Following the inauguration of Govardhana-puja, people in Vrndavana still dress nicely and assemble near Govardhana Hill to offer worship and circumambulate the hill, leading their cows all around

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Expressions researched:
"Following the inauguration of Govardhana-pūjā, people in Vṛndāvana still dress nicely and assemble near Govardhana Hill to offer worship and circumambulate the hill, leading their cows all around"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

Following the inauguration of Govardhana-pūjā, people in Vṛndāvana still dress nicely and assemble near Govardhana Hill to offer worship and circumambulate the hill, leading their cows all around. According to the instruction of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Nanda Mahārāja and the cowherd men called in learned brāhmaṇas and began to worship Govardhana Hill by chanting Vedic hymns and offering prasādam.

In this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa practically described the whole economy of the vaiśya community. In all communities in human society—including the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas, vaiśyas, śūdras, caṇḍālas, etc.—and in the animal kingdom—including the cows, dogs, goats, etc.—everyone has his part to play. Each is to work in cooperation for the total benefit of all society, which includes not only animate objects but also inanimate objects like hills and land. The vaiśya community is specifically responsible for the economic improvement of the society by producing grain, by giving protection to the cows, by transporting food when needed, and by banking and finance.

From this statement we learn also that although the cats and dogs, which have now become so important, are not to be neglected, cow protection is actually more important than protection of cats and dogs. Another hint we get from this statement is that the caṇḍālas, or the untouchables, are also not to be neglected by the higher classes and should be given necessary protection. Everyone is important, but some are directly responsible for the advancement of human society and some are only indirectly responsible. However, when Kṛṣṇa consciousness is there, then everyone’s total benefit is taken care of.

The sacrifice known as Govardhana-pūjā is observed in the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Lord Caitanya has recommended that since Kṛṣṇa is worshipable, so His land—Vṛndāvana and Govardhana Hill—is also worshipable. To confirm this statement, Lord Kṛṣṇa said that Govardhana-pūjā is as good as worship of Him. From that day, Govardhana-pūjā has been going on and is known as Annakūṭa. In all the temples of Vṛndāvana or outside of Vṛndāvana, huge quantities of food are prepared in this ceremony and are very sumptuously distributed to the general population. Sometimes the food is thrown to the crowds, and they enjoy collecting it off the ground. From this we can understand that prasādam offered to Kṛṣṇa never becomes polluted or contaminated, even if it is thrown on the ground. The people therefore collect and eat it with great satisfaction.

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, therefore advised the cowherd men to stop the Indra-yajña and begin the Govardhana-pūjā in order to chastise Indra, who was very much puffed up at being the supreme controller of the heavenly planets. The honest and simple cowherd men, headed by Nanda Mahārāja, accepted Kṛṣṇa’s proposal and executed in detail everything He advised. They performed Govardhana worship and circumambulation of the hill. (Following the inauguration of Govardhana-pūjā, people in Vṛndāvana still dress nicely and assemble near Govardhana Hill to offer worship and circumambulate the hill, leading their cows all around.) According to the instruction of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Nanda Mahārāja and the cowherd men called in learned brāhmaṇas and began to worship Govardhana Hill by chanting Vedic hymns and offering prasādam. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana assembled together, decorated their cows and gave them grass. Keeping the cows in front, they began to circumambulate Govardhana Hill. The gopīs dressed themselves very luxuriantly and sat in bull-driven carts, chanting the glories of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. The brāhmaṇas, assembled there to act as priests for Govardhana-pūjā, offered their blessings to the cowherd men and their wives, the gopīs.

When everything was complete, Kṛṣṇa assumed a great transcendental form and declared to the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana that He was Himself Govardhana Hill in order to convince the devotees that Govardhana Hill and Kṛṣṇa Himself are identical. Then Kṛṣṇa began to eat all the food offered there. The identity of Kṛṣṇa and Govardhana Hill is still honored, and great devotees take rocks from Govardhana Hill and worship them exactly as they worship the Deity of Kṛṣṇa in the temples. The followers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement may therefore collect small rocks or pebbles from Govardhana Hill and worship them at home, because this worship is as good as Deity worship. The form of Kṛṣṇa who began to eat the offerings was separately constituted, and Kṛṣṇa Himself, along with the other inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, offered obeisances to the Deity as well as Govardhana Hill. In offering obeisances to the huge form of Kṛṣṇa and Govardhana Hill, Kṛṣṇa declared, “Just see how Govardhana Hill has assumed this huge form and is favoring us by accepting all the offerings!” Kṛṣṇa also declared at that meeting, “One who neglects the worship of Govardhana-pūjā, as I am personally conducting it, will not be happy. There are many snakes on Govardhana Hill, and persons neglecting the prescribed duty of Govardhana-pūjā will be bitten by these snakes and killed. In order to assure the good fortune of the cows and themselves, all people of Vṛndāvana near Govardhana must worship the hill, as prescribed by Me.”

Thus performing the Govardhana-pūjā sacrifice, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana followed the instructions of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vasudeva, and afterwards they returned to their respective homes.