by Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami
Worship of Govinda is worship of all
It is said in Skanda Purana:
arcitah pitaro deva
yatah sarvamayo harih
“Upon worshipping Lord Hari the God of Gods who is holding a lotus, conchshell and club in His hands, all the forefathers and demigods are worshipped because Lord Hari includes everything.”
Indra, the king of heaven, is the controller of all the thirty-three million demigods, and Brahma, the creator of the universe, is to be praised even by Indra. But Lord Shri Hari is the master of Brahma and all the ancestors. Therefore when Vasudeva, who holds a lotus, conchshell, disc and club, is worshipped, all those demigods and forefathers who are supposed to be worshipped in all the activities of nitya, naimittika etc. to remove obstacles, are automatically worshipped; as He is the cause of all the demigods and ancestors, and is the controller and master of all. Because the Lord removes the three kinds of miseries of His devotees, who are engaged in His service constantly, He is called Hari.
In the age of Kali, those who are situated in varna and ashrama and are always engaged in worship of Lord Shri Hari and in the chanting of His names, are considered to have already performed all nitya and naimittika actions. As is mentioned in Brihan-Naradiya Purana :
hari-nama-para ye ca
hari-kirtana tat parah
hari-puja-para ye ca
te kritarthah kalau-yuge
“Those who engage in chanting the holy name of Lord Hari (japa), are addicted to congregational chanting (kirtana) and engage in the worship of Lord Hari, have accomplished their desires in the age of Kali.”
Those who have accepted the name of the Lord from a bona fide spiritual master and by the association and teachings of Bhagavata-dharma have purified their hearts by the chanting of Harinama, and with their body, mind and speech are addicted to the Lord and His holy name, are thus freed from the activities which are the cause of material bondage and false doership. They follow activities such as remembering, pleasing, meditating, attending sankirtana festivals and hearing and discussing the scriptures like Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-Gita, Krishnopanishad, Narayanopanishad and other scriptures like Vedas, Puranas, Upa-Puranas, Agamas, Smritis, Mahabharata and other Vaishnava shastras.
‘Hari-puja-para’ means those who engage only in devotional service to the Lord, avoiding the worship of demigods, forefathers and other fruitive activities. By doing this they satisfy all living entities.
In the previous ages of Satya, Treta and Dvapara, people attained their goals after a long time by the processes of austerity, sacrifice, charity and worship; but in Kali Yuga, whatever is performed everyday in the service of Lord Govinda is blissful and that bliss is unattainable even by Brahma. Devotees perform service to Govinda such as sacrifice, penance, charity, digging wells or lakes, making flower garlands, resting places, bridges, construction of the best temples, whole year travelling festivals, offering juicy fruits, cakes, rice prepared with milk, many kinds of ornaments, fragrant flowers, candana from Malaya, fragrant aguru, camphor, betelnut, incense, lamps, blowing a conchshell, ringing a bell and chanting congregationally before the Lord every morning and evening.
Those who are fixed in such devotional service, being surrendered to the Lord, accomplish their desires simply by worshipping and chanting the names of the Lord. In other words, they fulfill their ultimate desire by constantly remembering and worshipping Lord Hari with discrimination, without committing any nama or sevaparadhas. They will certainly be freed from the fetters of worldly existence.