Govardhana, aka: Go-vardhana; 10 Definition(s)


Govardhana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Śilpaśāstra (iconography)

Govardhana (गोवर्धन) refers to a mountain and is depicted as a sculpture on the second pillar of the southern half of the maṇḍapa of the temple of Lokeśvara.—The last but one scene in the panel is to show the superiority of Kṛṣṇa over Indra. This exploit of Kṛṣṇa is the summum of adbhuta rasa, sentiment of the marvelous. Here Kṛṣṇa is shown lifting up the mountain. All cows, calves and cowherds are protecting themselves under it.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)
Śilpaśāstra book cover
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Śilpaśāstra (शिल्पशास्त्र, shilpa-shastra) represents the ancient Indian science of creative arts such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vāstuśāstra (architecture), they often share the same literature.


Govardhana (गोवर्धन).—A mountain of Ambāḍi (Gokula). This is believed to be a form of Kṛṣṇa. This is called Girirāja also. The residents of Ambāḍi from time immemorial used to worship Indra for getting rains. But after the advent of Kṛṣṇa there came a change in that belief. Kṛṣṇa told them that rains depended on Govardhana and it was enough if they worshipped that mountain and so the residents of Ambāḍi started worshipping the mountain. Indra got enraged at this and sent heavy rains to Ambāḍī intending to submerge it in water. But Śrī Kṛṣṇa lifted the mountain over Ambāḍi like an umbrella and saved the city from the wrath of Indra. See under 'Kṛṣṇa' for more details. (Daśama Skandha, Bhāgavata)

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

1a) Govardhana (गोवर्धन).—Mt. a hill in Bhāratavarṣa, near Brindāvan,1 held by Kṛṣṇa for a week warding off rain;2 sacred to Bharadvāja who brought down heavenly trees and plants on behalf of Rāma;3 worship of, with prayers and viands; sacrifice of goats to.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa V. 19. 16; X. 11. 36; 13. 29.
  • 2) X. 25. 19; 27. 1; Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 11. 16-25; 12. 1; 13. 1 and 4, 28; 15. 1.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 114. 38.
  • 4) Viṣṇu-purāṇa V. 10. 8, 38.

1b) A city founded on the Godāvarī by Rāma;1 a tīrtham sacred to Pitṛs;2 established by Indra for Rāma's sake; Bharadvāja took his birth at.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 16. 44.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 22-52.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 45. 113.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Govardhana (गोवर्धन).—Once, the cowherd community wished to propitiate Indra in order to get timely showers. But Kṛṣṇa forbade them saying that the mountain Govardhana was more important than Indra. So the mountain should be worshipped and the cowherds obeyed him. Indra could not tolerate it and to show his power, he ordered the clouds to affect Gokula with heavy downpours. When cows and cowherds lost all hopes of survival, they went to Kṛṣṇa, prayed for their safety. He lifted up the mountain Govardhana with his smallest finger and the whole population took shelter under it.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (purāṇa)
Purāṇa book cover
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The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Kāvya (poetry)

Govardhana (गोवर्धन) is the name a locality mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—It is the mountain of north India. This Govardhana mount is eighteen miles away from Vṛnadāvana in the district of Mathurā.

(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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Kāvya (काव्य) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahākāvya, or ‘epic poetry’ and nāṭya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

Vyākaraṇa (Sanskrit grammar)

Govardhana (गोवर्धन).—A grammarian who has written a work on Katantra Grammar called कातन्त्रकौमुदी (kātantrakaumudī) and also a commentary on the Ganaratnamahodadhi of Vardhamana. A gloss on the Unadisutras is also assigned to Govardhana who is likely to be the same as above.

(Source): Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar
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Vyākaraṇa (व्याकरण, vyakarana) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedāṅga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyākaraṇa concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Govardhana (गोवर्धन).—A large hill dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa and His devotees. Kṛṣṇa held it up for seven days to protect His devotees in Vṛndāvana from a devastating storm sent by Indra.

(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

gōvardhana (गोवर्धन).—m (S) A celebrated hill near mathurā. It was upheld by kṛṣṇa upon one finger, to shelter the cowherds from a storm excited by indra. Hence 2 A large heap of cowdung, or of rice, vegetables &c. made by the people of the valabhā sect on the first of kārtikaśuddha in imitation of the mountain. 3 n (Misused for gōrōcana q. v.) Bezoar &c.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

gōvardhana (गोवर्धन).—m A celebrated hill near mathurā.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
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Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Govardhana (गोवर्धन).—a celebrated hill in वृन्दावन (vṛndāvana) the country about Mathurā. ('This hill was lifted up and supported by Kṛṣṇa upon one finger for seven days to shelter the cowherds from a storm of rain sent by Indra to test Kṛṣṇa's divinity.') °धरः, °धरिन् (dharaḥ, °dharin) m. an epithet of Kṛṣṇa.

Derivable forms: govardhanaḥ (गोवर्धनः).

Govardhana is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms go and vardhana (वर्धन).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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