Govardhana (गोवर्धन) is a 8km long hill located near the town of Vrindavan, in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh – it is the sacred hills of Braj. These areas are known as Brajbhoomi….a part of Ganges Yamuna alluvial area… a golden triangle that would encompass Mathura, Gokul, Govardhan, Nandgaon, Barsana and more… Lord Krishna was born in Mathura, brought up in Gokulam, played in Vrindavan and surroundings and thus many of His Leelas were in and around these areas ~ ‘lifting of the Govardhana Giri’ is a very important event. The greatness of the hills of Govardhan is appreciated by Periyazhwar in 10 hymns
Today (16th Jan 2017) is day 9 of Irapathu uthsavam at Thiruvallikkeni. Lord Krishna right from His childhood days exhibited magical qualities revealing that He is the Supreme Power; yet He mingled with cowherds and all other folks treating all as equals ~ such is the great quality (Saulabhyam) of Lord Krishna, being accessible to mighty and meek without disparity.
Govardhan located nearer Vrindavan, Mathura, is considered sacred for its association with Lord Krishna. The name could literally mean nourishment of the cow. In Northern India, Govardhan Puja is celebrated after Diwali. The greatness of the hills of Govardhan is appreciated by Periyazhwar in 10 hymns… - in one Azhwar speaks of the abundance of rain at Govardhan from those clouds which descend to take water from the ocean and pour them over the hills. In another, Periyazhwar sings :
செப்பாடுடைய திருமாலவன்தன் செந்தாமரைக் கைவிரலைந்தினையும்*
கப்பாக மடுத்துமணி நெடுந்தோள் காம்பாகக் கொடுத்துக் கவித்தமலை*
எப்பாடும் பரந்திழிதெள்ளருவி இலங்கு மணிமுத்து வடம் பிறழ*
குப்பாயமென நின்று காட்சிதரும் கோவர்த்தனமென்னும் கொற்றக்குடையே.
The most benevolent Maha Vishnu (embodied as Lord Krishna) upturned the big mountain just as an umbrella – He spread his five fingers of lotus hand which were akin to spokes and His long arm seemingly the stem. With the mountain so held protecting the cows and cowherds, the gushing stream of water flowed down over the rims forming a tassel of ornament… the sprayed waters formed looked like a silken coat with pearls interlaced and worn by the might Lord… that was the lifting of Govardhana Giri.
Thirumangai mannan in sthala pasuram of Thiruvallikkeni mentions thus : One of the annual celebrations of the cowherds was feasting where Indra was worshipped; as it was not forthcoming, Indra got wild and rained hailstones. The cowherds ran to their natural protector Lord Krishna, who held aloft the Govardhana mountain with his finger and ensured protection of all the people. Thirumangai Mannan says, that it is this Krishna who is before us at Thiruvallikkeni divyadesam.
இந்திரனுக்கென்றாயர்களெடுத்த எழில் விழவில் பழநடைசெய்,*
மந்திர விதியில் பூசனை பெறாது மழை பொழிந்திடத் தளர்ந்து, ஆயர்*
எந்தம்மோடினவாநிரை தளராமல் எம்பெருமானருளென்ன,*
அந்தமில் வரையால் மழைதடுத்தானைத் திருவல்லிக்கேணிக் கண்டேனே.
Today, it was such a great sight to behold - Lord Parthasarathi bedecked beautifully portraying the lifting of ‘Govardhana Giri’ and saving all – the eternal Saviour and protector… here are some photos taken during the 9th day of Irapathu uthsavam and the reason for the Uthsavam Swami Nammalwar.
Adiyen Srinivasa dhasan.