Chapter 24: Krishna Defies Indra in Favor of the Brahmins, the Cows and Govardhana Hill
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-19, 11:36 AM

    Chapter 24: Krishna Defies Indra in Favor of the Brahmins, the Cows and Govardhana Hill

    (1) S'rî S'uka said: 'The Supreme Lord staying in that very place [of Vraja] accompanied by Baladeva also, saw how the gopas were very busy arranging for a sacrifice to Indra. (2) Even though the Supreme Lord, the Soul of All Seeing All, knew what that meant [see B.G. 9: 23], bowed He down humbly and inquired He with the elders lead by Nanda [His stepfather]: (3) 'Tell Me, dear father, what all this fuss is you're put up with, were does it lead to, for whom is it done and by what means is this sacrifice to be accomplished? (4) Please tell Me about it, I have this great desire to hear that from you o father; surely can the activities found here of the saintly equal to all - equal in what is theirs or of others or who is a friend and enemy or neutral - not be something to be secretive about, is it? (5) An indifferent person is just like an enemy to be avoided while an ally is to be treated like one's own self so they say. (6) People perform these activities very well knowing what they do, but also when they have no clue; for those who in wisdom know what they do can the perfection be found with the labor one performs, but for the foolish without any notion is that perfection not in view. (7) That being so, I ask you, whether this conjoint action of yours is something that is prescribed [in the scriptures] or just a custom; that you should explain clearly to Me.'

    (8) S'rî Nanda said: 'The rain its great lord is Indra, the clouds are his personal representatives, they provide the rain for all living beings which, just like milk, is the gratifying life-force. (9) For his liquid discharged do we and other people too with various items and fire sacrifices worship him, that master controller of the clouds, my dear son. (10) With the remnants of that sacrificing people sustain their lives the threefold way [religiously, economically and sensually]; he is the superhuman being bringing the fruits to those who in their human actions are after results. (11) Anyone who rejects this religious duty that was handed down by tradition is a person who because of lust, enmity, fear and greed for certain cannot achieve the splendor [of God, see B.G. 10: 36].'
    (12) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing Nanda's words and also what the other residents of Vraja said, spoke Lord Kes'ava to His father in a way that made lord Indra angry. (13) The Supreme Lord said: 'It is of karma that a living entity takes birth, it is by karma alone that he meets with destruction; happiness or unhappiness, security and fear are all the result of karma. (14) If there is some controller who awards with the results of the labor performed by others, does that ruler still depend on someone who [out of his karma] performs that sacrifice; after all is there no question of being the master if there is no one who performs productive labor! (15) So what do living beings, who each follow the path of their own karma, have to do with Indra who himself cannot make any difference in what for people according their natures is ordained? (16) A person indeed is under the control of his own nature - his nature he follows; this entire world with its gods, demons and common men exists on the basis of each his own nature. (17) The higher and lower evolved bodies that the living beings obtain and give up as a consequence of their actions, prove their karma to be their enemy, friend or impartial judge; that karma alone is their controller, their guru [see also B.G. 8: 15 & 16, 4.29: 26-27 and 7.7: 46-47]. (18) Therefore should one, in keeping to one's duties performing effortlessly, exercise respect for the karma of one's own nature [see varnâs'rama]; by that karma one lives, it is that karma no doubt that is someone's worshipable deity. (19) Like an unfaithful woman with her lover, does one not gain any real benefit resorting to another entity but the entity [the worshipable deity] one derives one's life from. (20) The learned live by the Vedas, the ruling class by protecting the earth, the vaishyas live on trade and the s'ûdras on serving the twice-born [the former three, see also 7.11: 21-24]. (21) Farming, trading, cow-protection and the fourth of banking is said to be the fourfold occupational duty [of the vaishya]; among these is the one we are engaged in the constant care for the cows. (22) Of the goodness, passion and ignorance as caused by maintenance, creation and destruction [see guna] was by the mode of passion [the moving around] this universe generated and is there from the dyadic the world its variety. (23) The clouds impelled by that passion pour down their water everywhere and by that water they simply maintain the population, so what would Indra then do? (24) The cities, the cultured lands and the villages are not the places where we are at home, we are the forest people dear father, we always live in the forests and on the hills. (25) Let's therefore make a start with a sacrifice for the cows, the brahmins and the hill [Govardhana], and may this be carried out with the ingredients for Indra's sacrifice! [see also footnote 10.8*3] (26) Let's cook all sorts of preparations and soups, beginning with sweet rice, porridge, rolls and cakes and let's have all sorts of dairy products. (27) Feed the fires properly with food well prepared by the brahmins versed in the Vedas; them you should reward with cows. (28) As it is proper in respect of each should also be thought of dogs and outcasts and other fallen souls, grass must be given to the cows and the mountain should be presented offerings. (29) Nicely adorned having eaten our fill should with us in our best clothes and smeared with sandalwood pulp the cows, the brahmins, the fires and the hill [always kept to the right] be circumambulated. (30) This is what I think o father, may that be done if you please, because doing this for the cows, the brahmins and the hill is a festival also to My liking.'

    (31) S'rî S'uka said: 'Hearing these words by the Supreme Lord, by the Time in person, spoken with the intent to break the pride of Indra, accepted Nanda and the elder men them as excellent. (32-33) And so they executed all that Madusûdhana spoke of: they settled for the successful course of reciting with the items available; the hill, the brahmins they all together respectfully paid tribute; the cows, bulls and calves were presented with grass and then was the circumambulation of the hill performed. (34) The cowherd women nicely ornamented riding wagons yoked with oxen sang, together with the twice-born chanting their benedictions, the glories of S'rî Krishna. (35) Then, to instill faith in the gopas, assumed Krishna another form saying 'I am the hill' and devoured He the abundance of offerings with the immensity of His body [see vapu and footnote*]. (36) Unto Him together with the people of Vraja brought He by Himself to Himself His obeisances: 'Oh, just see, how this hill manifest in person has bestowed upon us the mercy!'