[Advaita-l] Rasalila (was Re: Temple Worship by all)
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Thu Jun 10 12:05:28 CDT 2010
On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 10:22 AM, S Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Subject: Raslila
> first of all in 10.29.1 it specifically says that Bhagavan decided to
> start the Rasalila by means of his yogamaya. (yogamAyAmupAshrita.h)
> Secondly in the description of the reactions of the Gopis to the
> bewitching sound of the divine flute, the Bhagavata says some were milking
> the cows, some were serving food to their families, some were still
> cooking, some were bathing, some getting dressed, and some were going to
> sleep. How could all these activities be going on at the same evening
> Third in the process of describing the forests of Vraj, the Bhagavata
> mentions the flowers being in bloom and bees gathering honey etc. In other
> words signs of spring. But the event is supposed to have taken place
> during Kartika which is autumn in Vraj.
> Fourth, the Bhagavata says the Gopis never realized their wives were
> missing. And I think if your wife suddenly ran away while serving you
> dinner you would notice wouldn't you?!
> Swami Paramananda drew attention to the fact that the participants are
> described as tejasvi which is not the first adjective one might think of
> to describe cowherd women. But if you understand it as being in the
> taijasa state then it makes sense.
Dear Karthik and Sunil ji and others,
I have not had the time for any in depth research on this subject. Nor do I
have the resources like a Bhagavatam book in full with an authoritative
commentary like that of Sreedharee. So I would like you to address some
questions that might appear crude (unrefined). Nevertheless pl. bear with
If the above reasoning of Sw.Paramananda Bharati or any other person is the
right way to understand the situation, why did not Shukacharya answer
Parikshit on these lines? He could have said:
Look, Parikshit, your apprehensions are wholly misplaced. No such
impropriety that you suspect ever took place. It was all akin to a dream.
Nothing happened in reality.
On the contrary Shuka took the question seriously and addressed it the way
we have already seen. He did not invoke the Yogamaayaa or taijasa reasons.
Not one single reason given above were touched upon by Shuka. Insead he
shared the apprehension of Parikshit and said that all and sundry cannot do
what Krishna did; it would only beget sin.
// Swami Paramananda drew attention to the fact that the participants are
described as tejasvi which is not the first adjective one might think of
to describe cowherd women.//
I find the word 'tejeeyasaam' in the verse 10.33.30 and it refers as an
adjective to IshvarANAm in the same verse. The translation found in the
Gitapress edition with me is:
Shri Shuka said: Violation of Dharma and overboldness is occasionally
witnessed on the part of the mighty (IshvarANAm) . It does not however bring
any sin on those possessed of exceptional glory (this is the translation for
the word ''tejeeyasaam'. I do not find this adjective used for the cowherd
women, at least in this verse.)
Is there a reference to the gopi-s as 'taijasa/tejasvee' in this rasa
sections of the Bhagavatam? The word IshvarANAm is essentially used by
Shukacharya for indicating Krishna (and Shiva in the example). Surely it
cannot be extended to the gopi-s. Nor in the question of Pareekshit is a
reference to 'why did the gopi-s do that?'; his question was clearly
And for the verse 38 here the translation is: Deluded by His Maya the men
of Vraja did not regard Sri Krishna with jealousy, for each of them took his
womenkind to be present by his side.
I have these questions on the above verse: Why has this verse come here?
Did the gopa-s ever realized, in the morning, that there indeed happened a
rasa dance in the previous night? And that their wives participated in
that? The 'delusion' itself does not warrant the conclusion that the women
had gone to vraja only in their subtle bodies. It could very well be the
Lord's leela that He 'placed' the form of each woman in the appropriate
place. In another instance when Brahmaa stole the cows, calves and the
cowherds and kept them in hidden custody for one year (?), Krishna 'became'
all of these and life went on normally with the households to which these
boys, cows and calves belonged. The real boys, etc. were in Brahma's
custody while the maayic forms alone were available during that period for
vyavahara. So what if for that night Krishna, in order not to embarrass the
gopa-s created the women and made them remain in place for that night?
39. When the early hours of the morning approached (at the close of a whole
night of Brahmaa) the Gopis, who were so beloved of the Lord, returned to
their homes, though reluctantly, with the approval of Sri Krishna.
This verse gives us the clear impression that the gopi-s went in their real
form. The mention that the rasa went on for 'one whole night of Brahmaa'
gives us the idea that this is a very long period, consisting of several
days and nights in human scale. For this length of period the gopi-s were
absent from their houses. Then, it looks like the above cows/calves/cowherd
boys incident, the maayic gopi-s alone were available for vyavahara in the
houses and the real ones were away at the rasa; not giving any clue about
the truth to the men.
In any case, the question of (im)propriety on the part of the Lord raised by
Pareekshit will get very diluted, watered down, insignificant, if the
'taijasa' theory is admitted. Shukacharya could have dismissed the question
with saying 'it was only a show, unreal like a dream'. Also Pareekshit's
power of inference is also at stake. Was he such a poor listener to not to
have imagined the triviality of the episode and raised a question? Also
notice how Shukacharya replies admitting that ' Violation of Dharma and
overboldness is occasionally witnessed on the part of the mighty
(IshvarANAm)'. Why should he say this if the whole thing was only a seeming
one and nothing real had taken place?
Also I would like to know, to repeat, where the word 'taijasa' occurs in
relation to the gopi-s.
At this moment I am able to think only on these lines. Maybe I am missing
something very important that you have all not missed. Pl. give your
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