Tales from Srimad Bhagavatam: Krishna and the Gopis in the Moonlit Night – LXVI

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Nilanjana recounts another tale of Krishna’s divine Leela (Cosmic game), through his interactions with the gopis of Vrindavan, in the weekly column. A Different Truths exclusive.

Parikshit asked, “Krishna disappeared?”

Sukha continued narrating, “Yes, he did. The gopis were simple; their love for Krishna was unconditional. But on this moonlit night, when Krishna gave into their desires, their simplicity took a back seat. When Krishna danced with each of them, they all began feeling special. Ego and pride took over. And then they became possessive. Their unconditional love was enveloped by desire. Each gopi thought that Krishna belonged only to her. This pollution in the emotion, in the way they thought and in the way they deluded themselves eventually back-fired when Krishna suddenly disappeared. He was not to be found at the scene.

The gopis began looking around but Krishna was nowhere around. The flute had stopped and the charm was slowly fading out. There was a strange void around. Sorrow hit them as they continued their futile search of Krishna. In their despair, they began asking all the trees around if they have seen Krishna. The trees were, however, just a witness to this cosmic play. They began searching nearby, in case they could find any trace of Krishna.

As they looked around, they could see footsteps of Krishna in the mud. They followed the footsteps but next to him, was the footstep of another gopi. After some time the gopi’s footsteps disappeared as Krishna’s footsteps sunk deep in the mud. The gopis were now jealous that Krishna must have carried this particular gopi in his arms. The gopi, who was now an object of jealousy among her peers, was also overtaken by possessiveness and ego. As soon as Krishna lifted her in his arms since she was tired, she thought she was special and hence this attention was being showered on her. And that very moment, when ego gripped her, Krishna dropped her in the mud and disappeared. She returned back to her peers and narrated her sorrow.

The berserk gopis ran all around looking for Krishna, but he was not to be found. Back on the banks of river Yamuna, the gopis sobbed.” 

Pariskshit asked, “Why would he do that?”

Sukha answered, “They had to be cured of their feverishness. We cannot be with the divine if we are feverish. Longing is divine, feverishness is not! Their longing, in the form of tears, cured them of their feverishness. Their earnest prayer was not missed by Krishna. He realised that their pride had gone and now they were again devotees who pined for the divine. He appeared as suddenly. The gopis were very happy now, for divinity in the form of Krishna was now present in front of them.”

Parikshit smiled, “It is so easy to keep simple folks happy.”

[To be continued]

Footnote: Srimad Bhagavatam is often called the Bhagavad Purana. Authored by Ved Vyasa, the stories are about the various avatars(incarnations) of Lord Vishnu, also known as Narayana. These stories are narrated by Ved Vyasa’s son Sukhadeva to King Parikshit.

©Nilanjana Dey

Photos from the Internet

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A story-teller at heart, Nilanjana Dey is on a journey to experiment with fiction and poetry. Her first novel, largely aimed towards children, is titled ‘The Adventures of Puti – The Cheese Trail’. Her poems have been published at various prestigious portals. An alumni of English Literature from Jadavpur University (Kolkata), she is a marketing and communication professional based in Mumbai. She volunteers with a Mumbai based NGO working with the marginalised sections of the society.