|Canto 10: The Summum Bonum||Chapter 22: Kṛṣṇa Steals the Garments of the Unmarried Gopīs|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.22.20
ity acyutenābhihitaḿ vrajābalā
matvā vivastrāplavanaḿ vrata-cyutim
sākṣāt-kṛtaḿ nemur avadya-mṛg yataḥ
iti — in these words; acyutena — by the infallible Supreme Lord; abhihitam — indicated; vraja-abalāḥ — the girls of Vraja; matvā — considering; vivastra — naked; āplavanam — the bathing; vraja-cyutim — a falldown from their vow; tat-pūrti — the successful completion of that; kāmāḥ — intently desiring; tat — of that performance; aśeṣa-karmarṇām — and of unlimited other pious activities; sākṣāt-kṛtam — to the directly manifest fruit; nemuḥ — they offered their obeisances; avadya-mṛk — the cleanser of all sins; yataḥ — because.
Thus the young girls of Vṛndāvana, considering what Lord Acyuta had told them, accepted that they had suffered a falldown from their vow by bathing naked in the river. But they still desired to successfully complete their vow, and since Lord Kṛṣṇa is Himself the ultimate result of all pious activities, they offered their obeisances to Him to cleanse away all their sins.
The transcendental position of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is clearly described here. The gopīs decided that it was better to renounce their so-called family tradition and traditional morality and simply surrender unto the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa. This does not mean that the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement advocates immoral activities. In fact, the devotees of ISKCON practice the highest standard of restraint and morality, but at the same time we recognize the transcendental position of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa is God and therefore has no material desire to enjoy young girls in sexual affairs. As will be seen in this chapter, Lord Kṛṣṇa was not at all attracted to enjoying the gopīs; rather He was attracted to their love and wanted to satisfy them.
The greatest offense is to imitate the activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa. In India there is a group called prākṛta-sahajiyā, who imitate these affairs of Kṛṣṇa and try to enjoy naked young girls in the name of worshiping Kṛṣṇa. The ISKCON movement sternly rejects this mockery of religion, because the greatest offense is for a human being to ludicrously imitate the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the ISKCON movement there are no cheap incarnations, and it is not possible for a devotee of this movement to promote himself to the position of Kṛṣṇa.
Five hundred years ago Kṛṣṇa appeared as Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who practiced strict celibacy throughout His student life and at the age of twenty-four took sannyāsa, a lifelong vow of celibacy. Caitanya Mahāprabhu rigidly avoided contact with women in order to carry out His vow of loving service to Kṛṣṇa. When Kṛṣṇa personally appeared five thousand years ago, He exhibited these wonderful pastimes, which attract our attention. We should not become envious or shocked when we hear that God can perform such pastimes. Our shock is due to our ignorance, because if we tried to perform these activities our bodies would be afflicted by lust. Lord Kṛṣṇa, however, is the Supreme Absolute Truth and is therefore never disturbed by any material desire whatsoever. Thus, this incident — in which the gopīs gave up normal standards of morality and, raising their hands to their head, bowed down in compliance with Kṛṣṇa's order — is an example of pure devotional surrender and not a discrepancy in religious principles.
In fact, the gopīs' surrender is the perfection of all religion, as Śrīla Prabhupāda describes in Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead: "The gopīs were all simple souls, and whatever Kṛṣṇa said, they took to be true. In order to be freed from the wrath of Varuṇadeva, as well as to fulfill the desired end of their vows and ultimately to please their worshipable Lord, Kṛṣṇa, they immediately abided by His order. Thus they became the greatest lovers of Kṛṣṇa, and His most obedient servitors.
"Nothing can compare to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness of the gopīs. Actually the gopīs did not care for Varuṇa or any other demigod; they only wanted to satisfy Kṛṣṇa."
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Holiness Hrdayananda dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari