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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Why do we speak on rasa lila? We discuss rasa lila to please Srila Prabhupada, purify our heart, increase our devotion, dedicate our life to the Bhagavata (nityam bhagavata sevaya), deepen our love and attachment for Radha and Krishna, and to share the blessings of our teacher.

After publishing “Krishna Book” in 1969 as one of his foremost foundational works, Srila Prabhupada ordered all disciples to read it every night before sleeping. Thus, for the last 44 years, Krishna Book has been a main part of our life. And of all the lilas therein, Sri Krishna’s rasa-lila has especially thrilled and enlightened us regarding the divine reality of true love—pure, selfless, blissful and eternal: The immaculate, transcendental romantic love of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Srimati Radharani and the beautiful cowherd damsels of Vraja.

To answer the often asked questions regarding Sri Krishna’s rasa-lila, we will quote His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

  1. Who can hear rasa-lila?

Srila Prabhupada: “One who has faith in Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead can both describe and hear the rasa-lila.”

  1. Who can speak rasa lila?

Srila Prabhupada: “One should hear the rasa-lila from an authorized spiritual master person in the disciplic succession who is always engaged in Krishna consciousness. In this way, one will understand the whole situation, lose all traces of lust, and be elevated to the highest standard of spiritual life.”

  1. What benefit does one get by hearing rasa-lila?

Srila Prabhupada: “One who actually hears the rasa-lila will become completely freed from lusty desire.” (“Krishna Book” chapter 33)

Indeed, this is a most astonishing benediction which Sri Suka Muni himself proclaims at the end of his rasa lila description.

vikriditam vraja-vadhu, bhir idam ca visnoh
sraddanvito ‘nusrnuyad, atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati, pratilabhya kamam
hrd-rogam asv apahinot, yacirena dhirah

“A person who with a reverential attitude hears the transcendental pastimes of Sri Krishna with the damsels of Vraja from the mouth of a pure devotee and then describes those pastimes accordingly, achieves the supramundane loving service of Godhead [Sri Krishna] within no time and thereby drives away mundane lusty desires for sense gratification from his heart.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.33.39/trans: Srila Prabhupada “Search Ultimate Goal of Life”)

Second trans: “Anyone who faithfully and continually hears or describes Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain Vraja madhurya Krishna prema, quickly destroy the heart disease of lust, and immediately become steady and serene.”

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally described the incredible power and benefit of Sri Krishna’s rasa-lila:

ye sune ye pade, tanra phala etadrsi //
sei bhavavista yei, seve ahar-nisi
tanra phala ki kahimu, kahane na yaya //
nitya-siddha sei praya, siddha tanra kaya

Mahaprabhu said, “Anyone who hears or speaks the rasa-lila will attain the fruit of being absorbed in bhava. Day and night such a person will serve Radha and Krishna, and his/her body will become perfect and transcendental [siddha-deha] like Sri Krishna’s eternal associates.” (Caitanya-caritamrta 3.5.49-50)

May all devotees now become inspired to hear, study, meditate and enter the rasa-lila of Radha and Krishna in order to see the most beautiful “smiling face of Krishna” and to experience the “five life airs” (panca-prana) of the Srimad Bhagavatam!

Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Radha Govinda Yugala ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

The benefits of reading, hearing or speaking Sri Krishna’s Rasa Lila portrayed in the Bhagavata are stupendous and absolutely astonishing. As Gaudiya Vaisnavas, we will find great encouragement to study this subject by hearing the following teachings of our founder, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and the world’s most famous preacher of “Krishna Consciousness”, 108 Sri Sri Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Once 500 years ago, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu instructed a Brahmin, Pradyumna Mishra, and all of us about the glories of Sri Krishna’s Rasa Dance described in Srimad Bhagavatam. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said:

vraja-vadhū-saṅge- kṛṣṇera, rāsādi-vilāsa
yei -jana -kahe,- śune, –kariyā- viśvāsa
hṛd-roga-kāma- tāṅra, tat-kāle haya- kṣaya
tina-guṇa-kṣobha- nahe, mahā-dhīra- haya,

“If one faithfully hears Sri Krishna’s rasa lila and other pastimes with the young brides of Vraja i.e. gopis, then one will no longer be agitated by maya; lust will be destroyed; and one will become very calm and peaceful.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continues:

ujjvala- madhura- prema, bhakti -sei -pāya
ānande -kṛṣṇa-mādhurye, vihare -sadāya

“One will attain the sweet intimate loving seva of Sri Krishna, and always feel blissful by remembering Sri Krishna’s sweet Vraja lilas. (Caitanya Caritamrita 3. 5.45-47)

ye- śune, ye- paḍe, tāṅra –phala- etādṛśī
sei –bhāvāviṣṭa- yei, seve- ahar-niśi
tāṅra- phala- ki- kahimu, kahane- nā- yāya
nitya-siddha- sei, prāya-siddha- tāṅra- kaya

“One who hears or speaks rasa-lila will be immersed day and night in madhurya-bhava and Krishna’s seva. What more can I possibly say? One will attain a siddha deha, eternal spiritual body like one of Sri Krishna’s eternal associates.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 3.5.45-50)

You will be surprised to know that way back in 1969, Srila Prabhupada also glorified the hearing of rasa lila, and even encouraged it in the right circumstances. His Divine Grace even went so far as to say that conditioned souls, which means everyone on this planet, “SHOULD HEAR THE RASA LILA.” Please do the needful after deeply reflecting on the following statements Srila Prabhupada made in his BBT Kṛṣṇa Book printed in 1969.

In chapter 33 of Kṛṣṇa Book, Srila Prabhupada said:

“One who actually hears the rasa-lila will become completely freed from the lusty desire of sex life.

“The conditioned soul should hear the rasa-lila dance from an authorized spiritual master, who is in the disciplic succession, and is always engaged in Krishna consciousness. When a person hears the rasa-lila in this way, the effect will be sure: he will be elevated to the highest position of spiritual life.” (Krishna Book, Srila Prabhupada)

Bhagavata Rasa Lila ki jai! Gauranga Mahaprabhu ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!