrindavan, and who wanted to show the world how to worship Girirāj, whose caves are coloured by the saffron that has melted off the perspiring bodies of the Divine Pair during Their amorous pastimes, and who has boulders like jeweled couches, protect you.