Monday, March 17, 2008

Story 48 - Story of Raasa leela – 10

Listening to the Lord’s words, gopis were relieved. Catching hold of each other’s hands, the gopis got immersed in bliss characterized by raasa leela. The Lord of all yogis, Krishna, became many. There appeared one Krishna standing in between two gopis.


We should always remember what the Lord proclaimed in the previous day – that it is our effort that gets converted into Lord’s grace. If there is no effort on our side, then we will not be able to progress though the Lord’s grace is always flowing to anyone and everyone in the world.

As a result of the gopis pure love and complete surrender to the Lord, they entered into a state of bliss. This blissful state is what the scriptures call as moksha and Bhagavatham terms it as raasa leela or playing in the essence of the entire world (which is Brahman). The Lord who is all-pervasive but temporary limited in the particular form of Krishna became many.

Is this really possible that one form becomes many?
The most miraculous thing in the entire world is the world itself. The world which is temporary and sorrowful is proclaimed as having come from the permanent and blissful Lord. Any analysis on the world will only lead us to more and more illogicalities. Thus the world itself is a big miracle which cannot be explained in any way except that it is a mere illusion of names and forms in the reality of Lord.

Thus the world which is an illusion in the Lord can be seen as pervaded by the Lord (as that is the right vision of knowledge – seeing everything as the Lord). It is this vision of seeing the Lord everywhere that is symbolically mentioned by Bhagavatham wherein it says that the Lord became many.

In fact whatever is present here is the Lord alone. Thus he is always one but the substratum of the many. Remove the illusion and we will be able to perceive the substratum. The gopis who realized the ultimate reality of Lord thus were able to have right vision of the world as pervaded by the Lord.

It is this vision of oneness which is propounded in the Gita as samadarshanam (seeing oneness). This is also termed as Yoga by the Lord wherein a person doesn’t differentiate between objects of the world thereby getting rid of likes and dislikes. It is vision of duality and considering duality as real that causes likes and dislikes. Likes and dislikes in turn lead us into sorrow and happiness. Thus man due to likes and dislikes gets whirled between sorrow and happiness thereby seeking more and more in the world – which in turn makes him go around in the ocean of samsara characterized by birth and death. This has been thus aptly said by Sankara as “Punarapi Jananam, Punarapi Maranam, Punarapi Janani Jatare Shayanam” – again birth, again death and again into the mother’s womb. This samsaara chakram is thus very tough to conquer.

But for a seeker who surrenders unto the Lord knowing the entire world to be an illusion thereby renouncing it and seeking the Lord everywhere (seeing the Lord everywhere), the world and problems arising out of the world are completely removed. Thus he ever rejoices in bliss of the Lord (as he is ever situated in the Lord).

Thus seeing oneness everywhere with the knowledge that everything is but an illusion of names and forms in the Lord is the way to eternal bliss – it is this way that has been beautifully explained as the Lord becoming many.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us all try to see oneness everywhere with the knowledge that the Lord alone is present here so that we may also be able to dance in bliss like the gopis thus being content, satisfied and peaceful.

Krishna appearing in between two gopis & as many is like the mind mixing all thoughts with Krishna alone (thinking about Krishna alone). The Devas all stood in space in their vimaanas in order to view the raasa leela – this is like the mind of the yogi who is in samadhi with the Atman seeing bliss (the nature of God) in the chidaakaasha (the space of Consciousness which is our very nature). Various sounds echoed – this is like various sounds (echoes of divine syllables) echoing in the mind of the yogi.

Krishna shined in between the gopis like a big king jewel shining in between various jewels. The gopis went into a state of ecstasy by looking at Krishna, kissing him and embracing him.


Bhagavatham is here speaking about the raasa leela in depth. In short as we have been learning, raasa leela is nothing but the ecstasy state wherein a devotee merges unto the Lord thereby sees the Lord alone everywhere. A person who sees the Lord everywhere (oneness everywhere) has been termed a yogi in the Gita by the Lord himself. Therefore Bhagavatham here compares the activities that are happening around the gopis with respect to the activities in the mind of a yogi.

The gopis here are in par with yogis who strive through rigorous practice in order to be always established in the reality of Lord (or Samadhi). Becoming a yogi can be achieved through asta anga yoga but a real yogi is one whose mind is ever in equanimity and this is because he sees the ultimate reality of Lord alone everywhere. For him there is nothing different from the Lord. But in order to achieve this state of seeing the Lord everywhere we need to negate the illusory world of names and forms from the substratum of Lord. Thus we have to renounce everything in the world (duality or differences) thereby going more and more towards the Lord. Then finally realization dawns that everything is but the Lord alone. This state of oneness isn’t merely a thought or vision in the mind but a matter of experience as this is always present in the mind. The yogis mind is ever contemplating on the Lord with the knowledge that everything is the Lord alone. Thus whatever he sees will be converted into the Lord internally in the mind. The mind knows nothing but the Lord alone.

In order to become a yogi, we may need to practice oneness for a long period of time as the mind is very tough indeed to conquer. The Lord says in Gita that the mind is controlled through abhyaasa (practice of always seeing the Lord everywhere) and vairagya (dispassion which is lower and higher – lower dispassion is getting away from the world and higher dispassion is getting attached to the Lord). But for the gopis, this wasn’t needed as their pure heart had completely surrendered to the Lord leaving everything for the sake of the Lord. Thus complete surrender and considering the Lord as the ultimate goal to achieve in life indirectly makes us get the virtues of abhyaasa and vairagya thereby making a yogi out of us.

As a yogi is ever rejoicing in bliss which is the very nature of the Lord, the gopis as well were rejoicing in bliss each moment as has been beautifully described by Bhagavatham. Various Gods of svarga stand in queue in order to view this raasa leela – this is a symbolic way of telling that wherever there is a yogi, the entire world will be ready to help him out – as they stand watching in dismay the blissful state of the gopis. This means that each and every entity of the world will be there to help us if we achieve the state of a yogi (as a person in that state doesn’t need anything but everything is available for him).

We will see as to how the gopis interact with Krishna in the next day in depth.

Let us all try to see oneness everywhere with the knowledge that the Lord alone is present here so that we may also be able to dance in bliss like the gopis thus being content, satisfied and peaceful.

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