Shreenathji bhakti
  About ShreeNathji >> Appearance
Shrinathji Mandir Govardhan
Shreeji´s old Mandir at Govardhan
 
Saddu Pande's house Govardhan
Saddu Pande´s house
at Govardhan-where Naro
lived
 
 
 
 
Shrinathji Govardhan Parvat
Gaumata ´Ghumar´-feeding
Shreeji-At Govardhan
 
 
Shrinathji and Shri Vallabhacharya on Govardhan
Divine Shreeji came down to embrace His bhakt Shri Vallabhacharya on Govardhan
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The Swarup (Idol) of ShreeNathji, as it is established in Nathdwara today (details about the Form in the Darshans chapter), originally appeared in the Holy Braj Bhumi Vrindavan Dham at Mathura; from within the sacred hill of Shri Govardhan.

Bhavishyavani (forecast) about ShreeNathji’s Appearance has already been mentioned in the Giriraj Khand of the holy Garg Samhita.

“O king, 4800 years after the beginning of Kaliyug, as everyone watches, Shree Krishn will emerge from a cave on Govardhan parvat and reveal His transcendental Form at Shringar mandal. All bhakts will call this Form of Krishn as ShreeNath. He will always enjoy leelas and plays on Govardhan”. (Details in the website: www.govardhan.org.in)

This Swarup of Shree Krishn is from His original Incarnation of some 5236 years ago, when He had lifted this same Giriraj Govardhan to protect His dear Brajwasis. This dates back to the Dwapur Yug. In that period Bhagwan Shree Krishn took birth at Mathura in Vrindavan Dham, on the Braj bhumi, along with all His Divine souls who accompanied Him in various forms; namely the Gopis, His parents, His Gwal Bal (cowherd friends), who form the main characters in His life. Shree Krishn’s Incarnation in the earlier Dwapur Yug was to destroy the intense evils that had over taken the earth. Honoring the requests of all Devtas, Devis, the higher divine souls, He agreed to take birth on earth to destroy the evils that were plaguing her.

Radha, His Eternal Divine Love took birth about 2 years earlier to Him, at Rawal near Mathura; to establish bhao in Bhakti; showing us the Divinity in love and bhakti – Divine Love Consciousness. Though Krishn and Radha are eternally the same soul, they appeared here as two, in that period of Dwapur yug.
(Shree Krishn was born on the 19|20 July, 3228 BC; at 12.39 am in Mathura; in Rohini Nakshatra-Shravan Vad Aatham. (Data taken from the scriptures, Harivansh, Part-1, Chapter 52; Bhagvadji, 10th skand, 3rd chapter; Vishnu Puran, 1st chapter, 26th shlok, 5th ansh).
Radha’s birth took place on Bhadarva Sud Atham, 25th September 3230 BC at 12.48 PM in Barsana.

This leela varta (story) in which ShreeKrishn lifts the Govardhan hill for 7 days on His left hand is the Form what we today know as the ShreeNathji Swarup. This leela describes how ShreeKrishn destroyed the ego of Indr dev and showed the world that He is the Supreme Shakti. This Swarup of Shree Krishn stayed back in Shree Girirajji once the leela was over.
(This famous varta finds description in all Hindu holy books). (Details in the website:www.govardhan.org.in)

After nearly 5236 years this same sacred Shree Krishn Urja emerged from Shri Govardhan as the merged Swarup of KrishnRadha; and Appeared as the Swarup we call ShreeNathji.
All ShreeKrishn Swarups are to be found in this Form, His Bal Swarup called as Lalan, and the Adult Swarup where He is dressed as half Radha and half Krishn. He is also lovingly called Dev Daman, Indra Daman, Naag Daman by His bhakts. His full name as known to the Brajwasis was “Shree GovardhanNathji”. ShreeNathji was the name given when He moved to Nathdwara; Bhakts in their prem for Him also call Him, “Shreeji”.

(Govardhan Parvat is considered to be one of the most sacred places on earth. It is connected with several Krishn Leelas; and till today parikrama of this holy place is a very important event to all those visiting Braj. Govardhan is situated roughly about 14 miles west of Mathura. It is on the east of Anyor village, in the west of Gantholi. It has three Shikhars (peaks): Adi Shikhar-on which ShreeKrishn performed leela, Dev Shikhar, on which Shreenathji played; Brahm Shikhar, where ShreeKrishn will perform His Leela in the end. On the top of Govardhan is the olden Shreenathji mandir established by Shri Vallabhacharya; just below is the town known as Jatipura. This part is the known as the Mukharwind of the sacred parvat; where Shreenathji is worshipped. On the other side is the village Aniyor. It was 3 km in height 5000 years ago so that its shadow reached Mathura which is around 15-20 km away; this in todays time period has diminished to a mere 25m). (Details in the website: www.govardhan.org.in)

The original Form of Shree Krishn first Appeared as His Alokik Bhuja (Divine Left Hand), in Vikram Samvat 1466 (1409 AD), Shravan Vad Tritiya, on a Sunday in the Shravan Nakshatra.
This left bhuja when it appeared had all the auspicious markings of Thakurjee, including the Shree and Swastik. The  original Shaktis - powers of Shree KrishnRadha – became visible once again after a gap of nearly 5236 years.
The Urdhva Bhuja Darshan for the villagers was on Naag Panchmi. From this day, the villagers began worship of the ‘left bhuja’ of Thakurjee. It was Tuesday; Shravan Vad Paacham (5th);Vikram Samvat 1466 (1409 AD).
Later after nearly 70 years, His Mukharwind Appeared to grant us darshans, The lotus face of ShreeKrishn in this new Form made an appearance once again on this sacred bhumi (earth).
It was on Vaishak Vad Giyaras (11th) in Vikram Samvat 1535 (1478 AD); in Satbhisha Nakshatra on a Thursday; during the Abhijit mahurat, 12.40-1.00 in the afternoon; when His Lotus Face appeared to give His divya Darshan to the lucky people of the village; According to Shree Krishn’s desire, on the same day but in the Abhijit mahurat, 12.40-1.00 at night, Shri Vallabhacharya also appeared at some distance in another village called Champaran in a ring of fire. During this period all of the original Gwal Bals who were there with Him earlier in His original Incarnation as KrishnRadha also took birth around this land for the leela of Krishn to be perfect.

Varta: Dugdhpaan Charitra:

The Appearance of ShreeKrishn’s left Bhuja from Giriraj Govardhan was known only to a cow, called Ghumar, who was discovered to be a direct descendent of the Nand Baba’s; (Krishn’s father in the original incarnation) vansh cow herd. So when Shree Krishn again Appeared on the holy Braj Bhumi, He called to His cows from the earlier time period. The legend describes how she used to perform dugdh abhishek (worship through pouring of milk) on the Shree Mukh directly. This cow belonged to Brajwasis Sadu Pande and Manekchand. When they discovered that his cow had begun to give less milk daily they got suspicious. So they followed her to know what the reality could be. They were led to the spot where she stood and let her milk flow freely on some particular Shila on the hill. This divine leela astonished both of them. They thus had darshans of the alokik bhuja (Divine arm) of Shree Krishn which was now visible over the ground. This divya darshan made them very joyous. They were lucky to then hear the divya vani of Shree Krishn who told them, “I live on this Govardhan Parvat and My name is Dev Daman; because of my Leelas, I am called Indr Daman, Dev Daman, and Naag Daman.For seven days when I held up the Giriraj Govardhan to destroy the ego of Indr, and Indr bowed to me and asked for forgiveness; I am called Indr Daman; I also did daman of the Kaali Naag, so am called Naag Daman. This is my cow from the Nand Vansh and especially dear  to me. Send her milk  to me daily”. So Saddu Pande’s daughter Naro and wife Bhavai who looked after the cow would carry milk  to the top of Girirajji for Shree Krishn twice daily, who  now appeared as ShreeNathji.

When this cow from Saddu Pande could not give any more milk, Shreeji told him that tomorrow another cow of the Nand Vansh would come and henceforth that milk was to be offered to Him. This new cow belonged to a Brajwasi called Dharamdas. He was Kumbhan Das’s uncle who was one of the Asht Chaap Kavi. Kumbhan Das was just 10 years of age and ShreeNathhji called out to him and told him to come play everyday. ShreeNathji hence forth enjoyed milk from this new cow.
This is the 73rd Varta from 84 Vaishnav Ki Varta:

Naro Varta:

Shreeji loved playing with little Naro. In one of His Vartaas, He went to Naro’s house to ask her for some milk as He felt hungry. But as Thakurjee came in the disguise of a Gwal Bal, Naro failed to recognize Him. Shree Thakurjee asked her, “Can you give me some milk, I am hungry”. “You will have to pay if you want milk”, said Naro, not recognizing Shreeji in this swarup. “I do not have money, but if you wait I will pay you in a different way”, so saying Shreeji ran back to His Mandir and came back with His Gold Katora (cup) used for His Bhog (offering) in the Mandir. Giving it to Naro, He happily drank some milk and ran away. Later when Naro’s father came home he was surprised to see the gold katora (cup). Naro explained how a young gwal had come in the morning and having no money to pay for the milk gave this as payment. Her father was astonished and ecstatic. “You are so lucky; Shreeji came and changed His Swarup to give you this Divya Anubhuti” (divine experience). He went up to the mandir and returned Shreeji’s Katora, explaining the entire play to all present there.
In 1549 (1492 AD), Falgun Vad Giyaras, Thursday, ShreeNathji sent a hukum to Shri Vallabhacharya. “I have Appeared here on Govardhan, so you need to come here quickly and establish my sewa.
He was told to come and build a mandir to start sewa of Shree Krishn. Also Shree Krishn said that there were some souls left from His Original Aavtar. “They have to be searched and initiated into sewa”. “I have come for them as well as to grant peace and joy to all my bhakts”.

Shri Vallabhacharya reached Anyor village at Govardhan hill. He stopped and spent the night on a Chabutra (a seating outside the main house) at Saddu Pande’s house. Saddu Pande came out to offer some food to all of them. Shri Vallabhacharya refused as he ate only from his disciples.
In that moment govardhandhar called from the parvat to Naro, “Please get me my neg (portion) of milk. To this Naro replied, “Aaho, vari jaaon Lal, I have some guests, so just wait a little, I will serve them and then come with Your milk”. Shree Govardhandhar replied, “Guests have come, so okay, but I am getting late”. Naro then filled the cup with milk and climbed up to where ShreeNathji was, and offered Him the milk. Whatever was left in the Katora, she bought back. Shri Vallabhacharya inquired to where she had gone. “Giriraj Devta DevDaman lives on the Hill; I went to offer Him some milk”, Naro replied.
Shri Vallabhacharya asked for the katora, and licked whatever was left as a Prasad from Thakurjee. Then he explained to all present there, that this was the same voice that had commanded him to come here. “When I was in Jharkhand, Dev Daman (ShreeNathji) came in my dream, told me that He is here on Shri Govardhan, and has ordered me to come here and start His sewa”.

Next morning in Brahm mahurat Shri Vallabhacharya began his climb with all his disciples and the Brajwasis. The divine meeting happened here. When Shree GovardhanDharan saw His bhakt coming He came down from His Sthan and embraced Shri Vallabhacharya. Shri Vallabhacharya took Shree Govardhandhar in his arms and lovingly pinched His cheeks. “Tell me what is Your desire”. “Start my sewa here”, ShreeNathji ordered.
In accordance to Shree Krishn’s desire a small mandir was erected and Shri Vallabhacharya did the Sthapan of Thakurjee. A Mor Mukut (peacock feather crown) was made and a gunja mala to adorn Shree Krishn. The form of daily worship is also started. Shri Vallabhacharya named this Form of Shree Krishn as Gopala, which meant the lover and protector of cows. This name was later changed to GovardhanNathji by Shri Gusainji, Shri Vitthalnathji. Later, Shri Vallabhacharya’s grand son, Gokulnathji renamed Him as ShreeNathji, and till today He is known to us by this name.

Puranmall Kshtri given order in a dream:

In Vikram Samvat 1556 (1499 AD) ShreeNathji gave a dream to Puranmall Kshtri in which he was ordered to come to Braj and build a mandir for ShreeNathji. ShreeeNathji also told the famous architect Hiramani in Agra to come and construct His mandir. The mandir foundation was laid in this year. As the funds were exhausted it then took 20 years to complete this new big mandir. Till then Shreeji stayed in the small mandir. Surely, it would be as Shreeji decided it should be.

Shreeji was established in His larger new mandir in Vikram Samvat 1576 (1519 AD); Vaishak Sud Teej; on Akha Teej. This day is also called the Paat Utsav of ShreeNathji. The ways of sewa were introduced and established. Some Bengali Brahmins were initiated in sewa also.

ShreeNathji’s Play:

In these years, when Shreeji resided here the people of Braj were very lucky. ShreeNathji who was worshipped there, was in a very Live Form, and interacted with His bhakts (devotees) in various leelas and plays. Shreeji showed people that God is very close and very attainable. Such divine play with God who is a Living Reality here on this earth is very rare.

About ShreeNathji Vartas:

All these encounters have been recorded and written by Shri Gokulnathji; in the books called “Do Sau Bavan Vaishnav ki Varta”; “Chaurasi Vaishnav Ki Varta”.
These vartas (stories) are the interactions and leela play between Shreeji and His Bhakts (devotees). These kathas tell us about the identity of the bhaktas in the original, eternal KrishnRadha leela. Then the story talks about their worldly birth in the same time period as ShreeNathji and His human counter parts - Shri Vallabhacharya, Shri Gusainji. Shri Vallabhacharyaji toured all over India three times and established 84 Baithaks; They are the sacred spots where he did the Bhagvad katha for the benefit of all people and established Shree Krishn sewa in the mandir.

It explains how these two divine gurus searched for the divine souls, initiated them in Shreeji’s sewa, their counting being 84 and 252 respectively. Till the time these two highly pure souls inhabited earth Shreeji enlightened us with His Bliss of Direct Leelas. All the 84 divine souls initiated by Shri Vallabhacharya and later the 252 divine souls initiated by Shri Gusainji, merged in Thakurjee and left straight for Golok, their original divine Dham. These were the souls left over from His Shree KrishnRadha Avatar, (Incarnation) when many divine shaktis inhabited earth to take part and enjoy the bliss of Shree Krishn and Radha’s leelas.
Lord Krishn Himself appeared in the Form of ShreeNathji. He told Shri Vallabhacharya to initiate people in the ways of total surrender and sewa, through Brahma-Sambandh. Thakurjee promised Shri Vallabhacharya He would accept the sewa of all the devotees who were initiated with the Brahma-Sambandh. Shree Krishn gave him the Mantra as an explanation to the five syllable mantra and solved Shri Vallabhacharya’s concern.

Shri Mahaprabhuji then garlanded ShreeNathji with Pavitra (cotton thread garland) and offered him misri(crystals of sugar). After this divine meeting ShreeNathji disappeared. Shri Mahaprabhuji composed “Shri Madhurashtakam” praising the form and beauty of Shri Krishn the way He appeared before him. This divine happening was on Vikram Samvat 1549 (1492 AD) Shravana Shukla Giyaras. This occasion is celebrated as Pavitra Ekadashi. It is also known as the day of the ’Birth of Pushti maarg – The path of Grace and Bhakti.
Shri Vallabhacharya completed his earth leela in Vikram Samvat 1587 (1531 AD); in Asad Sud Tej. He was 52 years of age when he returned in the Divine leela of Krishn again.

Author : Abha Shahra Shyama


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