सख्या प्रियेण सुहृदा हृदयेन शून्य: ।
गोपैरसद्भिरबलेव विनिर्जितोऽस्मि ॥ २० ॥
sakhyā priyeṇa suhṛdā hṛdayena śūnyaḥ
adhvany urukrama-parigraham aṅga rakṣan
gopair asadbhir abaleva vinirjito ’smi
saḥ — that; aham — myself; nṛpa–indra — O Emperor; rahitaḥ — bereft of; puruṣa–uttamena — by the Supreme Lord; sakhyā — by my friend; priyeṇa — by my dearmost; suhṛdā — by the well-wisher; hṛdayena — by the heart and soul; śūnyaḥ — vacant; adhvani — recently; urukrama–parigraham — the wives of the all-powerful; aṅga — bodies; rakṣan — while protecting; gopaiḥ — by the cowherds; asadbhiḥ — by the infidels; abalā iva — like a weak woman; vinirjitaḥ asmi — I have been defeated.
O Emperor, now I am separated from my friend and dearmost well-wisher, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore my heart appears to be void of everything. In His absence I have been defeated by a number of infidel cowherd men while I was guarding the bodies of all the wives of Kṛṣṇa.
The important point in this verse is how it was possible that Arjuna could be defeated by a gang of ignoble cowherd men and how such mundane cowherd men could touch the bodies of the wives of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who were under the protection of Arjuna. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has justified the contradiction by research in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and Brahma Purāṇa. In these Purāṇas it is said that once the fair denizens of heaven pleased Aṣṭāvakra Muni by their service and were blessed by the muni to have the Supreme Lord as their husband. Aṣṭāvakra Muni was curved in eight joints of his body, and thus he used to move in a peculiar curved manner. The daughters of the demigods could not check their laughter upon seeing the movements of the muni, and the muni, being angry at them, cursed them that they would be kidnapped by rogues, even if they would get the Lord as their husband. Later on, the girls again satisfied the muni by their prayers, and the muni blessed them that they would regain their husband even after being robbed by the rogues. So, in order to keep the words of the great muni, the Lord Himself kidnapped His wives from the protection of Arjuna, otherwise they would have at once vanished from the scene as soon as they were touched by the rogues. Besides that, some of the gopīs who prayed to become wives of the Lord returned to their respective positions after their desire was fulfilled. After the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa, He wanted all His entourage back to Godhead, and they were called back under different conditions only.
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