Shouldn’t Indra Have Had Better Things To Do

[Govardhana Puja]“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)

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“I certainly do love the story of the first Govardhana Puja, and how it became an annual tradition. There are some hints of the angry God concept, wherein Shri Krishna threatens the people that snakes will bite them if they ignore the worship in subsequent years.

“But still, I get the meaning. The hill is so important to Him. If you have a temple close by, there is no need to install deities in your home. The higher forces have facilitated worship, and something acquired with little endeavor should not be misused. If you live near Govardhana Hill, participate in the worship once a year and you will see tremendous benefits in your life.

“I am speaking of the consciousness. If your thinking is pure, you can survive any situation. Otherwise, even if you live within the most pristine environment, with life’s necessities taken care of, you could be miserable.

“Which is a natural transition to Indra, the king of heaven. We know that Govardhana Hill became famous in Vrindavana because Krishna lifted it into the air, to serve as an umbrella for seven days. This was necessary because Indra attacked the people with devastating rain, more so than any of us have ever personally witnessed.

“I’m wondering why Indra would care, at all. Shouldn’t he have had better things to do? He was in the heavenly region. More comforts. More enjoyment. Why be concerned with people living in an inferior realm?

“It sort of reminds me of the affluent adult-aged children of today, living in their parents’ home, without a job. They don’t have to pay for anything, so they should be in less distress than the family man who has to earn a living to scrape by every month. Yet the mental outlook in these children is so toxic that they become involved in violent social causes related to issues that they know nothing about.

“I blame it on the smartphones and endless hours of television they consume. If you have everything going for you, you shouldn’t be dragged into illusion. I feel that’s what happened to Indra, as well.”

[Lifting Govardhana Hill]The acharyas will give many explanations for this apparently contradictory behavior. The most obvious truth is that material advancement means nothing for the consciousness. This is important to remember because the illusion says otherwise.

If I just made more money, I would be happy. If my party only won the upcoming election, the country would be fine. If this famous person just went to jail, then I would feel like we live in a fair world. If only this and if only that, then I will be at peace.

The outcomes fall on either side, but the long-term result is the same. Continued distress. Prolonged stretches of hopelessness and despair. Depression. Irregular eating and sleeping habits, leading to poor health. In Indra’s case, it was extreme envy towards people who had only been loyal to him for many years.

This means that even in the heavenly realm a person is vulnerable to the defects of a material existence. Winning heaven doesn’t really make you immune to anything. Birth, old age, disease and death. Acceptance and rejection. Intense desire, kama, leading to irrational anger, krodha.

Indra essentially became an attempted mass-murderer. The lesson he was trying to teach the residents of Vrindavana was death through uncontrollable flood. There were no insurance companies in those days, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead was there to indemnify.

He gave protection against total loss for the effort invested in devotion to Him. The people shifted gears, towards Govardhana Hill, at His insistence. This was Krishna’s invented yajna; one not previously mentioned in shastra. In this sense, Nanda Maharaja’s son was an iconoclastic rebel.

[Govardhana Puja]The outcome teaches that participating in the yajna was the best thing to do. It was the most valuable use of time. Indra was blessed to have been corrected in such a drastic way, and the continuing tradition of the first puja gives a vivid example of the supremacy of the bhakti path and devotion to Krishna.

In Closing:

Krishna’s persuasion couldn’t resist,
So that year from yajna to desist.

Efforts instead towards hill,
Vessels with preparations to fill.

By Indra treated as effort to secede,
So in vengeful wrath to proceed.

But Krishna with uprooted hill taking,
Futile attack against bhakti making.

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