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Govardhana’s Sinking

Monday, 12 November 2007 / Published in Articles, Danavir Goswami / 5,199 views

By Danavir Goswami

From Sri Garga Samhita: Canto 2, Chapter 2, Text 48. Translation by Sriman Kusakratha Prabhu, purport by Danavir Goswami.

sri-pulastya uvaca gire tvayati-dhrstena na krto me manorathah tasmat tu tila-matram hi nityam tvam ksinatvam vraja

sri-pulastyah uvaca-Sri Pulastya said; gire-O mountain; tvaya-by you; ati-dhrstena-very arrogant; na-not; krtah-done; me-to me; manorathah-desire; tasmat-therefore; tu-indeed; tila-matram-the size of a sesame seed; hi-indeed; nityam-always; tvam-you; ksinatvam-diminution; vraja-go.

TRANSLATION

Sri Pulastya said: O arrogant mountain, you would not fulfill my desire! Therefore every day you will become smaller by the size of a sesame seed.

PURPORT

Using today’s medium-sized sesame seed length of about 2 millimeters, a rough calculation of the height of Govardhana Hill at the time when Nanda Maharaja was present (approximately 5,234 years ago) would be 12,736 feet high (3,820 meters ) or 2.4 miles high (3.8 kilometers).

Thus 5,234 years X 365 days = 1,910,410 days multiplied by .08 inches/sesame seed = 152,832 inches divided by 12 = 12,736 feet.

Since Govardhana described his height as 2 yojanas (16 miles) in verse thirty earlier in this chapter, one could estimate, provided the rate of reduction described remained constant, that the cursing by Sri Pulastya took place approximately 35,000 years ago.

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4 Responses to “Govardhana’s Sinking”

  1. srimanta says :

    Calculate transcendental height not material height. That is told in scripture. Wrong calculation in material sense.

  2. Akruranatha says :

    But sesame seeds are longer than they are wide, and wider than they are high (when lying flat).

    Did Pulastya’s curse refer to stacking seeds lengthwise, or edgewise, or on top of each other laying flat?

    Or, did the sage actually refer to the entire three-dimensional volume of the seeds? (For example, if we make a pile of 1,910,410 sesame seeds, how big a pile would that make? Could it possibly be big enough to represent the volume by which Govardhan has shrunk since Lord Krishna lifted it?)

    I have no idea how large a pile that would be, but my intuition tells me the pile would not be big enough, so Danavir Maharaja’s method of stacking the seeds end-to-end rather than making them into a pile sounds more plausible.

    One thing Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur says in his commentary to verse 10.25.20 is that Govardhan Hill, in ecstasy due to being touched by Krishna’s hand, expanded at the time the Lord lifted it.

    “Govardhan expanded his form to thirty-two miles [from three miles across] so that all the inhabitants, cows, buffalos and other animals could live beneath his shelter.” (From “Sarartha Darsini”, translated and edited by Bhanu Swami and Mahanidhi Swami, Rakmo Press, 2004)

    We hear that as long as Govardhana Hill is visible, the full effects of Kali yuga will not be felt. If that refers to another 10,000 years, we can expect that Giri Govardhana will disappear in 3,650,000 days, after losing the size of that many sesame seeds.

    My curiosity is now stimulated. You know those games where the person who most closely guesses how many seeds are in a jar wins a new bicycle? Now I am dying to know how many sesame seeds are in a one-liter jar.

  3. gauragaura says :

    I have actually been wondering about the calculation over the weekend! I appreciate scientific thinking like this very much, as it is confirmation for devotees like myself who don’t like to see contradictions.
    Thank you Danavir Maharaja, PAMHO,
    ys

  4. Another reason why Govardhana’s height diminished is described by Srila Sanatana Gosvami in his Sri Brhad-bhagavatamrta 1.6.121:

    tatratya-yamuna svalpa-
    jala suskeva sajani
    govardhano ‘bhun nico ‘sau
    svah-prapto yo dhrtas tvaya

    In Vraja the river Yamuna has turned so dry she has hardly any water. And Govardhana, who when You held him up touched heaven, has now become short.

    Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s coomentary: When Krsna left for Mathura, Govardhana began sinking into the earth out of disappointment, and hunks of its peaks fell off and tumbled down its sides.

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