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There is a symptom of ecstatic love known as concealment, or trying to hide one’s real mental condition by externally showing another attitude. In this state of mind one tries to hide his mind by looking away in different directions, by unnecessarily trying for something that is impossible, or by using words that cover one’s real thoughts. According to ācāryas expert in the study of psychological activities, these attempts at hiding one’s real affections are another part of ecstatic feeling for Kṛṣṇa.

In the Tenth Canto, thirty-second chapter, verse 15 of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Śukadeva Gosvāmī states, “My dear King, the gopīs were always beautiful and decorated with confidential smiles and alluring garments. In their movements, intended to give impetus to lusty feelings, they would sometimes press Kṛṣṇa’s hand on their laps, and sometimes they would keep His lotus feet on their breasts. After doing this, they would talk with Kṛṣṇa as if they were very angry with Him.”

There is another instance of this concealment in ecstatic love. When Kṛṣṇa, the supreme joker, planted the pārijāta tree in the courtyard of Satyabhāmā, Rukmiṇī, the daughter of King Vidarbha, became very angry, but due to her natural gentle behavior, she did not express anything. No one could understand Rukmiṇī’s real mental condition. This is an instance of competitive concealment.

There is another instance in the First Canto, eleventh chapter, verse 32 of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. After entering Dvārakā, Kṛṣṇa was received in different ways by different members of His family. Upon seeing their husband from a distance, the queens of Dvārakā immediately embraced Him within their minds and slowly glanced over Him. As Kṛṣṇa came nearer, they pushed their sons forward to embrace Him. Others were trying, out of shyness, not to shed tears, but they still could not keep the tears from gliding down. This is an instance of concealment caused by shyness.

On another occasion, when Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī thought that Kṛṣṇa was involved with another woman, She addressed Her friend in this manner: “My dear friend, as soon as I think of Kṛṣṇa the cowherd boy attached to some other woman, I become stricken with fear and the hairs on My body stand up. I must be very careful that Kṛṣṇa not see Me at such times.” This is an instance of concealment caused by shyness and diplomatic behavior.

It has been stated, “Although Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī developed a deep loving affection for Kṛṣṇa, She hid Her attitude in the core of Her heart so that others could not detect Her actual condition.” This is an instance of concealment caused by gentleness.

Once when Kṛṣṇa and His cowherd friends were enjoying friendly conversation, Kṛṣṇa began to address His associates in casual language. At that time Kṛṣṇa’s servant Patrī was also enjoying the conversation. But then, remembering his position of servitude, Patrī bowed down before his master, and with great respect and control, he stifled his smiling. This subdued smiling is an instance of concealment caused by a respectful attitude.

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