Story from Brahmvaivart Puran: Glory of the Reward of Action
Lord Shri Krishna was performing histrionics alongwith Balramji at Vrindavan. Once he noticed that his father, Nand, and all the gops of Braj were preparing for some special yajna. Different kinds of materials were being gathered.
Lord Shri Krishna is omniscient and is capable to know what lies in one's heart. Nothing is hidden from him. Even then, like an ordinary child, he went to Nand to quell his curiosity and asked, "Father! I am observing for several days that the residents of Braj and you are involved in the preparation of some grand yajna. Which yajna is that? What is its reward? Who and by what means and by which purpose do the yajna is organized? I have great curiosity to know that. Father! I also want to know if the auspicious act that you are going to perform has approval of scriptures or is just wordly. Kindly tell me something about it."
Nand Baba started to speak trying to make Shri Krishna understand, "Son! Lord Indra is the ruler of clouds. The clouds rain the life-providing- water on the earth on his command. We pray and worship the very lord Indra, ruler of clouds. The material used in the yajna is the same that is produced by the water rained by him. We use the grain for our sustenance, which is left over after the yajna. It is Lord Indra who gives us the reward of our labour. The clouds would stop raining water if he would become angry and a dreadful famine would ensue. Therefore this auspicious act is performed every year according to our family tradition to secure his blessing. He never gets merciful with those who shun this noble act out of selfishness or greed."
Listening to Nand Baba, Lord Shri Krishna said, "Father! A person is born according to his actions and meets his death according to his deeds. He experiences happiness, grief, good luck, bad luck and fear etc. according to his deeds. Therefore what is the need of Indra if all the beings are experiencing the reward of their actions? What is the relevance behind pleasing him if he cannot change the rewards of the action of the previous birth or cannot change one's luck? Man is governed by his nature. He only follows it. The entire universe, be it gods, demons, or humans, is based on the theory of reward of action. Jeev adopts superior or inferior bodies according to his deeds. Deeds are man's friend, enemy, and guru. Father! The entire world is governed by parbrahm God. Clouds rain on the earth acoording to his arrangement. That produces grain and the grain maintains the livelihood of all the people. What is the role of Indra in it then? What can he do then?"
Nand said, "Son! Your satement is correct and we agree by it too. But we have resolved to perform the yajna. All the material has also been arranged. Now we have no other option but to perform the yajna. The entire material will go waste if the yajna will not be performed. Besides, we all will become liable to commit the sin for not performing the yajna in spite of taking resolve for it."
Shri Krishna said amusingly, "Father! Neither we rule a country nor we control large cities. Even the village and house are not our own. Therefore we will worship cows, Brahmins, and Govardhan, the king of mountains. You organize this yajna with the same materials which have been collected for Indra's yajna. Various types of delicacies should be prepared. Hawan should be performed methodically by the superior Brahmins and they should be donated grain, cows, and money. After offering ample donation, cows should be offered food. After that, Govardhan, the king of mountains, should be offered feast and then circumambulate it on feet. Do so if you find my advice proper. I have firm belief that this yajna will be dear to gods alongwith all the creatures."
Since the intention of Lord Shri Krishna was to break the ego of egoist Indra, he had planned the drama. Nand Baba and other gops happily accepted his advice.
First of all, Govardhan, the king of mountains, was prayed and worshipped chanting Ved-mantras by Brahmins. Then, having donated amply to Brahmins, cows were fed with green grass. When the occasion to feast the Govardhan, the king of mountains, came, then the gops began thinking that Govardhan is in the form of mountain. How could he be fed? The yajna shall remain incomplete if we could not offer feast to Govardhan.
Lord Shri Krishna acknowledged the doubt in the mind of gops. Then he made a fraction of himself turn into a giant god who appeared and said, "devouts! I am Govardhan, the king of mountains. Bring the feast to me and complete your yajna" Saying this he accepted the entire food product.
Along with the other residents of Braj, Lord Shri Krishna also bowed his own form and said, "The king of mountain (giriraj) has been immensely kind to have appeared in person. It can adopt any kind of appearance. He ruins the persons who disregard him. Come; let us properly worship the giriraj who nourishes our cattle and us."
Then, on being prompted by Shri Krishna, Nand along with all the gops prayed and worshipped Govardhan and circumambulated it along with cows. Pleased with the devotion of the residents of Braj, Govardhan, the fraction avatar of Shri Krishna, gave his blessing and disappeared.
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