Narayaneeyam Dasakam: 62 -- Sacrifice to Govardhana

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Traditionally, the residents of Vrindavan including Nanda Maharaj and all the cowherd men would annually worshipped Indra, the King of Heaven, who is responsible for supplying water. One day, Krishna observed that the people were preparing for the worship of Indra. He asked His father Nanda "Tell me, O father! What is this occasion for your great festivity? What is the object? To whom is it intended? By whom and how is the sacrifice to be performed?"

Nanda replied, "My beloved child! Indra is the Lord of the clouds. He will give us rain by worshiping him. The rains give life to all beings. Therefore, people worship Indra by these sacrificial offerings. Whatever is left after offering him in sacrifice, we use for our subsistence in order to attain the three objects of life, viz., Dharma (righteousness), Artha (earthly possessions) and Kama (worldly enjoyments). Indra is the dispenser of the fruit of our exertions."


However, Krishna convinced his father to forgo the sacrifice to Indra and instead worship Govardhan Hill. He explained to his father Nanda Maharaj “This cosmic manifestation is going on under the influence of three modes of material nature—goodness, passion and ignorance. These three modes are the causes of creation, maintenance and destruction. The cloud is caused by the action of the mode of passion; therefore it is the mode of passion which causes the rainfall. And after the rainfall, the living entities derive the result—success in agricultural work. What, then, has Indra to do in this affair? Even if you do not please Indra, what can he do? We do not derive any special benefit from Indra. Even if he is there, he pours water on the ocean also, where there is no need of water. So he is pouring water on the ocean or on the land; it does not depend on our worshiping him. As far as we are concerned, we do not need to go to another city or village. There are palatial buildings in the cities, but we are satisfied living in this forest of Vrindavan.


Our specific relationship is with Govardhana Hill and Vrindavan forest and nothing more"O revered father! By the force of Karma a creature is born, and by the force of Karma it passes away. The birth and death of men are shaped by their own Karma. Happiness and misery, fear, safety, these are all the effects of Karma. If there be any God who dispenses the fruits of Karma, he must also follow that Karma. He cannot act independently. When people are governed by their own Karma, where does Indra come in? What has Indra to do with creatures here who simply follow the course of their Karmas. Karmic tendency is decreed by fate. Man is subject to his nature formed by the latent Samskaras of his past deeds. He follows his own nature.


The whole universe consisting of Devas, Asuras, men, etc., lives, moves and has its being in Nature. By the force of his Karma a creature attains to several corporeal existences high or low, and also loses them. Karma is one's guide. Karma is the supreme ruler. "What can Indra do?. I therefore request you, My dear father, to begin a sacrifice which will satisfy the local brahmanas and Govardhana Hill, and let us have nothing to do with Indra.” Therefore, let us make offerings to our cows, our Brahmins, our hills, and fallen people. Let dogs be properly fed. Let the cows be supplied with fodder."


Krishna thereafter instructed Nanda Maharaj to proceed with the Govardhan puja by preparing various foodstuffs to offer to Govardhan, give charity to brahmanas and decorate the cows and feed them. The ceremony of offering various foodstuffs to the Govardhan is also called Annakuta festival.