Giri Gov/Shilas phoenix

A beautiful Govardhan shila sits on the left side of the altar at Hare Krishna Land, Phoenix, and blesses all those who come to take darshan of Him.

Govardhan is the holiest of mountains, having come from Goloka Vrindavan, the eternal abode of Lord Krishna into the material universe by the divine arrangement of the Supreme Lord. Govardhana Hill is a topmost servant of Krishna because he provided beautiful places for Krishna to perform His pastimes, rich pastures for the cows of Vrindavan and soothing waterfalls and lakes for the cowherds of Vrindavan. Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill for seven days and nights so that the residents of Vrindavan could find shelter under the huge hill when Lord Indra sent a terrible storm to punish them all for having stopped worshippng him.

The stones (shilas) from Govardhan Hill may be worshipped as hari dasa varya – the best devotee of Krishna or as Krishna Himself.

namaste girirajaya sri govardhana namine ashesha klesha nashaya paramananda dayine
Translation: "Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto the King of hills, Whose name is Govardhana. He is a servant of Krishna and is Krishna Himself. He destroys unlimited miseries and bestows the highest bliss."

Out of respect, devotees never climb Govardhan Hill or take rocks from his slopes. Govardhan shilas are only to devotees to worship with the permission of their spiritual master.

On Govardhan-puja Giri-Govardhan at Phoenix is worshipped with great pomp.

On the right hand side of the altar, on a small throne are seated Shalagram shilas of Krishna and Balaram and a very small shila of Laksmi-Narayan. Shalagram shilas are black stones found in the Gandhaki River in the Himalayas. They are very smooth and mystically marked with a feature or weapon of Lord Vishnu or His incarnations. These are no ordinary stones. They are self-manifested Deities of Lord Vishnu and bestow blessings on those who worship Them with great attention and devotion.