When You See a Snake, Step on it’s Head! (01/26/10)
The only references anywhere to Govardhana Hill and the worship of Govardhana-śilā is that He is Kṛṣṇa…. not Rādhā as the _____. followers do, or as Balārama, as some Iskcon devotees do. Both parties are simply interpolating.
The primary example of Govardhana-śilā worship is when Mahāprabhu gave Govardhana-śilā to Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī. He did so with a guñja-mālā. Govardhana-śilā was Kṛṣṇa and the guñja-mālā represents Rādhārāṇī. That’s it! That is the Gauḍīya standard for Govardhana-śilā worship. Furthermore, no follower of Bhaktisiddhānta ever entertained the idea that Govardhana could be Balarāma or Rādhā. Believe me, they didn’t overlook anything. Rather, others are adding something in an attempt to be different or rasika.
Śrīdhara Mahārāja always explained everything from all possible angles, but when discussing Govardhana-śilā he only ever said Govardhana was Kṛṣṇa. When he revealed numerous hidden truths of Gauḍīya siddhānta, it is unlikely or impossible that he neglected to explain the possibilities of conception concerning Govardhana. He did however say that Govardhana holds a double position… that of a śānta-rasa bhakta and that of Kṛṣṇa – but not as Balarāma or as Rādhā. Of course, that is cute, but ontologically void.
That ___ was usually very meticulous about the details of worship is sometimes true and sometimes not. He listened to _____ Mahārāja and got quite a few different ideas from him, although I didn’t know that he worshipped Govardhana-śilā as both Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. I know they do that at the Kṛṣṇa-Balarāma Temple in Vṛndāvana, but that has been going on for almost three decades. Again, only an interpolation and not based on śāstra or any bona-fide ācārya, present or past.
Oh, of course the sahajiyās may do these things, so possibly that is where ____ Mahārāja and others have picked up these deviations. Actually it’s inevitable – if one doesn’t follow the real ācāryas then one automatically follows the bhogis, even if one does not intend to do so. If you do not fill your cup with nectar then you WILL fill your cup with sewage!
There is no ontological purpose in one worshipping Govardhana-śilā as either Balarāma or as Rādhā. The whole Gauḍīya conception is a wash at that point! Everything we do has purpose in an ontological line, but the type of worship that you have mentioned just floats off somewhere in the fog. It does not lead us to the ultimate reality, rādhā-dāsyam.
Next they will worship Govardhana as Mahāprabhu, or even Gaura-Nitāi as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Its a jungle out there! Better to stick close to the lotus feet of our previous ācāryas. And when you see a snake – step on its head!