Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 24

Govardhan Puja !

( Krishna) "This act of yours , learnt from the scriptures or ordinary custom of the society , I am enquiring , that should be clearly explained" .

Govardhan Puja

 Suka Deva continued.

Once at Vrindavan Krishna and Balaram saw all the Gopas making preparations for a sacrifice for Indra .

Though being fully aware of the same , bowing down humbly , Krishna asked the elders led by Nanda Maharaj. ‘My dear father, what is this flurry of activity for, what is the expectation. By what means, for whose sake is this sacrifice. Let it be explained to me. Please speak to me O father, I am ready to hear. No secrets are to be kept certainly by saintly persons who see everyone as equal and do not distinguish between friends, others and enemies. One who is indifferent is to be avoided as an enemy and a friend considered like one's own self. People perform activities some times understanding and some times without understanding . For one who is wise the achievement of intended goal occurs because he performs activities with understanding. For those who are foolish no such success may be possible since they do not understand what they are doing. That being the case I am asking this act of yours, is it learnt from the scriptures or is it based on ordinary custom of the society . That should be clearly explained “.

Nanda Maharaj said ,” Dear son, Lord Indra is the master of rain . The clouds are his personal representatives and give rain life giving rain which is like milk for the benefit of all living beings. We and others worship Indra, the powerful controller of the clouds discharging rain, with sacrifices. For persons engaged in endeavors, the clouds are the mean of achieving the results . Accepting the results of that sacrifice, people sustain the three aims of life. Any one rejecting this duty of sacrifice coming by tradition because of lust, fear, enmity or greed cannot achieve success.”

Krishna said “ O Father, living beings take birth by the force of Karma. They also die by their Karma. Happiness, unhappiness, fear, security, destruction are results of his karma alone. If there is a supreme controller, one serving to award furtive results, he must also depend on the performer of activity. For one who performs no activity the master certainly cannot award the results. For people who experience the fruits of their karma what is the use of worshipping Indra, who cannot change the karma .

The material body of the high or low living entities obtains or gives up a friend, enemy, or an indifferent person by his own karma. Karma alone is his spiritual master and his guru. Therefore one should be fully engaged in his karma, corresponding to his nature. Performing karma without passion is indeed his duty to his deity. One who sustains his life from one deity but resorts to another deity for gains is like an unchaste woman seeking benefit from paramour.

A Brahman lives by Vedas , the king by offering protection, Vaisya by trading and Sudra by serving all. The occupation duty of our people is four types, Farming ,trading, protection of cows, and lending money. Of these we, the Gopas are always engaged in protecting cows.

Krishna Continued.

“ For us it is not the cities, the villages or the home. For us, the forest dwellers, it is the hills and forests that sustain us. Therefore let us begin a sacrifice for the cows, Brahmans and the Hill . Let all the materials collected for sacrifice to Indra be used for this sacrifice. Let people cook different varieties of foods, beginning with sweet rice, heated and fried food ending with liquid preparations. The sacrificial fires must be properly invoked by the Brahmans, who are learned in Vedas. Well prepared food should be given to them along with cows and other gifts. After giving food to all people, feeding grass to cows make offering to the mountain. After eating to your satisfaction, handsomely adorned, anointed with sandalwood paste, wearing fine garments, you should circambulate cows and the Hill as a mark of respect. Father, this is my philosophy. May it be followed if it is pleasing . Such sacrifice will be cherished by the cows, the hill, and me too .”

Hearing what was spoken , which was to dent the pride of Indra, Nanda and other elder Gopas accepted the same as an excellent idea.

They all performed the sacrifice just as suggested by Krishna . With materials gathered for Indra's sacrifice, Madhusudana made the Brahmans to recite auspicious chants, offering Pujas to the cows and the Hill . After offering tributes to Brahmans, grass to the Cows and keeping the cows, bulls and calves in the front, the Gopas performed the circambulation of the Govardhan mountain . The singing of glories of Krishna merged into the Vedic chants of Brahmans.

To instill faith in the Gopas , Krishna then assumed the form of a huge mountain , and appeared before all saying “I am the mountain”. Then he devoured all the offerings. Along with the people of Vraja , Krishna too offered obeisance to that form of the Govardhan mountain. Then he said “ Just see this Hill has manifested it self in front of us to bestow mercy on us . This Hill assuming any form it wishes will kill anybody who will neglect him. So let us pay obeisance to Him for the safety of our cows and ourselves.“

In this manner the inspired by Vaasudeva, the cowherds performed sacrifice to the cows and the hill , and returned to Vraja.


Living being take birth by the force of Karma. Happiness , unhappiness, fear , security , destruction are results of his karma alone