Do you know a gopī is?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Who is called a gopī?
Devotee: A girl who follows Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana.
Śrīla Gurudeva: The gopīs are incomparably beautiful. They are more beautiful than Nārāyaṇa’s consort, Lakṣmī-devī. They are more beautiful than the queens of Dvārakā. They are highly qualified. Their love and affection for Kṛṣṇa is unparalleled. None are like the gopīs. No personalities of this material or spiritual realms can be compared to the gopīs. By their transcendental beauty and qualities, they can easily attract the Supreme Personality of Godhead in a moment. This is the glory of the gopīs.
Although Mahādeva was in the form of a gopī, he did not know his name, place of residence, and services. When rāsa-līlā was being performed, the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa were not as blissful as they would normally be. They told one another, “Today, an anonymous and unqualified person has entered the rāsa arena. So, there is no happiness today.” So, Mahādeva forgot about himself and he was of a conception of being a gopī. Wearing the dress of a gopī, Mahādeva wandered around Vraja. He was sweeping around Vraja. But, Śaṅkara or Mahādeva was alone, Yogamāyā-devī was not there. Mahādeva hid himself and saw the rāsa-līlā pastime.
The gopīs asked Mahādeva, “Who are you? Where have you takes birth? Who is your husband?”
But, Śaṅkara could not answer.
The gopīs further asked, “Who is your father and mother?”
But, even this question failed to arouse an answer from Mahādeva. He could not reply. Then the gopīs began to slap Śaṅkara and he began to cry. He cried out, “O Mā! O Yogamāyā! Save me! Save me! They are beating me.”
Yogamāyā then immediately appeared on the scene. Yogamāyā told the gopīs, “Oh she is my student. I have brought her here. You should be merciful to her. You should accept her in your fold.”
Then Kṛṣṇa came and said, “I am now giving you the power, by which you will be given a place in Vṛndāvana and from that place, you are granted the authority of not letting unqualified and faithless people from entering even the border of Vṛndāvana. But, you should make them qualified before entering Vṛndāvana.”
Hence, Durgā-devī has no place in Vṛndāvana, only Yogamāyā is present in Vṛndāvana. Durgā-devī cannot gallop past the material and Vaikuṇṭha realms and enter Vṛndāvana. Durgā is the shadow of Yogamāyā. So, we should try to take shelter at the lotus feet of Yogamāyā. Yogamāyā will take all the conditioned souls to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa where you will experience the topmost form of inconceivable spiritual happiness. You will be drowned in an ocean of bliss for eternity and you will never experience any birth, death, sorrows, or sufferings. In that ocean of unending happiness, many waves crash against each other and we will roll and play along with those waves of prema. Therefore, you should try to enter in that infinite ocean of bhakti. And all your secondary activities will have been done away with. When you come next time, I will try to help you; if you want.
17 May 1996 Radlett
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]