Lord Krishna’s alive incarnation holding the Govardhan mountain can be seen at the famous Shrinathji temple at Nathdwara. Shrinathji is a form of Krishna, manifest as a seven-year-old child. Shrinathji specifically refers to the narrative in the Bhagavata Purana wherein Krishna lifts Govardhan hill to protect the inhabitants of Vrindavan from a downpour of rain sent by Indra, the King of Devas. Vajranabha, Lord Krishna’s great-grandson, installed this Deity 5,000 years ago. The same Deity (known then as Gopal) was worshiped by MadhavendraPuri in Vrindavan. Rana Raj Singh of Mewar brought Sri Nathji to Nathdwara around 1669. The statue has one of its arms raised, similar to Lord Krishna holding the Govardhan mountain.
- God Himself lives here in the most alive form.
- Darshans are not merely joining hands or offering prayers. It is more like Shreenathji’s Divine court being held and all gather to pay their respects and offer seva in whatever form.
- Krishna is born enlightened and had YogMaya (illusion) under His control. Worshipping this form of Krishna empowers the devotee to fulfill their desires in this material world. The Manorath rituals are offered at the Shrinathji temple. Manorath means “Desire”. With every Manorath, the devotee can put forward a Sankalpa (wish) that he wants to be fulfilled.
Legend: The followers of Pushtimarg assert that the deity's arm and face first emerged from the Govardhan hill, and thereafter, the local inhabitants (Vrajavasis) under the spiritual leadership of Madhavendra Puri started the worship of the Gopal (Krishna) deity. This Gopala deity was later termed as Shrinathji. Thus, Madhavendra Puri is attributed to discovery of the deity of Gopal near Govardhana, which was later adapted and worshiped by Vallabhacharya as Shrinathji. Initially, Madhavendra Puri, carried out the worship of the deity's upraised arm and later, the face. Shrinathji was originally worshipped in a humble shrine at Jatipura village near Govardhan and subsequently, moved to a larger temple on top of the hill. According to Pushtimarg literature, Shrinathji appeared to Shri Vallabhacharya, in the Hindu Vikram Samvat year 1549 and directed the Vallabhacharya to proceed to the Govardhan Hill to begin worship. Vallabhacharya made arrangements for the worship of this deity, and this tradition was carried forward by his son, Vitthalnathji.
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