“Krishna’s invoking the anger of Indra and later on chastising him is a clear indication to His devotee that those who are engaged in Krishna consciousness have no need to worship any demigod, even if it is found that the demigod has become angry. Krishna gives His devotees all protection, and they should completely depend on His mercy. ” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 25)
Friend1: Listen, I know the events described in the Bhagavatam are real.
Friend2: Who said they weren’t?
Friend1: Well, you know how people are. Who is going to believe that an elephant getting trapped by a crocodile will suddenly offer wonderful prayers to Vishnu? Who is going to believe that Hiranyakashipu was killed by a half-man/-half-lion figure that emerged from a pillar?
Friend2: For sure, the uncultured won’t understand. It is mythology to them. These things are inconceivable, but even the person who is materially minded and achieves the perfections of mystic yoga understands that these things aren’t out of the realm of possibility.
Friend1: Let’s say I am discussing with an open-minded person. They aren’t ready to believe fully, yet, but they want to know of the symbolic aspect.
Friend2: What do you mean?
Friend1: For example, Govardhana Puja. Any symbolism there?
Friend2: To the worship itself or what happened afterwards?
Friend1: When Krishna lifted the hill.
Friend2: I don’t like playing this game. You will get more out of it by knowing for certain that these events aren’t made up. The great sage Vyasadeva did not have time to waste on fiction. There wasn’t a secret plot, either, to help people understand higher concepts. In many ways these authors of Vedic literature were journalists, the genuine and trustworthy kind. They reported on what they saw.
Friend1: I understand that.
Friend2: Of course there is symbolism to everything Krishna does. His is the most intelligent mind. Everything we see around us that has intelligence derives it from God. When looking at the lifting of Govardhana Hill, what immediately stands out to me is the place where the hill rested for seven days.
Friend1: You mean that it was on Krishna’s hand?
Friend2: But which one?
Friend1: The left, I think.
Friend1: There’s symbolism to that?
Friend2: Not just the hand, but the finger. The hill rested on the pinky finger of Krishna’s left hand.
Friend1: For seven consecutive days, so as to give protection from the devastating rain.
Friend2: Yes. This was the weakest finger on the typically non-dominant hand. That is how strong God is. He is even stronger than that, but this incident gives us some idea.
Friend1: Oh man, that’s good. Thanks. Here’s another thought that just popped up. After this incident, why would anyone ever go back to Indra?
Friend2: You mean praying to him for stuff?
Friend1: Yeah. These people in Vrindavana were loyal to him for so long. Okay, they skipped his puja for one year. Just one time! And look what happened. Indra got so jealous that he tried to kill everyone involved. I understand that this was part of Krishna’s lila, meant to teach many lessons, but I would never trust the guy again.
Friend2: I don’t know if they ever did go back to him. They all saw Indra approach Krishna towards the end with prayers of contrition. Those prayers were very nice. That horrible deed, borne of wrath and envy, was instantly forgiven.
Friend1: Alright, but the potential is there with any kind of demigod worship. There is no customer rewards program. There is no loyalty benefit. Why not go directly to Krishna?
Friend2: Well, there you go. That is another lesson to take. The less intelligent, alpa-medhasam, look for temporary rewards through worshiping the devas. The wise understand that both Krishna and His realm are permanent. By worshiping Him, you go to Him. Going to Him means getting the greatest protection from danger. Even Krishna’s umbrella held up in the air for seven days is more secure than anything we’ve ever seen.
Of His protection can be sure,
Like hill on pinky secure.
Resting on non-dominant hand,
Subtle way Indra to reprimand.
Who through anger revenge sought,
Devastating rain to area brought.
Risk when trust to extend,
Better same to Krishna to send.