IAST|Govinda and IAST|Gopāla are
names of Krishna, referring to his youthful occupation as a cowherd.
Both names translate to "cowherd".
Sanskrit"go" means "cow"; "pāla" and "vinda" form tatpurushacompounds, literally translating to "finder of cows" and "protector of cows", respectively.
The story of how Krishna was given the name Govinda is described in detail in the
Vishnu Purana. After lifting Govardhan hillto protect the villagers and cows of Vrindavan, the lord of devas Indraawarded him the title.
A famous prayer called the
Bhaja Govindamwas 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 Krishna can lead believers out of the cycle of reincarnation, or " samsara", and into an eternal blissful life in Vaikuntha, 'beyond this material world' where Govinda resides.
"Govinda" is a name of Krishna and also appears as the 187th and 539th names in the
According to Adi Sankara's commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama, translated by Swami
Tapasyananda, Govinda has three meanings:Fact|date=May 2008
#The sages call Krishna "Govinda" as He pervades all the worlds, giving them power.
#The "Shanti Parva" of the
Mahabharatastates that Vishnurestored the earth that had sunk into the netherword, or "Patala", so all the devas praised Him as Govinda (Protector of the Land).
#Alternatively, it means "He who is known by Vedic words alone". Adi Sankara's
Bhaja Govindamprayer expresses the value of inner devotion to Krishna.
Harivamsa, Indrapraised Krishna for having attained loving leadership of the cows which Krishna tended as a cowherd, by saying, "So men too shall praise Him as Govinda."
Klaus Klostermaier, Krishna Gopijanavallabha, 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(the Divine Child Krishna), and the original cult of Krishna-Vasudevawhich may date back to several centuries before the Common Era.cite book
author = KLOSTERMAIER, Klaus K.
pages = p.206
year = 2005
title = A Survey of Hinduism
publisher = State University of New York Press; 3 edition
isbn = 0791470814
quote = Present day Krishna worship is an amalgam of various elements. According to historical testimonies
Krishna-Vasudevaworship already flourished in and around Mathura several centuries before Christ. A second important element is the cult of 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 Gopijanavallabha, Krishna the lover of the Gopis, among whom Radhaoccupies a special position. In some books Krishna is presented as the founder and first teacher of the Bhagavata religion.]
*"Sri Vishnu Sahasranama", commentary by Sri Sankaracharya, translated by Swami Tapasyananda (Ramakrishna Math Publications,
title=A Revolution in IAST|Kṛṣṇaism: The Cult of Gopāla: History of Religions, Vol. 25, No. 4 (May, 1986), pp. 296-317
* [http://www.krishna.com/node/118 Who is Govinda (Krishna)?]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwNe-2n8baY Sacred Hindi verses describing Govinda]
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