[Advaita-l] Raslila

Anand Hudli anandhudli at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 17 09:38:10 CST 2005

>Can someone pls explain this Rasalila from Bagavatham - was it just a 
>midnight dance with gopis or >something more physical? I could understand 
>the other events from Bhagavatham but never this >one. Why was it reqd at 
>all - i mean this midnight love making with a group of married women ? >No 
>other Avatar has done anything so --------.
 > My other religion friends are making fun of these things and I would like 
to explain to them. Pls >help!!

The bhagavata has itself answered this at the end of the thirty thrird 
chapter of the tenth skandha. Superhuman beings, such as Ishavara, are not 
bound by the same rules of dharma as we mere humans are. Such beings may 
sometimes act in apparent violation of dharma or may perform superhuman 
feats. The example cited is Rudra's drinking of poison during the churning 
of the ocean. We do not ask for a justification of Rudra's act of drinking 
the poison, obviously because it was for the good of the worlds. By the same 
token, we cannot expect a justification of perceived transgressions of 
dharma by superhuman beings. Therefore, the Bhagavata says "IshvarANAM 
vachaH satyaM tathaivAcharitaM kvachit.h". What the IShavaras say is the 
truth (and hence is to be followed) but what they do is not necessarily 
according to our dharma all the time. We should follow the teachings of such 
beings but we need to be careful in following their conduct always. If there 
is a contradiction between what they did and what they taught, we should, in 
this case, follow their teachings, not the conduct. In the Raslila example, 
we should not follow Krishna's conduct but follow a relevant saying of his 
in the gItA "dharmAviruddho bhUteShu kAmo.asmi bharatarShabha", which means 
Krishna is desire in beings not opposed to dharma. Therefore shrIdhara 
svAmI, the famous commentator, remarks "bhagavataH sarvAntaryAmiNaH 
paradArAsevA nAma na KAchit.h", there is no such a thing as paradArAsevA 
(associating with wives of others) for the Inner Controller of all.

The other more philosophical explanation mentioned by the Bhagavata is that 
Krishna is in the Gopis, even in their husbands, and in all beings as the 
inner controller (antashcharati so.dhyakShaH). In the rAsakrIdA episode, 
Krishna in His assumed form danced and sported with the Gopis each of whom 
had Krishna Himself as the inner controller!

Another question may also arise and that too has been answered in the 
Bhagavata. Krishna as Ishvara does not have any unfulfilled desire. So why 
did He do such a thing? The answer is: "anugrahAya".  Just to shower His 
grace on all beings, He takes on a human form and performs His playful acts 
so that anyone who listens to them is quickly absorbed in Him.


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