Pay No Mind To The Distant Thunder

[Govardhana rain]“Ordered by King Indra, all the dangerous clouds appeared above Vrindavana and began to pour water incessantly, with all their strength and power. There was constant lightning and thunder, blowing of severe wind and incessant falling of rain. The rainfall seemed to fall like piercing sharp arrows.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 25)

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The advice to first-time parents flies from every direction:

“Hold the baby this way. Take them to a pediatrician on a regular schedule, even if they look completely healthy. Keep up to date with immunizations. Never mind the reservations you may have because of toxic chemicals included and links to aborted fetuses. Don’t take the risk. You have to start tummy time right away. You don’t want them to fall behind, do you? Let them cry it out. Don’t spoil them. That is the only way to get them to sleep through the night.”

A long time ago the leaders in a particular community were adults, which should go without saying. They didn’t need anyone telling them what to do. Particularly, what was a small child going to teach them? The adults were in charge, and they followed the tradition of worshiping the king of heaven, Indra. This was an annual affair, and the result was sufficient rainfall, which was necessary for maintaining the vital food supply.

Yet the leader of Vrindavana couldn’t help but listen to his son, who was named Krishna. The adorable, all-attractive one suggested worshiping Govardhana Hill instead. There were enough preparations to still honor Indra, but Krishna insisted: skip the tradition this time. Everything auspicious will result. The cows will be happy, and the cows were foremost on the list of interests to protect in Vrindavana.

Nanda Maharaja obliged. The people went from thinking of one yajna to now going somewhere else. What would the result be? What would happen? Would Govardhana Hill be satisfied? The offerings were tremendous. So many varieties of food. Prepared with love and devotion, the people were following Krishna’s direction.

[Govardhana offerings]The initial review was favorable. The hill even spoke to the people. It was Krishna assuming the identity, but that hill was non-different from Him anyway. The festivities concluded without issue. That is until there was thunder in the distance. An ominous cloud on its way. What was the target? And exactly just how much rain were we looking at?

Before anyone had time to ponder any further, a devastating storm hit. It sure looked like this was a surgical strike, acting with intelligence. That indeed was the case, as in the background Indra was in a fit of vengeance. He did not take too kindly to being overlooked. He was especially perturbed that a small child was the reason behind it. The jealousy overcame sound judgment and reasoning.

The people could have been spiteful. Everything was going smoothly, year after year. The Indra-yajna would not have taken much effort. The people had conducted such worship in the past, so nothing new to consider. Why did Krishna have to interfere? Why did the father Nanda have to listen to Him? If it were up to children, they would stay up late every night, eating pizza and ice cream for every meal. The parents must decline requests for the wellbeing of every person involved.

Yet just as they had put their faith in Krishna for the Govardhana worship, they went to Him again. The little boy picked up the massive hill and held it above His head, to act as an umbrella. The people and cows got underneath, and everyone was safe. They stayed in that shelter for seven straight days, until the devastating rain stopped.

[Govardhana Rain]The miseries of life there are many, and different kinds of shelter for protection can be found. Only devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead can safeguard against the strongest attacking forces. Just following that devotion is enough to make many enemies, some including the powerful demigods. Yet in whichever way He chooses to arrive, Krishna can protect. Just like the Govardhana umbrella, the sounds of the holy names provide safety in an existence otherwise filled with danger at every step: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

In Closing:

Pay mind to the distant thunder,

Govardhana Hill now get under.

As massive umbrella to become,

Plot of king Indra undone.

Who in rage’s fit,

Since his worship quit.

Shri Krishna to intercede,

In that mercy to believe.

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Categories: krishna pastimes

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