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Srimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata Purana) :: Conto 10b

The Raasa Play: Krishna Meets and Escapes the Gopis at Night

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Srimad Bhagavatam » Conto 10b   

 The Raasa Play: Krishna Meets and Escapes the Gopis at Night

(1) The son of Vyâsa said: 'Even though He was the Supreme Lord, decided He, resorting to His inner potency [see yoga-mâyâ], to enjoy those nights in autumn when the jasmine flowers are blossoming. (2) At the time painted the king of the stars [the moon] with his hands the face of the east red thus giving comfort to all who longed for him, just like a lover approaching his beloved ends the grief when he after a long time is seen again. (3) Seeing how the kumuda lotuses opened to his full round face that, alike the face with fresh kunkuma of the goddess of fortune, with its light reddened the forest, played He, colored by the gentle rays of that light, His flute sweetly enchanting the eyes of charm [of the gopîs]. (4) Hearing that song aroused Cupid with the women of Vraja and with their minds seized by Krishna went each of them unknown to the others, with earrings swinging in the haste, to where He, their boyfriend, was. (5) Some left in the middle of milking the cows, some abandoned in their eagerness the milk they had on the stove while others went without taking the cake out of the oven. (6-7) Some put aside the children they were feeding milk and dressed up forgetting the service to their husbands, some left in the middle of having their dinner, some oiled, painted themselves and made up their eyes while others went to Krishna with their clothes and ornaments in disarray. (8) They, checked by their husbands, fathers, brothers and other relatives did, enchanted by Govinda with their hearts stolen, not turn back [to their duties]. (9) Some gopîs who didn't manage to get away, staying home closed their eyes and meditated connected in that love [see footnote* and 10.1: 62 & 63]. (10-11) The intolerable, intense agony of being separated from their Beloved removed all the bad minding while the good of them was reduced to zero because of the joy obtained in meditating the embrace of the Infallible One. Even though He was the Supreme Soul thought they Him to be their paramour, but nevertheless getting His direct association gave they, with their bonds cut, immediately up their existence the way it is determined by the material qualities.'

(12) S'rî Parîkchit said: 'They knew Krishna only as their beloved but not as the Absolute Truth, o sage, how could there for them being so mindful of the material affair be the ending of the mighty current of the gunas?'

(13) S'rî S'uka said: 'About this I spoke to you before [in 3.2: 19 and in 7.1: 16-33]: when the king of Cedi [S'is'upâla] could attain perfection even hating the Lord of the Senses, what then would it be for those who are dear to Him, the Lord in the Beyond? (14) For the purpose of humanity its highest benefit, o King, is there the personal appearance of the Supreme, Imperishable, Inscrutable Lord who, being free from the modes, is the Controller of the Modes. (15) They who constantly exhibit lust, anger, fear, affection, unity and goodwill with the Lord are sure to achieve absorption in Him. (16) You shouldn't be astonished by this in regard to the Supreme Personality Unborn for He is the master of all masters of yoga by whom this world finds liberation. (17) When the Supreme Lord saw the girls of Vraja arriving near Him spoke He, the best of all speakers, with a wealth of words that bewildered them. (18) The Supreme Lord said: 'Be welcome all of you, o fortunate ladies, what can I do to please you? Please tell Me whether Vraja is all right and for what reason you came here. (19) This night is full of creatures fearsome in appearance, so please return to Vraja o slender girls, you women shouldn't hang around here. (20) Undoubtedly it is so that your mothers, fathers, sons, brothers and husbands looking for you can't find you; don't give rise to anxity with your kin. (21-22) You've seen Râka (the goddess of the day of the full moon) resplendent by her moonlight, you've seen the forest full of flowers even more pleasurable by the breeze blowing from the Yamunâ that plays through the leaves of the trees. Go now, without delay, back to the cowherd village, you must serve your husbands, o chaste ones, the calves and the children are crying for you to give them milk. (23) Or else, if you have come with your hearts overtaken by your love for Me, is that indeed laudable of you since all living beings have affection for Me. (24) For women it indeed is the highest dharma to be diligently of service to her husband, to be simple and honest towards the relatives and to take good care of her family. (25) Provided he didn't fall [from his belief or being unfaithful] should a husband bad-hearted, unfortunate, old, retarded, sickly and poor even by women who desire heaven not be rejected [see also 9.14: 37 and B.G. 1: 40]. (26) To be astray weak in adultery is for a woman of class in all cases something contemptible: it harms the reputation, creates fear, and gives trouble. (27) By listening, being in the presence [of the deity and the devotees], by meditation and by subsequent chanting is one of love for Me; not so much with being physically close to Me; therefore please return to your homes [see also 10.23: 33].'

(28) S'rî S'uka said: 'The gopîs thus hearing the words of Govinda unpleasant to them felt, dejected of being disappointed in their strong desires, an anxiety hard to overcome. (29) Letting their faces hang down in sorrow and their bimba-red lips dry up sighing, stood they scratching the ground and bore they, with their tears spoiling their make-up and washing away the kunkuma on their breasts, silently the burden of their great distress. (30) With their Beloved not so loving at all addressing them to the contrary, while they for His sake had desisted from all their material desires, wiped they their tears arresting their crying and said they next with their voices choked up in the attachment in agony something back to Him. (31) The beautiful gopîs said: 'Your good self, o Mighty One, shouldn't speak so harshly renouncing all sorts of sensual pleasure; please reciprocate with our devotion at Your feet, do not play so hard-to-get rejecting us, be just like the Godhead, the Original Personality who reciprocates with those who desire liberation. (32) O dearest, You as the Knower of the Dharma thus spoke of the duty of women which would be her loyalty to husband, children and relatives, so be it, but isn't it so that You, o Lord, are the real object of this instruction; You, the Godhead most dear who for all embodied beings are the closest relative in being the soul? (33) The experts indeed give evidence of the attraction to You who eternally endears them as their very own Self, so what therefore of our husbands, children and relatives who give us trouble? Have mercy with us, o Supreme Controller, do not cut the hopes for You down that we entertained for so long, o Lotus-eyed One. (34) With ease You stole our minds, which were absorbed in our households, as well as our hands that were busy in household duties; our feet will not move one step away from Your feet - how can we go back to Vraja, what then should we do instead? (35) Please, o Dearest, pour the flood of the nectar of Your smiling glances and melodious songs rising from Your lips, over the fire within our hearts; otherwise will we with meditation place our bodies in the fire that burns of separation and go for the abode of Your feet, o Friend. (36) O You with Your lotus-like eyes, for the goddess of fortune is it a festival to be at the base of Your feet that, at times held dear by the people dwelling in the forest, we now will touch and from that moment on will we, filled by Your joy, for sure never be able to stand in the direct presence of any other man! (37) Like the goddess, who together even with Tulasî-devî desiring the dust of the lotusfeet, has obtained her position at Your bosom and for whose glance upon them, as it is, the others of enlightenment do endeavor to serve as servants, do we likewise also seek the dust of Your feet. (38) Therefore be of mercy with us, o Vanquisher of all Distress, Your feet we approached renouncing our homes in the hope to worship You, with Your beautiful smiles and glances for which our hearts have burned with an intense desire; o gem of all people, please allow us to serve. (39) Seeing Your hair around Your face, Your earrings, the beauty of Your cheeks and the nectar of Your lips smiling, the glances that make one fearless, the two of Your mighty arms and looking at Your chest, the only source of pleasure for the goddess, we are delivered as Your servants. (40) What woman within the three worlds, o dearest, would not be completely bewildered by the melody lines of the songs You draw from Your flute and then not deviate in civil conduct upon seeing this grace of the three worlds, this beautiful form of which (even) the cows, the birds, the trees and the deer carry a thrill of joy. (41) You, just as the Godhead, the Original Personality, protecting all gods and worlds, have taken birth as the Godhead, the evident remover of the fear and distress of the people of Vraja, therefore kindly place, o Friend of the Distressed, Your lotuslike hand on the burning breasts and heads of Your maidservants.'

(42) S'rî S'uka said: 'Having heard the gopîs' despondent words laughed full of mercy the Lord of all the Lords of Yoga who had been satisfied despite of His ever being satisfied within. (43) With them all together was He as splendid as the deerlike spotted moon surrounded by the stars, and made He as the Infallible Lord so magnanimous in His glances and proofs of affection their faces blossom with His broad smiles that beamed His jasmine-like teeth. (44) Being sung and singing Himself as the commander of hundreds of women wore He the five-colored [Vaijayantî] garland by which He beautified the forest in which He moved about. (45-46) Together with the gopîs He arrived at the river bank that, served by the waves, was cool with its sand and was pleasant of the fragrance of the lotuses carried by the wind. With the Vraja beauties stirring up Cupid took He pleasure in throwing His arms around them in embraces and that way touching their hair, belts, thighs and breasts with His hands, playfully stroking them with His fingernails and glancing at them, chatted He with them and laughed He. (47) This way receiving from Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the special attention of the Greater Soul, considered they themselves, growing proud, the best of all women on earth indeed. (48) Observing that they due to their fortune were in an intoxicated state of false pride, disappeared, by way of His grace, Lord Kes'ava from the spot with the purpose of bringing that pride down.'

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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/