tava nava-gṛha-rūpasyāntare kurvataiva |
agha-baka-ripuṇoccair datta-māna drutaṁ me
nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana tvam||
O Govardhan! Shri Krishna, the enemy of Aghasura and Bakasura, quickly gave you great honor when he used you as a brand new house in which the people of Vraja could be protected from the long-lasting anger of the king of demigods, Indra. Please allow me to live close to you!
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: How many hundreds of Shri Giriraj Govardhan’s glories become manifest in the heart of Shripad Raghunath, which is permeated by viśuddha sattva! Shri Shri Giriraj is the unrivalled playground of the Original Personality of Godhead, Vrajendra-Nandana! Govardhan Hill is Hari-dāsa-varya, the unrivalled servant of Shri Hari, and always immersed in the joys of service, himself providing all the paraphernalia needed for such service. When the Lord wants to accept service from a particular servant and so rejects all others, though there may be hundreds of other servants available to him and hundreds of other means through which he can be served, then that servant is truly blessed. Shrila Govardhan is such an exclusive servant of Shri Krishna, which can be ascertained in this verse.
Shri Krishna killed without difficulty the powerful demons Aghā and Bakāsura, for whom Indra and the other demigods were fearfully hiding behind the clouds. He who casually could kill such powerful demons in the course of his childhood pastimes could easily have protected Vraja from the onslaught of the comparatively puny Indra through some other means. Therefore we can’t find any other reason for him to have gone through such a lot of trouble by carrying the Govardhan Hill for seven days and nights. Shripad Raghunath says: “He did it only to give Govardhan a great honor.”
Giriraj obtained the great fortune and honor of having been held like an umbrella on the blue sapphire rod-like arm of the Original Personality of Godhead Vrajendra-Nandana. In this way he attained the greatest service and the greatest honour by protecting Shri Krishna’s beloved Gokula-vāsīs. Shri Rūpa Goswami has written:
nīla-stambhojjvala-ruci-bharair maṇḍite bāhu-daṇḍe
chatra-cchāyāṁ dadhad agharipor labdha-saptāha-vāsaḥ
dhārāpāta-glapita-manasāṁ rakṣitā gokulānāṁ
kṛṣṇa-preyān prathayatu sadā śarma govardhano naḥ
“May Giriraj Govardhan, beautifully held for seven days and nights like an umbrella on Shri Krishna’s rod-like arm, which resembled a sapphire pillar endowed with dazzling luster, and who was thus fortunate enough to protect the people of Gokula who had become very distressed because of being showered by Indra’s heavy rains, bestow all auspiciousness upon us!” (Stavamālā)
While lifting Govardhan Hill, Shri Krishna made a new, large and enchanting home for the people of Vraja under the hill. In this connection it is written in the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī-ṭikā (commentary on Shrimad Bhāgavata by Shrila Sanātana Goswamipāda) on the Bhāgavata-verse ity uktvaikena hastena (10.25.19):
tatra vraja-kartṛka-darśana saukaryāya śrī kṛṣṇa-kartṛka-dhāraṇa-saukaryāya śobhā-viśeṣāya ca idaṁ kalpyate utthāpana-samaye līlā-śaktyānukūlyena parvata-madhyādho-bhāgāt vicchidya kuṭṭimāyamāno mahā-śilā-samuccaya eko madhya-gartye sthitaḥ, yaṁ śilā-samuccayam āruhya, yaṁ nimnaṁ parvata-madhya-deśaṁ śrī-hastena viṣṭabhya ca sukhaṁ dadhāreti
When Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill with his left hand, the people of Vraja had a good opportunity to admire his lotus like face. On the ground under the hill was an elevated spot where Krishna could stand on, and on the bottom of the hill itself was a lower portion where Krishna held his finger (to hold the hill). Krishna was, after all, only seven years old and He was the smallest of his clan. If these spots had not been there, there wouldn’t have been any height for all the big cowherdsmen to stand under the hill or to gaze at Krishna’s beauty for seven days and nights.
In the Hari-vaṁśa, Krishna says:
śailotpātana-bhūr eṣa mahatī nirmitā mayā
trailokyam apy utsāhate rakṣitum kiṁ punar vrajam
“There is enough place to protect all the three worlds under this Govardhan Hill I’m lifting, what to speak of just the people of Vraja?”
There should not be any doubt or astonishment about this, because even one speck of dust from the Lord’s transcendental abode can contain all the innumerable mundane universes. The Garga-saṁhitā describes how the Brajavasis were protected from the vast showers of Indra’s devastating samvārtaka clouds for seven days and nights:
jalaugham āgataṁ vīkṣya bhagavāṁs tad girer adhaḥ;
sudarśanaṁ tathā śeṣaṁ manasājñām cakāra ha
koṭi sūrya prabhaṁ cādrer ūrdhvaṁ cakraṁ sudarśanam;
dhārā sampātam apibad agastya iva maithila
adho’dhas tad gīreḥ śeṣaḥ kuṇḍalībhūtam āsthitaḥ;
rurodha taj jalaṁ dīrghaṁ yathā velā mahodadhim
saptāhaṁ susthiras tasthau govardhana-dharo hariḥ;
śrī-kṛṣṇa-candraṁ paśyantaś cakorā iva te sthitāḥ
Although Shri Krishna gave shelter to the Brajavasis by holding Govardhan Hill with his left hand, Indra would not stop showering them. Thinking that the cowherds might become afraid that the huge streams of rainwater might inundate the cavity under Govardhan Hill where they were standing, Krishna mentally ordered his Sudarśana-chakra and the divine serpent Śeṣa to come. Invisible to others, the Sudarśana-chakra hung over Govardhan Hill, shining like ten million suns and drinking the rainstreams just as Agastya Muni drank the water of all the seven oceans. Meanwhile the serpent Śeṣa formed a ring around the cavity under the hill where the Brajavasis were hiding to stop the water from pouring in, just as a barrage stops the water of the ocean from inundating the towns and villages on the coast. Thus Hari stood steadily for seven days lifting Govardhan Hill while the Brajavasis drank the nectar from his moon like face, like thirsty chakora birds.
By his mere wish Shri Krishna could have stunned the hands throwing the thunderbolts and the showers of the clouds within a moment, but just to reveal the fortune of Giriraj Govardhan he made Indra continue his hostile behavior so that he had to lift the Hill singlehandedly for seven days and thus to also give the Brajavasis the fortunate opportunity to relish the sweetness of this indescribable and amazing pastime of his for each moment.
Shrimat Jīva Goswami gives an indication of this indescribable pastime of Giridhārī by writing:
saptāhar-niśa-nirmitā giribhṛtā ye ye vilāsas tadā
tān kalpaiḥ saha saptabhiḥ kathayituṁ śeṣo’pi nāśeṣataḥ
evaṁ ced vacanair amuṁs tricaturaiḥ sac-cāturī-varjitais
tūrṇaṁ varṇitavān kaviḥ svayam asau durbhūya dodūyate
Even in seven kalpas (millennia) the thousand-headed Śeṣa could not finish his description of Giridhārī’s pastime of lifting the Govardhan Hill for seven days! If any poet would try to describe it in just three or four stories, he would simply gain misery and infamy!
So Shripad Raghunath Das says: “O Giriraj! Who will not desire to live close to a highly fortunate great devotee of Lord Hari like you?”: nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana tvam.
agha-bakāsura śatru govinda āpane;
indrera jighāṁsā hoite vrajavāsī-jane
nava gṛha rūpa tomāra yei madhya-sthāne;
rakṣā lāgi vāsa dilo krame sāta dine
ei rūpe tava māna barddhana korilo;
haridāsa varya nāma sārthaka hoilo
ohe girirāja more tomāra nikaṭe;
sthāna diyā dhanya koro yāci karapuṭe
O Govardhan! Govinda, the enemy of Aghāsura and Bakāsura, gave shelter to the Brajavasis for seven days in a new house that He made of you, just to protect them from Indra’s attacks. In this way He increased your fame and made you deserve your name Haridāsa-varya, the best of Hari’s servants. Ohe Giriraj! I pray to you with folded hands: Please bless me by giving me a place to live close by you.