This extreme desire to serve the Lord is manifest in the transcendental land of Vraja. And it is specifically manifested among the gopīs. The gopīs’ love for Kṛṣṇa is so elevated that for our understanding it is sometimes explained as being “lusty desire.”
The author of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Kavirāja Kṛṣṇadāsa, has explained the distinction between lusty desire and the service attitude in this statement: “ ‘Lusty desire’ refers to the desire to gratify one’s personal senses, and ‘transcendental desire’ refers to the desire for serving the senses of the Lord.” In the material world there is no such thing as a lover’s wanting to please the senses of his beloved. Actually, in the material world, everyone wants mainly to gratify his own personal senses. The gopīs, however, wanted nothing at all but to gratify the senses of the Lord, and there is no instance of this in the material world. Therefore the gopīs’ ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa is sometimes described by scholars as being like the “lusty desire” of the material world, but actually this should not be taken as a literal fact. It is simply a way of trying to understand the transcendental situation.
Great devotees up to the standard of Uddhava are very dear friends of the Lord, and they desire to follow in the footsteps of the gopīs. So the gopīs’ love for Kṛṣṇa is certainly not material lusty desire. Otherwise, how could Uddhava aspire to follow in their footsteps? Another instance is Lord Caitanya Himself. After accepting the sannyāsa order of life, He was very, very strict about avoiding association with women, but still He taught that there is no better method of worshiping Kṛṣṇa than that conceived by the gopīs. Thus the gopīs’ method of worshiping the Lord as if impelled by lusty desire was praised very highly even by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This very fact means that although the attraction of the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa appears to be lusty, it is not in the least bit material. Unless one is fully situated in the transcendental position, the relationship of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa is very difficult to understand. But because it appears to be just like ordinary dealings of young boys and girls, it is sometimes misinterpreted to be like the ordinary sex of this material world. Unfortunately, persons who cannot understand the transcendental nature of the love affairs of the gopīs and Kṛṣṇa take it for granted that Kṛṣṇa’s love affairs with the gopīs are mundane transactions, and therefore they sometimes indulge in painting licentious pictures in some modernistic style.
On the other hand, the lusty desire of Kubjā is described by learned scholars as being “almost lusty desire.” Kubjā was a hunchbacked woman who also wanted Kṛṣṇa with a great ecstatic love. But her desire for Kṛṣṇa was almost mundane, and so her love cannot be compared to the love of the gopīs. Her loving affection for Kṛṣṇa is called kāma-prāyā, or almost like the gopīs’ love for Kṛṣṇa.
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