mṛtam idam uditaṁ śrī-rādhikā-vaktra-candrāt |
vraja-nava-tilakatve kḻpta-vedaiḥ sphuṭaṁ me
nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana tvam||8||
O Govardhan, whose nectarean name “the best of all Lord Hari’s servants” emanated from Shri Radhika’s moonlike mouth! You are the king of mountains and the Vedas desribe you as the new crown of Vraja. Please allow me to live close to you!
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: In the previous verse Shripad Raghunath revealed the great glories of Shri Giriraj in which the Lord himself gave him such a great honour to use him to protect the people of Vraja, and while ascertaining this he revealed his desire to live at the base of Shri Giriraj. It is as if Shri Giriraj Govardhan says: “Ohe Raghunath! You are the greatest scholar! Remember Shri Krishna’s statements in the Padma-purāna: panca yojanam evāsti vanaṁ me deha rūpakaṁ: “This Vrindavan, which extends over forty miles, is my body.”
Therefore your devotional desires will be fulfilled by living at any place in Vraja, which is the wish-yielding body of Shri Krishna! Why are you over-praising me by calling me ‘the best place of Vraja’?” Thinking about these words of Giriraj, Shri Raghunath Das says: “O Giriraj! My praises are not exaggerated! Shri Vārṣabhānavī Radha herself has called you ‘the best of Hari’s servants’ in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, the crown jewel of all Purāṇas:
hantāyam adrir abalā haridāsa-varyo
mānaṁ tanoti saha go-gaṇayos tayor yat
“O girls! This mountain is the best of Lord Hari’s servants and he feels very happy when Krishna and Balaram’s lotus feet touch him! He gives all honour to them and their cows by providing them with water for drinking, soft grass, caves and roots!” (Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.21.18)
Śrīmad Bhāgavata makes this statement in the Veṇu-gīta chapter, which describes the gopīs’ pūrva-rāga (falling in love), but Shrimat Das Goswami clearly states that the words uttered in this verse emanate from the moon-like mouth of the crown jewel of all the gopīs, Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī. Certainly the great devotees like Dhruva, Prahlāda, Nārada, Vyāsa and Shukadeva gave up everything to serve the Lord, but no other devotee but Govardhan could offer his own body to the Lord as his playground. That is why Shri Radha’s moon-like mouth calls him “the best of Hari’s servants.”
In Śrīmad Bhāgavata there are a number of devotees called haridāsa: King Yudhiṣṭhira, Uddhava and Govardhan. But of them Govardhan is the best, for he offers Krishna and Balaram and their dearmost cows and cowherd boy friends fresh grass as soft sitting places, cool caves, fruits and roots for eating, the shade of his trees, the trees’ honey for drinking, mineral pigments for make-up, different flowers for garlands, caves with jewelled couches as sitting places and its shining rocks as jewelled lamps.
When touched by the lotus feet of Balaram and Krishna, Govardhan also shows all the signs of transcendental ecstatic love on his body, such as goose pimples by his erect grass, sweating by his moisture, and tears displayed through cascades and waterfalls. So in all respects he is the crown jewel of all of the Lord’s devotees!
Shripad Raghunath Das says: “O Giriraj! Just as material nectar which trickles from the moon is enjoyable for the demigods, so the nectar of your glories as Hari’s greatest servant emanates from Shri Radha’s moon like mouth to be relished by the saintly devotees.”
The meaning is: O Giriraj! You told me that Krishna says in the Purāṇas that I should give up living close to you and that I should live in Vrindavan. We are Radhika’s maidservants, we can’t always understand the tricky words of this crown jewel of cheaters (Krishna)! But our Ishwari (Radha) is very honest and sincere! We have full faith in her nectarean words from the above-quoted Bhāgavata verse. Moreover, she is our very life!
We can also easily understand that Śrīmad Bhāgavata, the crown jewel of all the Purāṇas, has much more authority than the other Purāṇas. And especially for those who wish to relish rasa, the association of Krishna’s rasika devotees is even more important than Krishna’s own association. The Bhāgavata (3.7.19) says: ratir asau bhavet tīvraḥ padayor vyasanardanaḥ: “As a result of serving or associating with great souls, intense love for Shri Krishna’s lotus feet is attained.” And Shri Rūpa Goswami says: rasikāsaṅga-raṅginām: “For one who wants to taste rasa, the association with rasika devotees is very blissful.” (BRS 2.1.10) That is why my ultimate desire is to live close by you.
And I also say: “O Giripate! The Vedic scriptures say that you are the tilaka on Vraja Mandal’s forehead.” In the Garga-saṁhitā, Nārada Muni tells king Bahulāśva of Mithila:
govardhana-giri rājan sarva-tīrtha-varaḥ smṛtaḥ
vṛndāvanaṁ ca goloka-mukuṭo’driḥ prapūjitaḥ
gopa-gopī-gavāṁ raksā-pradaḥ kṛṣṇa-priyo mahān
pūrṇa-brahmātapatraṁ yas tasmāt tīrtha-varaś ca kaḥ
“O King! Govardhan Hill is the best of all holy places and most worshipable! It is the crown of Vrindavan and Goloka and is always protecting the cowherd boys, the gopīs, and the cows. It is most dear to Krishna, the Complete Brahman, serving him as an umbrella. So what other tīrtha could be superior to it?
With the words “new tilaka of Vraja,” Das Goswami means to say that Govardhan Hill is the best of holy places, ornamenting Vraja as one ornaments one’s forehead with a mark of tilaka. Therefore, O Giriraj! Please bless me by allowing me to live close by you!
śrī rādhikā nija sakhī sambodhana kore;
candra-mukhe tomāra guṇa kīrtana ye kore
hantāyam adrir abalā haridāsa varya;
haridāsa gaṇa madhye tumi śirodharya
bhāgavata padye tomāra ei nāmāmṛta;
prakāśa koriyā viśva koilo āpyāyita
tilaka svarūpe tumi vrajera lalāṭe;
bhūṣita āchaho śāstra kohe akapaṭe
ohe girirāja! tumi mahā-śakti-dhara;
pāda-deśe dīna jane vāsa dāna koro
“O Govardhan! Shri Radhika glorifies you with her moon like mouth when She tells her girlfriend hantāyam adrir abalā haridāsa-varya: You are the crown jewel of all of Hari’s servants. Thus She revealed the nectar of your name to the world in this Bhāgavata verse. The scriptures boldly declare that you are the tilaka that decorates Vraja’s forehead. Ohe Giriraj! You are so powerful! Please give this fallen soul a place to stay at your base!”