Secret of Krishna-Gopis Rasa Leela
(By Muktipada Behera)
Now-a-days there is a lot of misunderstanding about Krishna-Gopi Leela due to western influence. Many claim it to be an immoral act. And they also say - if Krishna could do it, then why not we! They have a slogan - "Krishna Kare to Ras-Leela or Hum Kare to character Dhila". But a few vital points are worth noting. Many have not read the detailed literature on this Krishna topic before making such comments. This Krishna-Gopi relation is not a human relation, rather it is purely a divine relation between God and devotees.
The authentic book on this topic is Srimad Bhagavatam because the very existence of Krishna, Radha and Gopi are traced to this ancient text only. According to this text this Rasa-lila event happened in Vrindavan, India when Krishna was of nine years old, that means in his childhood. And the girls (gopis) involved in this act were of similar childhood ages between eight to ten years. All Gopis were worshiping Mother Durga to get Krishna as their future husband. Krishna was never tempted with this offer and rather He discouraged the Gopis. It is upon the insistence of Gopi, the supreme Lord Krishna decided to fulfill their desire through a divine play. This text also says Krishna left Vrindavan (also Gopi, Radha etc) at the age of ten and never looked back at them throughout his life.
However current youth generation and even older generation try to mimic what Krishna did as a child. Rather they should try to follow what Krishna did at his youth hood (He fought many war to save nation) and old age (He was the king of India extended till Afghanistan, He was also a Vedic teacher). If at all they want to mimic childhood Krishna, then they need to prove their fitness by lifting a mountain (Giri Govardhan) with their little finger. Just imagine is it possible for an ordinary human being to satisfy all sixteen thousand girls at one go, at the same time? It can only be possible for a super-man like Krishna, who is the incarnation of God.
Ordinary and impure person cannot understand the divine love of Gopi for Lord Krishna. It is a spiritual practice called “Madhura Bhava” to get divine love and finally liberation. In Madhura Bhava God is worshiped as husband, is of highest type relation. Other types of relation with God can be of a servant (practiced by Hanuman towards Rama), as father (Prahllada towards Vishnu), as child (mother Yasoda towards child Krishna), as friend (Arujuna towards Krishna) etc.
Madhura Bhava is practiced usually by women because for them it is natural to think of God as husband. If it is required, any man can also practice this, but he has to think of himself as women and lover of Krishna during this spiritual practice. In current age this spiritual practice is done successfully by Meerabai, Jayadeva, Chaitanya dev, Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna during this practice was dressing like a woman, wearing ornaments and thinking of himself as a lover of Krishna.
In Radha Krishna's life there was not even an iota of lust. There is no idea of lust or sympathy in this love. Radha says to Krishna, "If you place your feet on my heart, all lust will vanish."
Great philosophers like Swami Vivekananda also analyzed (From Book: Lectures from Colombo to Almora Chapter: The Sages of India): “There are not wanting fools, even in the midst of us, who cannot understand the marvelous significance of that most marvelous of all episodes. There are, let me repeat, impure fools, even born of our blood, who try to shrink from that as if from something impure. To them I have only to say, first make yourselves pure; So long as there its selfishness in the heart, so long is love of God impossible. So long as such ideas are in the brain, how can one understand the mad throes of the Gopis' love? "O for one, one kiss of those lips! One who has been kissed by Thee, his thirst for Thee increases for ever, all sorrows vanish, and he forgets love for everything else but for Thee and Thee alone". People with ideas of sex, and of money, and of fame, bubbling up every minute in the heart, daring to criticize and understand the love of the Gopis! It is forgetfulness of everything, and the lover sees nothing in the world except that Krishna and Krishna alone, when the face of every being becomes a Krishna, when his own face looks like Krishna, when his own soul has become tinged with the Krishna colour. That was the great Krishna!”
Srimad Bhagavatam after describing this divine act, at the end gives a precaution (Canto 10, chapter 33, sloka 31): “Someone not in control sure mustn't even think of ever doing a thing like this; such a one, acting out of foolishness, would be destroyed like one not being Rudra would be with drinking the poison from the ocean”. So the fate of any man by mimicking Krishna will be like a human trying to become Shiva by drinking poison.
In this regard, the Gopis in past birth were Rishis who wanted to enjoy Isvara as husband. They were blessed by Sri-Rama in Treta to fulfil this desire. And all of them got birth in Vrindavan in women bodies as Gopis.
In this divine love, a human being can be modelled as a Gopi (a woman) irrespective of gender. And there is only one Husband of this universe and He is Lord Krishna, Rests are women.