Jun 07, 2023
Jun 07, 2023
In this story, we will see how the Gopies remained completely focused and dependent wholly on Krishna’s Name, both in joy, as well as in grief.
Lord Krishna dancing on a 19th century fresco with golden paint on carved wall of India.
The Raas Festival of Sharad had started. The joy of Gopies knew no bounds. It was at the peak of those moments of ecstasy, when Lord Krishna disappeared from the midst of the Gopies. Let us first observe the scene that was there, before the Lord disappeared. This scene is described in Vishnu Purana. Thereafter, even in the grievous condition due to Krishna’s sudden disappearance, the Gopies take shelter of the Holy Name. Conclusion: In every situation, devotees should count on the Holy Name and take refuge in it.
In the fifth chapter of the Vishnu Purana, in his Praise of the Lord, Parashar Muni describes the Raas of Sharad Ritu as follows: “When Krishna, in his resonating voice, sang the Raas Dance Song, “The autumn moon and its rays falling on the lotuses in the lake”, the Gopies cheered him with ‘Krishna! Krishna!’ and doubled up this chant of Krishna! Krishna!”
At every stage on way of devotional service, devotees chant the holy names of Krishna; glorify his qualities and his pastimes. Free from all desires of material enjoyment, Gopies were always engaged in “Shravanam (Hearing), Kirtanam (Singing), Smranam (Remembering)”; and even in this process of (Shravan, Kirtan, Smaran), our Acharyas consider Japa-Kirtan to be magnificent.
When Krishna disappeared from the midst of the Gopies, Srimad Bhagwatam describes it as follows: “Singing loudly of Krishna, the Gopies searched for Him throughout the Vrindavan forest like a band of mad-women. They even inquired about Krishna from the bushes and trees.”
In his book, “Sri Krishna”, Srila Prabhupada explains – “Then the Gopies, including Radha Rani, kept going further deep into the forest until they could no longer see the moonlight. When they saw it was getting darker, they stopped. “Thus absorbed in the thoughts of Krishna, the Gopies began acting out his various transcendental pastimes”. Dedicating their heart and soul to Krishna, they began singing His glories, forgetting their families. Thus the Gopies returned to the banks of Yamuna, assembled there, began to chant His holy names; thinking that Krishna would return to them”. Srila Prabhupada explains that, this Chanting is nothing but the Chanting of the Maha-Mantra, ie., Hare Krsna Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.
There is this story in Bhakti Rasamritsindhu, “When Srimati Radha Rani saw Krishna for the first time, she was suddenly overwhelmed with transcendental joy. The functions of various organs of her body stopped. It is then, when her eternal consort, Lalita Sakhi, echoed the holy name of Krishna in her ears, Radha Rani immediately opened her eyes.” This is a beautiful example of the enlightenment that comes from hearing the sound of Krishna’s Name. Thus, this divine sound of Krishna’s Name, immediately awakens our senses, mind, intellect and consciousness.
Bhakti Rasamritsindhu gives another illustration – Another consort of Radha Rani tells “ O Govinda! Now the daughter of King Vrishbhanu is shedding tears, and she is eagerly chanting your holy name, Krishna! Krishna!”
Translation of a Shloka from the Tenth Canto of Bhagwatam is as follows: “The women of Braj, who were so attached to Krishna, were greatly disturbed by His impending union. They forgot all modesty. They yelled, O Govinda! O Damodara! O Madhava!
Krishna and the Names of Krishna are one without any difference. All the scriptures and our Acharyas, everywhere approve of this. So let us all also chant the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra, and become eligible for Krishna’s grace.
Image (c) istock.com
More by : Pt. Sanatan Das