Gopī-gita: The Gopi’s Song of Separation Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
After Krishna and the gopis have met for the rasa-dance and enjoyed freely, Krishna disappeared. The gopis searched for their beloved everywhere, asked the trees and creepers, and in their absorption conversed about Him and acted out His transcendental pastimes. Returning to the bank of the Yamuna, the gopis sat down together to sing of Him, eagerly hoping that Krishna would come back.
jayati te 'dhikaṁ janmanā vrajaḥ
śrayata indirā śaśvad atra hi
dayita dṛśyatāṁ dikṣu tāvakās
tvayi dhṛtāsavas tvāṁ vicinvate
The gopis said: O beloved, Your birth in the land of Vraja has made it exceedingly glorious, and thus Indira, the goddess of fortune, always resides here. It is only for Your sake that we, Your devoted servants, maintain our lives. We have been searching everywhere for You, so please show Yourself to us.
O Lord of love, in beauty Your glance excels the whorl of the finest, most perfectly formed lotus within the autumn pond. O bestower of benedictions, You are killing the maidservants who have given themselves to You freely, without any price. Isn’t this murder?
दृषभ ते वयं रक्शिता मुहुः॥ ३॥
O greatest of personalities, You have repeatedly saved us from all kinds of danger—from poisoned water, from the terrible man-eater Agha, from the great rains, from the wind demon, from the fiery thunderbolt of Indra, from the bull demon and from the son of Maya Danava.
You are actually not the son of the gopi Yashoda, O friend, but rather the indwelling witness in the hearts of all embodied souls. Because Lord Brahma prayed for You to come and protect the universe, You have now appeared in the Satvata dynasty.
O best of the Vrisnis, Your lotuslike hand, which holds the hand of the goddess of fortune, grants fearlessness to those who approach Your feet out of fear of material existence. O lover, please place that wish-fulfilling lotus hand on our heads.
vraja-janārti-han vīra yoṣitāṁ
bhaja sakhe bhavat-kiṅkarīḥ sma no
jalaruhānanaṁ cāru darśaya
O You who destroy the suffering of Vraja’s people, O hero of all women, Your smile shatters the false pride of Your devotees. Please, dear friend, accept us as Your maidservants and show us Your beautiful lotus face.
Your lotus feet destroy the past sins of all embodied souls who surrender to them. Those feet follow after the cows in the pastures and are the eternal abode of the goddess of fortune. Since You once put those feet on the hoods of the great serpent Kaliya, please place them upon our breasts and tear away the lust in our hearts.
O lotus-eyed one, Your sweet voice and charming words, which attract the minds of the intelligent, are bewildering us more and more. Our dear hero, please revive Your maidservants with the nectar of Your lips.
The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate one’s sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent.
प्रहसितं प्रिय प्रेमवीक्शणं
विहरणं च ते ध्यानमङ्गलम्।
रहसि संविदो या हृदिस्पृशः
कुहक नो मनः क्शोभयन्ति हि॥ १०॥
viharaṇaṁ ca te dhyāna-maṅgalam
rahasi saṁvido yā hṛdi spṛśaḥ
kuhaka no manaḥ kṣobhayanti hi
Your smiles, Your sweet, loving glances, the intimate pastimes and confidential talks we enjoyed with You—all these are auspicious to meditate upon, and they touch our hearts. But at the same time, O deceiver, they very much agitate our minds.
calasi yad vrajāc cārayan paśūn
nalina-sundaraṁ nātha te padam
śila-tṛṇāṅkuraiḥ sīdatīti naḥ
kalilatāṁ manaḥ kānta gacchati
Dear master, dear lover, when You leave the cowherd village to herd the cows, our minds are disturbed with the thought that Your feet, more beautiful than a lotus, will be pricked by the spiked husks of grain and the rough grass and plants.
At the end of the day You repeatedly show us Your lotus face, covered with dark blue locks of hair and thickly powdered with dust. Thus, O hero, You arouse lusty desires in our minds.
चरणपङ्कजं शंतमं च ते
रमण नः स्तनेष्वर्पयाधिहन्॥ १३॥
dharaṇi-maṇḍanaṁ dhyeyam āpadi
caraṇa-paṅkajaṁ śantamaṁ ca te
ramaṇa naḥ staneṣv arpayādhi-han
Your lotus feet, which are worshiped by Lord Brahma, fulfill the desires of all who bow down to them. They are the ornament of the earth, they give the highest satisfaction, and in times of danger they are the appropriate object of meditation. O lover, O destroyer of anxiety, please put those lotus feet on our chest.
svarita-veṇunā suṣṭhu cumbitam
vitara vīra nas te 'dharāmṛtam
O hero, kindly distribute to us the nectar of Your lips, which enhances conjugal pleasure and vanquishes grief. That nectar is thoroughly relished by Your vibrating flute and makes people forget any other attachment.
अटति यद्भवानह्नि काननं
कुटिलकुन्तलं श्रीमुखं च ते
जड उदीक्शतां पक्श्मकृद्दृशाम्॥ १५॥
aṭati yad bhavān ahni kānanaṁ
truṭi yugāyate tvām apaśyatām
kuṭila-kuntalaṁ śrī-mukhaṁ ca te
jaḍa udīkṣatāṁ pakṣma-kṛd dṛśām
When You go off to the forest during the day, a tiny fraction of a second becomes like a millennium for us because we cannot see You. And even when we can eagerly look upon Your beautiful face, so lovely with its adornment of curly locks, our pleasure is hindered by our eyelids, which were fashioned by the foolish creator.
ativilaṅghya te 'nty acyutāgatāḥ
kitava yoṣitaḥ kas tyajen niśi
Dear Acyuta, You know very well why we have come here. Who but a cheater like You would abandon young women who come to see Him in the middle of the night, enchanted by the loud song of His flute? Just to see You, we have completely rejected our husbands, children, ancestors, brothers and other relatives.
Our minds are repeatedly bewildered as we think of the intimate conversations we had with You in secret, feel the rise of lust in our hearts and remember Your smiling face, Your loving glances and Your broad chest, the resting place of the goddess of fortune. Thus we experience the most severe hankering for You.
व्रजवनौकसां व्यक्तिरङ्ग ते
त्यज मनाक् च नस्त्वत्स्पृहात्मनां
स्वजनहृद्रुजां यन्निषूदनम्॥ १८॥
vraja-vanaukasāṁ vyaktir aṅga te
vṛjina-hantry alaṁ viśva-maṅgalam
tyaja manāk ca nas tvat-spṛhātmanāṁ
sva-jana-hṛd-rujāṁ yan niṣūdanam
O beloved, Your all-auspicious appearance vanquishes the distress of those living in Vraja’s forests. Our minds long for Your association. Please give to us just a bit of that medicine, which counteracts the disease in Your devotees’ hearts.
yat te sujāta-caraṇāmburuhaṁ staneṣu
bhītāḥ śanaiḥ priya dadhīmahi karkaśeṣu
tenāṭavīm aṭasi tad vyathate na kiṁ svit
kūrpādibhir bhramati dhīr bhavad-āyuṣāṁ naḥ
O dearly beloved! Your lotus feet are so soft that we place them gently on our breasts, fearing that Your feet will be hurt. Our life rests only in You. Our minds, therefore, are filled with anxiety that Your tender feet might be wounded by pebbles as You roam about on the forest path.
ends the discourse, entitled "The Goppi's Song (at the Lord's
disappearance) during the Rasa dance", in the first half of Book Ten of
the great and glorious Bhagavata Purana, otherwise known as
Those who are familiar with the art of chanting Sanskrit verses will be able to appreciate the especially exquisite Sanskrit poetry of this chapter. Specifically, the poetic meter of the verses is extraordinarily beautiful, and also, for the most part, in each line the first and seventh syllables begin with the same consonant, as do the second syllables of all four lines.
This chapter relates how the gopīs, overwhelmed by feelings of separation from Kṛṣṇa, sat down on the bank of the Yamunā and began praying for His audience and singing His glories-
Because the gopīs had dedicated their minds and very lives to Kṛṣṇa, they were beside themselves with the transcendental pain of separation. But their crying, which appears like evidence of misery, actually shows their exalted state of transcendental bliss. As it is said, yata dekha vaiṣṇaver vyavahāra duḥkh/ niścaya jāniha sei paramānanda sukh: "Whenever one sees a Vaiṣṇava acting unhappy, one should know it for sure that he is actually experiencing the highest spiritual bliss." Thus each of the gopīs began addressing Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa according to her individual mode of ecstasy, and they all prayed to Him for His mercy.
As the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa spontaneously arose in the minds of the gopīs, they sang their song, which relieves the agony of those suffering from the burning pain of separation from Kṛṣṇa and which bestows supreme auspiciousness. They sang, "O Lord, O lover, O cheater, when we remember Your smile, Your loving glances and Your pastimes with Your boyhood friends, we become extremely agitated. Remembering Your lotus face, adorned with locks of blackish hair smeared with the dust of the cows, we become irrevocably attached to You. And when we remember how You followed the cows from forest to forest with Your tender feet, we feel great pain."
In their separation from Kṛṣṇa the gopīs considered a single moment an entire age. Even when they had previously seen Him they had found the blinking of their eyelids intolerable, for it blocked their vision of Him for a fraction of a second.
The ecstatic sentiments for Lord Kṛṣṇa that the gopīs expressed may appear like symptoms of lust, but in reality they are manifestations of their pure desire to satisfy the Supreme Lord's spiritual senses. There is not even the slightest trace of lust in these moods of the gopīs.
Srila Prabhupada: Sometimes we go to hear or see rāsa-līlā. But unless we are advanced in spiritual consciousness, this hearing of or seeing some rāsa-līlā, sometimes it brings us down. If one is actually seeing rāsa-līlā, the result will be hṛd-roga-kāmam apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ. One who is actually advanced in spiritual consciousness, and hears from the realized person—not from ordinary professional reciter, but from a realized person—the result will be hṛd-roga-kāmam apahinoti. Then the, our natural lusty desires will disappear. If a bona fide listener hears of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes with the gopīs, which seem to be lusty affairs, the lusty desires in his heart, which constitute the heart disease of the conditioned soul, will be vanquished, and he will become a most exalted devotee of the Lord. That is the result. But in spite of disappearing our, this lusty desire, if we increase our lusty desire, that means we are spoiling our life. Therefore it is forbidden that neophyte students, they should not indulge in these affairs of rāsa-līlā. You should be very careful.
Hrid-rogam, "the disease of the heart", is lust. Unless we conquer lust, we cannot attain absolutely pure devotional service. Although the pastimes of Krsna with the gopis may appear lusty, they are actually transcendental. And if one hears about the Lord's pastimes with faith, sraddha, then by such hearing one will become purified of the heart disease called lust. And when the heart is completely cleansed by absorption in krsna-katha, one can attain the Lord's pure devotional service. That is the great value of hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam.