“As the director of different kinds of clouds, Indra called for the samvartaka. This cloud is invited when there is a need to devastate the whole cosmic manifestation. The samvartaka was ordered by Indra to go over Vrindavana and inundate the whole area with an extensive flood. Demonically, Indra thought himself to be the all-powerful supreme personality.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 25)
“Senseless destruction. What was he to gain from it? What was lacking in the heavenly realm that punishing common village people was to fix? He is the king of heaven, is he not? Indra should have had every comfort available to him.
“Yes, I understand that the people of Vrindavana skipped the annual Indra-yajna that year. It wasn’t their idea. No malice; no offense intended. Shri Krishna, the darling son of Nanda Maharaja, was too convincing. His desire to have Govardhana Hill worshiped instead took precedent.
“Who gets offended by the words of a child? How could Indra become so jealous? Did he not remember that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the same Vishnu who helped him many times in the past? Why did Indra have to take revenge on the people?”
Make no mistake, this is exactly what the people attributed the calamity to. The sudden thunder, lightning, hail and devastating rain could only have one cause. This was not a random movement of the clouds. This was not part of some natural sequence of events, in concert with the season.
Indra felt insulted, and he was going to take out his anger on the people who offended him. The principle of note for the spiritually inclined is there for the taking, glittering like a jewel. Even ascending to heaven is not the end. Living with advanced material comforts and a long duration of life tends to be the primary objective, from the start. Once we find out that we are alive, we try to maintain that existence for as long as possible.
Not only was Indra already in heaven, but he was the leader of that realm. He had the most to enjoy. But we see that such advanced living did not equate to a higher level of consciousness. There was still the vulnerability. He was susceptible to irrational envy.
It would be like a millionaire carrying on a rivalry with a poor person. For whatever reason, they are jealous. It doesn’t make sense, when viewing from the outside, but our judgment of the situation has no bearing on the reality. That is to say, Indra’s vengeful streak was real; though it lacked proper justification.
On the other side, we get a glimpse of the potency of the Almighty. Thunder and lighting are not enough. Even when released in a fury, in a level comparable to the devastation reserved for the end of creation, Krishna can easily mitigate.
He ended up lifting the massive Govardhana Hill and using it as an umbrella. There were many other options available, but this allowed everyone to know the level of affection Krishna has to that piece of land. It is indeed non-different from Him, and thus still worshiped to this day.
Despite with heavenly post gifted,
To new heights of envy lifted.
When Krishna’s influence seeing,
So torrent of rain and hail freeing.
But Supreme nothing to lack,
Easy for Him to fight back.
With that just worshiped hill,
Sacred to this day still.