Radhanath Swami On Haridasvarya Giriraj
‘Haridasvarya’ Giriraj :
The following are excerpts from a lecture given by Radhanath Swami just before the Govardhan parikrama during the Vrindavan yatra in 1998 :
“Srimati Radharani is the Lord’s ‘Hladini Shakti’ (pleasure giving potency), the Supreme most reservoir of all devotion. She has declared Govardhan Hill with the name ‘Haridasvarya’, which means he is the best of all devotees of Krishna. Yudhisthira Maharaj is known as‘Haridas’, Uddhava is known as ‘Haridas’, but only Govardhan is known as ‘Haridasvarya’. Why? Because Sri Giriraj pleases Krishna the most, by giving pleasure to His devotees, the cows, the cowherd boys. Thus we can understand from Srimati Radharani’s own words that the best devotee is that devotee who gives his/her very life to serve the servants of the Lord. “
Manifesting the ‘Ashta satvika vikar’ :
“Govardhan exhibits the ‘Ashta satvika vikar’, which means the ecstatic symptoms of love of Krishna, to such an unlimited degree. Three prominent symptoms of ecstatic love are the standing of the hairs on end of the body, unlimited tears flowing from the eyes, and perspiration.
So we will examine how Giriraj is exhibiting these symptoms of ecstasy. The standing of ‘Hairs’ on His body are the beautiful, beautiful fresh green grasses that cover Sri Giriraj. Those grasses have four very wonderful qualities:
- Sugandha: is unlimitedly fragrant, each blade of grass has such ambrosial intoxicating fragrance and there are hundreds and hundreds and millions of such blades of grass, each emanating such a fragrance to give pleasure to Krishna-Balaram, Gopa-Gopis and especially to the cows. Also another quality is
- Sukomal: which means they are very very soft. Each blade of grass Govardhan is personally orchestrating in such a way that they feel very very soft and give ultimate pleasure to the lotus feet of the Gopas and the Gopis, and the hooves of the cows. And when the cows eat this grass not only is it very very nectarine and flavored and fragrant, but very soft so they never cut or cause any inconvenience to the mouths of the cows.
- Pushtivardhana: that the grass of Govardhan is very very nutritious. When the cows eat this grass they never get tired, they never get hungry or thirsty, and they can never catch any type of disease. And –
- Dugdhasambhak: the fourth quality of the grass of Govardhan is that by eating these grasses Krishna’s cows produce the best milk. This milk is like ambrosial nectar, and Srimati Radharani, Yashodamayi and the Gopis use this milk, which is produced form the grass of Govardhan Hill to make unlimited preparations for Sri Krishna and Balaram for their pleasure. The grass of Govardhan Hill is always watered not by ordinary rain but because the cows are so satisfied eating this grass that milk is constantly profusely flowing from their milk bags. The grasses of Govardhan Hill are watered by the milk of the cows. Surabhi cows and even the demigods in heaven they bring their horses down to Govardhan Hill to eat the grasses. And the Sun God being so pleased, he gives his most nourishing and special Sunrays to help grow the grasses of Govardhan.
The ‘tears’ of Sri Giriraj manifest as the innumerable waterfalls, rivers, lakes and ponds. At the time of Lord Krishna, and if we have the eyes to see we can witness now, that as the little rivers of Govardhan are flowing, they are flowing on rocks of gold and those golden rocks are decorated with jewels like emeralds and diamonds and rubies. And to see the beautiful form of the crystalline clear waters of Govardhan, His tears cascading on these rocks is the most beautiful of all sights to see. The waters of Govardhan are the liquid prema coming from his heart. And as Krishna and his cowherd boyfriends bathe in these lakes, Sri Govardhan has the opportunity to embrace them each and every day. The waters of Govardhan are so sweet and nectarine because they are the offering of his love. When Krishna and the Gopas drink that water after feeding the cows, they become so intoxicated that they roll in the grass in ecstasy and chant and dance.
The ‘perspiration’ of Govardhan is the morning dew that covers Him to give very very cooling refreshing pleasure to Sri Krishna and Balaram and to the cows, as they are herding.
The stones of Govardhan during the winter they become very comfortably warm and during the summer they are cool and refreshing. The Gopis sometimes they feel great distress in their hearts that, “Krishna is traversing on Govardhan Hill and through the pastures of Vrindavan His feet are so very very soft what will happen if He steps on a hard stone or a rock, what to speak of a thorn”. However as soon as Krishna or any of His friends or cows step on the rocks, the rocks melt in ecstasy and become so soft like liquid. In fact in many places at Govardhan Hill like Shyamvana, you can actually see the footprints of Krishna, the footprints of his cows, the print of his flute or his stick. When Krishna steps on a thorn, Giriraj arranges that thorn becomes as soft as a flower petal, and when he steps on the jagged stones they become soft as very very tender lotus flower. Sri Giriraj is eternally offering His Puja in every possible way for the pleasure of the Lord and especially for the pleasure of His devotees. And Giriraj is also extremely compassionate to all living beings. He manifests that compassion by facilitating such wonderful wonderful pastimes for Krishna to enjoy that great Vaishnavas will glorify those pastimes throughout the world and thus liberate and ultimately give pure love of God to all the living entities throughout the world.
– Radhanath Swami