CIRCUMAMBULATION OF MOUNT GOVERDHAN

( ·((·(=-( (( +i·=-(( )
1. Glory: Lord Srikrishna has stayed in vrindavan (·(-:(·(-() during His childhood with His
foster father Nand ( -(-:) and foster mother Yashoda (·(((:(). Besides several other feats
in eliminating demonic tyranny from His infancy, He also sized up the arrogant
willfulness of the gods while He was hardly a child of seven. Frist in the series was
humbling of the pride of Brahma ( ·(--((), followed by the falling in line of the chief of gods
Indra ( :-: ) . Srikrishna Himself had performed parikrama (circumambulation) of
Goverdhan mountain. ‘How and when’ can be seen in skandh-10/24 through 10/27 of
srimadbhagwat mahapuran ( ·=·( :c >((-(:·((·(·(- -(r(+ ·(ª( ) also extracted here below in
abdridged version.  

10/24 Suspension of Indra ygya

Srikrishna and Balaram spent happily their days in Vraja. Once, Srikrishna saw a large
arrangement being made by His father, Nandbaba. He asked about the importance of the
occasion. He learnt that performing the annual Indra –ygya was customary for the gopas. Indra,
the god of rains, had been worshipped by them for long. Srikrishna expressed His mind and
mentioned that when everything was based on one’s karma (deeds) in the previous lives, what
was the necessity of propitiating Indra. He further expressed that they were homeless and
staying in Vraj land resorting to forests, and the caves of the Giriraj mountain.

It would be more appropriate to offer respect to Giriraj who offered them not only shelter but
also enough natural wealth to sustain their life along with the lives of their cows, animals and
other beings.

Nandbaba agreed. The ygya was performed in honour of Giriraj. It commenced with the holy
swastik recitation by the brahmins. The brahmins and cows were first honored by offering them
the gifts and food of their choice. Huge quantity of sweet and delicious food items – kheer,
halwa, puri, curd etc. were offered to Giriraj as a mark of honour to him as a natural deity. It was
followed by the parikrama (circumambulation) of the Giriraj by all the gopas. The gopis rode the
bullock cart, and while singing pleasant songs they moved around the Giriraj.
The lord, Srikrishna was also moving around with them. He manifested Himself over the Giriraj
in a great form and began accepting all the offerings saying, “ I am Giriraj”. It was a strange
scene. Every body including the boy Srikrishna offered their salutation to the manifested form of
the Giriraj. They prayed Giriraj to shower kindness on them and maintain their cows and
animals in good health. They, on completion of the ygya, returned to Vraja.

10/25 Holding Govardhana (the Giriraj mountain)
Indra became angry over the suspension of the ygya being earlier offered in his honour. He
made up his mind to teach lesson to the people of Vraja. He commanded the Sanvartaka gana
of clouds to pour heavy rain over Vraja. The storm of rains lashed Vraja. The entire land
including high and low overflowed. There was no shelter either for the animals or for the people.
The continuous rains with storm brought the temperature down and all gopas including their live
stock began shivering down their spine.
Seeing the misery all around, Srikrishna asked them to come closer to Him. He Himself
dislodged the Govardhan mountain and held it by His hand creating large space underneath for
shelter. All were asked to come in. He assured His parents and friends not to apprehend the
safety under the mountainous umbrella perched over His hand. His Yogmaya performed well.
There was a great respite. The heavy downpour couldn’t cause any further concern to anyone.
This continued for full one week. Indra was at his wit’s end to assess the potential of Yogmaya
of Srikrishna. Indra asked the clouds to stop further rains.

When it was sunny all around, the Vraj people came out of the Goverdhana shelter. Srikrishna
placed back the Goverdhan over its original place. Yshoda, Rohini, Nandbaba and others
offered great respect to Srikrishna. His forehead was marked with auspicious rice and curd. Lots
of flowers were showered on Him. The gopis recited auspicious songs to celebrate the victory
over Indra.
The sky was full of Devas, gandharva, charana, siddha who offered their respect to Srikrishna
for performing one more miraculous feat. Srikrishna and His brother Balaram along with all the
gopas and gopis returned back happily to Vraja.

10/26 Gopas deliberate with Nandbaba over Srikrishna’s divinity

The Gopas of Vraja were puzzled to see the extraordinary divinity demonstrated by Srikrishna.
They collected at Nandbaba’s place and recounted His performances while He was only seven
( ·( ·(-r(·(-(( ·((-( =·ª(=-( -((-(·(( ……………|| :c / zc / s ). He killed Putana, when He was hardly
a few days old. When He was of three months, He overturned the cart of curd and milk and got
rid of a demon. Trunavarta had taken Him up in a high storm when He was only one year old.
He killed that demon. Yashoda, once, tied Him to a wooden mortar and He dragged that in such
a way that Yamlarjuna tree were uprooted. Once in the forest, He killed a demon in the form a
large crane. Another demon joined the group of calves in the form another calf to kill Him. He
killed that also very conveniently. Dhenukasur was also killed by Balaram in the Talvana. The
deadly snake, Kaliya was tamed by Him in the Yamuna and he left the Yamuna permanently.

He held up over His tender hand the Govardhan mountain for seven days in a manner as if He
was performing a child’s play. All the incidents indicated Him being of some supernatural
potential.

Hearing the gopas, Nandbaba repeated what Gargacharya had once told about Him. “He is
incarnation of Narayana. He is for the welfare of all of us. His incarnation is to root out the
demons and evils from the earth” , he mentioned further.

10/27 Srikrishna’s Coronation (as Govinda ·((i·(-: )

Impressed by the incident of holding of Goverdhana, the celestial cow (kamdhenu) came to
Srikrishna. Indra also came there at the same time. He took a lonely moment of Srikrishna to
confess the arrogance he was suffering from. He put his brilliant crown on the feet of Srikrishna
and recited His glory. He confessed that he had been arrogant beyond limits. He had assumed
himself, all in all, in the triloka (The earth, sky and nether land). He prayed for grant of pardon.
Srikrishna, hearing his prayer, was pleased and granted him pardon. He was advised to go back
to heaven and perform his duties with reasonable propriety. When Srikrishna completed His
advice to Indra about his future conduct, Kamdhenu, offered her sincere prayer to Him. She
expressed Him to be the supreme among all the deities. She mentioned that for cows He was
their Indra (principal commander). She conveyed Brahma’s desire to offer Him special treatment
of a milk-bath. Srikrishna accepted her proposal. He was bathed by the milk of Kamdhenu. Indra
arranged water from the akash–ganga (celestial Ganges) through Airavata, his elephant . He
was finally bathed with that ganga water. He was fully decorated with all sorts of fragrance,
flowers, peethambra.

He was given a new name of Govinda, which meant Indra of the cows.

The whole occasion of His special bath was witnessed by Tumburu, Narada and other celestial
artists and performers. Flowers of Nandanvana (celestial garden) were showered on Him. The
cows on the earth allowed the milk to flow down on its own and the whole earth was wet with
the cows’ milk. This caused the characteristics of rasa to the river waters in general. The fields
grew abundant grains on their own. The mountains bore gems and pearls in abundance. On
completion of the milk-bath coronation, Indra and Kamdhenu left for their heavenly abode.
 
2. Geographical Location, Parikrama Route and Important Places:
 Goverdhan mount, the great religious place adding glory to Mathura and Vrindavan is located 22
km due west of Mathura railway junction. It is connected by major district road 94W. Mathura
railway junction is well connected to several important places by train. Once can take morning
shatavadi (Bhopal Shatabdi, train no. 2002) leaving New Delhi by 6:15 am. After completing the
parikrama on foot he can get back to New Delhi by returning Shatabdi (train no. 2001) leaving
Mathura junction at about 21:00 pm at night, reaching Delhi by 22:30 pm. He can hire a private
taxi at Mathura junction for the whole day for travelling to Goverdhan about 22 km away from
Mathura junction. Other public transports are also abundantly available.
 Refer pictorial diagram below. Parikrama – I is about 10 km, and Parikrama – II is 11 km long.
 Each parikrama takes about 3 hours walk on bare foot. Several people keep walking pouring milk
over the earth. A few people, also ride bullock cart, foot pedal rickshaw, car, and motorbikes.
 Entire parikrama route is made of almost 2 lane wide (7 m carriageway + 2 m paved shoulders )
 Parikrama – I has earth tracks also running parallel to sealed road, in about 80 % of its length and
the earth tracks pass through green forest close to the mount Goverdhan.
 Mount Goverdhan is about 100 m wide, 10 m high, having rocky formations and lying linearly a
little diagonal to the north south direction. It is situated only along the Parikrama-I
 Parikrama-I is for mount Goverdhan having plain but full of forest terrain.
 Parikrama – II is for Radha kund, and Kusum Sarovar . It has plain terrain passing through
agricultural fields.
 Kusum Sarovar has a great importance in the sense that Udhav (a great friend of Lord Srikrishna)
is ever present here dancing and chanting srimadbhagwat mahapuran. One can refer Skandh-11
of srimadbhagwat mahapuran when Udhav was advised by Lord Srikrishna to stay at
Badrikasharam. He followed His command and carrying His wooden sandal Udhav is present in
the main shrine of Badrinath jee. He is accompanied by Kuber, and Narad in the sanctum
sanctorum of Badrinathjee. Udhav is, in fact, the utsav murthi (moving representative idol) of the
main deity Badrinathjee, and on His behalf keeps moving out on the occasions of celebrations.
During winter months, when the shutters of Badrinathjee Temple is closed for six months, Udhav
and Kuber are taken to Pandavpura and worshipped as representative of Badarinathjee.
Simultaneous to his presence at Badrikashram, Udhav in subtle form is ever present at Kusum
1
2
4
4
6
5
7
3
Sarovar. It is said that he is so fond of vraj (vrindavan) that all the bush, plants, flowers etc.
around this place are the multi-manifestation of Udhav.
 Govind kund / Surabhi Kund is the place where Lord Srikrishna was consecrated by the milk of
the celestial cow, called Surabhi. He was christened, thereafter by the name GOVIND, respecting
Him as Indr of cows, and also “the one who has been revered by gau (Surabhi).

 
 
 
Parikrama  – I  
starts
Pucchari  Lota 
(  + ·=·( -((º() 
Parikrama‐I 
ends
Parikrama  – II  
starts 
Parikrama‐I I 
ends
North
Radha Kund     
(·(·(( =ªz) 
Legend:
1 : Main Governdhan Temple
called Face / Mouth of
Goverdhan accepting the ygya
offerings
2 Lakshmi Narain Temple
3 Govind Kund / Surbhi kund
4 Jatipura
5 Udhava kund
6 Radha Kund
7 Kusum Sarovar  
M
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