Mahārāja Nanda finally relented. The cowherd men then inquired from Kṛṣṇa how He wanted the yajña performed, and Kṛṣṇa gave them the following directions. “Prepare very nice foods of all descriptions from the grain and ghee collected for the yajña. Prepare rice, dhal, then halavā, pakorā, purī and all kinds of milk preparations, such as sweet rice, rabrī, sweetballs, sandeśa, rasagullā and laḍḍu, and invite the learned brāhmaṇas who can chant the Vedic hymns and offer oblations to the fire. The brāhmaṇas should be given all kinds of grain in charity. Then decorate all the cows and feed them well. After performing this, give money in charity to the brāhmaṇas. As far as the lower animals are concerned, such as the dogs, and the lower grades of people, such as the caṇḍālas, or the fifth class of men, who are considered untouchable, they also may be given sumptuous prasādam. After nice grasses have been given to the cows, the sacrifice known as Govardhana-pūjā may immediately begin. This sacrifice will very much satisfy Me.”
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.