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Gōvinda and Gopāla (Sanskrit/Hindi: गोविन्द/गोविंद and गोपाल) (also known as Govind, Gobind and Gopal) are the names of Vishnu
Vishnu
which mean "The finder of Veda" & "Protector of Veda" as 'Go' means Veda, Cow and also senses. So Govinda, Gopala means Cowherd or Protector of Cows, or one who gives pleasure to senses. These names are also popularly addressed to Krishna, referring to his youthful activity as a cowherd boy. This name appears as the 187th and the 539th name of Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
in Vishnu
Vishnu
Sahasranama. Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
or his complete incarnation Krishna
Krishna
are regarded as the Supreme God in the Vaishnava tradition and also by much of the pan-Hindu tradition. Gopala Krishna
Krishna
of Krishnaism
Krishnaism
is often contrasted with Vedism when Krishna
Krishna
asks his followers to desist from Vedic demigod worship such as Indra
Indra
worship. Thus the character of Gopala Krishna
Krishna
is often considered to be non-Vedic in one interpretation, while it can also be based on the popular understanding or rather misunderstanding of the Rig Vedic
Rig Vedic
texts.[1] According to Klaus Klostermaier, Kumar Gopijanavallabha, Krishna
Krishna
the lover of the Gopis, is the latest stage in the historical process resulting in contemporary Krishnaism, being added to the worship of Bala Krishna
Krishna
(the Divine Child Krishna), and the original cult of Krishna-Vasudeva
Krishna-Vasudeva
which may date back to several centuries before the Common Era.[2]

Contents

1 Interpretations 2 Prayers 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Interpretations[edit]

Govinda

Radha
Radha
Govinda

Govinda
Govinda
is a name of Krishna
Krishna
and also appears as the 187th and 539th name of Vishnu
Vishnu
in the Vishnu
Vishnu
Sahasranama, the 1000 names of Vishnu.[3] According to Adi Sankara's commentary on the Vishnu
Vishnu
Sahasranama, translated by Swami Tapasyananda, Govinda
Govinda
has four meanings:[3]

The sages call Krishna
Krishna
"Govinda" as He pervades all the worlds, giving them power. The Shanti Parva
Shanti Parva
of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
states that Vishnu
Vishnu
restored the earth that had sunk into the netherworld, or naraga in tamil, so all the devas praised Him as Govind (Protector of the Land). Alternatively, it means "He who is known by Vedic words alone". In the Harivamsa, Indra
Indra
praised Krishna
Krishna
for having attained loving leadership of the cows which Krishna
Krishna
tended as a cowherd, by saying, "So men too shall praise Him as Govinda."

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in his commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, states that Govinda
Govinda
means "master of the senses".[4] In the Mahabharata, when Draupadi's saree was stripped by Dushasana
Dushasana
in the court of Hastinapura, it is said that Draupadi
Draupadi
prayed towards Lord Krishna
Krishna
(who was in Dwaraka at that time) invoking him as "Govinda" at the instance of extreme distress where she could no longer hold her saree to her chest. For this reason, it is believed that "Govinda" is how the Lord is addressed by devotees when they have lost it all and have nothing more to lose. This may be the reason why in colloquial Tamil and Telugu the slang-term "govinda" sometimes refers to the prospect of losing or failing in something important. There was a Spanish VisiGoth Queen, dead in 589 AD, named: 'Goswintha/ Gosvinda', interpreted as: 'The path of cows'. Prayers[edit]

Statue of Adi Shankara at his Samadhi Mandir, behind Kedarnath
Kedarnath
Temple, in Kedarnath, India

A famous prayer called the Bhaja Govindam
Bhaja Govindam
was composed by Adi Sankara, a summary of which is "If one just worships Govinda, one can easily cross this great ocean of birth and death." This refers to the belief that worshipful adoration of Vishnu
Vishnu
or Krishna
Krishna
can lead believers out of the cycle of reincarnation or samsara and lead them into an eternal blissful life in Vaikuntha, 'the supreme abode situated beyond this material world' where Govinda
Govinda
(Vishnu) resides. Adi Sankara's Bhaja Govindam prayer expresses the value of inner devotion to Vishnu. See also[edit]

Gobin Gopal (Krishna) Govinda
Govinda
sport Phalguna month (ruled by Govinda; this Govinda
Govinda
is different from the original Govinda, because he is not the son of Maharaja Nanda) Works of Jayadeva

Notes[edit]

^ Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, Ramchandra Narayan Dandekar (1976). Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar as an Indologist: A Symposium. India: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. pp. 38–40.  ^ Klostermaier, Klaus K. (2005). A Survey of Hinduism
Hinduism
(3rd ed.). State University of New York Press. p. 206. ISBN 0-7914-7081-4. Present day Krishna
Krishna
worship is an amalgam of various elements. According to historical testimonies Krishna-Vasudeva
Krishna-Vasudeva
worship already flourished in and around Mathura several centuries before Christ. A second important element is the cult of Krishna
Krishna
Govinda. Still later is the worship of Bala-Krishna, the Divine Child Krishna—a quite prominent feature of modern Krishnaism. The last element seems to have been Krishna
Krishna
Gopijanavallabha, Krishna
Krishna
the lover of the Gopis, among whom Radha
Radha
occupies a special position. In some books Krishna
Krishna
is presented as the founder and first teacher of the Bhagavata religion.  ^ a b Sri Vishnu
Vishnu
Sahasranama, commentary by Sri Sankaracharya, pgs. 69 and 115, translated by Swami Tapasyananda (Ramakrishna Math Publications, Chennai) ^ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on the Bhagavad-Gita, a New Translation and Commentary, Chapters 1–6. Penguin Books, 1969, p 57 (v 32).

References[edit]

Hein, Norvin (May 1986). "A Revolution in Kṛṣṇaism: The Cult of Gopāla". History of Religions. 25 (4): 296–317. doi:10.1086/463051. JSTOR 1062622. 

External links[edit]

Who is Govinda
Govinda
(Krishna)? Sacred Hindi verses describing Govinda

v t e

Krishna

Forms

Radha
Radha
Krishna Govinda Bala Krishna Jagannath Vithoba Shrinathji Other names

Worship

Krishnaism Vaishnavism Krishna
Krishna
Janmashtami Holi

Holy sites

Dvārakā Mathura Vrindavan Gokul Govardhan Hill Puri Udupi Guruvayur Nathdwara Gupta Vrindavan Dakor

Texts

Bhagavata Purana Bhagavad Gita Gita Govinda Mahabharata Brahma Samhita Uddhava Gita

See also

Hinduism Avatar Svayam Bhagavan Vishnu Radha Rukmin

.