Canto 11: General HistoryChapter 12: Beyond Renunciation and Knowledge

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.12.13

mat-kāmā ramaṇaḿ jāram

asvarūpa-vido 'balāḥ

brahma māḿ paramaḿ prāpuḥ

sańgāc chata-sahasraśaḥ


matMe; kāmāḥ — those who desired; ramaṇama charming lover; jāram — the lover of another's wife; asvarūpa-vidaḥ — not knowing My actual situation; abalāḥ — women; brahma — the Absolute; māmMe; paramam — supreme; prāpuḥ — they achieved; sańgāt — by association; śata-sahasraśaḥ — by hundreds of thousands.


All those hundreds of thousands of gopīs, understanding Me to be their most charming lover and ardently desiring Me in that way, were unaware of My actual position. Yet by intimately associating with Me, the gopīs attained Me, the Supreme Absolute Truth.


The words asvarūpa-vidaḥ ("not understanding My actual position or form") indicate that the lovely gopīs were so completely absorbed in conjugal love for Lord Kṛṣṇa that they were not aware of the Lord's unlimited potencies as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains this and other meanings of the word asvarūpa-vidaḥ. In Sanskrit the word vid also means "to acquire." Thus, asvarūpa-vidaḥ indicates that the gopīs, like other pure devotees of the Lord, were not interested in achieving sārūpya-mukti, the liberation of acquiring a bodily form similar to the Lord's. Were the gopīs to obtain a bodily form like the Lord's, how could the Lord execute His conjugal pastimes of dancing with the gopīs and embracing them? Since the gopīs had realized their eternal spiritual forms as servitors of the Lord, the word svarūpa also may indicate their own spiritual bodies, and thus asvarūpa-vidaḥ means that the gopīs never thought, as materialists do, of their own bodily beauty. Although the gopīs are the most beautiful girls in the Lord's creation, they never thought of their own bodies but rather were always meditating on the transcendental body of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Although we cannot imitate the gopī's exalted conjugal feelings, we can follow their superb example of practical Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They naturally took shelter of Lord Kṛṣṇa and achieved the highest perfection of life.

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