KRSNA DANCES LIKE NO ELSE IS THERE
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that Krsna began to dance in such a way, that it appeared as if there was no one else there but Him. He was in His own form, but He manifested many other forms. These forms were all non-different and inseparable from Krsna, even though they all had their own individual forms.
Krsna danced with all of them and exhibited ‘hasa-parihasa’, joking, laughing, playing, singing, dancing and embracing. Krsna played in these loving affairs with the Gopis, just like little children play with one another. In this way Krsna was playing and dancing with His own expansions or reflections.
The Gopi’s vilasa or loving exchange, is manifested through Krsna’s svarupa-sakti, Divine potency, and they are inseparable. The rasa play of dancing and singing is a manifestation of the soul’s divine play with the Lord and is not any kind of ordinary play.
THE GOPIS BECOME ‘KRSNA-MAYA’
Sukadeva Goswami said; “Oh Pariksit Maharaja being touched by the limbs of Sri Krsna the Gopis senses became overwhelmed with love and ecstasy. Krsna touched them by putting His hand on their shoulders or head while playing of His flute. They also witnessed His supremely beautiful face and became so absorbed in Sri Krsna that they were completely ‘Krsna-maya’, fully immersed in Sri Krsna. They lost all awareness of their cloth, their bodies, their senses and anything that was with them. They could not maintain or take care of anything. They were so absorbed in Sri Krsna that they forgot their own bodies. Their ornaments were also slipping and falling off. They forgot where they were and what they were doing. Through this ‘vilasa’ loving exchange, each Vraja-devi became ‘vyakula’ , submerged in the rasa dance. Each Gopi forgot completely where her cloth was, her ornaments, bracelets, ankle bells, where her chaddar was, the waist belt, and the garland she had been wearing. In the midst of this ‘ananda-rasa’, everything was forgotten.”
THE DEMIGODS BEWILDERED
As long as we do not receive the mercy of Sri Guru, we will always be externally absorbed in this world and its affairs. By the touch and the vision of Sri Krsna, our absorption will be pulled away from maya, and we will become completely absorbed in the Lord to the extent that we completely forget everything else. The demigods and their goddesses seeing Sri Krsna’s rasa-lila from their airplanes, along with the moon and all the stars, became completely bewildered and stunned seeing this. They were all thinking, “Will we ever be able to meet Sri Krsna, the Supreme Lord like this?”
Sridhara Swami explains that seeing the situation of the Vraja-sundaris, the wives of the demigods became bewildered and thought, “How can we also meet with Krsna like this?” Thinking about this, and having His darsana they fell unconscious. Why? The Lord’s mercy and His potency are very powerful. If it touches someone it does not allow any material thought or object to remain with that person, everything is washed away. Material objects have no connection to this ‘aprakrta-rasa’ transcendental nectar. Simply by thinking of Krsna they fell senseless. The stars and the moon all became bewildered and fixed in their places. For the whole night of Brahma lasting billions and billions of years, they did not move being transfixed in Krsna’s rasa-dance. When Krsna began to dance during the rasa-lila, it lasted for the entire night of Lord Brahma which is 311 trillion years.
ONLY THE GOPIS HAD THE QUALIFICATION TO PARTICIPATE
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says ‘vikriditam’, what is the nature of this play? Because of lack of qualification we have become very far from Krsna. When we become the objects of Sri Krsna’s divine mercy, we will go to Him and not have any memory of, “Who I am, what I am doing, where am I, and what is the nature of my body and senses?” The Gopis were dancing without any knowledge of this for the entire night of Lord Brahma, which is equal to 1000 catur-yugas and after the night passed, they all returned to their homes.
The Lord’s potency, ‘Yogamaya’, initiates these pastimes and also concludes them, preparing for the next pastimes. However not everyone was able to be present. Some did not have enough sadhana with which they were able to participate, like the moon and the stars. All these planets and stars are presided over by different personalities, and they were not able to enter the rasa-dance. They were fixed, motionless. They became bewildered by Krsna’s ‘mohan-vidya’ bewildering power, and could not enter these pastimes.
Sri Krsna’s loving affairs with the Vraja-sundaris was not anything ordinary, and even the demigods were not eligible to participate. No one had achieved the ‘adhikara’ (qualification), except for the Vraja-gopis. By Yogamaya’s arrangement, Krsna didn’t have the mood of ‘purusha bhava’ – the mood of an enjoyer. He was just experiencing Himself as a young boy mixing and dancing with His beloveds. Even though He was in the midst of millions and millions of Gopis Sri Krsna is ‘atmarama’ and ‘aptakama’, fully self satisfied and pleased within Himself.
The maidens who prayed to Katyayani:
patiṁ me kuru te namaḥ
They said, “Oh Mahamaya, Goddess of Illusion, Oh Srimati Radhika, please make that son of Nanda my husband or my beloved.”
Krsna told them at the end of Katyayani vrata, “Oh ‘abala’ ladies, – your desire will be fulfilled. Don’t worry, soon I will meet with all of you, so now return.” Krsna took such a wonderful form, like the crest jewel of all beauty, and danced with all the Gopis. During the ‘Brahma-vimohana-lila’, Krsna stayed with the Gopis for one year as the Gopas – the cowherd boys, but they were not satisfied by this. All the sakhas present were actually Sri Krsna, in this way the Gopis received their long, cherished desire to have Krsna as their husband. They had all married the various sakhas, but still they were not satisfied. Therefore, Krsna called them on a full moon night, and for the entire night of Lord Brahma, He danced and played with them. Sri Krsna is the embodiment of all compassion and mercy, and He appeared like an ordinary human being. Krsna was not only in one form, but He appeared in millions and millions of forms.
It is said ‘gopa yosita’, no one else had the eligibility to meet with Sri Krsna in this way, except for the Vraja-gopis. The daughters of the gopas who had come to the rasa dance were all young maidens – ‘kisoris’, and were decorated with all rasas to a fullest extent. Therefore, they could understand Sri Krsna’s, ‘rupa-madhurya, guna-madhurya, lila-madhurya, venu-madhurya and prema-madhurya’. They could realize and taste the sweetness of Sri Krsna’s form, beauty, flute playing, and loving exchanges. After perfection or ‘siddhi’, a sadhaka will also have acquaintance with these various kinds of sweetness’s, that Sri Krsna has only in Vraja. After Krsna completely surcharged the Gopis with this rasa, He danced and met with them. Therefore, Krsna is known as ‘Acyuta’ – infallible.
KRSNA REJUVENATES THE GOPIS
Sukadeva Goswami said, “Oh Pariksit Maharaja, the dancing and singing in the Rasa-dance continued on for a very long time, and the Gopis became covered in perspiration and became slightly tired and exhausted. Then with so much love, Sri Krsna, with His soft, fragrant and beautiful lotus hands, began to wipe the perspiration from the Gopis foreheads and faces with His chaddar. In this way, He showed His love for them and rejuvenated them. Sri Krsna always knew how to free them from any type of exhaustion or tiredness.
By Sri Krsna’s touch the Gopis became rejuvenated and completely satisfied in ‘ananda-rasa’. Out of love, they began to say something and He then began to fan them, gave them His own tambula remnants of pan from His mouth, and applied sandalwood paste to their foreheads.
Excerpted from the up and coming Bhakta Bandhav publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”
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