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Śrīmad Bhāgavatam


Canto Ten. Volume 7. Chapter 29

TRANSLATION AND PURPORT BY
Mahāmaṇḍaleśwar Mahant Śrī Kṛṣṇa Balarām Swāmījī

 

Lord Kṛṣṇa disappears from the Gopīs

Text 2

tadoḍurājaḥ kakubhaḥ karor mukhaṁ
prācyā vilimpann aruṇena śantamaiḥ
sa carśaṇīnām udagāc chuco mṛjan
priyaḥ priyāyā iva dīrgha-darśanaḥ


Translation

Then, just as a lover is overjoyed upon meeting his beloved after a long period of time and adores her face decorated with vermilion (kuṁkuma) powder, similarly, the moon decorating the eastern-horizon with its vermilion-like soothing rays rose and removed everyone's exhaustion from the heat.


Purport


A rule of love is, it is not consistent at any stage, it is always unsteady, which is why the sages state that love always changes into new stages. There is a difference between someone overwhelmed with love and overwhelmed with lust for a person. One overwhelmed with lust gets frustrated in due course, because the infatuation reduces day after day until the emotion reverses. But love of Godhead always increases and never reverses at any stage, but only increases unlimitedly. Just as a greedy person is never satisfied with any amount of wealth they have acquired, similarly when love for God arises in a person's heart it only increases and only after meeting with the Lord it becomes pacified.

One has to be completely pure to be qualified to become a participant in one of the Lord's pastimes. To become pure one has to follow an authentic spiritual tradition directly descended in the unbroken chain of disciplic succession. Unless one rigidly follows this established procedure their spiritual life bears no fruit. As stated in the Nyāya Śāstra, asampradāya vit sarva śāstra vid-api mūrkhavad upekṣaṇīyaḥ, "Even though one may be learned in the scriptures, if they do not know the details of the spiritual tradition they are following they are considered fools." One who does not know the science of spirituality properly cannot understand the Supreme Lord correctly. That is why the Vṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad states, na vedavin manute taṁ bṛhantam, "One who does not believe that the Vedas reveal the real truth cannot understand the Supreme Lord." As stated in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad:


tasya priyam eva śiro modo dakṣiṇah pakṣaḥ pramoda
uttaraḥ pakṣaḥ ānanda ātmā brahma pucchaṁ pratiṣṭhā

"The Supreme Lord is the sum of total happiness and the source of all pleasure because anyone who genuinely participates in His spiritual path experiences pleasure. The side effect of accepting genuine spiritual life results in real happiness, because the right side of the Lord emanates pleasure and from His left comes happiness. The condition to obtain this happiness is that one has to become very dear to Him by becoming supremely pure."

The Gopīs were supremely pure, that is how they could romantically participate with the Lord in His pastime. Confirming the purity of the Gopīs the Padma Purāṇa states, purā maharṣayaḥ sarve daṇḍakāraṇya vāsinaḥ gokula strī garbha sambhūtaḥ, "All the sages who performed rigorous austerities in Daṇḍakāraṇya forest took birth as Gopīs from the womb of Vrajavāsī ladies in Gokul to participate in the Lord's romantic dance." Furthermore in the Padma Purāṇa it is stated, śṛutayo'pi gopyo jātāḥ, gāyatri cāsu jātāḥ, "Gāyatrīdevī and other personifications of scriptures also took birth as females from the wombs of the Gopīs." In the Kṛṣṇayamala it is stated, devesv aṁśena jātasya kṛṣṇasya divi tuṣṭaye, "The goddesses from heaven appeared as Gopi sin Gokul to please Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa." Thus all the Gopīs were the purest of all pure devotees, that's why they were qualified and could please the Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

One may wonder why does Śrī Śukadeva Goswāmi give the example of the moon in this text? Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared in the Moon Dynasty and is therefore related to the moon. In this moonlight Lord Kṛṣṇa is attracting the Gopīs who cannot be attracted to anyone except through marriage. Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī states that although the moon spreads its rays everywhere, it rises in the east and therefore gives its soothing rays first in the east, similarly Lord Kṛṣṇa was loved by everyone in Vraja, still He first desired to remove the anxiety of the Gopīs who wanted to romantically participate with Him. According to the Daśama Ṭippaṇī the word carṣaṇī, everyone, specifically indicates to the human beings because although the moon's soothing rays remove everyone's fatigue, still the human beings appreciate it the most. As is confirmed by the Nirukti Dictionary, carṣaṇīr mānuṣe sasye śrānte cādhvani vāhane, "Human beings, crops, a tired entity, a path way, and a carrier cart are called carṣaṇī." Therefore even though Lord Kṛṣṇa played His flute outside in the open, still only the Gopīs heard it because they were truly qualified to be with Him. One may wonder why only the Gopīs were qualified to hear the flute if all the Vrajavāsīs were pure devotees of Kṛṣṇa and had played with Him? In answer the logic of the Viṣṇu Purāṇa states, "Unless one is supremely pure by practicing spiritual life for thousands of births one will not become truly qualified to participate in Lord Kṛṣṇa's romantic pastimes." Just as if one is unaware of sugar candy's sweet taste but senses its sweetness as soon as their tongue tastes it, similarly even if the Gopīs did not know Kṛṣṇa is God, as soon as they first saw Him they were mesmerized and wanted to be with Him.