“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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1. Send a lightning strike
“I don’t understand why Indra had to retaliate so severely. Okay, the people of Gokula decided to skip the puja in his honor that one year. What is the big deal? It would be like the local Christmas Carol singing group intentionally skipping my house. They don’t want to knock on my door, for some reason.
“I wouldn’t care that much. Indra was offended. I get it. He could have sent a simple lightning strike to the area. One of those warning shots homeowners fire off into the night, to scare away potential intruders. Something to let the people know that their insult did not go unnoticed.”
2. Send a brief storm
“Indra could have sent a brief storm to the area around Govardhana Hill. People might have been inconvenienced. They would have been stuck out in the rain. They would be getting wet, with an abrupt end to their newly created celebration.
“Nevertheless, the storm would get the point across. The people would understand that Indra was watching. He had been expecting the yajna in his honor. Why did the people have to skip it? Why did they feel compelled to follow the advice of Krishna? Who takes the advice of a young child? Especially with something so important, it is still a head-scratcher.”
3. Turn the place dark
“This is a classic trick in professional wrestling. It has seemed to make its way into politics, as well. Though I do often joke that everything we see in politics today is ripped off from professional wrestling.
“The trick is to abruptly turn out the lights. One wrestler looks like they are about to win. They are dominating the match. They are closing in on the finishing move. Then, out of nowhere, the lights go out. Total darkness.
“When the lights turn back on, you see a completely different situation. The wrestler who was winning is now losing. There might be an extra character in the ring. In politics, the vote totals change abruptly during this trick. The candidate who was far behind is now on track to win.
“It is pretty funny, but you get my point. Indra could have done something similar. Just turn the area around Govardhana Hill pitch black. Send the heaviest cloud cover you can think of. That would send a strong message.”
4. Do nothing
“Isn’t Indra supposed to be in the mode of goodness? Is he not one of the suras? Actually, he is their leader, am I right? If Indra is in sattva-guna, why didn’t he just ignore the perceived insult? Why did he have to respond, at all?
“Let the people worship Govardhana Hill. Let them be happy. Let them follow the lead of Shri Krishna. It was not harming anyone. Was anyone really getting hurt?”
From the historical incident of the inaugural Govardhana Puja, we see the ferocity with which Indra actually responded. He felt compelled to show his might. He wanted to leave no doubt on the matter. The people of Gokula were skipping the puja of a very important person. They had to see the consequences of that omission.
Just how important was Indra? He could devastate the entire area. He could send the cloud reserved for the end of the world. The samvartaka would pour enough rain, in a short span of time, that the people would be helpless. Not even Krishna would be able to save them.
After all, what magic could be conjured up in so short a time? What was Krishna going to do? Could He swallow up all the rain? Could He learn to fly and magically carry everyone with Him? This wasn’t going to happen.
Lost in Indra’s fury was the focal point of the new tradition. There was Govardhana Hill. Krishna would use it to protect the residents. He would turn it into the greatest umbrella the world has ever known. That umbrella is strong enough to defend against a vengeful Indra and his targeted strikes.
This means that those who are protected by Krishna are always protected. Whether the demigods are favorable or not. Whether there is the typical shelter available or not. Whether they are on guard or lost in the bliss of devotion, the son of Nanda is always keeping a watchful eye.
Keeping a watchful eye,
Such as when vengeful to try.
With their plans of destruction,
Like to that first puja obstruction.
Where Indra sending a cloud,
Reminder that omission not allowed.
But Krishna opportunity to choose,
For Govardhana as umbrella to use.
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