Have you ever wondered why we circumambulate around Govardhan Giriraj, the King of Mountains? In Parikrama or circumambulation, we revolve around the Deity. This is symbolic of our devotion and that the Deity is the focal point of our mind, body and spirit. When we go around Shri Giriraj ji, it is symbolic of expressing that Govardhan has become the focus of our attention. We pray to him that we will be able to make him the centre of our existence and may he always remain so.
Some of the spiritual Gurus and saints give an emotional explanation too. When we love someone, we like to revolve around our beloved; we feel happy to be around him all the time. When we go around Govardhan Parvat, we demonstrate our love and devotion towards it.
Pilgrims and visitors find another reason to go around the Sacred Hill. All around Govardhan Parvat, you find several places associated with significant events in the life of child Krishna. As we walk through the Parikrama Marg, we get a chance to visit all these places too.
Well, whatever your reason to undertake Govardhan Parikrama is, there are four rules that Vaishnavs (followers of Vishnu) believe in:
mukhe bhagavan-nāma, hṛdi bhagavat-padam,
hastau agalitam phalam, nava-māsa-garbhavatīvat calanam|
“With God’s Name in our mouths, Krishna’s feet in our hearts,
fresh fruit in our hands, and walking like a woman nine months pregnant.”
During the Prarikrama, we take the God’s name and meditate on Krishna’s feet to focus our attention. We are told to carry fresh fruits as offerings to Shri Giriraj ji and to walk leisurely and slowly like a pregnant lady so that we can concentrate more fully on meditating on the Deity.