tan-manaskas tad-alapas
tad-vicestas tad-atmikah
tad-gunan eva gayantyo
natmagarani sasmaruh

Srimad-Bhag. 10.30.43 and Brhad-bhag. 2.7.134

“Those vraja-gopis who had fully given their hearts to Sri Krsna would imitate His manner of speaking and His activities. Since they had offered their very souls to Him and always sang His glories, they completely forgot themselves and their family interests.”

In the gradual development of bhakti, from nistha comes ruci, where it becomes tasteful. From ruci comes asakti, where one will have no desire to leave it. Then comes bhava, and then prema, sneha, mana, pranaya, raga, anuraga, and in some cases even mahabhava, where one receives the pinnacle of experience of Krsna. Possessing this mahabhava, the gopis’ minds and hearts became so absorbed in Krsna that they could no longer be considered their own.

If you place a piece of cotton on a few drops of water, the water is immediately absorbed into it. Similarly, the water of the gopis’ hearts was immediately absorbed into the Krsna-cotton in such a way that it was as if their individual existences were lost. If someone is fortunate enough to receive Krsna’s direct darsana or to hear about Him from a rasika Vaisnava, then they may also experience this same absorption. Singing about His virtues more and more, they at once became tad-atmikah—they completely forgot their own bodies, their bodily relations, their homes, everything.

Bhakti Rasayana, page 92
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Some Gopis, overwhelmed with love, were clenching their teeth and biting their lips as if they were very angry, and their eyes had become powerful arrows, shooting glances of love. It was as if they were saying, “Oh now just show us what You will do. Now we have surrounded You on all sides. See if You can disappear now. We are now prepared. See if You can escape us now.” These Gopis made their eyebrows like bows pulled back, arched very high. Their lips became cut by their teeth because they were clenched so tight. It as like they were chewing Krsna. They were very angry ladies. If you have ever seen a very angry lady then you may understand, they had become very strong and powerful. They were thinking, “What will we tell Him? I will say this and that.” But no words came out of their mouths. They just looked at Him with extremely sharp glances, thinking of all the things they wanted to say to Him. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says one Gopi was clenching her teeth, biting her lips and shooting arrows from her arched eyebrows. It was like she was trying to pierce Krsna. She said, “Oh crest jewel of cheaters. Your love is like the strongest snake poison and You have injected us with that poison. You gave us this poison and then ran away thinking, ‘Oh I have given them poison, now if they die then that is good.’ But we did not die. We are still alive. Now what will You do? You tried to kill us, thinking, ‘Oh I have given them poison and now they will die very soon.’ You left thinking we will die, but now we have new life, so what will You do now? Where will You run now? We didn't think You would leave before, we weren't ready for You to disappear. But now we are ready and have surrounded You, so try and leave now.” The Gopis tied a knot in their shawls or saris and then tied themselves to Krsna. Some tied Krsna to Radharani, and some tied Him to other Gopis. In this way they all tied Krsna to one another and He was bound. They said, “This is not only some show. We have completely bound You now and You cannot escape. You will have to be punished for Your sins.” Some gopis were burning in their anger towards Krsna born out of their love for Him. Some gopis, being very mild mannered and submissive, acted in other ways. Srila Jiva Goswami Prabhu says Krsna is Vraja-guala, a simple sweet cowherd boy. However these gopis did not see Him like that. They were saying, “Oh You are Surasena-Krsna, a warrior. Some of the Gopis had this mood that He was like a warrior and said, “Oh You are like a coward. You are running away from the battlefield and hiding.” These Gopis taunted Him. “You came to love’s battlefield and were defeated. You are so weak, and such a coward that now You have run away. Why did You call us all here? You called us here to the battle. If You are so weak and want to hide like a weakling then You shouldn’t have called us here and met with us in the first place.” The submissive Gopis in daksina-bhava came before Krsna and accepted His tambula and held His hands and began to serve Him and gave Him candana. Krsna was surrounded on all sides. Some Gopis were complete absorbed in a loving anger mood, and with their eyes shot anger arrows at Him. The Visnu-purana explains that some of the Gopis spoke to Him with an angry mood. Some Gopis drank the honey of the beauty of His lotus face. Some were very angry, and some were very soft and submissive. In this way the various Gopis had different moods and interacted with Krsna differently. The gopis with a strong, bold mood are called lalita-anubhava. They are in the line or mood of Lalita. Those who were svadina - always subordinate, were speaking with Krsna in a subordinate way, or meeting in that way. Some gopis were burning in their anger towards Krsna born out of their love for Him. Some gopis, being very mild mannered and submissive, acted in other ways. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)


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