Many people ask me about the events which led to the rising of Mount Govardhan by Lord Krishna and how it was a pivotal point in the deity’s life.
Krishna had immense and immeasurable love for Gokula and the Gopis and Gopas living there. Even after knowing the truth of his purpose of birth on Earth, the truth behind it and the mission which he was expected to fulfill in his lifetime, Krishna always remained in dilemma on the thought of leaving Gokula and going to seek his faraway mission and whether that mission was worth forsaking all that he loved. As for people of Gokula, the lifting of Mount Govardhan by Krishna on his little finger was evidence enough to confirm that Krishna was God himself. Even for Krishna, there was no looking back after this episode of his life.
It so happened that a furious storm had hit Gokula after a little while when Krishna had opposed to conduct offerings and Puja for Lord Indra and conduct Gopotsav instead. The storm became extremely violent and was accompanied by torrents of rain. This led to the overflowing of river Yamuna and Gokula getting flooded completely. The simple people of Gokula concluded that it was due to the revolutionary act of not worshipping Lord Indra that such a calamity had befallen on them.
Krishna, along with his brother Balaram and a few of his friends began hunting for a safe place where they could take the people and give shelter to them. As Krishna was well acquainted with the terrain, he noticed an opening in the mount Govardhan which led to a huge cavern inside. With great difficulty, they managed to clear all the boulders one by one and opened the way to the cavern where they could accommodate everyone, including the cattle and other animals. However, the cavern was not large enough to accommodate all of them, hence Krishna rose the mountain about six feet off the ground. This made the cavern big enough to accommodate the entire population of Gokula. They all stayed there comfortably for a few days until the floods receded.
After this incident, even Krishna was sure of his purpose and motive of life. He got a crystal clear view of what he wanted to do further. He got immense strength to leave behind everything with which he was very emotionally attached , including the people of Gokula and also Radha, the love of his life, and walk away from all of it to achieve the purpose of his very being.
On the last night before leaving Gokula and its people, Krishna conducted one last unscheduled Rasa-leela where he sang and danced for the last time with his people and Radha. As for Radha, she reached such a state of frenzy out of ecstasy and bliss that she transcended herself from the ordinary limitations of emotion into an ecstatic and wild-eyed being in a manner that nothing else on earth mattered to her any more. Krishna went up to his love Radha and handed over his flute to her, which he was so very proud of. From that day onwards, Krishna never played the mesmerizing tunes on his flute, and Radha began playing the flute just like Krishna did in the past.