God assumes the role of a chastiser when He takes to task the wicked. But it is only to protect dharma and not out of anger or any of the passions of the heart. As father, teacher and ruler of the worlds, He is also Time who holds out punishment for the evil forces so that good is protected. He assumes many roles to instil humility in those whose pride swells to destroy them. Even the wicked are thus disciplined by the limitless glory of the Supreme Lord.
These sentiments are expressed by Indra as he prays to God to save him from pride and grant him absolute humility, after he is taught a lesson by Krishna, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.
The people of Vraja get ready to perform a sacrifice to honour Indra who has been responsible to shower rains on their land and confer prosperity on them. Krishna dissuades Nandagopa from honouring Indra, explaining that it is the Rajasic aspect of Nature that causes rains and not Indra.
He further clarifies that all beings are subject to karma and this depends on the individual’s nature. Krishna advises them to perform the sacrifice to honour the cattle, Brahmanas, and the mountain.
Accordingly, the mountain Govardhana is worshipped in this sacrifice. Krishna then assumes a huge form to represent the spirit of the mountain and consumes large quantities of the food offerings. He also stands by the side of the Vrajas and points out that the mountain has appeared in this form to bless the people.
He, along with them, prostrates before the mountain. When the offerings meant for him are obstructed, Indra causes torrential rains and Krishna protects the entire country and the people by lifting the mountain as if it were a mushroom.
For seven days the rains lash the place, and for all these seven days Krishna stands holding the mountain in his hand, without food and water.
Indra is humbled by the yogic power of Krishna and withdraws the clouds. Being rid of the pride that he is the master of the three worlds, he prays to the Lord to pardon his guilt arising from arrogance and prosperity, and from the lack of understanding the truth of the Lord’s greatness.