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Govardhana-vāsa-prārthanā-daśakam, Verse 9

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vraja-nara-paśu-pakṣi-vrāta-saukhyaika-dātaḥ |

agaṇita-karuṇatvān maṁ urīkṛtya tāntaṁ

nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana tvam||9||

O Govardhan! You are the only giver of joy to the people, animals and birds of Vraja who are attached to the friendship of Radha and Krishna and their groups (the gopīs and gopas ). Please accept me out of your unlimited mercy, for I am weary, and allow me to live close to you!

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā by Radha Kund Mahant Pandit Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj: After proclaiming Govardhan to be haridāsa-varya, Shripad Raghunath now mentions another characteristic of Govardhan. It is natural that the devotees of Hari, whose hearts and minds are filled with the service of the Lord, also develop great love, faith and friendship for other devotees of Hari. Therefore all the people, animals and birds of Vraja who have befriended Shri Shri Radha Krishna and their friends in Vraja have unlimited faith and love for Giriraj, who gives topmost bliss to them. Those who whose hearts are lovingly attached to Shri Shri Radha Krishna perceive their different confidential pastimes as soon as they see Haridāsa-varya Giriraj. On the bank of Shri Radha Kund their very wonderful and most confidential, longlasting midday pastimes take place, and around Govardhan there are lonely places where the dāna-līlā, the rāsa-līlā and the boating pastimes can freely take place.

Apart from that Giriraj bears all the hallmarks of these confidential pastimes, giving topmost bliss to the loving devotees of the Yugala Kishor. Shrimat Rūpa Goswami wrote in his Stavamālā:

gāndharvāyāḥ surata-kalahoddāmatā vāvadūkaiḥ


kuñjais talpopari pariluṭhad vaijayantī parītaiḥ

puṇyāṅga-śrīḥ prathayatu sadā śarma govardhano naḥ

“May Govardhan Hill, in whose beautiful enchanting kuñjas the ear-decorating lotuses, the bangles made of lotus-stems and the peacock feather-crowns wilt and fall, where the Vaijayantī flower garlands roll on the bed, revealing Shri Radha’s intense erotic battle, bestow all auspiciousness unto us!”

The animals, birds and men who take shelter of Vraja-dhāma are all naturally attached to Shri Radha Krishna in love and friendship. All the cows that Shri Krishna herds are endowed with a natural motherly love for him. The love of the cows and calves for Shri Krishna was described by the gopīs themselves during their pūrva-rāga (falling-in-love) stage:

gāvaś ca kṛṣṇa-mukha-nirmita-veṇugīta-

pīyūṣam uttabhita-karṇapuṭaiḥ pibantyaḥ

śāvāḥ snuta-stana-payaḥ kavalāḥ sma tasthur

govindam ātmani dṛśāśru-kalāḥ spṛśantyaḥ

“The cows too, when they drink the nectar of Govinda’s flute song with the raised cups of their ears along with their calves which drink from their udders, embrace him within their hearts and stand motionlessly before him with tear filled eyes!” (Bhāgavata 10.21.13)

The cows are always kept and protected as Krishna’s personal pets and he cuddles them in a motherly mood. But even the more distant deer in the forest carry a great love for Krishna:

dhanyāḥ sma mūḍha-matayo’pi hariṇya etā

yā nanda-nandanam upātta-vicitra-veśam

ākarṇya veṇu-raṇitaṁ saha kṛṣṇa-sārāḥ

pūjāṁ dadhur viracitaṁ praṇayāvalokaiḥ

“Blessed are these foolish deer for when they hear the flute song of Nanda’s wonderfully dressed son, they come along with their husbands the black antelopes to worship him with their loving glances!” (Bhāgavata 10.21.11)

Even the birds in Vraja are not ordinary birds – they are munis who carry natural love for Krishna. That is also described by the Vraja-devīs:

prāyo batāmba vihagā munayo vane’smin

kṛṣṇekṣitaṁ tad-uditaṁ kala-veṇu-gītam

āruhya ye druma-bhujān rucira-pravālān

śṛṅvanty amīlita-dṛśo vigatānya-vācaḥ

“O mother!* All these birds here in the forest are sages who are rising on the trees which have fresh sprouts on their branches, listening to Krishna’s flute song and staring at him with wide open eyes, forgetting all other words (such as the Vedas and Upanishads in which they are usually very learned)!” (Bhāgavata 10.21.14)[* Although there is no one in the assembly of pūrva-rāgavatī Vrajasundarīs who should have been addressed as mother, the address ‘O mother!’ (o mā) is easily used by an astonished woman.]

In the same way the male and female parrots in the trees wake Radha and Krishna up early in the morning, help them to meet each other at noontime, sing beautiful poems about their love and forms and delight the Yugala with their rasika quarrels in the afternoon. The old she-monkey Kakkhatī stirs them out of their complacent morning lethargy. Because Govardhan is such a lovely place of solitude for the Yugala pastimes, it gives the greatest joy also to all these devoted animals and birds of Vraja, and because Giriraj gives the greatest happiness to the animals and birds, Shripad Raghunath covets a place to stay nearby him.

It is as if Giriraj says: “Ohe Raghunath Das! All you say is true! The greatest loving devotees are blessed by staying close by me, this is how I make them happy. But you don’t have such devotion, so how will you be able to attain a position close to me?” To this Shri Raghunath answers: “What you say is true a thousand times! I am very fallen and I have no devotion nor am I doing any bhajan, there is no doubt about that! But still I say, O Giriraj, you are the abode of boundless mercy, be merciful to this undevoted soul and bless me by allowing me to live close to you!”

nija jane veṣṭita ye yugala kiśora;

tāṅdera maitrī rase yāra sikta kalevara

sei vraja nara paśu pakṣī sukha dātā;

emana dayālu svabhāva āra pābo kothā

kṛpā kori mo adhame aṅgīkāra kore;

tomāra nikaṭe vāsa dāna koro more O Govardhan!

Where can I find such merciful creatures as the delight-bestowing humans, animals and birds of Vraja, whose bodies are sprinkled with the nectar of friendship for the Yugala Kishor, Who are surrounded by their own devotees? Please accept a fallen soul like me and allow me to reside close to you!”

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