Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 84


SHREE SHOOKDEO JEE said,--Raja! I will now inform you, how Shree Krishnù Chund raised the hill Goberdhun, and destroyed the pride of Indrù: listen with attention. All the inhabitants of Bruj, on the anniversary of the fourteenth of the dark part of the month of Kartik, having bathed, and filled A square place with saffron and sandal, bringing different kinds of sweetmeats and confectionary, and perfumes and lamps, were in the habit of worshipping Indrù. This was a traditional custom with them. On one of the returns of that anniversary, Nund Jee made great preparations for a feast, and there were also great preparations in the houses of all the inhabitants of Bruj. Shree Krishnù Chund came and asked his mother, "What is the reason of there being so many sweetmeats, and so much confectionary in each house to-day? Explain the secret to me, that the doubts of my mind may be removed?" Jusodha replied, "Son! I have no leisure now to talk: Go and ask your father, and he will explain to you?"

On hearing this, Shree Krishnù came to Nund and Oopnund, and said, "Father! for what god's worship are such splendid preparations being made to-day, that there are sweetmeats and confectionary in each house? What power has he of accomplishing men's desires, of granting absolution from sin

p. 85

and conferring boons? Explain to me his name, and his virtues, that the doubts of my mind may disappear?"

Nund said, "Son! have you not yet found out the secret, that it is the worship (poojah) of the lord of the clouds, who is the ruler of the gods, through whose benignant liberality, prosperity and increase are obtained in the world, and also grass, water and grain. The forests and groves produce flowers and fruits: and through him all living things, animals, four-footed beasts and birds have a joyful existence. This custom of performing poojah to Indrù has obtained from the times of our ancestors' ancestors, and is not one, which has been lately introduced."

On hearing these words from Nund Jee, Shree Krishnù replied, "Father! our ancestors may with knowledge or without knowledge have worshipped Indrù; but why do you intentionally leave a straight road and follow a steep one? By obeying Indrù nothing is gained; because he has not the power of granting men's desires, or absolution from sin; and who has obtained prosperity and the accomplishment of his objects from him: mention to me on whom has he ever conferred a boon?

"It is indeed true, that in consequence of his penances and sacrifices, the gods made him their Raja, and seated him on a throne, but he has no divine power; often (when he is worsted by evil spirits,) he runs away, and passes his time in some hiding place. Why serve such a coward, and why not have proper regard for your own dignity of character? Indrù has not power to do any thing. What is written in fate, happens. Men obtain enjoyment, wealth, benefactors, brothers and relations, as the result of their virtues, or their fates. And the sun, which dries up the water for eight months of the year, causes it to fall down in rain for the remaining four. In consequence of this, grass, water and grain are produced on the earth. And Bruhmù, who has formed the four castes, Brahmins, Chutrees, Bys, Soodrús,

p. 86

has attached particular occupations to each; viz., that Brahmins should read the scriptures (Vedas); Chutrees should protect all the others; Bys should carry on agriculture, and trade; and Soodrús should be servants to the three other divisions of caste. Father! we belong to the Bys caste; in consequence of the number of cows we possess, we obtained the town of Gokool, and thence is derived our name of cowherds. Our business is to carry on agriculture and trade, and to attend upon cows and Brahmins. The Vedas command us not to abandon our family customs. They, who abandon their own religious customs and conform to others, are like a virtuous woman of a good family, who should form an attachment to a stranger of another family. Be pleased, therefore, to abandon the worship of Indrù, and perform poojah to the forests and hills; because we are inhabitants of the forest, and they are our kings. It is not right for us to abandon those, under whose government we live happily, and worship others. Wherefore take all the sweetmeats, confectionary and grain, and perform poojah to the mountain Goberdhun."

Having heard these remarks, Nund and Oopnund arose, and went to a place of assembly, where all the grown-up cowherds were seated.

On hearing what Krishnù had said, they remarked, "Krishnù speaks truly, do not consider his words as those of a child, and set them aside. If you yourselves consider well, who is Indrù? And why do we treat him with deference? It is proper we should worship those who give us sustenance.

"What have we to do with the ruler of the gods; let us worship forests, rivers and the hill Goberdhun." The cowherds again said, "Krishnù has given good counsel, let us abandon all the gods; Goberdhun is a great mountain, let us worship it."

On hearing this Nund Jee was delighted, and caused proclamation to be made throughout the village, that on the next day, he and all the inhabitants of Bruj would go and perform

p. 87

poojah to Goberdhun. Having heard this proclamation, all the inhabitants of Bruj rose very early next morning; and having bathed, and performed their religious meditations, placed all articles necessary for the poojah in baskets, plates, dishes and pots of various kinds, and brought them on carts and bhangies to Goberdhun. Nund and Oopnund also with their relatives took a stock of things necessary, and accompanied the rest; and advancing in musical procession, they arrived at Goberdhun. On arrival there, having swept and cleared the ground all round the hill, and sprinkled water, they selected and deposited all kinds of sweetmeats, food, condiments and pickles: so much indeed, that the mountain was concealed by them; and they spread garlands above, and silks of all colours.

The beauty of the scene at this time is not to be described: the mountain appeared as splendid as a person in a jewelled dress, ornamented from head to foot. And Nund Jee having summoned a family priest, and accompanied by all the cowherds' children, placed on the ground the mixture roolee, unbroken rice, flowers, perfumes, lamps, consecrated food, pawn, betelnut and sacrificial presents, and performed poojah according to the injunctions of the Vedas. Upon this Shree Krishnù said, "Meditate now with pure minds upon the mountain Goberdhun, and he will appear and eat with you."

Hearing this all the cowherds, together with Nund and Jusodha, stood with their hands joined, their eyes shut, and in deep meditation. Nund Lal on the other hand, having then assumed a huge, monstrous form, with large hands and feet, came forth silently from the middle of the hill, having lotus eyes, a face like the moon, a crown and a garland of flowers reaching to his feet, dressed in yellow, and wearing jewels and ornamented gems, and with his mouth open. And at. the same time, in his own proper form, looking at his assumed form, Krishnù calling out to all his companions said, "Behold! the mountain Goberdhun, whose poojah you performed with such sincerity, has manifested itself."

p. 88

Having said this, Shree Krishnù Chund Jee made a salutation to Goberdhun. The cowherdesses and cowherds, seeing this, did the same, and began to say to each other, "When did Indrù show himself in this manner? We have worshipped him to no purpose: and there is no knowing why our ancestors abandoned so perceptible a deity as Goberdhun, and obeyed Indrù;--there is no understanding this." Whilst they were thus talking, Shree Krishnù said, "What are you looking at? give him the food, which you have brought." On hearing this the cowherdesses and cowherds filled plates and dishes with food of all kinds, (literally of six flavours,) and began to offer it to Goberdhun, who stretched out his hands to receive it, and began eating. At length all that the inhabitants of Bruj, and Nund and Jusodha had brought with them was eaten up. The form of Goberdhun then went back to the hill.

Having finished these wonderful sports, Shree Krishnù Chund, taking all his companions with him, went round the hill to the right by way of adoration; and next day leaving Goberdhun they arrived at Brindabun, laughing and playing on the road. Then there were rejoicings and festivities in every house; and the cowherds' children, having painted all the cows and calves, and fastened rings, small bells and other tinkling ornaments on their necks, engaged in games and sports separately.

Next: Chapter XXVI