[Advaita-l] Rasalila (was Re: Temple Worship by all)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 9 23:52:13 CDT 2010

--- On Wed, 6/9/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> Namaste Sunil ji:
> Here are some portions from the Bhagavatam:
> (4) Hearing that song aroused Cupid with the women of Vraja
> and with their
> minds seized by Krishna went each of them unknown to the
> others, with
> earrings swinging in the haste, to where He, their
> boyfriend, was. (5) Some
> left in the middle of milking the cows, some abandoned in
> their eagerness
> the milk they had on the stove while others went without
> taking the cake out
> of the oven. (6-7) Some put aside the children they were
> feeding milk and
> dressed up forgetting the service to their husbands, some
> left in the middle
> of having their dinner, some oiled, painted themselves and
> made up their
> eyes while others went near Krishna with their clothes and
> ornaments in
> disarray. (8) They, checked by their husbands, fathers,
> brothers and other
> relatives did, enchanted by Govinda with their hearts
> stolen, not turn back
> [to their duties]. (9) Some gopîs who didn't manage to get
> away, staying
> home closed their eyes and meditated connected in that love
> [see footnote*
> and 10.1: 62 &63]. (10-11)
> (17) When the Supreme Lord saw the girls of Vraja arriving
> near Him spoke
> He, the best of all speakers, with a wealth of words that
> bewildered them.
> (18) The Supreme Lord said: 'Be welcome all of you, o
> fortunate ladies, what
> can I do to please you? Please tell Me whether Vraja is all
> right and for
> what reason you came here. (19) This night is full of
> creatures fearsome in
> appearance, so please return to Vraja o slender girls, you
> women shouldn't
> hang around here. (20) Surely do your mothers, fathers,
> sons, brothers and
> husbands looking for you not see you; don't cause anxiety
> for your kin.
> (21-22) You've seen Râka (the goddess of the day of the
> full moon)
> resplendent by her moonlight, you've seen the forest full
> of flowers even
> more pleasurable by the breeze blowing from the Yamunâ
> that plays through
> the leaves of the trees. Go now, without delay, back to the
> cowherd village,
> you must serve your husbands, o chaste ones, the calves and
> the children are
> crying for you to give them milk. (23) Or else, if you have
> come with your
> hearts overtaken by your love for Me, is that indeed
> laudable of you as all
> living beings have affection for Me. (24) For woman it
> indeed is the highest
> dharma to be diligently of service to her husband, to be
> simple and honest
> towards the relatives and to take good care of her family.
> (25) Provided he
> didn't fall [from his belief or being unfaithful] should a
> husband
> bad-hearted, unfortunate, old, retarded, sickly and poor
> even by women who
> desire heaven not be rejected [see also 9.14: 37 and B.G.
> 1.40]. (26) To be
> astray weak in adultery is for a woman of class in all
> cases something
> contemptible: it harms the reputation, creates fear, and
> gives trouble. (27)
> By listening, being in the presence [of the deity and the
> devotees], by
> meditation and by subsequent chanting is one of love for
> Me; not so much
> with physical proximity, therefore please return to your
> homes [see also
> 10.23: 33].'
> (38) Even the cowherds of Vraja, who bewildered by the
> power of His mâyâ all
> thought that their wives stood at their side, were not
> jealous with Krishna.
> (39) When of Brahmâ a full night had passed went the
> unwilling gopîs, the
> sweethearts of the Supreme Lord, on Krishna's advise to
> their homes.
> We come to know that the gopis did go there.  And
> Krishna asked them to
> return and be with their families.  So that shows that
> they went there in
> their physical bodies alone. 

Here's an earlier relevant posting on the same topic:


Subject: Raslila

first of all in 10.29.1 it specifically says that Bhagavan decided to 
start the Rasalila by means of his yogamaya.  (yogamAyAmupAshrita.h)

Secondly in the description of the reactions of the Gopis to the 
bewitching sound of the divine flute, the Bhagavata says some were milking 
the cows, some were serving food to their families, some were still 
cooking, some were bathing, some getting dressed, and some were going to 
sleep.  How could all these activities be going on at the same evening 

Third in the process of describing the forests of Vraj, the Bhagavata 
mentions the flowers being in bloom and bees gathering honey etc. In other 
words signs of spring.  But the event is supposed to have taken place 
during Kartika which is autumn in Vraj.

Fourth, the Bhagavata says the Gopis never realized their wives were 
missing.  And I think if your wife suddenly ran away while serving you 
dinner you would notice wouldn't  you?!

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.

> And we also see that
> 'some' did not manage to
> go; prevented they were by their people at home.  They
> resorted to
> meditation.   However, this is a bit
> puzzling:
> // (38) Even the cowherds of Vraja, who bewildered by the
> power of His mâyâ
> all thought that their wives stood at their side, were not
> jealous with
> Krishna. //

That's the "fourth" reason above.

> It looks like that some cowherds were witnessing the Rasa
> and saw their
> wives in the Rasa.  Yet, they were bewildered by the
> power of His maya that
> they thought  that their wives were indeed standing by
> their side.  It
> appears that they saw their wives with Krishna and yet were
> not disturbed as
> they 'were made to believe' that their wives were by their
> side.
> Someone could explain this better please.
> Regards,
> subbu



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