Who Can Speak or Hear Rasa Lila?

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!

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