[Advaita-l] Raslila

Amuthan Arunkumar R aparyap at yahoo.co.in
Mon Dec 26 08:01:45 CST 2005

namo nArAyaNAya!

dear shrI jaldhar vyAs and other list members,

--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar_at_braincells_dot_com>
> Swami Paramananda drew attention to the fact that
> the participants are 
> described as tejasvi which is not the first
> adjective one might think of 
> to describe cowherd women.  But if you understand it
> as being in the 
> taijasa state then it makes sense.

i don't get this. there is absolutely no necessity to
think that rAsalIlA happened only in the dream of the
gopikA-s. even supposing that the rAsalIlA happened
only in the dream of the gopikA-s doesn't make any
difference since it is only due to avidyA that we
think that the jAgradavasthA is more real than the
svapnAvasthA. both the jAgradavasthA and the
svapnAvasthA have the same level of reality. if we
call svapna as unreal, the waking world is also
unreal. if we call the jAgradavasthA as real, then
svapna is also equally real. 

the point is that the gopikA-s were with kR^iShNa when
the rAsalIlA occurred. it doesn't matter whether we
choose to call it an "actual" event or a dream.  

the love that the gopikA-s had for kR^iShNa is premA,
not kAmA. in kAmA, there is a desire for
self-enjoyment. in premA, this is entirely absent and
there is only a desire to make the one who is loved
happy irrespective of personal happiness or sadness.
premA is 'tatsukhasukhitvam'. moreover, the gopikA-s
were always aware of the fact that kR^iShNa was the
paramAtmA. this is brought out clearly in the
gopikAgItam in shrImadbhAgavatam where the gopikA-s
sing '....akhiladehinAmantarAmadR^ik'. 

this is also made clear in the nArada bhakti sUtra-s
where in a series of sUtra-s shrI nArada clearly
explains the attitude of the gopikA-s. 

yathA vrajagopikAnAm. 21
(pure bhakti) is like what the gopikA-s had.

tatrApi na mAhAtmyaj~nAnavismR^ityapavAdaH. 22
there too, the greatness (of kR^iShNa as paramAtmA) is
not forgotten. 

tadvihInAM jArANAmiva. 22
without that, it is only lust.

nAstyeva tasminstatsukhasukhitvam. 23
in that (i.e. lust), the happiness of the other
(kR^iShNa) is not present.

rAsalIlA becomes difficult to understand or digest
only when we wrongly think that the gopikA-s had kAmA
for kR^iShNa. when it is understood that it is premA,
no more doubts will arise. 

and shrI muraLi mohan, don't ever feel bad that some
people laugh at rAsalIlA. and there is no necessity to
even try to establish the greatness of the gopikA-s to
those who are not ready to listen. when they mature,
they will understand that by themselves. even among
the bhakti sampradAya-s like shrI vaiShNavam or
gauDIya vaiShNavam, this shR^ingAra rasa is taught
only to highly mature bhakta-s (mature in the sense
that they themselves don't have any trace of lust left
in their mind).

to conclude, the gopikA-s are the perfect examples of
both prema bhakta-s and j~nAnI-s. this is accepted by
all AchArya-s of all sampradAya-s. for instance, shrI
madhusUdana sarasvatI often quotes the gopikA-s,
hanumAn and prahlAda as examples of j~nAnI-s. 

vAsudevaH sarvaM,

Amuthan Arunkumar R,
Final year, B.Tech/M.Tech Dual Degree,
Dept. of Aerospace Engg., IIT Madras.

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