Hidden Mystery Behind the Legends of Govardhan Parvat

Govardhan Parvat’s tale is one of the dynamic ancient Vedic stories of Krishna Leela in Vrindavan. Many Vedic scriptures narrate the glories of Sri Krishna, the ultimate godhead of the universe. Krishna Leela is eternal and soothes the ears of every devotee. However, today we, at Vedic Story, are going to narrate the story of our little makhanchor from the land of Braj, or Vrah Bhoomi. He spent most of his divine pastimes with Radharani, Gopa, and Gopis in Vrindavan, a part of Vraj. Vrindavan is the most sacred town in the Braj region.

Govardhan Parvat is the place where Sri Krishna has shown his ultimate divinity to the people of Braj by protecting them from the wrath of Indra, the king of heaven.

What is the History of Govardhan Parvat?

According to the Puranas and Srimad Bhagavatam, Govardhan Hill is the most sacred mountain in the whole world. It descended from Goloka Vrndavana, the spiritual world of Sri Krishna. Govardhan Parvat is regarded as the crown jewel of Brajboomi. It is also known as the King of all Mountains and is popularly called “Giriraj.” 

Govardhan Parvat is situated 8 km from Govardhan town and 21 km from Vrindavan. Vrindavan, the forest of Vrinda, or Tulsi (Holy Basil). Vrinda is another name for Radharani. Thus, Vrindavan is the city of Radha, the divine consort of Krishna in Vaikunth Dham.

However, the significance of Govardhan Parvat in Hindu myth was first found in the Vedas. Govardhan Hill is the greatest devotee of Lord Krishna, and thus he is seen as being non-different from Krishna himself.

The Iconography of Sri Govardhangiri in Satya-Yuga

Govardhan Parvat’s iconography is first found in the Garg Samhita, a collection of Sanskrit verses narrating the divine Leela of Radha Krishna. Garg Samhita describes the Vedic story of the descended Govardhan Parvat from Goloka Vrndavana.

According to Garg Samhita, Nanda Maharaj, father of Sri Krishna, asked his brother Sananda how Govardhan Parvat came to Vrindavana. Sananda said King Pandu, father of the Pandavas, asked Bhisma the same question. He narrated the whole story of descended Govardhan Parvat from Garga Samhita.

Srimati Radharani one day informed Krishna about the displeasure of performing her transcendental pastimes in the material world without Vraja Dham, Sri Yamuna, and Sri Govardhan Parvat.

Therefore, Sri Krishna decided to bring Vraja Dham, Sri Yamuna, and Sri Govardhan Parvat to Earth and fulfill the wishes of Sri Radha.

Birth of Govardhana Parvat

After giving the word to Sri Radha, Krishna planned to execute his prophecy. In the land of Salmali Dwipa, wife of the great mountain called Drinachala, gave birth to Govardhana. 

Gods from heaven and other worlds appeared in the sky and blessed Govardhana with flowers. The Himalayas and Mount Sumeru came there and offered their respect to Govardhana. They performed parikrama for the son of Dronachala Parvat, Govardhana, and accepted him as their king. The mountains named him the crown jewel of Vrajbhoomi and sang songs for him.

Sage Pulastya Visits Salmali Dvipa

At the beginning of Satya Yuga, Sage Pulastya, father of Demon King Ravana, visited Salmali Dvipa, and the beautiful Govardhana Parvat was encircled with lovely creepers, trees, flowers, and auspicious caves perfect for performing austerities. He found the mind- and body-soothing sounds of gushing rivers and streams, graceful slopes with peacock calls, and chirping birds. 

Pulastya Rishi was amazed by the bewitching beauty of Govardhan Parvat. He realized that the son of Drinachala had the power to give salvation. Thus, he went to meet Dronachala with great respect.

Govardhan’s Transition to Kashi by Sage Pulastya

Arunachala Mountain welcomed the sage Pulastya and asked what he could do in his service. Dronachala was greeted with praise from Sage Pulastya. O Drona said, Pulastya Muni, you are the great king of the mountains. The gods of heaven and other worlds worship you as you help them restore their lives, and people live on Earth with your transcendental medicinal herbs.

I came to you with a great request as a sage of Kashi. I need your son for his selfless service to people and well-being. I do not wish anything else from you, O great Dronachala. 

Pulastya Muni expressed his unbinding desire to take Govardhana with him to Kashi. He said Kashi has the most sacred river, the Ganges, but no natural beauty such as a mountain or a place for munis to perform austerities. 

Dronachala was disheartened with the request of Pulastya Muni, as he had to separate from his beloved son, Govardhana, and was in pain of being parted from him.

Govardhana Parvat was afraid of his father, thinking that if the sage got angry, he would curse the king of the mountains, Pulstaya.

He thought and asked the Muni how he would carry him to Kashi.

Pulastya Muni replied that he would carry Govardhana on his right. He agreed to go with him to Kashi. However, Govardhana intentionally put one condition before him: if he placed him down anywhere during the entire journey, the sage would not be able to lift the hill again.

Sage agreed and promised that he would not place Govardhan Parvat anywhere before Kashi. Pulastya Muni carried Govardhana on his right hand and began his journey to Kashi. 

Govardhan Parvat Remembers the Past Life

During the journey, Govardhan Parvat thought that, by the grace of the Supreme Godhead, Pulastya Muni had passed the Vraja Dham. However, soon, he remembered his early life and told himself that Sri Krishna was the divine master of all the universes and would descend to Vrajbhoomi. He would enjoy his childhood pastimes here with Radharani. I should not leave this place, as he mentioned that where the Yamuna would flow, I would be there to witness it all.

Govardhangiri Hatch: A Plan to Stay on Vrajbhoomi

Govardhana Hill realized the aim of this life on Earth and thought he must do something to stay in his Karmabhoomi.

He made himself very heavy so that the sage could not bear the weight. As Govardhan thought, his plan worked, and in exhaustion, Pulastya forgot his promise and put Govardhan Parvat down in Vraja-Mandala to ease the burden.

Pulastya Muni Curses Govardhan Parvat

Sage Pulsatya thought he should clean and bathe before reaching Kashi. After that, he returned and asked Govardhan to lift himself and sit on his hand so that they could continue their journey to Kashi.

Govardhana Parvat did not move an inch. Pulastya Muni used all his strength; however, he was unable to lift Govardhana again.

After all the futile attempts to lift the son of Dronachala, Pulastya Muni was filled with anger. He cursed Goverdhana Parvat to sink into the ground everyday with the measurement of one mustard seed.

Size of Govardhana Parvat

After settling down at Vrajbhoomi in Satya Yuga, Govardhana was eight yojanas long, or 64 miles; five yojanas wide, or 40 miles; and two yojanas high, or 16 miles.

It is believed that, after the curse of Pulastya Muni, Govardhana Parvat has reduced in size, and it is also believed that after ten thousand years of the Kali Yuga, Giriraj will completely disappear.

Sananda, brother of Nanda Maharaja, narrated the whole story of Govardhanna Parvat and said that as long as Govardhana Parvat and the Yamuna River remain on Earth, Kali Yuga would not be able to control people with his ill effects. He also said whoever hears the story of Govardhana and the river Yamuna will be freed from all sins.

Tale of Govardhan Parvat in Treta Yuga

The legend of Govardhana Parvat in Indian mythology first appeared in Satya Yuga and then in Treta Yuga, when Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu, took birth in Ayodhya. Lord Sri Hari had to build a bridge to rescue Sita from Ravana. Therefore, he asked Sri Hanuman to visit Sri Giriraj Govardhana Parvat to become a part of Rama Setu. Govardhana Parvat agreed and was delighted to be in the service of Lord Rama.

On the fifth day of Ram Setu construction, Hanuman reached Govardhana Parvat and came to know that the bridge was completed and did not require the service of Mighty Hill.

Hearing the news, Govardhangiri was disappointed that he could not do anything in the service of Sri Rala. This great gesture of Govardhana Parvat moved Sri Rama and informed him that he would give birth on Earth again in Dwapara Yuga in the name of Sri Krishna. During his time in Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna would fulfill Govardhana’s desire to serve his lord and lift him with affection for seven days.

Tale of Govardhan Parvat in Dwapara Yuga

Sri Krishna, Radharani, Gopis, Gopas, and Vrindavan people came to Earth from Vaikuntha in Dwapara Yuga to help the ultimate divine being in his pastime. During this period, Sri Krishna fulfilled his devotees’ wishes, did rasa leela, played with gopis and gopas, taught lessons to demons, freed several gods from curses, lifted Sri Govardhana Parvat to save people in Vrindavana from the wrath of Indra, and performed Goverdhan Puja. These are the great legends of Govardhana Parvat that were hidden from the general public for millions of years. Why don’t you get the benefit of reading Vedic Story with knowledge of Indian mythology and our Sanatan Dharma?

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Archana Das
Archana Das
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