The mood of absolute opulence assuming the form of sweetness (mādhurya) is described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.2.21):
svayaṁ tv asāmyātiśayas tryadhīśaḥ
baliṁ haradbhiś cira-loka-pālaiḥ
Śrī Kṛṣṇa is Himself the Supreme Lord of the three potencies (sandhinī, saṁvit and hlādinī). No one is equal to Him, so who can be greater than Him? All of His desires are fulfilled by His own transcendental goddess of fortune (rājya-lakṣmī). Indra and innumerable other loka-pālas, deities presiding over different regions of the universe, bring Him varieties of offerings and pay their obeisances, touching the tops of their crowns to the footstool on which He rests His lotus feet.
samādhika-śūnya kṛṣṇa triśakti-īśvara
svarūpa-aiśvarye pūrṇa-kāma nirantara
lagna-pāda-pīṭha stavanīya atiśaya
The general meaning of the word tryadhīśvara is that Śrī Kṛṣṇa has innumerable forms and incarnations. He has unsurpassed opulence. Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Mahādeva are the lords of creation, but they are under the rule of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supreme Lord (adhīśvara) of everyone.
The intermediate meaning of tryadhīśvara is that the three puruṣa-avatāras – Kāraṇodakaśāyī, Garbhodakaśāyī and Kṣīrodakaśāyī – are the partial expansions of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s expansion, Baladeva Prabhu. This means that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord of them all.
The essential meaning of tryadhīśvara is as follows. In the scriptures, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is known to have three places of residence. One place is His inner quarters, Goloka Vṛndāvana, where He is eternally present with His mother, father, friends and beloveds. There Yogamāyā serves Him as a maidservant. Beneath this Goloka-dhāma is Paravyoma, also known as Viṣṇuloka. Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s vilāsa-mūrti, Śrī Nārāyaṇa, and unlimited other forms reside there. This is Kṛṣṇa’s intermediate place of residence. Below this Paravyoma is Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s third place of residence, called bāhyāvāsa, His external residence. It is situated in the material realm, across the Virajā River where countless universes (brahmāṇḍas) are present like chambers. This place is also called Devī-dhāma, or Māyā-devī’s dhāma, and the living entities who are bound by māyā reside there. The material energy (jagat-lakṣmī), the shadow of the transcendental goddess of fortune (rājya-lakṣmī), protects the wealth of this world.
Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Lord of these three places – Goloka, Paravyoma and the material universes. Both Goloka and Paravyoma are transcendental and are the divine opulence (vibhūti) of the cit-śakti. They are therefore called tripāda-aiśvarya, the opulence comprising three-quarters of the Lord’s energy. The vibhūti of māyā, the material universe, is called ekapāda-aiśvarya. The opulence in Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental dhāmas is three times that of the material world. His tripāda-vibhūti (the spiritual world) cannot be glorified in words. In the unlimited universes of the ekapāda-vibhūti there are countless Brahmās and Śivas, and they are called loka-pālas, eternal maintainers of the order of creation.
Once in Dvārakā, Brahmā came for Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s darśana. When the doorman went to inform Bhagavān that Brahmā had come to meet with Him, Śrī Kṛṣṇa asked, “Which Brahmā has come? What is his name? Go and ask him.” The door-keeper went back and enquired accordingly. Brahmā became astonished and said, “Please go and tell Him that the father of the four Kumāras, Caturmukha Brahmā, has come.”
When Brahmā reached the threshold of the Sudharmā assembly hall, he became stunned. The crowd was such that he could not enter. Millions and millions of Indras, Brahmās, Śivas and other loka-pālas, each with heads numbering from eight to thousands, were paying their prostrated obeisances in front of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s footstool. When their crowns, which were inlaid with jewels, touched the ground, loud clattering sounds arose and mixed with sounds of the loka-pālas’ jaya-dhvani (calls of victory), which resounded in all directions. Caturmukha Brahmā was like a firefly in the midst of millions of suns. Suddenly everything disappeared and the dumbfounded Caturmukha Brahmā stood alone. He was astonished to see this magnificent opulence of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and his pride vanished. Ashamed of his offence, he began to glorify the Lord, praying for forgiveness. Thereafter, Śrī Kṛṣṇa sent Brahmā on his way.
Tryadhīśvara has another confidential meaning. The word tri refers to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s three abodes – Gokula, Mathurā and Dvārakā. Another name for these abodes is Goloka. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is naturally and eternally present in these three abodes, and He Himself is their adhīśvara (Supreme Lord). Therefore, He is called tryadhīśvara. The dikpālas, who preside over the ten directions of the globe of the unlimited material universes, as well as all the cira-loka-pālas who reside in the coverings of the unlimited Vaikuṇṭhas, were paying their daṇḍavat-praṇāmas at Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s footstool.
Svārājya-lakṣmy-āpta-samasta-kāmaḥ – Svarājya-lakṣmī, the transcendental goddess of fortune, fulfils all Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s desires. He has unlimited pastimes in Vaikuṇṭha and other abodes, but amongst them all, His human-like pastimes (nara-līlā) are topmost. In His inner quarters of Śrī Goloka Vṛndāvana, His opulence (aiśvarya), being adorned with sweetness (mādhurya), is billions of times greater than His opulence in Vaikuṇṭha.
It is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.16.36) that Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is inconceivable (acintya) and causeless (ahaitukī):
kasyānubhāvo ’sya na deva vidmahe
yad-vāñchayā śrīr lalanācarat tapo
vihāya kāmān su-ciraṁ dhṛta-vratā
[The Nāgapatnīs prayed to Śrī Kṛṣṇa:] O Lord, we cannot understand what sādhana our husband has performed to become qualified to receive the touch of the dust of Your lotus feet. This dust is so rare that to attain it, even Your wife Lakṣmī gave up all forms of enjoyment for many, many days and performed austerities according to rules and regulations.
ki puṇye kāliya pāya pada-reṇu tava
bujhite nā pāri kṛṣṇa kṛpāra sambhava
jāhā lāgi’ lakṣmī-devī tapa ācarila
bahukāla dhṛta-vratā kāmādi chāḍila
The astonished wives of Kāliya-nāga are saying, “O Gokuleśvara, we cannot understand what kind of sukṛti resulted in this lowly Kāliya attaining Your rare foot-dust. The supremely gentle and very beautiful Lakṣmī, who plays on the chest of Śrī Nārāyaṇa, gave up the association of her husband and observed a vrata in which she performed severe austerities to attain this dust, but she was unsuccessful. Prabhu, it is not possible even for Lakṣmī to have the same fortune as Kāliya and receive the direct touch of Your lotus feet.”
This Text describes Kāliya’s great fortune. Lakṣmī desired the association of Nanda-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa in her body as Lakṣmī. However, Nanda-nandana does not accept any demigoddess or beautiful lady; the only way to attain Him is to follow the vraja-devīs and accept the body and mood of a gopī. Since this was impossible for Lakṣmī, she could not attain Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s association. Jīva Gosvāmipāda says that the one-pointedness of the gopīs was absent in Lakṣmī: aprāpti-kāraṇaṁ ca gopīvat tad-ananyatābhāva aivati ca.
There can be two reasons why Kāliya attained Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet. The first reason is that he had the association of his wives, who were very good devotees. The second reason is his residence in the Yamunā, which is within Vṛndāvana. Due to saṁskāras, impressions, from his previous lives, he attained both of these, but due to his offensive inclination, he was indifferent to them. The dhāma and other transcendental objects do not manifest immediately before offensive persons. When Śrī Kṛṣṇa split Kāliya’s hoods with a blow from His dancing feet, Kāliya’s mouths began to vomit blood. He then believed the words of his wives, that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is Bhagavān, and surrendered to Him. Kṛṣṇa had merely been waiting to bestow His mercy upon Him.
Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda explains in his commentary to this verse that Kāliya had the seed of bhakti in his heart due to the association of his wives, who were devotees, but this seed could not sprout in his hard heart, which was like barren land due to his offences and cruelty. By the touch of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s feet, that barren land became fertile enough for the seed of bhakti to germinate.
Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.60) states that the vraja-gopīs’ devotion is topmost:
nāyaṁ śriyo ’ṅga u nitānta-rateḥ prasādaḥ
svar-yoṣitāṁ nalina-gandha-rucāṁ kuto ’nyāḥ
rāsotsave ’sya bhuja-daṇḍa-gṛhīta-kaṇṭha-
labdhāśiṣāṁ ya udagād vraja-sundarīṇām
In the rāsa festival, Śrī Kṛṣṇa embraced the vraja-sundarīs around their necks with His vine-like arms, thus fulfilling their hearts’ desires. Even Lakṣmī, who eternally resides on His chest, does not attain this mercy. It is also not attained by the most beautiful girls of the heavenly planets, whose bodily lustre and fragrance resemble the lotus flower, what to speak of other beautiful women.
rāse vraja-gopī skandhe bhujārpaṇa kari’
ye prasāda kaila kṛṣṇa, kahite nā pāri
lakṣmī nā pāila sei kṛpā-anubhava
anya devī kise pābe se kṛpā-vaibhava?
With this Text, Śrī Uddhava, desirous of vraja-bhāva and filled with patience, meekness and humility, offers his precious puṣpāñjali to the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s beloved vraja-gopīs, the crown jewels amongst His devotees. These words reveal the glory of the vraja-sundarīs’ prema. To proclaim that the vraja-gopīs are worshipful to the entire world, Uddhava says, “Such unprecedented mercy of Bhagavān has never been seen or received by anyone else.” Uddhava’s astonishment is shown in this Text by his use of the exclamation u. In the festival of rāsa, Śrī Kṛṣṇa joyfully embraced the vraja-gopīs, putting His arms around their necks and fulfilling their hearts’ desires. This good fortune was not even attained by Lakṣmī, who is eternally situated on His chest. Nor can such fortune be attained by the beautiful heavenly women, whose excellent bodily lustre and fragrance are like lotuses, so how can it be possible for other beautiful ladies?
In his commentary on this Text, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī raises an argument: “In tattva, Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Nārāyaṇa are non-different, and the most affectionate Lakṣmī-devī, who sports on the chest of Nārāyaṇa, is His svarūpa-śakti. She also resides on Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s chest as a golden line, and she is never separated from Him. Why, then, are the gopīs’ moods glorified over hers?”
He then resolves this argument: “Although Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Nārāyaṇa are non-different in tattva, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s unique pastimes, which are filled with astonishingly excellent rasa, are embellished with an exceedingly splendid brilliance. Lakṣmī is only engaged in meeting (sambhoga-rasa), but the gopīs sometimes engage in meeting (milana) and sometimes in separation (viraha). Lakṣmī is Nārāyaṇa’s beloved who sports on His chest (vakṣaḥ-vilāsinī), but the gopīs are not merely Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s beloveds; they delight in the rasa of amorous pastimes endowed with paramour love (parakīya-bhāva), thereby expanding His prema-mādhurya in an unprecedented way. Vrajendra-nandana Śyāmasundara’s aiśvarya and mādhurya only manifest in their topmost form when He is with the vraja-devīs. Eagerly desiring this mādhurya, Lakṣmī also desires to meet with Kṛṣṇa. However, the gopīs’ one-pointed, steady devotion is absent in Lakṣmī. In nara-līlā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa belongs to the caste of gopas, cowherds. Because He considers Himself a gopa, His beloveds are naturally daughters of gopas, and only they can be His beloveds. Śrī Lakṣmī did not want to assume the body of a gopī. She was unable to take birth in the home of a gopī, marry a gopa other than Kṛṣṇa for the sake of entering parakīya-bhāva, associate with the nitya-siddha-gopīs and give up her identification as a brāhmaṇī. This is why she was unable to meet with Kṛṣṇa.”
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.35) it says:
yathā dūra-care preṣṭhe
mana āviśya vartate
strīṇāṁ ca na tathā cetaḥ
When her lover is far away, a woman thinks of him more than when he is present before her.
Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura comments on this śloka as follows: “The lover’s heart is more attracted to the beloved when she is far from him than when she is living near him. Due to this, although Lakṣmī perpetually sports upon Nārāyaṇa’s chest, the glories of her good fortune are less than those of the gopīs’.”
The rāsa-līlā is the crown jewel amongst all Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī says: “rāsaḥ parama-rasa-kadambamaya-rati-yaugikārtha – the rāsa dance is the supreme rasa; supreme rasa is that in which there is a relationship with the supreme object.” The rāsa-līlā does not take place in this world, nor does it occur in the heavenly planets. In Dvārakā, where there are 16,108 queens, the rāsa dance is a possibility, but it does not take place there either. Nor does it take place in Bhagavān’s other abodes, such as Vaikuṇṭha. The rāsa-līlā only manifests in Vṛndāvana and the vraja-ramaṇīs are its participants. The main fountainhead of this pastime, which is filled with all the consummate mellows, is Śrī Vṛṣabhānu-nandinī. In extreme joy, Śrī Śyāmasundara both floats upon and becomes submerged in the waves of the ocean of prema that are found in the supreme festival of rāsa-līlā. To protect Himself from the towering waves of the gopīs’ charming behaviour and sidelong glances in this vast ocean of prema, He clutches the gopīs’ necks and rests Himself upon their breasts.
Being especially insightful, Uddhava foresaw the marriage of Kṛṣṇa and Rukmiṇī. Rukmiṇī is famous in the world as Hari-priyā, the beloved of Hari; nevertheless, she did not attain even a scent of the vraja-gopīs’ good fortune. How, then, could it be possible for the other queens of Dvārakā and the heavenly goddesses? The vraja-devīs are capable of completely controlling Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The pinnacle of mahābhāva, mādanākhya-bhāva endowed with samartha-rati (that rati which is capable of controlling Kṛṣṇa), is the bhāva of Śrī Rādhā only, and She is the main source of pleasure in mādhurya-rasa. All the other gopīs are like ingredients for rasa. The words vraja-sundarīṇām in this Text allude to Śrī Rādhā’s love, elegance, erudition, virtuous nature, good qualities, skill in dancing and singing, and great wealth of beauty.
All types of devotees long for gopī-bhāva. This is explained in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.61):
āsām aho caraṇa-reṇu-juṣām ahaṁ syāṁ
vṛndāvane kim api gulma-latauṣadhīnām
yā dustyajaṁ sva-janam ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā
bhejur mukunda-padavīṁ śrutibhir vimṛgyām
Aho! The vraja-devīs have given up everything that is difficult to renounce, such as children, family and the path of chastity, and they have taken shelter of the path of prema-bhakti to Śrī Kṛṣṇa that is eternally searched for by the Śrutis. My prayer is that in a future birth I may acquire a form among the bushes, creepers and herbs of Śrī Vṛndāvana that receive the dust of these gopīs’ lotus feet.
dustyajya ārya-patha-svajana chāḍi’ diyā
śruti-mṛgya kṛṣṇa-pada bhaje gopī giyā
āhā! vraje gulma-latā-vṛkṣa deha dhari’
gopī-pada-reṇu ki seviba bhakti kari’?
In the previous Text, Śrī Uddhava described the excellence of the gopīs’ prema-mādhurya. In his heart he understands his insignificance and wretchedness, and an eager longing awakens in him for prema like that of the gopīs. The only means to attain this prema, which is unattainable even for Lakṣmī and the queens of Dvārakā, is to be sprinkled with the foot-dust of the mahābhāva-vatī gopīs. The exclamation aho expresses the rarity of the attainment of this prema. The nitya-siddha-gopīs have natural attachment (anurāga) for Kṛṣṇa, and because of this deep anurāga, they successfully renounced the honour given by society for following social etiquette and so forth, which is very difficult to give up. The Śrutis and Upaniṣads such as Gopāla-tāpanī are searching for such kṛṣṇa-anurāga, eagerly desiring to attain it. Uddhava began to ponder, “It will not be possible for me to attain such good fortune as the mahābhāva-vatī gopīs, unless I can somehow obtain the dust of their lotus feet.” He thus considers himself very fallen and insignificant, and prays to take birth in Vṛndāvana as a bush, creeper or herb.
Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on this in his Sārārtha-darśanī ṭīkā as follows: “It is because of their anurāga that the vraja-devīs gave up their reputation, patience and so forth, and departed in the middle of the night for a rendezvous (abhisāra) with Śrī Śyāmasundara. Due to the strength of their prema, they were helpless and could not consider whether their decision to leave their family was right or wrong. As soon as they heard the sound of Śrī Śyāmasundara’s flute, they were pierced by the arrow of lust (kāma), and, as if mad (unmādinī), they moved like deer, leaving the forest path without caring for shrubs, thorns and sharp grass. At that time, the dust of their feet fell on the grass, bushes and other vegetation. I can only receive this dust by one day becoming such grass, a plant like a creeper, or a bush. Even if I were to beg humbly for a particle of that dust, they would never bestow it upon me.”
Uddhava also had a doubt in this regard. “My birth and mood are not compatible with vraja-bhāva, so why would the gopīs be merciful to me?”
In this verse, the word caraṇa-reṇu (foot-dust) is singular, thus indicating the foot-dust of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, the crown jewel of the gopīs.
Mukunda-padavī means “attaining the service of Kṛṣṇa”. The gopīs always attain this service. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī says, “The name Mukunda comes from muktiṁ dadāti, which means ‘He who gives liberation from one’s hair plait or waist cloth’.” Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī’s purport of mukunda-padavī is tad-anurakti-bhajana, or bhajana imbued with the gopīs’ affection for Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs, before and after Kṛṣṇa’s cowherding (in pūrvāhna-līlā and aparāhna-līlā), eagerly watch for Kṛṣṇa’s departure to and arrival from the pastures. Absorbed in waiting for Him, they steal His heart and mind by their bodily gestures and demeanour. Only the gopīs can render this special service. Actually, the path followed by the gopīs in serving Kṛṣṇa is the real ārya-patha, the path of honesty and chastity indicated in the scriptures. The Vedas enjoin that one should completely give up all kinds of mundane and transcendental rules for aikāntika-nirupādhika-prema, love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa that is one-pointed and free from material designations. To attain Kṛṣṇa, there is no fault in transgressing the apparent ārya-patha.
According to another meaning of mukunda-padavī, the topmost devotees on the path of devotion are none other than the gopīs.
Sanātana Gosvāmipāda has raised a question in Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta: “To attain Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Rukmiṇī-devī even abandoned her own marriage ceremony, which was arranged by her father. By personally writing a letter to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, offering herself completely to Him and sending it with the son of her priest, she also abandoned the honour of being a chaste girl from a noble family. So, what is the feature that distinguishes the vraja-devīs, who renounced everything in order to attain Kṛṣṇa, from Rukmiṇī, who gave up her noble family for Him?”
Sanātana Gosvāmī then explains, “The gopīs’ attachment (rati) to Kṛṣṇa has no cause, whereas Rukmiṇī’s prema for Him developed after hearing about His name, form, qualities and so on. From birth the gopīs have natural love for Kṛṣṇa, and with an extreme eagerness to meet Him, they abandon their family members and ārya-patha.”
In Prīti-sandarbha Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī says, “This eagerness reveals their prema as being far superior. The gopīs’ extraordinary eagerness causes the development of an amazing power by which ārya-patha is naturally abandoned.”
The word mukunda in this verse also refers to one whose enchanting lotus face is like a kunda flower; it also refers to the dhīra-lalita-nāyaka Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra, who fully manifests His sweetness in the assembly of the gopīs.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.58) Uddhava mentions that Brahmā is also distracted upon seeing the mood of the gopīs:
etāḥ paraṁ tanu-bhṛto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo
govinda eva nikhilātmani rūḍha-bhāvāḥ
vāñchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayaṁ ca
kiṁ brahma-janmabhir ananta-kathā-rasasya
The gopīs have one-pointed rūḍha-bhāva towards Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the soul of all living entities. This is the topmost level of kṛṣṇa-prema, and by this, their lives are successful. This bhāva is hankered for, not only by fearful persons desiring liberation from this material existence, but also by great mahāpuruṣas, as well as devotees like ourselves; but none of us are able to attain it. For one whose mind is attached to kṛṣṇa-kathā, the three kinds of birth – seminal, brahminical and sacrificial – are not necessary; but for one who has no taste for hearing kṛṣṇa-kathā, what is the benefit of taking birth, even as Brahmā, again and again for many mahā-kalpas?
bhava-bhīta muni-gaṇa āra deva-gaṇa
yāṅhāra caraṇa-vāñchā kare anukṣaṇa
se govinde ruḍha-bhāvāpanna gopī dhanya
kṛṣṇa rasa-āge brahma-janma nahe gaṇya
With this verse and others, Śrī Uddhava is praising the crown jewels of all devotees, the gopīs, who are worshipped by all. Uddhava is Kṛṣṇa’s dearmost friend. Seeing the extraordinary prema of the gopīs, he became astonished and reflected as follows: “Lord Brahmā is Kṛṣṇa’s son, but is proud of being His son. Śaṅkara’s nature is one with Kṛṣṇa’s, but he thinks more about his oneness with Kṛṣṇa than he thinks of bhakti. Saṅkarṣaṇa has the mood of a brother, and Lakṣmī the mood of a wife, and these bhāvas are more prominent in them than the mood of prema. But the gopīs love Kṛṣṇa as their prāṇa-priyatama, and their love is nirupādhika, free from any other designation, and has reached the upper limit of prema. They have rūḍha-bhāva towards Gokulendra-nandana Govinda.”
a-bhāva is prema that is endowed with mādhurya-bhāva and free from any sense of awe and reverence. It is affection for Kṛṣṇa without any designation, and it is paramour bhāva without any expectation. Rūḍha-bhāva appears in the higher levels of mahābhāva. Rūḍha-bhāva is mentioned in this verse, but the gopīs actually attain adhirūḍha-bhāva, which is the final limit of their mahābhāva. To only mention rūḍha-bhāva limits the extent of the gopīs’ bhāvas. The vraja-devīs, who are endowed with adhirūḍha-bhāva, in other words with mādana, mohana and all other bhāvas, are the very soul of Govinda. This is the meaning of the words nikhilātmani rūḍha-bhāvāḥ.
Uddhava starts to contemplate the following: “Govinda is the condensed form of Svayam Bhagavān Parameśvara.” All śāstras state that the original, non-dual truth, Govinda, is the original Person (ādi-puruṣa). Govinda gives pleasure to the Vrajavāsīs with the sweetness of His form: “go vindayati iti govinda – Govinda is He who gives pleasure to the gopas, gopīs and cows.” Go means one who pervades the senses, and the gopīs pervade the senses of Govinda. It is a severe offence to ascribe the moods of ordinary females to the vraja-devīs, who are not ordinary, but the very embodiments of concentrated prema.
Vāñchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayaṁ ca – Those desiring liberation, munis and others who have attained liberation and who are fully self-satisfied (ātmārāma), and even Uddhava, who lives with Govinda, as well as the Pāṇḍavas, Yādavas, Caturmukha Brahmā and others, are attracted by the gopīs’ mahābhāva and eagerly desire it. If one has no taste for hearing narrations about Ananta-kṛṣṇa, then even birth as Brahmā is useless. There is even no gain if as Brahmā one performs the act of creation, or as a brāhmaṇa studies the Vedas, Upaniṣads and other scriptures, and takes vows, performs austerities and so on. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī says, “The life and death of a person who has no taste for hearing narrations of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s prema-mādhurya are insignificant and meaningless.” If a person’s mood is not similar to that of the gopīs, then Kṛṣṇa does not accept him. He therefore sent the mathurā-brāhmaṇīs back to their homes, as described in Chapter 23 of the Tenth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
Bhuvi – Refers to this Earth, the heavenly planets and the spiri-tual world. The only success in these three worlds is to take the form of a gopī.
Tanu-bhṛto bhuvi – Kṛṣṇa delivers all jīvas from material existence, even those who are low and insignificant. He nourishes them accordingly with the prema of the gopīs, who are situated in His heart. He propagates prema, He relishes this extraordinary prema and makes others relish it, and He increases prema in those to whom he gives it. The name of this potency is “gopī”.
Uddhava is profusely praising the greatness of the vraja-devīs in this verse. He also establishes the superiority of a married gopī’s paramour mood in comparison to the mood of a husband and wife. This paramour mood is not possible anywhere else except Vraja. In paramour love (parakīya-bhāva), rasa is produced by unprecedented astonishment.