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Govardhana Lila - Curbing The Pride Of Demigods

When the gopis felt to be the most fortunate women in the universe, Krishna immediately disappeared from their sight and was nowhere to be found. Krishna accepts everyone's service, but He does not like one devotee to proudly consider himself better than others. If sometimes there are such feelings, Krsna ends them by changing His attitude toward the devotee. Similarly, when Lord Brahma became bewildered by seeing Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead in his original form of a cowherd boy, he started doubting whether he is an ordinary boy of this world and thus attempted to test the Lord by stealing all his cowherd boyfriends. But Krishna, through his inconceivable potency immediately manifested transcendental replacements for the stolen friends, which obliged Lord Brahma to fall at His feet and beg for forgiveness. Yet another example of such "curbing of devotee's pride" is the transcendental pastime of lifting the Govardhana hill. Lord Indra, the superintendent of the heavenly planets became furious when Krishna stopped his yajna, sacrifice and instead advised the inhabitants of Vrndavana to worship the famous Govardhana Hill.

Everything in Vrndavana is non-different from the Lord and thus everything in Vrndavana is as much worshipabble as the Lord. In fact, Lord Krishna would be incomplete without His dear associates, His pastimes, His holy abode (Goloka Vrndavana). The land of Vrndavana with Govardhana Hill that can be found even today on Indian soil are the transcendental replicas of the original abode of the Lord in the spiritual sky. So when Lord Indra heard of this rebellion of the inhabitants of Vrndavana and how they used the various worship paraphenelia that was meant for his worship to worship the Govardhana Hill, he sends torrents of devastating rainfall with the idea to wipe out Krishna, His associate and the village of Vrndavana off the surface of the world. He became intoxicated with his power as the superindenting demigod and considered himself to be the supreme authority on all matters. Srila Prabhupada explains: "Demonically, Indra thought himself to be the all-powerful supreme personality. When demons become very powerful, they defy the supreme controller, the Personality of Godhead. Indra, though not a demon, was puffed up by his material position, and he wanted to challenge the supreme controller. He thought himself, at least for the time being, as powerful as Krsna.(KB 25: Devastating Rainfall in Vrndavana)" Thus he sent the most powerful of his various rainclouds to flood Krishna and his associates. Krishna then lifted the Govardhana Hill and thus protected all his devotees under a gigantic umbrella. This curbed the pride of Indra who came to his senses and begged for forgiveness for his offenses. One can easily become bewildered by Krishna's pastimes and by His transcendental personality. Krishna as He is is not manifested to the impersonalists and to the gross materialists. For them He is covered by His yoga maya potency and thus they think of Him as an ordinary man.

Krishna says: "All of them-as they surrender unto Me-I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha." (Bg.4.11) Similarly, it depends on the attitude of the devotee whether Krishna reveals Himself to him or not. It is therefore important for the conditioned souls not to be proud and not envy the Lord. Otherwise their internal vision of Krishna becomes killed by their offenses. Just as one should not envy the Lord, one should similarly not envy the devotees. We may mention that just like Indra became a victim of mundane pride, sometimes even great sannyasis and preachers become victimed by false pride and in their envy they commit serious offenses that pushed them down to the level of impersonalists etc.

Srila Prabhupada states that he was also envied by some of his unscrupulous Godbrothers in his grhasta lila: "Although they knew that Prabhupada liked me very much, because I am grhastha, I was known as paca-grhastha. Paca-grhastha means a rotten grhastha. And now they say, 'This grhastha has come out more than us? What is this?'" (Morning Walk -- February 3, 1976, Mayapura)

Then later on such offensive Godbrothers were taught a lesson, in a fashion similar to Indra's, when the true preaching glory and ability was exhibited by the personality of Srila Prabhupada by distributing the Krishna consciousness movement all over the world and thus fulfilling the prophecy of Lord Caitanya who said that the holy name of Krishna will be heard in every town and village. One should therefore never judge Krishna nor his devotees by their external features and through the vision of materialistic minds, but should carefully consider everything through the vision of guru, sadhu and sastra. Srila Prabhupada notes: "Those who think that Krsna consciousness is limited to a certain section of people, a certain section of devotees or a certain tract of land are generally prone to see the external features of the devotee. Such neophytes, unable to appreciate the exalted service of the advanced devotee, try to bring the maha-bhagavata to their platform. (NoI: verse 6 purport) The Lord out of His causeless mercy always curbs the pride of such neophyte devotees by making his devotees successful despite all the obstacles that they face in propagating the Krishna conscious philosophy as it is just like He curbs the pride of demigods when they forget His supreme position.

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