Other Devotees Long for the Feeling of the Gopis

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The reasons for Krishna’s mercy are inconceivable, that is, His mercy is causeless. This is confirmed by Srimad Bhagavatam (10.16.36):

kasyanubhavo ‘sya na deva vidmahe


yad-vanchaya srir lalanacarat tapo

vihaya kaman su-ciram dhrta-vrata

O Lord, we do not know how the serpent Kaliya had the great opportunity to be touched by the dust of Your lotus feet. To achieve this, the goddess of fortune has performed austerity for hundreds of years, giving up other wishes and adopting austere vows.

The highest devotion, that of the gopis of Vraja, is glorified in Srimad Bhagavatam (10.47.60) as follows:

nayam sriyo ‘nga u nitanta-rateh prasadah

svar-yositam nalina-gandha-rucam kuto ‘nyah

rasotsave ‘sya bhuja-danda-grhita-kantha-

labdhasisam ya udagad vraja-vallabhinam

While Sri Krishna danced with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced by the arms of the Lord. This transcendental favor was never granted to the goddess of fortune or other spouses in the spirit world. In fact, not even the most beautiful girls of the celestial planets, whose physical splendor and aroma resemble the lotus flower, could imagine such a thing. What about the women of this world who according to material estimates would be very beautiful?

Other devotees long for the feeling of the gopis. The proof of this is found in the following statement by Uddhava (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.47.61):

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam

vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam

ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva

bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam

The gopis of Vrndavana left the association of their husbands, children and other family members, very difficult things to give up, and renounced the way of chastity to take refuge at the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krishna, which should be sought through Vedic knowledge. Oh, that I am lucky enough to become one of the bushes, a creeper, or some grass in Vrndavana, for the gopis stumbling upon it bless it with the dust of their lotus feet.

From Srimad Bhagavatam (10.47.58) we understand that even Brahma is agitated by seeing the devotion of the gopis.

etah param tanu-bhrto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo

govinda eva nikhilatmani rudha-bhavah

vanchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayam ca

kim brahma-janmabhir ananta-katha-rasasya

Among all the people of the earth, these shepherdesses have made their life perfect, as they have reached the perfection of pure love for Govinda. Their pure love is longed for by those who fear material existence, by the great sages and by us too. For one who has tasted the tales of the infinite Lord, what use is there to be reborn as a high caste brahmana, or even as Brahma himself?


An introduction to sayam-lila (the evening pastime) is given in Govinda-lilamrta:

sayam radham sva-sakhya nija-ramana-krte presitaneka- bhojyam

sakhyanitesa-sesasana mudita hrdam tam ca tam ca vrajendrum

susnatam ramya-vesam grham anu-janani lalitam prapta-gostham

nirvyudho ‘sralidoham svagrham anu punar bhuktavantam smarami

In the evening Sri Radha sends Her friends with many exquisite sweets for Her beloved Krishna. When Her friends return with the remnants left by Krishna, Radha tastes them and becomes happy. Vrajendra Krishna takes a bath at home and then dresses very gracefully. Mother Yasoda takes care of Him with love. After that Krishna goes to the stables, and when He finishes milking the cows, He returns home again to eat His meal with great joy. I remember this pastime with great affection.


Thus ends the Sastha-yama Sadhana of Sri Bhajana-rahasya.


This is a section of the book “Bhajana Rahasya”, by Bhaktivinode Thakura.

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