Shree Govardhannathji (Shree ShreeNathji)/Shree Gopalji


Shreenathji

Shree Govardhannathji (Shree Shreenathji)

“Ukshipt Hastah Purusho Bhakta Maakaratyutah || Dakshinen Karenaso Mustikrutya Manansi Nah|| Vaamam Karam Samudratya Nihyanute Pashya Chaaturim||”

The deity (Swaroop) at the famous Vaishnav temple of Shri Nathadwara in Rajasthan (India) is known as SHRINATHAJI.  This Swaroop in reality is that of Lord Shri KRISHNA. SHRINATHAJI represents child Krishna when He was seven years of age. 

            This Swaroop is not man made. He manifested Himself from the mountain Goverdhan, (also known as Shree Giriraj) some 500 years ago. 

            The story of SHRINATHAJI's appearance goes back to the year 1408. A village by the name of Anyor lies at the foothills of mountain Goverdhan, near Mathura in north India. There lived a cowherd Sadu Pandey.  His cows, while grazing, use to go the top of mount Goverdhan. One of the cows would go to a particular spot and would discharge her milk there. Upon inquiry, a stone, which resembled a raised hand, was found at the spot.  People started worshipping this place and offered milk, fruits, etc. This unknown God fulfilled their wishes.

            The worshipping lasted for almost 70 years. Then on the day of the appearance of Jagadguru Shri Vallabhacharya Mahaprabhuji, in the year 1478, the whole figure emerged from this spot by itself. People asked Him who He was and He said, “I am Lord Krishna of Saraswat Kulp. I have reappeared in this Kaliyug. I will be known by the names of Shri Devdaman, Shri Indradaman or Shri Nagdamana.” 

            Shri Vallabhacharyaji traveled the lengths and breaths of India for almost 18 years of his life to propagate Hinduism. On one of such tours at Zarkhand, (in the year 1492) Lord Krishna appeared before him and said "I have appeared as Lord SHRINATHAJI on the mountain Goverdhan. Go there to meet me. I am eagerly awaiting your arrival.”

            Shri Vallabhacharya immediately left for Goverdhan area. He stayed at the house of Sadu Pandey. He started climbing mount Goverdhan to meet SHRINATHAJI. Lord Krishna in the form of SHRINATHAJI knew that Shri Vallabhacharya has arrived there and was coming uphill to meet Him. He started descending and met Shri Vallabhacharyaji half way on this mountain. They greeted each other very warmly, meeting was very emotional. The incidence became known as PRATHAM MILAN (First Meeting).


            Six years after this historic meeting, Shri Vallabhacharyaji started constructing a temple for SHRI NATHAJI on top of the mountain Goverdhan.   He appointed Priests (known as Mukhiajis), Singers, Musicians, Cooks, and Manager etc. to manage the Seva-worshipping- of Lord SHRINATHAJI. The sanctum of Shrinathaji was thrown open eight times a day at fixed intervals for Darshans which enabled devotees to see Him for a few moments. The rituals followed during daily worship were intended to evoke memories of Shri Krishna's childhood lilas (pastimes) at Vraj.

             Aurangzeb was a Muslim King and a cruel ruler in the areas of Vraj, Goverdhan etc. He was an anti Hindu and started destroying Hindu temples. SHRINATHAJI temple's safety was at stake and it was decided to relocate the Swaroop at some safer place. In the year 1669, the swaroop was transferred to a decorative chariot and a journey started. After traveling for almost two and half years, a new location was selected to sattledown. The place was in Rajasthan in the village of Sinhad. Actually it was a palace of the King of Udaipur, who was a great disciple of  Shri Vallabhacharyaji.

            There was another reason behind the selection of this place. When Shri Gusainji Shri Vithalnathaji)- a son of Shri Vallabhacharyaji, traveled to Dwarika from Vraj, he would stop at the palace of the King of Udaipur in Sinhad. Princess Ajabkumvarbai was a great disciple of Shri Gusainji and was always performing seva of Shrinathaji. Shrinathaji was playing the game of checkers with her everyday. He would travel from Vraj to this place. Ajabkumverbai thought that this must be uncomfortable for Him. She requested Shrinathaji, instead, to stay there permanently.  He promised her that He would do so in future only. So the migration from Vraj to Sinhad was also to fulfill the promise of Shrinathaji to Ajabkumverbai.  Sinhad is now known as Shri Nathadwara.

            The present temple of SHRINATHAJI at Shri Nathadwara was built in the year 1728. The swaroop of SHRINATHAJI is four feet high and is black in color. The left hand is raised-inviting disciples to go to Him. Right hand fist rests on the waist. The swaroop has a square Pithika.

Following is bhavna of Shreenathji:

Prakatya: Shree Girirajji (Goverdhan)

Patotsav: Maha Vad 7

Sevya Swaroop: Shree Mahaprabhuji

Presently Birajman: At Nathdwara - Rajasthan

Shreenathji’s left arm is raised to summon all his Nij Bhaktas. Shreenathji is standing on the Nikunja (Bower’s) Dwar. ShreeNathji’s right arm lowered and palm is fisted showing only the thumb indicating that Shreenathji has attracted the mind of all Bhaktas into him. Stele (Pithika) is rectangular. Amongst the Pancha Drishtis, Shreenathji ‘s Drishti is ‘Sanmukh Drishti’. Venunaad is of 5 types. Pancha Drishtis are given below:

  • Sanmukh Drishti (Shreenathji) – Ras daan for Sarva Chetan Shrishti
  • Vaam Paravrut – Ras daan for Dev Stris
  • Dakshin Paravrut (Shree Gokulchandramaji)- Ras daan for Stris and Purushas
  • Udho Drishti – Ras daan for Devanganas
  • Adho Drishti-Ras daan for Devanganas

Shreenathji is Purna Purushottam Lord Shree Krishna himself. Shreemad Bhagwat describes the 10 types of Leelas of Shreenathji himself. Thus, Shreemad Bhagwat Mahapuran is the Vangmay Swaroop of Lord Shreenathji. 12 Mukhya Angas of Lord Shreenathji is the 12 Cantos of Shreemad Bhagwat Mahapuran. Thus, Shreenathji is swaroopatmak and Shreemad Bhagwat is Naamleelatmak.


Shreenathji’s Mukhya Ang

Corresponding Shreemad Skandh

Leela

Both Charanarvindas

First and Second Skandh

Adhikar Leela

Both Arms

Third and Fourth Skandh

Sarga and Visarga Leela

Both Thighs

Fifth and Sixth Skandh

Sthaan and Poshan Leela

Right hand

Seventh Skandh

Uti Leela

Chest Region

Eighth and Ninth Skandh

Manvantar and Isanukatha Leela

Heart

Tenth Skandh

Nirodh Leela

Head

Eleventh Skandh

Mukti Leela

Left hand

Twelfth Skandh

Ashray Leela

 

Pithika Chinha

Bhav

Skandh Bhav

Parrot – Shree Shuk

Bhagwatarth,Skandharth,Adhyayarth,Prakaranarth,Vakyaarth,Padarth,Akshararth of Shreemad Bhagwat Mahapuran. Reminds the story of Second Skandh when Shree Shukdevji arrives and starts the katha of Bhagwat Mahapuran and in this way does the daan of Prem Lakshana BHakti to King Parikshit. Thus parrot is located at Shree Mastak of Shree Prabhu symbolizing that Shree Prabhu always keeps the Guru who gives daan of his Bhakti, on his Shree Mastak.

Second Skandh and Tenth Skandh

Both Cows

The conversation between Prithvi and Dharm

First Skandh

Naag

Reminds the story of King Parikshit getting the curse from Shrungi Rishi to get bitten by Takshak Naag. Also Symbolizes the Samudra Manthan of 8th Skandh. Samudra Manthan is not possible without the Rop and Vasuki Naag became the rop during Samudra Manthan. Thus this also symbolizes the Manvantar leela which describes the Dharmas of bhakt jeevas. Kaliyanaag Uddhar Leela of Tenth Skandh

First Skandh ,eigth Skandh and Tenth Skandh

Muni

This Muni is on the Right side. This Muni symbolizes the Sankhya-Acharya Shree Kapil Muni who preached mother devhuti Sankhya Shastra.

Third Skandh

Two  Munis

Two Munis are located on the Left side. These 2 munis symbolizes Nar-Narayana.

Fourth Skandh

Cow

This is the swaroop of Prithvi which is the swaroop of Kamdhenu which is capable of completing any type of wish. Symbolizes King Pruthu who did the Dohan of Prithvi. Also symbolizes the Anugrah of Shree Prabhu i.e. Poshan Leela. Arishtasur Uddhar leela of Tenth Skandh

Fourth Skandh , Sixth Skandh and Tenth Skandh

Mountain

This is located near the Charanarvind of Shreeji. This symbolizes the prithvi of Swetvaraha Kalp of Adi Brahm Kalp. This Prithvi is made pure by the touch of Shree Charanarvind of Shreeji. Also symbolizes Shree Girirajji, below whom, Bhaktas gets the Sharanagati of shree Prabhu. Thus mountain lies below the Lotus like feet of Shreeji.

Fifth Skandh

Goat

This symbolizes the Kaal Chakra. Goat is known as ‘Vrushabh’ in Sanskrit. And Kaal Chakra starts from ‘Vrushabh’ Rashi.  Vyomasur  Uddhar leela of Tenth Skandh

Fifth Skandh and Tenth Skandh

Narsimh

Symbolizes Uti leela. Shree Narsimh Avatar is the Bhakt – Uddharak Avatar and destroyed the A-Sat Vasana by killing demon Hiranyakasyapu. Kaustubh Mani Avtar.

Seventh Skandh and Tenth Skandh

Peacock couple

Peacock couple symbolizes the Nirupadhik (Selfless Love).  Thus this symbolizes the Selfless Love of Bhaktas towards Shree Prabhu and the leela of this is described in Isanukatha Leela

Ninth Skandh

Two Snakes

Symbolizes that when jeev gets rid of his Ahanta and Mamta then only jeeva can understand swaroop of Shreeji.

Eleventh Skandh

ALL Three Rishis

Symbolizes the three types of AShray i.e. Adhi-Bhautik Ashray, Adhyatmik Ashray and Adhidaivik Ashray.

Twelfth Skandh