Sri Sri Radha Damodar Mandir - Sri Vrindavan Dham
Giriraja Govardhan Sila  — Srila Sanatana Goswami — Giriraja Govardhan Puja — Srila Rupa Goswami

last updated 2nd March 2013


5th July 2011

Sri Radha Damodar Jayate!

Govardhan Sila

The sacred Govardhan  Sila which has the footprint of Lord Krsna, gifted to Srila Sanatana Goswami, is situated on the Sri Singhasana in the mandir.

Srila Sanatana Goswami was the elder brother of Srila Rupa Goswami, but since he received the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu first, Srila Rupa Goswami’s name always appears first in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition.

Srila Sanatana Goswami is Rati Manjari or Raga Manjari in Vraja-lila. Some also consider him to be Lavanga Manjari. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Sanatana Goswami to go to Vrndavana. When he came there he established the pure principles of devotion and also started the service of Sri Sri Radha Krsna in their arca-vighraha forms. He would circumambulate Govardhana Hill every day as part of his daily routine, even during his old age. Only after completing his parikrama would he take food or water.

One day, after completing his parikrama he returned to his bhajan-kutir at the Caklesvara Mahadeva temple near Manasi-ganga. There, Sri Krsna suddenly appeared to Sanatana Goswami and said, “Now you are very old and unable to perform your parikrama properly. There is no need for you to do this every day.” Sanatana replied that he had taken a vow that he would never stop his daily parikrama. Understanding Sri Sanatana’s determination, Lord Krsna then stood on a large Govardhana Sila and started to play His flute. Due to the sweet transcendental melody, the sila began to melt and Krsna’s footprint became imprinted there. A nearby calf heard the enchanting music from Krsna’s flute and came inside and began to dance. Thus, Krsna’s foortprint, the calf’s hoof-print,  Krsna’s flute and his cowherd-stick all left impressions in the Govardhana Sila.

Lord Krsna then gave the Govardhana Sila to Srila Sanatana Goswami and told him that if he circumambulated this Govardhana Sila four times, it would be equal to circumambulating the entire Govardhana Hill. Srila Sanatana Goswami accepted the sila from the Lord and from that time on he worshipped it and circumambulated it. After Sri Sanatana’s disappearance, the worship of this Govardhana Sila was taken up by his beloved brother Srila Rupa Goswami, who later gave it to his intimate disciple Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu. This Govardhana Sila is on the altar at the Radha Damodar Temple. Thus, four parikramas of the Radha Damodar Temple is equal to circumambulating Sri Govardhana Hill.

Srila Sanatana Goswami appeared in order to show us how to worship Sri Sri Radha Krsna properly and to lay the foundations of proper Vaisnava behavior (Vaisnava sadacara). His main works are Brhad-bhagavatamrtam, Hari Bhakti-vilasa, Lilastava and Brhat Vaisnava Tosani.

In the year 1615 Samvat on the Ashad Purnima, Sanatana Goswami entered the Lord’s eternal pastimes. All the Vaisnavas were plunged into an ocean of despair and Srila Rupa Goswami entered his bhajan-kutir and never came out again.

On the day of Srila Sanatana Goswami’s disappearance, all the Vraja-vasis and Vaisnavas in Vrndavana took his body on Govardhana parikrama and all the devotees shaved their heads and faces. This tradition is continued to this day and is known as the Muriya Poona which means the full moon when everybody shaves.

Giriraja Govardhan Ki Jaya.

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