Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Govardhana in Dana-keli-kaumudi

From Dana-keli-kaumudi: Radha and the sakhis are approaching Govardhan, carrying fresh ghee for a sacrifice to be performed by Bhaguri Muni on behalf of Vasudeva, for the protection and well-being of Krishna and Balaram. Chitra Sakhi remarks that they are nearing the site of the Narayan deity, Hari Ray or Hari Deva, whose temple is on the hill. (Since this is Govinda Kund, this is quite likely a reference to Gopal or Srinathji.)

This is Vrinda Devi's response:

sakhi bahula-śirastve bhū-bhṛtau ceha sāmyaṁ
dadhad api girir anchaty eṣa śeṣād viśeṣam |
agharipur ayam aṅke mūrdhni yasyodare ca
praṇayati rati-līlām adbhutām preyasībhiḥ ||23||

Kushakratha: Look look, Friend. Like Lord Shesha, this mountain has many heads. This mountain is better than Lord Sesha because, on its heads, chest and stomach, Lord Krishna enjoys pastimes with his beloveds. (Has hundred peaks, ergo many heads.)

Surendranath Shastri: Behold, friend, this mountain, though in the matter of having numerous peaks (hoods) it bears resemblance with the thousand-hooded serpent Sesha, has a superiority over the latter in that Lord Krishna, the slayer of the demon Agha, leads the marvelous amorous sports with his beloveds at its (the mountain’s) foot, in its valleys and on its top and everywhere.

Friends! There are many similarities
between this mountain and Lord Sesha:
Sesha has unlimited hoods,
whereas Govardhan has numerous peaks,
and both hold up the earth.
Still, Govardhan has one up on Ananta,
for the enemy of Aghasura enjoys
amazing pastimes of love with his beloved gopis
on Govardhan's lap, head and belly.

NOTE: The word 

 ("lifter of the world") is used generally to mean mountain. Since Sesha holds the multiple planets and planetary systems on his hoods, the term is applicable to him also. By glorifying Sesha, the difference between Narayan, the incomplete, and Krishna, the most complete, form of the Godhead, is being pointed out. Whereas Narayan enjoys with Lakshmi alone, Krishna has unlimited expansions of the pleasure potency with whom he relishes his sports in the madhura-rasa. (See Laghu-bhāgavatāmṛtam 1.5.526, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 2.1.41-44, 2.1.209ff.)

Narayan generally just lies on Ananta’s belly where he sometimes enjoys intimate relations with Lakshmi, who serves him by massaging his feet. He never experiences the exuberant and unrestricted pastimes of love enjoyed by Krishna. Lakshmi basically only massages his feet, whereas Krishna and the gopis enjoy so many varied and exciting amorous pastimes. Indeed, these pastimes are unlimited--ananta.

Narayan remains only on Sesha’s belly, whereas Krishna moves around all over Govardhan through its various beautiful different sites, which are perfect for these pastimes. Govardhan’s belly here specifically refers to the mountain caves. The lap of the mountain refers primarily to Radha Kund, and in this case, Govinda Kund.

The verse is primarily an uddīpana-vibhava ("exciter" or "stimulator"), foreshadowing the pastimes of the dāna-līlā and the sambhoga-līlā that will follow it.

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