Krishna approached Nanda Maharaj and enquired from Him the purpose of the sacrifice. Being lovingly persuaded by Krishna, Nanda Maharaj explained that they were performing this puja for Indra. Nanda Maharaj explained, “Since we are cowherds we depend on rains which give fresh grasses for the cows and therefore as a token of gratitude every year we perform this sacrifice.” Krishna replied and spoke the karma-mimamsa philosophy. He said, “If we do our duties properly then we get good results and if we do sinful acts then we get bad results. So all we need to do is just perform our duties properly.”
Krishna convinced Nanda Maharaj that being cowherd men their duty was to do agriculture and take care of the cows and if they did that properly the demigods will be satisfied and all their necessities will be supplied. Krishna finally told Nanda Maharaj that instead of worshiping Indra take all this paraphernalia and just worship the cows, brahmanas and Govardhan hill which is supplying us such nice grasses and grains.
This was a big risk, to stop an age old tradition and start worshiping some cows and a hill. But the cowherd men loved Krishna so much that they simply agreed to whatever He said. In doing so they were following the ultimate principle of Vedas that is exclusive surrender to Krishna – sarva- dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja…
“What does it mean to surrender to Krishna? It doesn’t mean just to offer your obeisances in the dust and eat the dust and say, “Krishna, I am Yours.” – It means to make Krishna happy. That’s what it means to surrender to Krishna.”
So Krishna induced them to use all the paraphernalia of Indra puja for worshiping cows, brahmanas and Govardhan hill. He told them to make large amount of bhoga, feed nice grasses to the cows, and being dressed nicely perform parikrama of Giriraj.
As the Vrajvasis made mountains of bhoga and lakes of liquid preparations Krishna assumed an unprecedented huge form to instil faith in the cowherd, declaring “I am Govardhan Mountain”, and He ate all the offerings. Krishna wanted to show the world that Govardhan hill and Himself are non-different. Scriptures tell us that although Govardhan is the Supreme Personality of Godhead he plays the role of a devotee – Haridasa varya – the greatest devotee.