A Unique Song of Love & Separation by Shweta Joshi SignUp
A Unique Song of Love & Separation
Shweta Joshi Bookmark and Share

"The Gopis sang: “Vraja shines all the more brightly by your descent for Laxmi (the Goddess of beauty and prosperity) constantly dwells here (from that time in order to catch your glimpse). O beloved Lord! please (reveal yourself and) see how your sweethearts, who have centred their life in you, are searching for you in every quarter”.

Any piece of art, music, dance form on the life and times of Krishna is incomplete without the narration of the mystical 'Rassleela' he had created together with Radha and many other Gopis in Vraj. There are varied stories and descriptions of this unique bond of love which Krishna, the pastoral hero shared with the milkmaids lovingly referred as Gopis of his village. One of the most popular and artistic depiction of the 'Rassleela' is Krishna dancing with every Gopi in the forest which indicate that the divine Krishna multiplied himself to satisfy the desire of each of his lady devotee and lover.

The various descriptions of Krishna’s childhood adventures and such secret mid-night revelries with Gopis away from their families forms a major part of the text of epic Mahabharata and many Puranas especially Shrimad Bhagvat Puran. This literature includes events associated with early life of Krishna as a ‘boy’ loved and adored by every being around him and the most attractive feature of it is ‘Rassleela’ which has been a source of inspiration to portray love and romance for many renowned poets, artists & writers.

The term, rasa meaning "aesthetics" and leela meaning "act," "play" or "dance" is a concept which roughly translates to "play (leela) of aesthetics (rasa)," or more broadly as "Dance of Divine Love".

Gopi Geet is the song of separation from the divine lover. Gopis developed Pride ( that only they were the chosen ones to have Krishna by their side. Since Bhakti should be devoid of any senses and is believed as pride Shri Krishna disappeared from there. When Gopis realized that they were left alone they praised Krishna, reciting Gopi Geet with tears flowing from their eyes. Like true devotees with much love & fervor they enacted his &praised Krishna. He reappeared before them on listening to the honest prayers of pure & simple souls.

"Your manifestation on earth, O Darling, has put an end to the sorrows of the inhabitants of Vraja as well as of the denizens of the forest, and is extrmely auspicious for the whole universe. Pray, unreservedly administer to us - whose mind is full of longing for You - at least a little of that remedy (in the form of Your company) which may relieve the pangs of heart of Your own people”.

Gopi Geet appears in Shrimad Bhagvat Puran, 10th Skandh and 31st Adhyay. There is also a belief that Gopis were no ordinary beings and instead many rishis which took re-birth to benefit in the company of divine avatar Krishna. However focal point would be that in this song of love all the Gopis together form the main character unlike the religious practices and many popular tales of Krishna wherein Radha is the celestial and only lover.

The intrinsic essence of Raas Leela is imparting the lesson of Bhakti and true love as a means to reach Lord Krishna. It is also an experience of self-realization of the Gopis who took pride in their love and affection to Lord Krishna. The pang of separation somehow made all the Gopis suffer in grief and searched for Lord Krishna in the deep and dark forest without any fear and inhibitions. It might be a test of how far the Gopis sincerely loved and worshipped Krishna but in nutshell, Raas Leela highlights the way to worship Lord with sincerity, faith and purity of heart.

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