Govardhan Puja 2014
Sri Giri Govardhan
little Jagannath Baladev Subhadra
Jagannath Baladev Subhadra with small JBS at front
Sri Giri Govardhan
Sri Giri Govardhan and Sri Sri Radha Giridhari
Sri Sri Radha Giridhari
Presently New Varshan's Giridhari (Govardhan sila) is residing with Jaya Tirtha Charan dasa until the appropriate time when He will take His rightful seat on the altar next to Sri Sri Radha Giridhari as pictured above. Over some years a number of devotees had asked why it was that I (JTCd) sometimes went to Auckland with my Govardhan silas for Govardhan puja and why the Auckland temple didn't have at least one, you know Radha Giridhari and all that. At the opening of the new temple no less than four devotees asked me again and I said I don't know. Someone, who shall remain nameless suggested me asking to see if one would manifest to someone in Vrindavan, and if I knew of anyone there who'd be willing to bring one back, and we could gift Him to the Auckland temple. So I said I'd look into it.
I bounded the idea around Bhaktisiddhanta swami who was there at that time, and again a few weeks later when he was back in Mayapur, he agreed but nothing happened, I think he thought we were after one of his =>:-)) So just in due Krsna katha we brought it up to Ameyatma prabhu through e-mail, who also thought it a good idea, but was cautious so as no offence was comitted, and that if something were to happen that it should be of a natural organic evolvment by Krishna's arrangement rather than us trying to kidnap a sila and bring Him to the west.
Some nice conversations went back and forth until the final e-mail as captured below............
The story of how he came:
Conversation between Ameyatma dasa and JTCd by e-mail, message from Ameyatma (19th February 2004 from Vrindavan):
Ameyatma prabhu said:
Ok Prabhu I have some pretty amazing news. I'm amazed anyway. I'm amazed how Krsna's actually a person!!!
I went out to Govardhana with a heavy heart feeling all-time depressed and low. Of course at the asrama there, the devotees are very sweet and accommodating so that picked me up, along with the whole atmosphere, being right at the foot of Govardhana.
I did a bit of a marathon. In the first 2 days I did 2 Govardhana parikramas, chanting extra and begging for His mercy. On my way around I also bathed in Radha kunda trying to be as respectful as I could. I felt desperate for the mercy.
The next 2 days I did a hearing marathon, listening to some awesome lectures by Jaya Adwaita Swami on ' The horrors and hopes of household life ' and also ' psychology ' which had the same themes running through. That was pretty awakening.
Then I did one more parikrama which was very hard as I had hurt my toe a little. On this parikrama I couldn't help think about your friend who wanted the Sila and how I was so unqualified and full of material desires that there would be no chance He would come.
I went back to Krsna Balarama temple exhausted but feeling like I'd at least tried to do some sincere service to Giriraja out there. The next morning I went to mangalarati and as I was getting up from paying my obeisances to Radha Shyamasundara, a devotee who doesn't even know me asked if I could lead guru puja this morning.
I did that and it is pretty ecstatic as Prabhupada cicumambulates the temple and then replaced in his samadhi. Pretty powerful presence. After the kirtana, a devotee came up to me and said nice kirtana and then I realized I knew him. He is a big book distributor now who was born in South India and brought up as a pure brahmana.
He told me he was given some amazing Salagramas when he went back to visit his parents. Then he asked me about Giriraja. He asked about whether he is aloud to be taken out the Dhama or not. I told him that Prabhupada has given that special concession, if He is well taken care of. He looked relieved.
He then told me he had been given 3 by a friend and was unsure about them. He said he had been pleaded to by another friend that when back in India if he could bring back Giriraja for him. He had a burning desire to do so and he said that on his way into Vrindavana he was dreaming about Giriraja.
When he arrived, he went out on parikrama and his friends, ( 2 boys from school in South India who he brought to ISKCON and is now training on books ) One of them had enthusiastically gone to the foot of Govardhana and found him these 3 silas. He had done it in innocence not understanding that Giriraja had to be given by a Vrajavasi.
He wanted me to look after the Silas for the next few days and gave them to me to do Their first worship. He brought a whole lot of bhoga for Them also. I did the puja for Them that morning and couldn't help noticing that one of the 3 would be a perfect size for your friend.
He came to see Them in the late afternoon and I asked him further about the Silas. He said that the 2 big ones he wanted to give to his friend who had pleaded to him and the other one he wanted to give to me. I was taken back but a little concerned as they had not really been given in the right way. I had to break this news to him and he was devastated. He so much wanted to please his friend and also I had told him that it was amazing he had offered me the little one as He also had a home.
He became very intense and uncertain. I told him the only thing he could really do is to go back to Govardhana pray to Giriraja and see what happens. I told him to do a full parikrama and see if he meets someone who would give them. He immediately sparked up and saw some hope.
It was about 6 at night. I said he should go the next day. He said, no I have to go now. I told him it was probably too dangerous. I told him about gundas and even one story where someone at Govinda kunda had their head severed from their body by a gunda. It didn't phase him. He said he was only in Vrindavana for another day and that tomorrow his devotee mother wanted to visit all the Radha kunda, Varshana etc. I was amazed. I asked him how he was going to get back. He said he didn't care. He said he's an Indian, these things aren't a big deal for him.
So he took his 2 friends and went out there. I gave him some tips on the mood to have. I said you just have to pray constantly to Giriraja that He can serve Him however he desires. I also said pray to Him while you do parikrama that you can become a better servant of your Guru.
He said he'd see me in mangalarati.
I didn't see him at mangalarati.
I saw him at Gurupuja. I asked him how it went. He said he had an amazing story to tell.
He came to my room after class. He said he went back and started the parikrama at about 8pm. It was just starting to get dark. His friend who had found the Silas said he should find someone to ask soon as it was getting dark. He said to his friend, don't worry, if it's meant to happen it will.
They came to the spot where the Silas were found which was at the beginning of the parikrama. There was an innocent looking boy standing at that exact spot. He said it was getting dark and there was no one else around. He was astounded he was just standing there like he was waiting for someone.
This devotee then approached him and showed him the Silas and pleaded that he could give them. The boy responded by taking to him closer to Giriraja, picking up another Sila and giving it to him and also giving him the ones he already had.
This devotee is not one to lie. And the way he told the story, he was just as amazed as I was.
He then did parikrama of Govardhana in the dark and arrived back at 1 am.
I did the puja again to now 4 Silas. The one the boy had given was the biggest and to me the most attractive. Actually an incredible Sila. He has a beautiful big face which is coloured black and gold like Radha and Krsna and has a peacock design. And the base is perfectly flat and sturdy. Very very beautiful. Also the head is in the shape of a crown leading to Radha.
As I did His puja immediately it came to mind that you had mentioned that one day you would like to give a Govardhana Sila for New Varshana. When I read that I was taken back as I had thought about it about 3 years ago and reflected how there should be Giriraja where there is Radha Giridhari. I also thought that if He was there he would probably bring all the devotees together as that's His pastime.
Before I even mentioned it, the devotee who was sitting there watching the puja could see that something was going on. He asked what I was thinking. I revealed the thought that had come to mind. So he wanted to give Him to me also even though he was thinking that one day he might worship this 4th Sila.
Then he asked me what I was doing today. He asked if I would like to come on parikrama with him, his friends and mum for the day. I realized I hadn't planned to do anything and it was a perfect arrangement. We went out to all the places, doing kirtana most of the time and I also read some things to them in the different places.
His mum was very eager to see Giriraja for the first time. So we also went to Govardhana and we went to the exact spot where the Silas appeared. I was amazed. The spot is the exact place of the pastime where Krsna held up Radha and asked her for a tax, the exact place. I can't remember the name of it but there's a kunda there and it's outlined in the parikrama book.
So that's the situation prabhu. What I've written could be bogus and you may suggest I return those 2 Silas. To me it seems too fantastic to be true. But They're now presently in my room being worshiped.
ps. I just sent this email feeling a little uncertain about everything. As I closed down my sight noticed that on this public computer someone has left a message at the bottom saying Radha Giridhari ki jaya. I opened it thinking I may have left it there by mistake. Suddenly I was having darshana of Their Lordships!!!. I take it as sign that They must be orchestrating this one !!!
Just around that time one of the Auckland temple managers arrived in Vrindavan so just to be on the safe side Amey' and myself (JTC) thought it best to run it past Kalasamvara prabhu ACBSP and see what he thought. When Ameyatma prabhu told him the events and what had happened he also agreed, and we made our plan to bring Him back to enthuse the devotees in Auckland. Kalas' brought Him back and JTC collected Him and for now that's where He resides until the time is right to introduce Him to the Auckland temple.
This Govardhan sila is incredible, He's almost identicle to the big Govardhan sila I used to worship for years in Melbourne temple, same shape, same perfect rock formation, not too bumpy to paint and not too absorbant, accepts ghee realy well, doesn't discolour with oils, He's really quite something else. I've just put these few ornaments / alankars on Him but once you get a nice asana, a nice crown, and flute, and water pot, and shoes, and He has a big fat flower garland and some nice fresh Tulasi instead of the humble dried leaves that I'm offering...... He's getting a pretty good feed here though hahaha, and He fits in really nicely. He's won me over already, so there's no hurry in claiming Him hahaha...............
Sri Giri Govardhan
Auckland Temple Opening 2004 pics
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