Gopi Bhava & Srila Prabhupada

Mahanidhi Swami

Quoting the verse below, which he did 67 times, Srila Prabhupada perfectly explains the mission of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

The golden avatar of love divine appeared in this world to preach gopi bhava, and the worship of Radha-Krishna following the example of the Vraja-gopis. Mahaprabhu also taught the worship of Vrindavana, Srimad Bhagavatam and the Vaisnavas.

Srila Prabhupada and all Gaudiya Vaisnavas accept that this one verse contains the entire philosophy (sambandha, adhidheya, prayojana) of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is Krishna consciousness in a nutshell. And every Gaudiya Vaisnava should study, memorize, realize and preach this most important verse written by Srinatha Cakravarti, Sri Advaita Prabhu’s shishya and Mahaprabhu’s direct associate.

Please study the passages below wherein Srila Prabhupada summarizes the mission of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. People often ask, “What is Krishna Consciousness?” This verse gives the true and complete meaning of “Krishna consciousness” because it contains the sweet essence of our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy.

This is what Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu came to give, to teach, to taste and to experience. To know the meaning of this verse and to follow it means you are a Gaudiya Vaisnava!

aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas, tad-dhama vrindavana,

ramya kacid upasana, vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita,

srimad-bhagavatam pramanam amalam, prema pum-artho mahan

sri-caitanya-mahaprabhor matam idam, tatradarah na parah

Sri Srinatha Cakravarti said, “Nandanandana Sri Krishna is the topmost object of worship, and His abode of Vrindavana is equally worshipable. The young married brides of Vrindavana, the Vraja-gopis, showed the best way to worship Sri Krishna. The most authoritative source of divine revelation is the Srimad Bhagavatam. Krishna prema, pure love of God, is the fifth and ultimate goal (panchama-artha) of human life. This is the essence of the philosophy of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, so we consider this doctrine to be supreme.”

Srila Prabhupada comments on this most important verse: “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu says, ramya kacid upasana, vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita,’ If you want to learn the process of worshiping and loving Krishna, just try to follow in the footsteps of the Vraja gopis, because their love for Krishna is the highest perfectional love of God; pure love for God.

“Here’s how they loved Krishna. Krishna was a cowherd boy, and Krishna and His friends and cows used to go to the pasturing ground for the whole day. Although gopis were at home and Krishna was miles away in the pasturing ground, the gopis were thinking, ‘Oh, Krishna’s feet are so soft! Now Krishna is walking on the rough ground, and the sharp pebbles are pricking Krishna’s foot soles. So Krishna must be feeling some pain.’

“Thinking in this way, the gopis used to cry. Just see, this is love! When Krishna returned, the gopis did not ask Him, ‘My dear Krishna, what have You brought us from Your pasturing ground? What is in Your pocket? Let us see.’ No! The gopis were simply thinking of how Krishna could be satisfied. The gopis used to dress themselves very nicely and go before Krishna. While dressing they would think, ‘Oh, Krishna will be happy to see me.’

“These are the loving affairs of Krishna and the gopis. Their relationship was so intimate and so unalloyed that Krishna Himself admitted, ‘My dear gopis, it is not in My power to repay you for your love.’ Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet He became bankrupt—Krishna could not repay His debt to the gopis. So the gopis possessed the highest perfection of love for Krishna.

“I am describing the mission of Lord Caitanya. Mahaprabhu is instructing us that the only lovable object is Krishna, the only lovable land is Vrindavana, and the process of loving Krishna is shown by the vivid example of the gopis. There are different stages of devotees, and the gopis are on the highest platform. And among the gopis, the supreme is Radharani. Therefore, nobody can surpass Radharani’s love for Krishna.”(SP: Folio TQE 7c)

Srila Prabhupada: “Lord Caitanya recommends, ‘As Krishna was worshiped by the damsels of Vrajadhama—that is the highest, topmost grade of worship because that was pure love.’ The damsels of Vraja loved Krishna so much, without any return. That’s a sublime thing. So Mahaprabhu recommended, ‘That is the highest form of worship.’”(SP: Folio 660729BG.NY)

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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