Yet, They Think, “I am Unfortunate; I Have No Love.”

Pastimes in the month of Kartika

dhanyah sma mudha-gatayo ‘pi harinya eta

ya nanda-nandanam upatta-vicitra-vesam

akarnya venu-ranitam saha-Krishna-sarah

pujam dadhur viracitam pranayavalokaih

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.21.11)


In this month, feeling separation from Krishna, the gopis lamented,

“We are not fortunate like the deer in this forest. People say they are foolish, but they are not so. We are foolish, because we don’t know how to love Krishna like these deer. When prema is very high, it breaks all boundaries. These deer, although by nature very shy, have broken all boundaries by their intense love for Krishna. They gave up their shyness, they approached Him, and they are exchanging their hearts feelings with Him through their loving glances. We cannot do this, and therefore we are unfortunate. We will be lucky if we can die and take birth as deer in our next life. In that way we can see Krishna and approach Him when He is cow-grazing.”


In this month the gopis remembered that when Krishna plays on His flute in the forest, the cows become stunned. With eyes of transcendental emotions the gopis see both Krishna and the cows, and further lament in separation. They see that although it is the nature of animals to spend their time in eating, when Krishna plays His flute these cows forget to eat and instead pick up their ears to hear. Humans have very small ears, but cows have large ears – like cups. Through the cups of their ears these cows drink the nectar of Krishna’s flute playing, and when they taste it they forget everything else. They have grass in their mouths, but they forget to chew. Even the calves, who were drinking the milk from the utter of their mothers, are like this. The milk is coming into their mouths, but they have forgotten to swallow. They simply stand with tears gliding down from their eyes, and they embrace Krishna in the core of their hearts.


The love of the cows is not as high as that of the gopis, but due to the nature of their own prema, the gopis think the cows are greater. Those who are maha-bhagavatas, and what to say of maha-maha-bhagavatas like the gopis, see their own love and their own mood in all others. Yet, they think, “I am unfortunate; I have no love.”


This is a section of the book “Vrindavana Lila”.

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