“Ten prayers for residence at Govardhan Hill” from Stavāvali by Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami. The commentary is by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Shri Shri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj, with the translation of Advaita Dasji.
ruha-jhara-dara-sānu-droṇi-saṅgheṣu raṅgaiḥ |
saha bala-sakhibhiḥ saṅkhelayan sva-priyaṁ me
nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana tvam||3||
O Govardhan! Krishna plays many games with his brother Balaram and his cowherd boyfriends on your incomparable jeweled thrones, under your trees, in your brooks, caves, valleys and on your peaks! Please grant me residence near you, who are so dear to me!
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: How many hundreds of honey sweet pastimes of Shri Krishna in the incomparable, natural and beautiful surroundings of Shri Giriraj awaken within the mahā-bhāva saturated consciousness of Shripad Raghunath, who is floating on the waves of prayer!
In the previous verse he revealed his aspiration to reside permanently at the base of Govardhan Hill and witness the frantic erotic pastimes of the Yugala Kishor in its caves. Then, it is as if Shri Giriraj says: “Ohe Raghunath Das! You can also reside at other meeting places of the Yugala like Sanket and be blessed with the same vision of these pastimes. Therefore I don’t see any need for you to stay directly nearby. Moreover, you can be blessed by seeing these Yugala pastimes much easier in the lovely nikunja mandirs on the level surface than in my caves, which are hardly accessible.”
In this verse Shripad answers these words by saying, “O Giripati, lord of mountains! There is another reason why I pray to you for residence in your vicinity. While you are the charming abode where Shri Shri Radha Madhava have their confidential pastimes with their sakhis, you are also the exclusive abode of Shri Krishna’s blissful and variegated pastimes with his brother Balaram and his cowherd boyfriends. Your jeweled platforms, different flowering and fruitful trees, cascading waterfalls, caves, valleys and passages are the different blissful places where Shri Shri Krishna Baladeva take rest, make different luscious jokes, search for their cows, play on the swing, play hide-and-seek, wrestle, eat and lie down to rest on jewelled bedsteads.
In Śrīmad Bhāgavata we find the following words from the lotus mouth of Shri Radharani:
mānaṁ tanoti saha go-gaṇayos tayor yat
“This Govardhan Hill serves Shri Krishna and Baladeva, Who are surrounded by Their cows and cowherd boyfriends, in different ways with his stainless water, soft grass, wonderful caves, bulbs and roots.” (10.21.18)
This will be explained in verse 8.
The Vaiṣṇava Toṣaṇī) commentary explains, “On his body Shri Giriraj keeps all the different ingredients that he then applies in the service of Shri Krishna-Balaram and Their cows and cowherd boyfriends, such as spotless water, honey, fruit juice and other drinks, fresh soft grass for the cows, which will increase their strength and their output of milk, cascades, different enchanting sitting places, jewelled bedsteads in the caves, jewelled lamps and jewelled mirrors.”
Shripad Raghunath says: “O Giriraj! Just by living at your base one becomes so fortunate to perceive all these pastimes.”
At this point one may ask: “Shrila Raghunath Das Goswami meditated on himself as a maidservant of Shrimati Radharani. He should have desired to see Shri Shri Radha Madhava’s loving pastimes around Govardhan Hill. Why did he instead reveal his desires to see the different pastimes of Krishna and Balaram and the cowherd boys near Giriraj?”
The acharyas say out of experience that the erotic pastimes in Vraja of Nitya-kiśora Rasa-rāja Rasikendra-maulī Vrajendra-nandana with Mahā-bhāva-mayī Shri Radharani are incomparable, and friends, parents and servants are all supporting these loving affairs of the Yugala Kishor. Pastimes with his mother, father, friends and girlfriends are all necessary for Krishna to relish his wonderfully sweet erotic pastimes with Shri Radharani.
All pastimes nourish and increase the great relish of the Yugala-līlā. For instance, although they are the personifications of motherly love, mother Yashoda and Rohini Devi can’t satisfy anyone unless they are fed food which was cooked by Shri Radharani’s hand. For this reason Shri Radha and her girlfriends come to Krishna’s home in Nandishwar to cook for him every morning and Krishna enjoys a wonderful sweet erotic relish during these pastimes of cooking and eating. Similarly, Krishna’s goṣṭha-līlā, when he goes out every morning to herd his cows, is also to make him relish the sweetness of meeting with Shri Radhika.
rākhāla loiyā bone, sadā phiri dhenu-sane,
tuyā lāgi bone banacārī
“For You I’m always rambling with My cows, taking My cowherd boyfriends with Me and for You I am wandering in the forest as a forest dweller!” (Pada-kalpa-taru)
Radharani is always on Shyamasundar’s mind and when He is out in the meadows She is difficult to see, so that increases the astonishing flavour of his transcendental yearning for Her. The experienced rasikas can understand all these purports. Also in Krishna’s pastimes of tending the cows with Baladeva and his friends the wonderful and special features of the Yugala’s anxious erotic pastimes are preserved.
ohe govardhana! tumi ati manohara;
tomāra nikaṭa vāse juḍāya
antara nirupama līlā yoto tāra daraśane;
sukha anubhava koro prati kṣaṇe kṣaṇe
anupama maṇi-vedī ratna siṁhāsane;
manohara vṛkṣa-śobhā parama nirjane
kibā nirjhara sānu deśa giri kandarete;
baladeva sakhā saha giri saṅkaṭete
sadā bihariche kṛṣṇa parama ānande;
parihāsa luko-curi malla krīḍā-cchande
nava nava līlā yoto tomāra gocare;
tomāte bihare sadā navīna kiśore
tomā sama bhāgyavān nāhi tribhuvane;
pada tale sthāna dāo ei dīna jane
“Ohe Govardhan! You are so enchanting! My heart is soothed by living just next to you, experiencing jubilation at every moment by seeing all the matchless ever-fresh pastimes, like joking, hide-and-seek and wrestling, which Krishna constantly enjoys with Baladeva and his friends around your incomparable jewelled platforms and thrones, your beautiful and charming solitary trees, your cascades, valleys, caves and passages. The Navīna-Kiśora Krishna always enjoys on and around you, therefore no one in the three worlds is as fortunate as you are. Please give this wretch a place at your base!”