Krishna Nectar Lila 52 – “THE GOPIS FALL IN LOVE”

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

When Krishna’s beloved gopi Radhika appeared the whole world drowned in unlimited transcendental ecstasy.

Radhika’s touch turned the village of Vrndavana into an abode of the sweetest fortune. The birth of the flower-archer Cupid attained perfection by Radha’s presence, and the poets achieved perfection by praising the mellow exchanges of Radha and Krishna.   

The gopis were extremely anxious to meet Krishna, but they did not manifest any external symptoms of their ecstasy. Transcendental lust had taken over their minds, but they did not show any lusty behavior. Though desiring, they did not act on their desire. They sustained their lives with just one thought: “Soon we will enjoy many playful pastimes with our beloved Syamasundara.”

The gopis hid this intense longing deep in their hearts. They covered the emotions swirling within their hearts with a veneer of boundless shyness. Their sudden detachment from ordinary activities created a slight fear within their minds.

The functions of their minds appeared to be hampered by a type of dreaminess. The incurable disease of inertia had mysteriously infected the gopis. The sudden transformation of the gopis’ minds resembled a type of rice that is ripe inside though appearing raw outside.

Though the gopis concealed their internal attachment to Krishna, their relatives detected a change in their behavior. The experience of rasa transcends verbal description. It can only be appreciated by tasting and feeling it.

In the same way, no words can accurately depict the agitation in the gopis’ minds due to their rising love for Krishna. As a word like Ganga has both outer and inner meanings, similarly, no one can know the confidential desires within the minds of the gopis just by observing their outer behavior.

Somehow they maintained patience despite the fact that the forceful movements of their hearts spun their minds in circles. Though concerned, the gopis did nothing to stop the growing force of their desire. Just as one with a fever always feels thirsty, the gopis always felt severe aching in their bones and joints due to the raging fire of their intense desire to enjoy with Krishna.

As termites eat dry bamboo devoid of moisture (rasa), the termites of desire slowly nibbled away the dry, mellow (rasa)less hearts of the gopis. Although their minds vibrated with attraction for Krishna, their tender bodies were not yet experienced in savoring the sweet mellows of love.

The disturbance in the gopis’ minds made their cheeks turn pale yellow in color like the lavalé fruit. Their lips dried out like fresh leaves withered by the sun. As the petals of blue lotus flowers loose their luster with the arrival of winter, the childish glimmer in the blue lotus eyes of the gopis gradually faded with the onset of youthful desires. They breathed heavily as if afflicted by sunstroke.

Their erratic movements resembled a deranged person moving here and there without any purpose. Uttering incoherent phrases, the gopis appeared like a person who has lost his speaking ability due to negative planetary influences. When a person develops a mood of detachment he loses interest in domestic affairs, similarly, the gopis became totally detached from their homes and relatives.

Day by day the minds of the gopis were steadily and spontaneously more attracted to Krishna. This created contempt for their household chores. But they carefully hid these feelings even from their closest friends. As the gopis blossomed with youth, they looked incredibly beautiful and effulgent.

Gradually, the gopis understood each other’s purva-raga (love prior to meeting). Radhika’s flourishing heart radiated most prominently. To hide the intolerable rise of affection that they felt for Krishna, the gopis acted in various tricky ways. With their intelligence they reassured themselves of the reality of their deep attachment to Krishna.

Pushed by their disturbed minds, the gopis gave many valuable ornaments to each other in charity. The effulgence of this jewelry rivaled that of royalty, and resembled the beautiful radiance of Krishna’s transcendental body. Receiving these ornaments, the gopis felt blissful and manifested various symptoms of divine ecstasy such as crying, thrill-bumps, and standing up of bodily hairs.

Kajala highlighted their eyes and blue lotus flowers adorned their ears. The sweet fragrance of those flowers filled the earth with jubilation. Because those lotus earrings reminded them of Krishna’s beautiful body, they enlivened the gopis and removed the pain in their hearts. The blue lotuses made a perfect match for the golden bodies of the gopis.

While thus absorbed in thoughts of Krishna, the gopis chanted His sweet name. As the nectar of the name exhilarated their hearts, the gopis displayed various symptoms of ecstatic love. Waterfalls of tears washed away the kajala bordering their lotus-petal eyes. Their life airs seemed to pass out of their fragile bodies as they sighed deeply. Their heavy breathing and tear-filled eyes brought the gopis to a wonderful state of intensely desiring to meet Krishna.

Overwhelmed with such feelings of love, one gopi joked with a girlfriend. “O sakhi! Ah! My heart pains and is full of grief. I am completely contaminated by lust. Upon seeing the beautiful form of Syamasundara, my tears have moistened the pathway of my eyes.”

Her girlfriend replied cleverly, “Though you are not wearing a blue sapphire, your body is showing the symptoms of divine ecstasy. You have not directly smelled that blue lotus, yet even smelling it from a distance has filled your nose with jubilation. Your eyes and other senses are also illuminated with ecstasy due to this absorption. Therefore I think you should have this ecstatic encounter again and again.”

Due to the appearance of their unparalleled love for Krishna, the gopis talked madly with each other. One gopi said to herself, “O sakhi! Do not lament! This is the life of one who rejects the rules of morality. Only because of this are you full of remorse and lamentation. It is a well-known fact that you have a secret love for Krishna. Are you becoming adversely affected by the celestial power of all the gems you are wearing? Or are you just going crazy?” 

Excerpt: Sri Kavi Karnapura’s Ananda Vrindavana Campu ki jai!

Krishna Nectar Lilas ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

All parts of Krishna Nectar Lilas can be found here.

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