Excepts from Sri Vallabhacharya’s Subodhini
& Amrut Vachan of Sri Narayanacharya & Sri Krishna Premi
For Vraj Gopis, Krishna is in their souls and their mental faculties, in their life-breaths, their senses and their bodies, in external objects. The total love of these Gopis is seen, by their renouncing entirely all worldly things, everything that was theirs, and even their very Selves (Krishna alone becomes their self), made themselves a blank paper on which Hrishikesh (Lord of senses-Krishna) could write whatever He wished. Here with this surrendered attitude there was literally nothing left of the Gopis as persons- they had made themselves mere instruments for Krishna to do what He wished with.
To Gopis, Krishna was the sole basis of their continued existence because Krishna was the only desire that remains for them and it is not overstating if we conclude that if this desire were not present, their very selves, their very existence would disappear.
When we read, let us think that we are sitting in the assembly where Maharishi Shree Shukadeva is reciting Srimad-Bhägavatam to Maharaja Parikshith. Or, let us think that we are in Vrindavan, at the place where the Gopis are speaking with Sri Krishna. Let us humbly prostrate to these Gopis, take them as our Gurus, to bless us to have the same moods as they have, to be on the same platform as they are, so that we could also sing the Gopi Geet & be blessed to see the divine form of Lord Sri Krishna
||Sri Gopya ucchu:||
Jayati te dhikam janmanaa vrajah
shrayata Indira shashvadatra hi |
Dayita drishyataam dikshu taavaka-
stvayi dhritaasava-stvaam vichinvatey || 1 ||
With Your birth Vraj became auspicious and beautiful, even Goddess Lakshmi has taken resident here and they are yours, and they live only for you. They are looking for you everywhere, every direction, so o gracious! please bestow your grace and give us darshan (vision of your spiritual form).
Jayati: Starting of Gopi-Geet is with ‘Jayati’ (winner) word. All Sages and Hermits always announced that Vraj is the best of all and hence Vraj is the winner.
To show the predominant, expansive and exegesis (explanation of text ‘Jayati’) of their love (Gopis love), Jayati word is used in the opening of this stanza. Gopis are saying, ‘we are in Virah (sad), but we have not lost our fight and we are definitely not tired. We are winner in love game. We love you and that is our Jayati. In Bhakti Marg (the path of love, path of grace) Bhaktas are always winner. And to depict all this the word Jayati was used in the opening of this stanza.
Love is so strong and Krishna has always been ardent lover of love. This is demonstrated in an epic where a Gopi made Him dance in return of a glass full of Buttermilk. This the predominant expanse of Vraj love and that is also why Vraj is winner, in past, in present and in future, Vraj always have and will be a winner.
In Sanskrit the letter “Ja” is known as ‘digdhakshar’, meaning, a letter that describes burning desire. So here Gopis are saying, ‘Oh Prabhu, Ja is the starting letter of Gopi-Geet, which shows the burning desire of heart, we want to see You, the burning desire is to have your darshan. Our heart has that burning desire, so do come back and extinguish that fire of desire.’
Gopis are also saying that Vraj is famous. The whole world knows this and all this is because you bestowed love and happiness forever in Vraj. You brought that nectar which enticed us all Vraj bhakta to be born in Vraj. It is your birth which has enticed the whole Vraj. This charm of yours spreads with your smile on all Vraj bhakta and that is why we think Vraj is “Jayati”, the winner.
The next word is made out of two syllables, Te + adhikam. Te was subjected to read as Vraj and adhikam means auspiciously great. Tedhikam means, that Vraj is auspicious and great and this was only possible, because you (Krishna) took birth (Janmana) in Vraj.
This is why Gopis said that Vraj is adhikam. Krishna is born here; He has fused His leelas on this land. Your birth in itself is proof of Vraj being so mesmerized, fascinating and hold us spellbound, and that is why we say Tedhikam.
At this point Krishna stops Gopis in the midst of their speech and asked:
O Sakhis, I was born in jail in Mathura, so how can you say Gokul and Vrindavan is great and Jayati?
Bhagavan, it does not matter where you were born, but you grew up with Vraj’s yogurt and buttermilk. And please do not forget that you came to us for buttermilk and yogurt. Hey Govind, we know you were in our cowshed (Gauvshala) and you are the one who steals our milk, butter and yogurt. You have said that you have immense happiness in Vraj with us and that happiness is not in Mathura. You could be Vaikunta Pati but here in Vraj with Vrajvasi, you are ‘Vraj Raj’. That is why we say Tedhikam Janmana.
Sakhis, Vaikunta (Lord Narayana’s abode) is far bigger than Vraj, so why do you say Vraj is more (adhik) precious?
We like Vraj; We will not come to Vaikunta, as Nand Nandan (Sri Krishna) does not reside there, so how can we seek Him?
O Pyare (my love), in Vraj the happiness is in abundance, for You play raas in Vraj, you steal our yogurt and buttermilk, everyday you play new Leela Vihar (games). There is no such anand (joy) in Vaikunta. And you were the cause of it, it was your appearance on this land made it adhikam.
In Sanskrit, Vaikunta is ‘Vigatha kunta yasmath tatha: Vaikunta’. It is said that a mind without any evil thoughts, without any doubts, and is full of auspicious will, is known as Vaikunta.
So Gopis said: “Oh Lord, in Vaikunta you are in mind only but in Vraj you are Yasoda’s son, our Krishna and we see your physical existence, we enjoy you and like your company. So these are the reasons we do not like Vaikunta.”
Shruyat = Shrayate = Sevta (worshiped).
The Gopis then added:
Oh Nath (Krishna), if you had not taken the birth as Krishna in Vraj, then we would not have seen how adorable your vibrant beauty is. And if you had not eaten our yogurt and drank our buttermilk, do you think you would look so adorable and beautiful! Yasoda put lovely Shringar and gave you the best public appearance. Nandgopa gave you fatherly love and made you the happiest child, and it was these natural beauty sports of Vraj, amongst which you roamed, gave you the opportunity to play vihar (love games and leelas) in the thickness of the lovely forest. And it was these daily (Nitya) games (leelas) enticed your Vaikunta’s Lakshmi to take abode in Vraj and she was able to Shruyat (do your seva), worship you.
Shasvadatra = resides for ever
He = for sure (definitely)
Gopis also added:
Hey Shyamsunder, We are quite sure that Lakshmi arrived here to stay forever, her interlude with you is not neither an incidental nor accidental, but a sure action.
Shree Krishna maintains:
Just remember Lakshmi will automatically follow me.
Dayit Drush yatam.
Drush yatam= Give your darshan (vision of your form = appear)
Dayit Drush yatam is really the words depicted in the essence of prayer. It is from the beginning these Gopis were praying for Krishna to appear.
The Gopis are praying and saying:
O Lord, have mercy on us, give us appearance, give us darshan. We belong to you and no one else. We live only for you. We are looking in all direction, everywhere, please give us darshan.
The word “Dayit” is very powerful word used by these Gopis. When in separation, the state when we are longing to see someone, we become very humble. The proclamation of this word profuse humbleness and surrender, and the Gopis problem was natural tendency or had been a propensity to acquire Shri Krishna’s darshan. Gopis had humble feelings and this feeling can only be infused by two elements, (1) by knowledge of ones defects and (2) by the Grace of God.
Gopis had at this stage realized their defects and so they prayed:
O graceful Krishna, please do not look at our defects, have mercy on us as we only belong to you only. Please overlook our defects or sins and give us your darshan, Dayit Drushiyatam.
These Vraj bhakta realized:
Hey Pyare, You filled our heart with happiness, you also bestowed your graceful Madhur swaroop (form) into every atom of our body, but we were not worthy & we lost all this. You tried to make us your worthy but we were not able to digest such a lovely grace bestowed upon us. You had to leave as we were not able to comprehend such loving grace.
The Gopis at this point were very much aware of Pride and thus said, ‘Dayit Drushiyatam’. By saying these words, Gopis eyes were filled with tears. The eyes were pleading and the humbleness in their voice was hortatory (formal encouraging) words for Krishna to appear again. The tears were creating the words and exclamation of praise to God. These words were an impassioned plea to Krishna. They were thirsty and only Krishna’s darshan would quench their thirst. The word ‘Dayit Drushiyatam’ was used to show this never ending quench.
When Gopis insisted ‘Dayit Drushiyatam’, Shree Krishna smiled and replied:
O Sakhis, I am residing in everyone’s of your hearts, I am having this conversation with you so you do not worry about me appearing. I am with you.
Hey Beloved, the lovers (bhaktas) are never satisfied with the loved ones in the heart, but always longing to fill their eyes with physical appearance. We want to drink your Madhur swaroop with our eyes so Dayit Drushiyatam.
Gopis said to Uddhav in Bhrammar-Geet “Our eyes are anxious to see Krishna, when is he going to come. Without Krishna our eyes are sad and nothing will bring happiness in these eyes of ours, except Krishna. “
The Gopis were in love with Krishna, to them Krishna was Sakaara Swaroop. Their eyes want to experience the reality and they argue with Shri Krishna:
Why did you give us eyes. If we are unable to see you with our naked eyes, then what is the point of having the eyes? You gave us ears to hear your Bansi (Venu naad), tongue to enjoy your adhramrut (adorable ruby red lips), gave skin so we can touch and feel you, nose is to experience that aroma which you so fragrantly infuse. And, o, Natkhat, eyes are to see your form (swaroop), to enjoy your beauty, that enticing smile, that smiling eyes. O leela vihari Purush all these indriyas (senses) you have given us, are to be utilized for you alone. So Prabhu sanctify these indriya and Dayit Drushiyatam.
Sharadu daashaye sadhujaat-sat
sarasijodara shrimrisha drisha |
Suratnath te shulka daasika
varad nighnato neha kim vadhah || 2 ||
O Surat Nath! O bestower of benedictions, we are Your unpaid maidservants. You are killing us by the glance of Your supremely unparalleled sparkling eyes, that steal even the proud beauty of the whorl of enchanting, lotuses that blossom exquisitely in ponds during the autumn season. Is killing by a glance not considered murder in this world?
Is Sharad + udashiye. There are two syllabuses in this word, Sharad and udashiye. Sharad is the name of the season. In this case it is spring. Udashiye mean the lake.
Gopis described the most envious eyes of Shyamsunder; they described that magic in His eyes. In this sloka they also describe that auspicious, unlimited love in those eyes of Shyamsunder.
In Sanskrit Udashiye means the lake. And Sharadudashiye means the lake in the season of spring. There is also a second meaning of udashiye, it means the clear crystal water of the lake in spring, and here Gopis used this word for their heart (antahkaran). The heart is like the lake in spring season, pure, clear and crystal.
Here, Gopis heart is as clean as the lake in the spring season and Krishna’s eyes have that reddish pinkish color of lotus. This color of love (anurag) and this anurag sips from His eyes, on to eyes of His Gopis and then resides into their heart like those lotus efficacious (producing the intended result of love) in their crystal clear heart (antahkaran).
Gopis are relaying:
Bhaktas hearts are as clear as the water of the lake during spring, and in this clean clysters like heart they always sow the seeds of Bhakti. These seedlings flourishes into pure form of spiritual surrender and bhakti, which effusively stores love that egalitarian the equality of Krishna’s love which eliminates ego & other blemishes like greed, lust, jealously, etc. When one has surrendered to Krishna, the Bhakta becomes spiritual uplifted. The heart becomes pure and as fresh as fresh water of a Lake in Sarad season. Then Lord Krishna will come & reside in that heart of His own accord.
Sadhujatsatsar means when Bhagavan (God) bestows His grace, without any conditions, then the seeds of surrender springs into full fledge crops of Bhakti. These seedlings are planted into clean and pure hearts of devotees. In such heart blooms the lotus of love. In the midst of this lotus flourishes soft, serene, beautiful color of love. Gopis suggests that as Krishna loves to steal curd (yogurt), he stole the color of love from this lotus and indoctrinated this love, into baptism of fire of love with resourcefulness and dynamism.
When we look at your eyes, we see that world of love; we drink the colors of love from your lotus eyes. Our eyes also depict these colors of love to match the loving, adorable eyes of yours. Our heart beats increases and the sound of the heart-beats makes waves of love in the Sharad Lake of our eyes.
These waves became the special language of lovers. This language is the language of heart, we infuse romantic, sweet nothings, from our hearts. Without even writing, our eyes signals the messages of love. It needs no pen to put it into words.
The eyes are the instrument of language of love. This Prem-Bhasha (language of love) will always be “Pari-Bhasha” (unwritten language, language of silent love). This Pari-Bhasha is mirror of our feelings, the feelings of our heart.
When describing Krishna’s eyes Gopis added:
Hey Shyamsunder, with your captivating lotus eyes and the loving glances, you are killing us. If this is not Vadhah then what is it? .
Sijodar mean ample (plentiful). In stanza two we read “Sadhujatsatsarsijodar” as one word, then the whole word’s meaning becomes much clearer. It will now mean ‘plentiful or ample of beautiful lotus which has bloomed’.
Shrimushadrusha has got two syllables, shrimusha (the killer) + drusha (eyes).
Nandanadan, if it was sword or arrow then it would be much better because we would be able to show the wounds, but you did not use them. Although, after saying this, we know that you have used the Your divine arrows to entice us into maharaas. In the state of enticement, the weapons used to concur the victim are always the eyes; and these eyes act as the arrows and they are sharper than the double edge sword. They penetrate deeper into our hearts and inflict deeper wounds than any sharp metal weapon can inflict.
The sword and the arrow can hit you only once and it causes death. But your enticing eyes which infuses permutation of love, keeps on inflicting wounds every time you look at us and the end result is not a death, but pangs of separation or you become the subject of our intense love. We are literally wounded in your love, mad after your vibrant lovely eyes. Oh Shyamsundar why do you use your eyes to kill us?
Looking at us with intention of conquering our hearts is literally an act of hunting. So hunting is really doing vadhah. Hey Pyare! why do you kill us with those eyes? This does not suit you!!!
You are residing in our hearts and from there you are watching us. We are feeling so distant and helpless without you. Why do you love to see us in this agitated state? Why do you love to see us longing for you? Why can’t you become drushyatam (appear) and give our eyes a chance to look at your charming eyes?
Gopis used a new word ‘Suratnath’. This was a name given to Krishna by Gopis.
The word being ‘Suratnath’ is broken into three syllable, Su (beautiful and auspicious) + rati (love or joy) + nath (husband). Su is used as prefix to enhance the words as auspicious and spiritual entity. So ‘Su’ is added as a prefix of ‘rati’ we say ‘surati’. So in this instance Gopis are describing Krishna as blissful enjoyment (surati). The third syllable, word is ‘nath’. Nath has many meanings and the most common one is ‘husband’. (Nath=swami=husband).
Shree Gopis put their hands together and said:
Hey Natnagar Nand Kishore! Please pick on your own size, why do you pick on weaklings like us? We are your shulkdasi, simple dasi (maids), who is worth nothing at all (ashulka) and who are prepared to do anything for love and not money. You are really killing us. Please give us darshan!
Hey Krishna, we are here to get ras in you company, your ways of Ras-Marg has enticed this dasi. We are at your lotus feet, we want to serve you. Please give us the chance to serve you. Instead you are killing us, why do you do this?
Visha Jalapyayaad vyaal-raakshasaad
varsha maarutaad-vaidyutaanalaat |
rishabha te vayam rakshita muhuh || 3 ||
O crest-jewel among men! time and again You saved us Gopis from the grip of death – from the poisonous water of Yamuna where the serpent Käliya resided, from the python Aghäsura, and from the rain and terrible storm of Indra. You saved us from the whirl- wind demon Trinävarta, from the firing of Indra’s thunderbolts, from the dreadful forest fire, from the bull-demon Arishtäsura, from the son of Maya named Vyomäsura, and from every other kind of threat.
This word is made of Vish (poison) + jala (water )+ piyaat (contaminated)
(Here Gopis are talking about Kaliyanaag snake who was living in Yamuna river and the water of Shree Yamuna waters got contaminated by its venom).
Gopis said to Krishna: Hey Nath, you saved us from our sense organs and we have diverted all our senses in loving you, we are longing for you Vishva (the world) Mohan (the king of love and enticement) Vraj-vihari Shyam. We were drowned in sea of materialistic venom (Vish-sagar) but now our senses have drenched in the sea of that madhur (sweet nectar) Krishna-sagar, sea of Krishna’s nectar.
Our eyes are only drowned in your beauty, the ears only wants to hear the enchanting tunes which flows from your flute and our tongues have enjoyed that nectar which infuses life into us.
You are not burning us in the fire of separation, are you? In fact You not only protected us, You overwhelmed us with great happiness at that time.
This word is also made of Viyal (Aghasur demon )+Rakshas (Demon)+atta (of).
When Gopis talk about Vyal, they are really mentioning the Rakshash (Evil demon) whose name was Aghasur.
Vyal means snake. Apart from that famous snake called Kaliyanaag, there were two more demon snakes which tried to create havoc in Vraj. One came as Aghasur and the second snake came as Vidhyadhar and made life difficult in Ambika Van (Forest), who were killed by the Lord.
We have two syllables in this word, Varsha (Rain ) + marutat (heavy).
By using this word “varshmarutat” Gopis reminds Krishna, the day when God Indra rained in Gokul and drown whole town. Shree Krishna picked up the Mount Giriraj and asked every dweller to take shelter under the mountain. He saved them from heavy rain.
Gopis also said:
O Vraj Raj, whole Vraj is drowning from Gopis tears, who is going to save the Vraj? The rain drops of pangs of separation, rain of Virah is so intense and we are being drowned in it. Without your darshan, your appearance, without listening to that beguiling voice of yours and without the strong enticing hug from your long arms(deerga bahu) and soft alluring touch of your hands, these love ravenous Gopis are absolutely going to be drowned in the tears of Virah.
Nanda, Krishna’s father was returning from Mathura. He was a broken man, his heart was crying and he felt helpless, to know that Krishna had decided to stay in Mathura. He remembered embracing Krishna a farewell when taking leave for Gokul.
He knew that this was his last hug. As he hugged Krishna he thought, ‘Krishna will never return to Vraj. He will not play his flute on the banks of Shree Yamuna River anymore’. With these thoughts, tears flowed from his eyes and dropped on Shree Krishna’s lotus feet. The tear drops looked like the first drop of the dew. The first ever dew of paroxysm of separation.
Then he put his hands on Krishna’s shoulder and added, ‘Hey Lala, had you dropped the Giriraj Mountain upon us with your lotus hands then that pain would have been much simpler to bare, than the grief of drowning of my heart, from the tears acquired from your absence.’
Such is the pangs of separation from the Lord, for a true devotee.
Vaidhootanlatt is made of three syllables, Vaidhoot (Fire )+ Anala (Tornado )+ aata (of). Krishna is also reminded by Gopis that He saved them from Tornado and the fire (Davanal).
Gopis say: “You have protected us from Vrushbha Asura (demon). You also saved your dear ones (Atamaja) from Vrushbhasur (demon).
O Master, You have protected us from all (yaat) the world (Vishava) predicament (Bhaya)”
This where Gopis reminds Krishna that He has never been away from his loved ones and bhaktas and always protected them.
Rushabh Vayam rakshita: Muhuh:
Rushabh means “the BEST of all” or unparalleled in being the Best. Vayam is You have (for us), Rakshita = protected, O’ Shresta (the best of all ) Krishna you have always protected us, again & again (muhuh:)
You have shielded us from a myriad of calamities and from innumerable terrifying forms of death, but now You are killing us. Having given up everything we have and offering You our very existence, we came to You. If You desire to kill us now, why did You protect us on so many other occasions?”
Na khalu Gopika-nandano bhavaan
akhil-dehinaam antaraatma drik |
Vikhana saarthito vishwa-guptaye
sakha udeyivaan satvataam kuley || 4 ||
You are not just the son of Yashoda. but you are indwelling divine Lord in all embodied beings. O eternal companion! In response to the prayer of Brahma, [the creator of the Worlds], you have incarnated as a scion of Yadu clan, to protect the world.
Na khalu Gopikä-nandano bhavän:
Khalu means ‘surely,’ Gopikä-nandana refers to Yashodä-nandana, the son of Yashoda, and bhavän means ‘You, Krishna.’ The Gopis say, “You are certainly not the son of Yashoda.”
Means ‘for all beings,’ and antarätma-drik means ‘Paramatma, the Super soul, the external witness who is situated in everyone’s heart.’
Gopis tell Krishna: “We know that You are the son of Yashoda. We have firm belief in that. At the same time, when we perceive Your uncommon activities, we tend to accept what Rishi Gargäcärya have told us about You. You are certainly our friend, but You are not merely the son of Yashoda & Nandagopa.”
“Well, who am I then?” Krishna asks.
“You are the indwelling witness of all souls,” the Gopis reply. “This has been told by the rishis Bhäguri, Garga and others. As the Super soul, You reside perpetually in the hearts of all, where You witness everyone’s deepest feelings and desires. You reside in our hearts as well, so You must know the depths of our sadness and the misery we feel in separation from You. Therefore do not be upset with us; kindly be pleased.”
vikhanasä refers to Lord Brahmä, arthitah means ‘by the prayer,’ and vishva-guptaye means ‘for universal protection and welfare.’ By uttering this phrase, the Gopis say, “Brahmä prayed for the welfare of all the inhabitants of the universe.”
Udeyivän sätvatäà kule:
Udeyivän means ‘arose like the sun.’ With these words the Gopis imply, “You have come to this world.” Sätvatäm kule has two meanings: ‘the Yadu dynasty’ and ‘the pure devotees.’ The Gopis have both meanings in mind when they say, “You have appeared in the dynasty of Yadu. But you came of your accord to be with us, to bless us with your divine leelas & now that have disappeared, the separation is killing us.”
Virachitaa bhayam vrishni dhurya te
charan miyushaam samsriteir bhayaat |
Kara-saroruham khanta kaamadam
shirasi dhehi nah shri kara-graham || 5 ||
O crest jewel of Vrushni clan! O! Our Beloved!! the fulfiller of all desires! whoever takes refuge in your lotus feet from the torments of samsara [materialistic world], they become fearless by your protection. O our beloved, the bestower of all boons, do lay your delicate lotus hands on our head – the divine hand affectionately held by the hands of Goddess Lakshmi.
The Gopis say to Krishna, “O crest-jewel of the Vrushni dynasty, O dear most beloved (Känta), O You whose lotus hand fulfills all desires (Käma-da). We are now extremely frightened (viracitäbhayam).”
Those who are perplexed and frightened by worldly affairs approach the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna to become free from the repetition of birth and death (samsrti).
Sri Adi Shankarächärya has written in Bhaja Govindam (Verse 22): “Punar api jananam, punar api maranàm, punarapi janani jatare shayanam – again birth, again death, again lying in the womb of a mother. This is samsrti, traversing material existence. Singing the glories of Govinda, is the only way out”
Gratified by their appeal, Krishna says: “O Gopis, I have heard your words of sweet criticism. I know that they were not abuse, but an expression of your intimate feelings, spoken in the anger of pure love. I am so pleased with you that I will now offer you a boon. You may ask anything from Me. Tell Me what you desire and I will grant you that.”
Now, gladdened by Krishna’s statement, the Gopis say: “O most magnanimous personality in the entire Vrushni dynasty, You are the brilliant sun that illuminates the lotus flower of the Yadu dynasty. Please place Your lotus hand on our heads.”
The Gopis implore Krishna, “Your lotus hand can fulfill all of our desires, so please grant us fearlessness(‘aa Bhayam’ is ‘Abhayam’ from Abhaya Hasta) by placing it on our heads.” What do the Gopis fear? They fear burning in the blazing fire of käma because Krishna is not with them. They think, “If Krishna comes into our midst, we will be out of danger. He will certainly dance with us and perform all varieties of loving pastimes with us.”
Charan miyushaam samsriteir bhayaat:
One who surrenders to your lotus feet, need not fear the cycle of birth and death.
Gopis say: “Kantha, Oh Beloved!! So we have surrendered unto Your feet, knowing that Your lotus hand will surely fulfill our desires. But not only that; we will no longer feel separation from You. We always fear that You will leave us. If You keep Your lotus hand on our heads, we will know for certain that You will never leave us and that we will always be with You.”
Conditioned souls want to become free from the cycle of birth and death, but the Gopis’ only desire is to be free from the fear of separation from Lord Sri Krishna.
Vraja-janaartihan veer yoshitaam
nija-jan smaya-dhvans na-smita |
Bhaj sakhey bhavat-kinkarih sma no
jala-ruhaananam chaaru darshaya || 6 ||
O Destroyer of the miseries of the inhabitants of Vraja! Oh Warrior, of great valor!! Your mere smile is enough to quell the pride of your love ones. O our beloved friend, graciously accept us, your servants. We are fully surrendered at your lotus feet. Show your most admirable lotus-like face.
Gopis say: “You destroy the sufferings of the residents of Vraja (vraja-jana), and the sufferings of people in general. Yet, although we are also vraja-jana, You are giving us distress. We have seen You remove the distress of everyone else in Vrindavan, so why not ours?”
This refers only to madhura-rasa, meaning Sri Krishna’s divine leelas, and thus signifies that He is the ‘hero of madhura-rasa, who is expert in the sixty-four arts and sports, forever a most handsome youth, expert at entertaining, devoid of anxiety, and controlled by the prema(love) of His beloveds.”
With these words the Gopis allude to their desire, which is blazing like a fire.
Gopis tell Krishna, “By Your mere smile, You destroy the burning torment caused by Cupid’s(Manmatha) arrows. Your smile alone would have been enough to remove our pride. There was no good reason to have given us such pain by disappearing. This was a waste of energy.”
Upon hearing these words, Krishna’s heart melts. “Oh, you only want to see Me smiling?”
He asks. “The loving words you speak, give Me so much happiness that I am ready to give you whatever you want.”
Bhaja sakhe bhavat-kiìkaréh:
The Gopis continue, “We are Your kinkarés, Your completely devoted maidservants, so please fulfill our desire.” Bhaj means ‘to serve,’ so here the Gopis are saying, “You should serve Your kinkarés, but not just by appearing before us. Because you are our ‘Sakha’ (friend), you should also decorate us and give us betel nuts, as You did earlier, when we first came here to meet with You.”
Krishna says: “But Gopis, friendship is with people on the same platform. How are we both on the same platform?”
Gopis reply: “Hey Govind! We are on the same platform, let us explain – You do not want anything, so do we. You love to give, so do we. Like you say there is nothing for you to gain in all three worlds
na me paarthasti kartavyam trishu lokeshu kinchana |
naanavaaptamavaaptavyam varta eva cha karmani || B.Gita 3.22
Neither have we to gain anything in this world or beyond, not even moksha (liberation). So ‘saka’, we are on the same platform as you are.”
In actuality, however, they want Krishna to fulfill their desire to serve Him. In this connection, the word bhaja implies that the devotees serve Krishna and Krishna serves His devotees. Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gitä, “Ye yathä mäm prapadyante taàm tathaiva bhajämy aham – As they surrender to Me, I reciprocate accordingly.” This is His promise.
Nija-jala-ruhänanam cäru darshaya:
The Gopis entreat Krishna, “Please show us Your beautiful lotus face.”
Jala-ruha means ‘lotus’ and änanam means ‘face.’ “First come to us, and after that we will order You to do specific services.” The Gopis smile, and this is just what Sri Krishna wants to see. In fact, He wants to see their smiling faces more than He wants to smile Himself.
The Gopis have no inclination to act for their own enjoyment, and yet their joy increases; the joy of the Gopis lies in the joy of their beloved Krishna. When Sri Krishna sees the Gopis, His joy increases and thus His unparalleled sweetness also increases.
The Gopis prema(love) is samarthä-rati, and this rati is found only in Vraja. Samarthä means ‘powerful’ and ‘competent,’ which indicates that this rati surely controls Krishna in every respect. The Gopis are selfless to the utmost degree and endowed with this pure prema. They never think about how they can be relieved of their own sorrow, nor do they worry for their personal happiness. They only want Krishna’s happiness, and that is why He is fully controlled by them.
trina charaa nugam shri niketanam |
Phani-phanaarpitam te padaambujam
krinu kucheshu nah krindhi hrichchayam || 7 ||
Your lotus-feet destroy the sins of those who prostrate to you – the lotus feet that pursue the foot steps of grazing cows, and which are coveted by the goddess Sri, which gracefully danced on the hood of Kaliya. O Lord, please put your lotus feet on our chest(heart) to soothe our burning desire and rid us of the sorrows lurking in our hearts.
Pranata means ‘surrendered,’ dehinäm refers to living entities in material bodies, and päpa-karshañam means ‘removal of sinful reactions.’
Gopis tell Sri Krishna, “Your lotus feet remove all kinds of sinful reactions for those embodied beings who are surrendered to them.” Again and again, they glorify the virtues of His lotus feet.
Truna-cara refers to cows and all other animals that graze on grass, and anuga means ‘following.’ The Gopis say, “Your feet always follow behind the cows, who do not know the difference between grass and tasty edibles. We may be ignorant to some extent, but we are more qualified than they are. You follow the cows, so what is the harm in Your following us and placing Your lotus feet on our chest?”
The Gopis’ mood is so deep that they weep as they speak, whereas we simply hear their words and smile. We are unable to perceive their pain in separation from Krishna.
Sri means ‘beauty,’ and it also refers to Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune. In this way, the Gopis’ statement has two meanings: “Your feet are exquisitely beautiful,” and “Your feet are the abode (niketana) of Sri or Goddess Lakshmi. She perpetually resides at Your feet and never leaves them.”
Phani-phanärpitam, te padämbujam:
Phani refers to creatures with hoods (phana). Here, phani particularly refers to the hooded serpent Käliya. Arpitam means ‘placed,’ and te padämbujam refers to Sri Krishna’s lotus feet. The Gopis say, “You placed Your lotus feet on the hoods of that serpent, even though He was poisonous. You did not feel any burning sensation then. You even boldly placed Your feet on his hoods and performed a wondrous dance there, so why not place Your feet on our chest.”
Krinu kuceshu nah kråndhi hru-chayam:
Krinu means ‘keep,’ kråndhi means ‘cut away,’ kuceshñu means ‘chest,’ and na: hru-chayam refers to the disease of käma(desires) in the Gopis’ hearts. The Gopis pray, “Please place Your lotus feet on our hearts, and thus destroy our heart-disease of desires.”
By praying for the touch of His lotus feet, the Gopis desired for complete destruction of all their desires, once & for all.
Madhurayaa gira valgu-vakyayaa
budha-manognaya pushkare kshana |
Vidhikaririmaa vira muhyatir
adhara-sidhuna pyaayaya svanah || 8 ||
O Lotus-eyed One! We, your maids are bewildered by Your sweet voice, replete with sweet, enchanting words. Even the wise and learned get engrossed in it and sacrifice everything for it. Oh Hero! After tasting the nectar of the sound of your voice, your faithful Gopis are falling in love. Now you can give us the gift of life by giving us the divine nectar from your lips.
The Gopis tell Krishna, “Whatever You utter is exceedingly sweet.” By speaking the words the Gopis have drunk the nectar of Krishna’s words, which are sweet, melodic and brimming with literary ornaments (alankära) and exquisite imports.
Gopis say: “Our complete bewilderment is a serious malady, which only You can treat. You are the only doctor to cure us of our critical condition, and the ambrosia of Your lotus lips is the only medicine.” With these words they imply that their bewilderment is so sweet that they want to experience it further.
They tell Him, “Your words are enchanting.”
It is because of Krishna’s expertise in speaking that the Gopis now address Him with the words madhurayä-girä valgu-vakhyayä, which mean that His sweet words are filled with various charming and profound meanings. The Gopis remembered how Krishna after welcoming them at Vaamshi-vata and addressed them as greatly fortunate, Sri Krishna asked them, “Priyam kim karaväni vah – what may I do to please you?” The Gopis now remember such captivating conversations.
It is said when King Janaka (Goddess Sita’s father) spoke, the Kundalini (dormant energy) would awaken. What to say of the effect, when Bhagavan Sri Krishna (Poorna Puroshottama Parathpara Brahma) Himself spoke.
The Lord’s words are so thoroughly imbued with elixir that all living creatures of the world are mesmerized by them. Serpents, deer, birds, cows, calves and all other species listen to His words and become entranced. When He plays His flute or utters any words, the cuckoos stop their singing to listen, and all the male and female parrots become spellbound. Just like sages in meditation, they close their eyes and listen, as do the cows and everyone else.
His words are sweet, the meanings of His words are sweet, and hearing His words is sweet. Everything about Him is so sweet.
Means ‘order,’ and vidhi-kinkari means ‘obedient maidservant.’ By these words the Gopis say, “We will do everything You tell us to do.”
The Gopis address Him as véra, hero. Véra is generally interpreted to mean ‘one with bodily strength,’ but this is not what the Gopis mean. They say, “You are véra because You are fully conversant with rasa, and You can thus satisfy our every desire for rasa. By hearing Your delightful, melodious words, we have become Your obedient maidservants. We yearn to hear them again, but our intense desire is to taste the ambrosia of Your coral red lips, from where Your sweet words have come.”
adhara-sidhuna pyaayaya svanah:
Gopis say: “Where have these words come from? Water comes from the ocean through the clouds. Because the ocean has the power to generate all the nectarean waters that give refreshment and sustain life, it is certain to contain special nectarean potency. Similarly, all the words coming from Krishna’s lotus mouth are exquisite, fascinating, and fully imbued with nectar. We have already become enthralled and enchanted by hearing the words emanating from His lips, so what would happen if we directly drink the nectar from the very reservoir of those words – His lips? We would be bewildered to the point of fainting. We hanker for this.”
Tava Kathaamritam tapta jeevanam
kavi bhiriditam kalma shaap-ham |
Shrawana-mangalam shrimadaa tatam
bhuvi grinanti te bhurida janaah || 9 ||
Oh Lord!, the stories of your divine acts [Lila Katha] are an embodiment of nectar which brings life and hope to the people suffering from the pain of separation. The wise Mahatmas, the devoted poets have all sung its praises. By mere listening to them removes all sins and sufferings and bestows the supreme bliss and welfare as well. The reciters of Katha are the large-hearted benefactors and give the utmost to this universe.
Tava kathä amrutam:
Gopis say: If You speak these delightful words directly to us, they are sweeter than amrutam, celestial nectar. But if, in Your absence, we hear anyone else repeat the same words, then it is like måtyu, death, for us; tava kathä måtam.”
Krishna asks Gopi: If you so attached to me & sad after my disappearing, how come you are still alive?
Gopis reply: Hey Nath, we would have died a long time ago, but on listening to your divine stories our lives have been saved. For your divine story gives the same limitless bliss like you do & it has the same power to protect & save as your own self.
Hey Prabhu! Your divine leelas gives life to those who are suffering in any painful condition. It gives life to those who are diseased and to those who are unhappy in this world in any way.
Kavi means ‘a wise person or great thinker,’. Because the nectar of hari-kathä is glorified by wise sages, who are always relishing this superior nectar. They say that it gives life.
The divine stories of the Lord, destroys all the sins & defects. Any action or words, that causes pain to another living entity is usually defined as a sin. Along with it, the following sins occur depending on the path chosen to reach Him: In ‘Karma Marg(path)’, renouncing dharma is a sin. In ‘Jnan Marg(path)’, seeing duality(dwaith) is a sin. In ‘Yog Marg’, diversion of mind is a sin & in ‘Bhakti Marg’, forgetting the Lord even for a second is a sin.
It’s extremely auspicious to hear to His stories, for it confers welfare in every way. It is said in Srimad Bhagavatham “sadyo hrudya varudhyate ’tra krutibhi: shushrüshibhi: tat-kshanäth”, if a person hears His divine stories with faith, then Sri Krishna will manifest in their heart’s, at once without delay.
Sri or Goddess Lakshmi resides in your divine stories. Hence the ‘teller’ & the ‘listener’ of these leelas, attain their respective goals. Bhagawan’s opulence is unlimited & in the same way the opulence of His stories are unlimited too.
It is sung by devoted people.
Gopis say : “To hear about the Krishna Leelas regularly, is nectar for the ears. For those who relish just a single drop of that nectar, even once, their dedication to duality is ruined. Many such persons have given up their homes and families and, themselves becoming sanyasis, traveled here to Vrindavan to wander about like birds, begging for their living.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 10.47.18.
Krishna says: “But Gopis then why are you constantly singing about my leelas.”
The Gopis conclude, “The only reason we are discussing it is that we cannot stop, however hard we try. We cannot think of anything other than You.”
This would be difference between Gopi & others. We need to make an effort to think about the Lord, for our mind is occupied with several other things. However for Gopis it’s an effortless effort to think of Krishna. He’s in their every breath & every heart beat.
Prahasitam priya prema vikshanam
viharanam cha te dhyaana Mangalam |
rahasi samvido ya hridi sprishah
kuhaka no manah kshobh-yanti hi || 10 ||
Oh Beloved! Your alluring laughter, your captivating looks with divine love & your gait, even thinking about them is supremely blissful. Having seen You, as You conversed intimately with us in secret places & played with our hearts. Oh cunning one! now these memories has increased our hankering to meet with You, and therefore our minds are repeatedly bewildered.
Prahasitam priya prem vikshanam:
Gopis say: ‘Hey Priya!’ – Priya is one who can satisfy every need (preenathi eti priya: ) O cherished beloved, when parted from You, remembrance of Your enchanting smile (prahasitam), Your tender glance with your beautiful eyes (prema-vikshanam), please give us your kripa dristi(mercy).”
Krishna says: “The sun shines, rain falls on time, crops grow, are these not my kripa (mercy).”
Gopis agree but still say “ True Krishna, those help the body but the soul needs to see your enchanting loving smile.”
The prefix pra in prahasitam means ‘in an excellent way, and prahasitam means ‘the most exquisite smile or laughter.’ At every opportunity, Krishna laughs in a charming way and casts His glance toward the Gopis, sometimes from behind a tree and sometimes from within a lake. Somehow or another, He contrives to send them the shafts of His arrow-like glances coming from His stunning lotus face, which is adorned with the most graceful and sweet smiles.
A glance that carries the deep message of one’s heart is known as prema-vikshanam.
viharanam cha te dhyaana Mangalam
Your intimate pastimes with us (viharanam), and Your loving talks with us in solitary places fills our hearts with pain.
viharanam means ‘a special kind of theft.’ The Sanskrit verb hå means ‘to steal.’ According to this specific definition, viharanam refer to stealing the heart. In this connection viharanam also denotes ‘to walk with friends’ and ‘to walk with a lady.’
In this instance, Krishna casually walks along with His friends, and His walking like this is only to show His desire to meet with them. He ambles along, nonchalantly resting one hand on the shoulder of a friend and twirling a lotus in the other. In this way, He intentionally pulls at their hearts. Seeing this, they lose awareness of everything else and thus become mad with love.
Dyaana is ‘Meditation’. The Gopis’ remembrance is not like a yogi’s meditation. When they remember Krishna, they forget everything else. Whatever they are doing, whether it is walking, talking or cooking, they are always immersed in sahaja-samädhi, a natural, deep absorption in Sri Krishna. The word sahajäyate means ‘to come naturally, from birth.’ Their full absorption in anything related to Krishna comes automatically and naturally.
They never come out of samädhi; they simply go deeper and deeper into it. Their samädhi deepens when they see Krishna, and it further deepens as they remember Him when He is out of sight.
rahasi samvido ya hridi sprishah
Gopis continued: “We want to be free from these memories, but we cannot. We are absorbed in thinking of Your beautiful smile (prahasitam), Your tender glance (prema-vikshanam), Your intimate pastimes with us (viharanam), and Your amorous talks with us in solitary places (rahasi samvidaù). In this way we are always reminded & it fills our hearts with pain.”
As mentioned, prahasitam means ‘smiling’ or ‘laughing.’ When, along with that smiling, there is also glancing with increasing love and affection, it is called prema-vikshanam. The Gopis’ amorous pastimes with Him (viharanam) are still superior; as the divine lovers gaze into each other’s eyes and blissfully smile, they wander throughout the forest, arm in arm. Superior still, and inclusive of all the other three features, are their secret conversations (rahasi samvidaù), in which they touch each other’s hearts by expressing the priceless moods contained there. In this way, there are gradations in the realm of perfection.
The phrase rahasi samvidaù also has its own specialty. Krishna’s loving talks with the Gopis so deeply touch their hearts that they become embedded there. As a result, the Gopis cannot remove remembrance of those intimate conversations at any time, even if they desperately want to do so.
kuhak no manah kshobh-yanti hi:
These four beautiful features bring auspiciousness to the heart (dhyäna-mangalam), but they also cause the heart to feel agitation (kshobhayanti hi). O cheater, the mere remembrance of these four features causes great disturbance to our hearts.
Gopis say: “You cheat with Your smile, You cheat with Your loving words, and You cheat with Your loving looks. For if You had any love and affection for us at all, You would appear before us, but You do not”
“O Gopis, You know that I am difficult to attain, so why are you expressing your desires to enjoy intimately with Me? Sometimes you say, ‘Please place Your hands on my head’; sometimes you say, ‘Please place Your lotus feet on our chest’ and at other times you say, ‘Your smile and everything else about You is so enchanting.’ You just now said that my divine stories are everything. If you feel affection for Me, then just listen to them and be satisfied with that. Why do you want to see Me face to face?”
In reply the Gopis say, “You, Yourself, are the reason we cannot be satisfied simply by hearing Your divine plays. The fault lies in Your previous loving dealings, in pürva-räga. You play your divine flute to attract us, and then smile, even though You have absolutely no reason to smile. By doing so, You have increased our ardent longing to be with You and love You.
But now You have disappeared, and that which You increased now causes us so much pain that we are not able to remain alive any longer.”
Chalasi yad-vrajaa-chaarayan pashoon
nalina sundaram nath te padam |
Shila trinaankuraih sidathi tinah
Kali lataam manah kantha gachchati || 11 ||
O master! O beloved! When you take the cows for grazing from Vraja , your feet are more tender and beautiful than the Lotus, get hurt from stones, grass & edge of druva grass. Our mind becomes very agitated at the very thought of your pain.
The Gopis tell Krishna: “You perpetually torment us with suffering, both in meeting (samyoga) and separation (viyoga). When You enter the forest to herd Your cows, we feel unending grief due to separation from You. You run along rough, uneven paths without stopping for a moment, and as You do, rough grains and other sharp objects pierce Your lotus feet. When we think of this, we drown in sorrow, unable to maintain our patience.
Krishna says, “Do not be anxious about My feet. Just forget about any discomfort you think I may be feeling.”
The Gopis reply, “But You are our beloved; we cannot stop thinking about it for you are our ‘Kantha’- ‘Ka’ is joy (sukh) & ‘Anantha’ is infinite, so the one who gives infinite happiness or joy is Kantha.’
Gopis continue: “So being our Kantha, you cannot give us sorrow caused by your separation. And our attachment to You is not our fault; it is Yours, because You are our beloved and You are so astonishingly attractive. If You were not so affectionate and attractive, we would have no love for You and everything would be all right. You have made Yourself so beautiful and such a charming lover that our minds have left us and gone with You. Why have You done that? You alone can remove our attachment, because You are the one who is in possession of our mind and heart.”
Dina Parikshaye neel kuntaleir
van-ruhaananam bibhradaa-vritam |
Dhanraja-svalam darshayan muhur
manasi nah smaram vir yachch-si || 12 ||
O beloved hero, at dusk when You return from the forest, Your lotus face partly covered by Your bluish- black locks of curling hair and veiled in a very thin layer of dust rising from the host of cows’ hooves. At that time, by repeatedly showing us Your beautiful lotus face so exquisitely ornamented, You arouse intense love within our minds.
Dina means ‘day’ and kshaya means ‘end.’ Dina-parikshaye means that the end of the day has come. It is evening. The sun is moving towards the horizon but has not yet set.
Earlier in the day, all the cows were done grazing and Lord Krishna sometimes calls them, in His thundering voice & at times calls them, playing their names on His venu (flute). One of Lord Krishna’s name in Vishnu Sahasranama is ‘Mahaasvanah’- One who possesses thundering voice of compulsion: Svana means ‘sound’. One whose ‘call’ is thundered in all hearts, familiarly known as the ‘compelling whisper’ of the Higher.
The cows have eaten and drunk their fill, and they are ready to return home. They remember their calves and call out, “Hamba! Hamba! Hamba!” Sri Krishna then plays on His flute, gathers His friends and all the cows, and prepares to return home.
Néla means ‘dark blue’ and kuntalair means ‘by curly hair.’
Vana-ruhänanam bibhraa dävrutam:
Änanam means ‘face’ and ävåtam means ‘covered.’ Sri Krishna’s beautiful curly blue-black hair reaches down to His shoulders and partly covers His face, which appears like a lotus flower covered by bees. The word bibhrad refers to Krishna’s exhibiting the exquisite loveliness of His face, which is likened to the beautifully shining moon.
Gopis say: “The moon is splendid with its diffusing rays, and Your face has the same exquisite appearance. In fact, Your face is more beautiful when it is partially hidden by the dust rising from the cows’ hooves and by Your curly hair.”
Raja refers to the pollen-like dust of the earth. That raja is dhana, wealth, and here it refers to go-dhana, the wealth of cows. The cows are running, returning to their homes and to their calves. Krishna has called their names and they all hurry to be with Him, thinking, “Krishna is calling me.” Then, as they run, the dust rising from their moving hooves sweeps upward towards the sky, sprinkling the leaves of the trees all around. This pollen-like dust also falls on Krishna, creating a very fine covering on His face, body, and garments.
Is to see His dazzling divine beauty again & again. There is a difference between darshan & pradarshan. Pradarshan is like an exhibition, where everybody sees the same thing. But darshan is when the object remains the same, but is seen differently by each person. Only Krishna’s exquisite beauty is ‘darshaneeya’ worth seeing, a true feast to the eyes says the Gopi in Veenu Geet.
As Krishna returns with the cows, He takes them in His arms and embraces them. His inner motive in doing this is solely to show His beloved Gopis His lotus face, which is beautified by this dust, and to convey to them that He desires to embrace them. And the real reason He plays His flute is not to gather the cows, but to call the Gopis. Hearing the deep sound of His flute, the Gopis stand on the road and on the palace roofs, only to see Him return.
Gopis continue : “We suffer greatly in separation from You, from morning until the time we see You again. But then, when we do see You, we suffer even more than before because our desire to see You has increased.”
Manasi nah Smaram vira yacchasi:
When the Gopis address Krishna with the words, “O hero (véra),” they mean ‘hero in madhura-rasa.’ “You are able to give us whatever we want,” they tell Him. “You have the power to give smara, so You are our hero.” In this connection, smara refers to the Sanskrit verb små with the suffix ra, meaning ‘to remind.’ It relates to an experience of something that brings something else to mind. For example, the Gopis see Krishna again and again showing them His face that is beautified by the dust of the earth rising from the running cows, and that beauty leads to intense prema in their hearts.
Moreover, among millions of Gopis He is looking for one Gopi in particular. Now, in their song of separation, the Gopis say, “When we see You searching in this way, we become restless and feel that we cannot live a moment longer without You. Seeing You embrace the cows and cowherd boys, we desire that You do the same with us.” This is called smara.
Manasi is the mind that manifests smara. The Gopis say, “You drag us towards You, and then You put that smara in our mind by showing us Your face. Why do You repeatedly show Your face? We want a remedy for our smara, but instead it increases. We know that You are a hero, but Your heroism goes only as far as giving us smara and killing Gopis. O Krishna, You are certainly a hero!”
Pranat-Kaamadam padma jaarchitam
dharani mandanam dhyeya-maapadi |
Charana pankajam shantmam chate
raman nah staney-shvarpa-yaadhihan || 13 ||
Oh most beloved dear! Oh redeemer of the pain in our minds! Your lotus feet fulfills the desire of devotees who have surrendered to You . It has been worshipped by Lord Brahma; it is the most beautiful ornament of this earth, when meditated upon removes all the calamity. Please place such glorious holy feet on our chest.
Have two meanings here: “You immediately fulfill all the desires of those surrendered (pranata) unto You,” and “You bestow nothing less than käma in the hearts of those surrendered unto You.” Kama is prema(love) or bhakti strong enough to reach Him.
Padmajärcitam means ‘worshiped by Brahmä,’ (Padma-ja refers to Brahmä, who was born through the lotus from the navel of Lord Narayana) and dharani-mandanam means ‘ornament of the earth.’ Both these words are adjectives describing Sri Krishna’s lotus feet (carana-pankajam). “Your lotus feet, which are the ornaments of the earth, are always worshiped by Brahmä.” Here, the Gopis say, “Just as Your lotus feet are the ornaments of the earth’s heart, they are also the ornament of our hearts.”
Äpadi means ‘at times of distress.’ If anyone remembers Krishna’s lotus feet, he or she becomes free from all varieties of obstacles, miseries, and calamities.
An instance of this is Krishna’s appearance before the Gopis, when they completed their singing of Gopi-Geet. At that time, a Gopi came to Him and placed both of His hands in hers. Another Gopi placed His arms on her shoulders. Another came to Him with tämbüla (betel nut) in her hands, and another placed His lotus feet on her chest.
Another Gopi was in such an angry mood that, she saw Him from a distance, She stared at Him from the corners of Her eyes. Another Gopi looked towards Him as if she wanted to take Him into her heart. Another Gopi immediately took Him through her eyes into her heart, where she embraced Him tightly, thinking herself to be alone with Him in a solitary place. Simply by her absorption in Him, that Gopi became so full of spiritual pleasure that her hair stood on end in ecstasy and all her miseries at once disappeared.
The Gopis do not feel material miseries, so what is their misery? The only calamity they face is separation from Krishna, and that pain of separation disappears only when they meet with Him. They pray, “O Ramana (delightful beloved), please place Your lotus feet on our hearts so that our suffering in separation from You, and our disease of käma, will cease.”
Shantamam cha te:
One of the meaning is ‘always pleasing.’ The Gopis say, “You are always pleasing to us. We need You, only You, and no one else.”
Is Beloved, to denote that Lord blesses His devotee whatever they desire to one who has surrendered (Pranat) to Him. Gopis say that His holy feet confers five types of benefit: Destroys worldly desires; Confers the opulence; Fulfills the satvic desires; Removes their sorrows; Imparts bhakti or love. They ask Him to remove the sorrow from their hearts, which is as a result of His separation.
Ädhi means ‘miseries,’ and han means ‘one who removes.’ Arpaya ädhi-han refers to one who removes all kinds of miseries, diseases, and everything inauspicious. Because the Gopis’ misery is their käma, their prayer is this: “The käma that lives in our hearts can be removed by You, like magic. If You please place Your lotus feet on our hearts, all our torment will cease.”
Surat-vardhanam shoka naashnam
svarita venuna sushthhu chumbitam |
Etara-raaga-vi smaaranam nrinam
vitar veera naste-dharaa-mritam || 14 ||
O hero, the nectar of Your lips increases the pleasure of divine union, and it eliminates all sorrow due to separation from You. Your ambrosial lips passionately kisses Your flute filling it with divine notes. Every being who drinks that nectar, even once, forget about all other desires & attachments. O hero, please make us drink the nectar of Your lips.
Surata refers to a particularly exalted state of devotion (prema) in which the Gopis supernatural desire for the Lord increases exponentially. Surata-vardhana means ‘that which increases surata or Aiswarya’ of sharing that love of the Lord which is limitless & whole. This sharing would remove any blemish in one’s heart & make the hearts pure enough for the Lord to reside.
Gopis tell Krishna. “The nectar (amruta) of Your lips have many wonderful qualities. It gives immortality (a-mruta). They are nectarean, and their juice is nectarean as well. Please give this nectar to us. Although You left us here and we are dying, when we remember the nectar of Your lips, our desire for Surata increases.”
Means ‘that which destroys misery.’ The Gopis say that all their unhappiness will be destroyed by Krishna’s adharämruta. How? The taste of His adharämrutam is so nectarean that it will make them forget everything else.
If this nectar is received, all suffering is destroyed. The suffering it destroys is the suffering of not seeing Krishna.
Svarita-venunä sushthhu chumbitam:
Krishna fills His flute (venu) with His adharämruta. This creates svara (näda, or sound vibration), and therefore the sound of the flute is called venu-näda.. This sound is non-different from Krishna’s adharämruta, and when it emanates from His flute, the nectar of His lips comes through the flute and is heard as venu-näda.
Svara means ‘tune,’ or more specifically, ‘trembling tune.’ The melodies emanating from Krishna’s flute sound as if they are trembling, vibrating, and wavering slowly with different notes.
Why does the flute sound like this? It actually has no control over how it sounds. It is maddened by tasting the nectar of Krishna’s lips and is thus trembling.
Gopis say: “When you play the venu ‘sushthhu chumbitam’ – it’s perfect & complete kiss of your alluring ruby red lips to the your venu. We desire the same, oh dear Krishna!”
Krishna says: “Gopis, this venu is very dear to me because, it’s completely hollow inside; it plays when I play it; it plays wherever I play it; it also plays however long I play it. Can you say the same about yourselves.”
Gopis reply: “We will be, hey kanta, first give us Your adharämruta, and that will enable us to get your two divine qualities of wisdom (Jnana) & detachment (Viaragya). The nectar of Your lips has such extraordinary qualities that if anyone drinks it, all of his or her attachments disappear.”
Means making every other desire to be forgotten, of Nrunäm means ‘of mankind’ or ‘of human beings.’
The nectar of Lord’s lips, is by itself, one of the main goals in one’s life (purushartha) & this will confer all the other four main goals of one’s life (proof, goal, path & result).
Gopis say: ‘Shokanashanam’ denote the power of this nectar (pramanam). ‘Surath Vardhanam’ enabling the rise of divine desire (sadhana) & the nectar itself is the goal (Prameya)”
Vitara veera nas-te-adharaa-mritam:
Means distribute or please share that adaramrutham.
Gopis say: “This adharämåta is not only a wonderful medicine; it also removes the inclination for any kind of other desires & is the only medicine which will keep us alive. Because You are the greatest giver (dhani) when it comes to charity, we believe that You will give us this nectar just to protect us.”
Mähä-prasäda is Sri Krishna’s adharämruta, His singing or talking to anyone is also His adharämruta. The Gopis are now weeping for this.
How much more blessed is someone who directly tastes the nectar of Krishna’s lips? One who does not have this extreme good fortune, but gets to hear about that nectar & His divine plays, can still be considered very fortunate.
Atati yadh bhavan ahni kaananam
trutir-yugaayate tvaam-pashyataam |
Kutila-kuntalam shri-mukham cha te
Jada udikshtaam pakshma krid drishaam || 15 ||
O our beloved, during the day when you have gone to the forest, every moment without seeing you passes like a yuga (millennium). Then, upon Your return from the forest at dusk, although we eagerly gaze upon Your exquisitely beautiful lotus face adorned with curly locks, we become greatly perturbed by the occasional blinking of our eyes. At that time, it seems that creator of eyelids is really cruel to us.
Atati yadh bhavan ahni kaananam:
Atati means ‘walks’ or ‘goes.’ Bhavän refers to ‘Krishna,’ Ahni means ‘in the daytime,’ specifically ‘in the morning.’ And känanam refers to vrindä-känanam, the forests and gardens of Vrindavan.
The Gopis tell Krishna, “You look exceedingly beautiful in the morning when, surrounded by many friends, You wander to the pasturing grounds of Vrindavan so that Your cows may graze. At that time, You make us suffer thinking about your separation for the rest of the day.”
A truti is a very short time – a fraction of a second – and a yuga is billions of years. Trutir yugäyate: Is the time taken to pierce the stalk of a flower with a needle. One kshana is 32/25 seconds, and a truti is a 2,700th part of a kshana. A truti is a very tiny fraction of a second, but whenever the Gopis do not see Krishna, it becomes like a yuga.
The Gopis continue, “When You take the cows to graze in Vrindavan, we feel so much separation that the very briefest moment, a minute part of a second, becomes millions of millenniums for us.”
Their prema is so elevated that they feel a moment of separation to be like a yuga; and conversely, in a yuga of meeting with the Lord, time passes away like truti for them.
Tväam pashyatäm means ‘for those who do not see You.’ The Gopis say, “In the morning, You take the cows out to graze in the pasturing grounds, and at that time we are not the only ones who feel separation from You. Everyone in Vrindavan suffers because they can no longer get to see You till dusk. All the residents of Vraja suffer, including Nandagopa, Yashoda, and even the calves who cannot go with You. So not only we, but all are suffering & waiting to see You. It seems that time has stopped still.”
This experience is only for those who have crossed the various stages of prema (bhakti). No one else can feel like the Gopis, who have not only attained prema, but also sneha, mäna, pranaya, räga, anuräga, and so on. This advanced stage of separation will only come when one has passed through all these stages. Although only the Gopis feel like this, they think, “Everyone else feels more separation than we do and everyone is more elevated than us.” They consider that when the cuckoos stop singing, it is because they are weeping in the same mood as they are. This is a symptom of mahäbhäva.
Kutila-kuntalam shri-mukham cha te:
Kuntalam means ‘hair,’ and kutila-kuntalam means ‘curly hair’. The Gopis say, “You also look exquisite when You return home in the evening, Your curly hair falling here and there as it covers part of Your lotus face(shri-mukham). At that time also, You give us intense anguish, tormenting us with the affliction of your intense desire.”
Jada udikshtaam pakshma krid drishaam:
Udikshatäm means ‘of those who are looking very carefully and with great eagerness to see.’ “We are greatly eager to see Your lotus face,” the Gopis say. “Everyone in Vrindavan, whoever one may be – father, mother, man, woman, or child – says that Brahmä, the creator of eyelids, is certainly dull and foolish (jada). He has given us only two eyes, and even those two eyes have lids that interrupt our vision. If we were in Brahma’s place and he was in ours, we would have given him millions of eyes without any lids, to be able to savor your exquisite divine beauty continuously without interruption.”
Weeping and searching for Krishna, they say, “It is not Your fault that we are agonized by separation from You. It is our own misfortune. We suffer unbearable separation in Your absence, and it is the same when we see You in the evening. When You return home from the pastures with all the cows and cowherd boys, we see You for only a moment. Besides that, our eyelids obstruct our vision as we look at You, and sometimes our eyes fill with tears. Sometimes the hooves of the cows raise so much dust that we cannot see You. We want to relish Your beauty at that time, but we cannot. There are numerous problems, and we understand that they are all caused by our own misfortune. This misfortune makes us suffer under all circumstances, both in separation from You and in meeting with You.”
The Gopis continue: “If you want to save us, You must come to meet with us at once; otherwise we will not be able to live much longer without seeing You.”
ati vilanghya te-achyutaa gataah |
Gati vidastavod geet mohitah
kitava yoshitah kastya jennishi || 16 ||
Hey Achyuta! We have come to you after relinquishing the ties & orders of our husband, son, brother and our relatives. You are fully aware of
our inner-most thoughts. We have come here after being infatuated by your divine music. O cheater! who else will abandon a group of defenseless women in the darkness of night, other than You.
Is one of the names of Lord Sri Krishna. Means the one who is infallible from His infiniteness, Aiswarya (wealth) or His unlimited qualities (Kalyana Gunas). This is the case even when takes a foam (where the infinite shines through the finite).
Pati means ‘husband,’ suta means ‘son,’ and anvaya refers to the relatives of the Gopis’. Bhrätå means ‘brothers’ and bändhavän refers to one’s own father, mother, brothers and sisters, and all other relatives.
Means ‘completely neglecting.’
The Gopis tell Krishna: “Although it is generally considered very dishonorable for a person to disobey superiors, we neglected our superiors’ orders, quarreled with them, and came here to meet with You.”
Te achyutä gatäh:
Gopis say, “O Acyuta (infallible one), You have disappeared (cyut) from our vision. You have failed (chyut) in the matter of showing Yourself to us. Thus, is the name Acyuta not contrary to Your deeds?”
Gopis continue, “You are certainly infallible in Your great obstinacy. Your mind is single-pointed to the point of obstinacy. We have been weeping continuously due to our longing to see You, and calling You because of our grievous suffering. Still, You are determined not to meet with us. Your determination to make us suffer is relentless, and thus You are Achyuta; You never fail to give us suffering.”
Krishna asked: “Gopis , why did you come to Me then?”
Gopis reply: ““It was You who called us. We did not come here of our own accord; we did not desire to come. You are the cause of our coming here.”
Krishna says, “No, no, I have not called you. When & how did I call you?”
Gati-vidas tavod gita-mohitä :
Gopis replied: “You played Your flute (venu) deliberately, with full knowledge of all the consequences. You knew that we would be irresistibly attracted by Your flute-song and that surely we would be unable to stop ourselves from running to You. For we belong to You & only You (gati-vidas tavod)”
Krishna asks: “If you know My intentions and My nature, then why have you come?”
Gopis replied: “You are so expert at sweetly playing Your flute that all varieties of sounds and melodies blend into its song. Its melody trembles and quivers as it rises from the lower notes to the higher notes, and then falls again. You know many melodies, which are so beautiful that everyone is attracted to them. And You are expert in knowing which sound and melody is able to attract different people and creatures (gita mohita). That is why we have come to You, just like deer.”
Gopis continued: “Even Gods like Indra, Shankara, and Brahmä are attracted when they hear those songs. Why, then, would we not respond? After all, You are extremely beautiful and we are completely spell-bound by You. When we heard you calling our name on your flute, we became mad with love and we came running to You.”
kitava yoshitah kastya jennishi:
kitava – O cheater; yoshitah – young ladies; kash – who; tyajet – would abandon; nishi – in the night
Gopi say: “ You are a cheater(kitava). What is more, You cheat only for the sake of cheating. One cheats others in order to gain some-thing, but You gain nothing & You want nothing.”
“Previously we were under the impression that You are called Achyuta because You never fail to exhibit Your many refined qualities. But now we understand that You are Achyuta because You never fail to exhibit Your cheating. You called us & made us yours. Now there is breach of contract, with you disappearing. This does not reflect well on you.”
Rahasi samvidam hrich-chayodayam,
prahasitaa nanam prema vikshanam |
Briha durah shriyo vikshya dhaama te
muhurati spriha muhyate manah || 17 ||
O Beloved, having seen You as You conversed intimately with us in secret places – Your beautiful smiling face which acts as a stimulus for our amorous desires, Your glancing at us with love and Your expansive chest, which is the eternal resting place of the goddess of fortune – our hankering to meet with You has increased manifold and our minds are repeatedly bewildered.
Rahasi samvidam hrich-chayodayam:
Gopis explain: “Hey Ramana! When we met in solitude (rahasi) & heard your secret whispers of love (samvidam), there is a rise(udayam) of intense desire in our hearts (hrich).
You possess five features and You have used these arrows to pierce our hearts. Your first arrow was the sweet words of conversations we previously had with You in solitary places. The second arrow was the desire in our heart, caused by Your enticing words.”
prahasitaa nanam prema vikshanam:
prahasitänanam, the Gopis refer to Krishna’s delightful laughter.
Gopis continue: “Your third arrow is Your radiantly ravishing smiling face. A beautiful flower can smile, but it cannot speak. On the other hand, You are not only captivating but also adorable with your sweet charming words
Vikshanam means ‘sidelong glances,’ and prema-vishanam refers to Krishna’s glancing lovingly at the Gopis from the corner of His magnetic eyes. Gopis say this is the fourth arrow that has pierced their heart.
Briha durah shriyo vikshya dhaama te:
The Gopis had seen Krishna’s love-laden glances. They had seen Him looking at them with love in His eyes, and now they tell Him:
“The fifth arrow is Your expansive chest, where Goddess Lakshmi has her sacred abode. It is the abode of all kinds of beauty because Lakshmi lives there. The sight of Your admirable chest caused us to be infatuated & spell bound.”
muhurati spriha muhyate manah:
Two actions occur in this verse: having seen (vikshya) Krishna, the Gopis experience a desire (sprihä).
Brihad indicates that Krishna’s feeling is extremely deep, and with the words urah shri yo, the Gopis imply, “We can see what is in Your heart; we feel it, and Your face affirms it. If Your heart is in love, Your face expresses it. We looked at Your face and understood that You have an intense desire (ati-spruhä) for our association. Seeing this desire deep within Your heart, we yearn (ati-spåhä) to satisfy it.”
As a result of all these, we have lost our minds (manah), our memories, and our intelligence, and ourselves too. We are completely bewildered (muhyate). These arrows entered our hearts through our eyes and wounded us. Now our hearts are burning, and that is why we have come running here & there. You should please free us from this pain.
Vraja vanaukasaam vyaktiranga te,
vrijina hantryalam vishwa mangalam |
Tyaj manaak cha na-stva-sprihaat manaam
svajana-hren-dru-jaam yanni shoodanam || 18 ||
Our Beloved, your appearance completely destroys the sorrows of residents of Vraja and blesses the whole world with incalculable auspiciousness. Our hearts, which desire You alone, are agonized by our heart-disease, Therefore kindly give us in charity a little bit of that medicine of Your divine form, which can cure Your dear ones.
Vraj vanaukasaam vyaktir anga te:
“O anga! O beloved!” This form of address is full of love and affection. The Gopis are also experiencing an intense feeling of separation and also profound humility, and for these reasons they do not address Krishna by His name. At other times and in other places they call Him Mukunda, Keshava, or other names such as Devaki-suta, Yashoda-suta, Vrajendra-nandana, and Vrajendra-suta. And sometimes they call Him Kamsäri or Aghäri. But here they simply address Him as their beloved anga. The word anga actually refers to one’s own hand or other limb, so they are saying, “You are part of our body. How can you think of being away from us?”
The words vraja-vanaukasäm refer to residents of Vraj, which are also the cows, buffalos, peacocks, monkeys; indeed all creatures are included. Krishna’s appearance is to vanquish the sorrow of all creatures. It is the very form of auspiciousness, because His appearance is for two purposes: to relieve distress, and to give happiness to the Gopis and everyone else.
vrijina hantry-alam vishwa mangalam:
The Gopis say, “Your appearance is auspicious for the entire universe (vishva-mangalam). It is true that You have appeared to take away everyone’s distress and to give everyone happiness. But this is for those who live in the Vraja and most specially for us, who are here hankering for You.”
The word alam, meaning ‘enough,’ is used as an adverb to qualify both vrijina-hantri and vishva-mangalam. Thus, Krishna’s appearance is sufficient to destroy distress (vrujina-hantri), and to bring auspiciousness to the entire world (vishva-mangalam).
Tyaj manaak cha na-stva-sprihaat manaam:
Gopis say, “Please give us something that can relieve our sorrow and the burning in our hearts.” They refer to ‘something,’ but they do not specify what that ‘something’ is. Spruhä means ‘hankering’ of the mind (manaam).
Krishna asks the Gopis, “What are you hankering for?”
The Gopis reply, “You are so beloved to us – to the extreme extent – and therefore we are always thinking about You and ways to make You happy. This is our soul’s desire. We cannot be satisfied unless we can see You. We want You & You alone. Nothing else can give us relief.”
The Gopis suppose that Krishna might say, “All the Vraja väsis have love and affection for Me. They always pray to God and to all other great personalities, ‘Please keep our Krishna happy.’ What is the difference between you and all the others?”
The Gopis have kept their desire hidden in their hearts. Krishna wants to see it openly, but it cannot be seen openly.
Gopis say: “The point is that we are not only Vraja väsis.”
Krishna asks : “Then who are you?”
svajana-hren-dru-jaam yanni shoodanam:
Sva-jana-hed-rujäm: Sva means ‘one’s own.’
Gopis say, “ For us Gopis, we are Yours and You are ours. You are our life (jana). We cannot live without You, just as a body cannot live without consciousness.”
“We have a heart-disease (hred-ruj). You are a very expert doctor, so please give us some remedy to counteract and remove it (yan nisüdanam).”
Südana in the word nisüdanam means ‘to remove,’ and ni refers to nishesha-rüpa. The word nishesha indicates ‘forever,’ and implies ‘fully, so that which is removed does not return.’
Yatte sujaat-charnaam-buruham staneshu
bhitah shaney priya dadhi mahi karkshesu |
tenaat-we matsi tad vyathate na kinsvit
koorpardi-bhir-bhramati dhir bhvadaa yushaam nah||19||
As your feet are more tender than a lotus, we use utmost caution while putting them on our chest(heart). With same tender feet you wander in the deep dark forest bare feet. The mere thought of you treading with those tender feet on the thorny, stony paths in the forest give us pain and we loose our wits. O Lord, our lives are Only for you. We are only living for you. We are only yours!!
yat te sujäta caranäm buruham stanesu:
Gopis say, “O dearly beloved, we will tell You our heart-disease and the medicine we want. We worry about the pain caused when You walk on rough surfaces with Your lotus feet (charanam), which are so sweet, tender, soft, and cool. Please keep that lotus feet on our chest ”
The word sujäta refers to someone with great qualities. For example, the lotus flower is sujäta because it blossoms in pure, clean water; thus it has many natural qualities like softness and a sweet fragrance. It also gives a cooling effect. The Gopis use this word to describe the qualities of Krishna’s lotus feet, and their anxiety that those delicate feet might experience pain.
Actually, when Sri Krishna takes the cows out to graze during the day, He goes to lush green pasturing grounds. Prakruti (personification of Nature) had specially made silken grasses with fragrant flower petals, for the comfort of her Master’s (Purushottama) appearance in this world.
tenaat-we matsi tad vyathate na kinsvit
Gopis say: When you roam (atasi) in the forest (atavim), we (tat) are very distressed (vyathate) by the thought of you walking on rough surfaces.
Another meaning of atavim is samsara (society or family). Lord Shree Krishna has blended into this samsara, just like the combination of milk & water. We need to churn out the butter that is hidden in the milk, so that butter stands out from the milk. Similarly we need to churn our mind to that ego-less state, so that He who is residing right now in our hearts, will appear before us to be enjoyed in all His divinity.
bhir-bhramati dhir bhvadaa yushaam nah
dhir bhavad-äyuñshàm nah:
Gopis now say:
“You are our life, You are our soul, You are our everything. If anything hurts Your feet, that pain pierces our soul, because You are our soul. You may not feel the pain, but we feel it.”
||Sri Shuka Uvacha||
iti gopyah pragäyantyaha
pralapantyas ca citradhä|
ruruduh su-svaram räjan
Sri Sukha Maharishi said: O Parikshith, thus the Gopis of Vraja, brimming with intense eagerness to see their beloved Krishna, could no longer contain their feelings. Absorbed in separation and lamenting, they spoke many plaintive words, their voices heart-wrenching and sonorous.
When Sri Krishna hears this prayer of the Gopis, their words penetrate His heart. He is their life-breath and their life itself, so when they weep and speak in this way, His heart melts. “I should not conceal Myself any longer,” He thinks. “I must appear before them.” In Srimad-Bhägavatam (9.4.68) He says, “I am the heart of My pure devotees, and My pure devotees are My heart.”
täsäm ävira bhüc shaurih
Sri Krishna, the crest-jewel of the Shüra dynasty, appeared before the weeping Gopis. A gentle attractive smile blossomed on His riveting face. He had adorned His neck with Vanamala (garland) and His body with brilliant pitambhara (yellow garment). The exquisite beauty of such a divine form bewilders the mind of Cupid himself, who is the churner of hearts of all beings.
Sri Krishna Chandra, the most precious crown-jewel, appeared in the midst of the Gopis, displaying His unparalleled ravishing beauty which is described in this text with three adjectives: smayamäna, sragvé, and säkshäth manmatha-manmathaha.
His captivating smile was to remove the distress of Gopis and console them. For the darshana of His enchanting divine lotus face, would remove all their sorrows.
Conscious that He had given great suffering to His dear ones, He was admitting that He was an offender, and He held His Upari (upper garment) with His hands, to show Gopis that He was at their service.
Krishna wore a fresh, radiant garland of forest flowers around His neck. He wore this garland of cooling lotuses only to remove the Gopis’ fire of separation and, in doing so, He expressed the sentiment, “You are the flowers of My garland; you are My very heart. You strung this very garland yourself and garlanded Me with it. I am displaying My eternal gratitude by wearing it upon My heart.”
Sri Krishna’s extremely intriguing beauty, embellished by His being in the midst of the Gopis, churned the mind of Cupid (Manmatha). The Manmatha or Cupid, intoxicates all beings, but when this Manmatha receives the darshana of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, which enchants the three worlds, it churned the heart of Manmatha (Cupid) himself.
Krishna says: “My prema is divided, not just into millions of parts but into uncountable parts. I have many types of devotees: jïäni-bhaktas, shuddha-bhaktas, rasika-bhaktas, premi-bhaktas, fathers, mothers, sakhäs, and sakhés. I cannot neglect any of them. I must drive the chariot of Arjuna and be there for Bheesma, Gajendra, Prahläda & several others. My infinite reserve of love is divided into many fractions, but your love for Me is one-pointed. You give all of your love to Me, and there is none left for your children or husbands, what to speak of others. Because You do not love anyone but Me, I will always be indebted to you. Even if I were to offer you a boon, I know that you would only ask to be able to render more service to Me, and this would only increase My debt to you. For this reason, I will not be able to repay you in millions of births.”
Let us try to love Krishna as the Gopis do, desiring nothing for oneself. For this pure love will definitely bring the Lord to your doorstep.
When the mind gets what it was desiring so intensely & when the eyes finally get to see what the mind wanted all along, the incredible splendor of divine beauty of the Lord – then only two things could happen:
- Those eyes would close forever, not wanting to see anything else.
- Or would remain open forever, seeing & drinking His divine beauty forever.
****Jai Shree Krishna****