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Why Krishna is called Govinda?

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Lord Krishna is also called as Lord Govinda. Brahma Samhita says “govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi.” It means “I worship Govinda the primeval Lord, the first progenitor.”

We may wonder why Krishna is called Govinda. Krishna has many names. In fact, he has hundreds and millions of names. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu confirms this in his Siksastakam prayers.

“namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-shaktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrishi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisham ihajani nanuragaha”

“O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names, like Krsna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.”

These holy names have immense potency. These names purify our hearts and bestow upon us love of Krishna.

3 reasons why Krishna is called Govinda

Let us understand why Krishna is called Govinda. There are three reasons why Krishna is called Govinda. The word “go” has three meanings. “go” means cows, “go” means senses and “go” means land. And the word “vinda” means pleasure giving. So, the word Govinda means:

  • One who gives pleasure to the cows
  • One who gives pleasure to the senses
  • One who gives pleasure to the land

Krishna gives pleasure to the cows

We see that Krishna gives unlimited pleasure to the cows. Krishna is also called Gopala because he takes care of the cows. Cows in association with Krishna experiences lots of happiness.

Krishna gives pleasure to the senses

Similarly, Krishna gives pleasure to our senses. When we engage our senses in the service of Krishna, we experience unlimited bliss. This is the reason that the devotees of Lord enjoy unlimited happiness because they engage all their senses 24hours in a day in the service of Krishna.

Krishna gives pleasure to the land

Krishna protects the land and also gives pleasure to the land. The land of Vraja, Govardhan Hill, Dwarka or Mathura remain always joyful because they get association of Krishna. Since they have taken shelter of Krishna’s lotus feet, they experience complete perfection.

Srila Prabhupada explains:

“Govinda is another name of Kṛṣṇa. Go means cows and go means land and go means senses. There are three meanings of go. So… And vinda means pleasure-giving. So, He gives pleasure to the senses, He gives pleasure to the cows, and He gives pleasure to the land.” Lecture Excerpt — Montreal, June 29, 1968

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