Canto 10: The Summum BonumChapter 29: Kṛṣṇa and the Gopīs Meet for the Rāsa Dance

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.29.21-22

dṛṣṭaḿ vanaḿ kusumitaḿ




tad yāta ciraḿ goṣṭhaḿ

śuśrūṣadhvaḿ patīn satīḥ

krandanti vatsā bālāś ca

tān pāyayata duhyata


dṛṣṭam — seen; vanam — the forest; kusumitam — full of flowers; rākā-īśa — of the moon, the lord of the presiding goddess of the full-moon day; kara — by the hand; rañjitammade resplendent; yamunā — coming from the Yamunā River; anila — by the wind; līlā — playfully; ejat — trembling; taru — of the trees; pallava — with the leaves; śobhitam — beautified; tat — therefore; yātago back; ciram — without delay; goṣṭhamto the cowherd village; śuśrūṣadhvam — you must serve; patīn — your husbands; satīḥO chaste women; krandantiare crying; vatsāḥ — the calves; bālāḥ — the children; ca — and; tān — them; pāyayata — breast-feed; duhyata — feed with cow's milk.


Now you have seen this Vṛndāvana forest, full of flowers and resplendent with the light of the full moon. You have seen the beauty of the trees, with their leaves trembling in the gentle breeze coming from the Yamunā. So now go back to the cowherd village. Don't delay. O chaste ladies, serve your husbands and give milk to your crying babies and calves.


Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura further explains Text 22 as follows: "Lord Kṛṣṇa says, 'Therefore don't wait a long time before going, but go immediately.' The word satīḥ means that the gopīs are loyal to their husbands; therefore Kṛṣṇa indicates that the gopīs should serve their husbands so the latter can accomplish their religious duties, and that the gopīs should also be considered worshipable because of their chastity. All this Kṛṣṇa says to the gopīs who are married. And now to the unmarried girls He says, 'The calves are crying, so see to it that they get milk.' To the muni-cārī gopīs He says, 'Your babies are crying, so feed them milk.' "

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura further reveals the hidden meaning of these two verses as follows: "In Text 21 Kṛṣṇa might have said, 'This Vṛndāvana is the very best of places, and moreover this is a full-moon night. Furthermore, we have the Yamunā on all sides, and there are cool, gentle, fragrant breezes blowing. These are all transcendental opulences that stimulate loving exchanges, and since I am also here as the foremost ecstatic opulence — the object of love — let us now test how much expertise you can show in relishing rasas.'

"In Text 22 He means to say, 'Thus for a long time, for the entire duration of this night, don't leave, but rather stay here and enjoy with Me. Don't go serve your husbands and the gentle women — your mothers-in-law and so forth. It would not be fitting for you to waste such beauty and youth, which are gifts of the creator. Nor should you milk the cows or give milk to the calves and babies. What do you, who are so full of ecstatic attraction for Me, have to do with these affairs?' "

Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura also explains that the gopīs could not really be sure exactly what Kṛṣṇa was doing — whether He was merely joking, inviting them to stay or instructing them to return home. Thus as Śrī Kṛṣṇa spoke about the beauty of the forest, the gopīs felt embarrassed and bewildered and looked upward at the trees, and as He spoke about the Yamunā they looked all around at the river. Their absolute purity and simplicity, along with their absolute devotion to Lord Kṛṣṇa in the conjugal mood, created the most beautiful pastimes ever exhibited in this universe.

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