Krsna said to these Gopis;, “Ok go home now. You have come, so I will now fulfil whatever desire you have. Whatever you want I will quickly fulfil, then you can return home and go back to where you came from.” He checked if they have any desire.

Krsna asked them; “Oh Gopis, is everything well in your homes? Are you happy? Has anything bad happened to you?” No inauspiciousness can happen in Vraja. Why did Krsna ask this? Seeing them come strangely dressed He asked them this, but He didn’t think this. He asked them these things to test them. Krsna asked; “What has happened? What problem has come? Why did you run into the forest so late at night like this dressed  so very strangely?”

The Gopis could not understand and thought, “Why is Krsna speaking like this?” They didn’t know how to reply and were silent. Looking down at the ground and scratching the dirt with their toes they thought, “How can we answer Him? We have nothing to say.”

Krsna saw they were not replying, so He said; “Oh, I think that you must have come because you are suffering and lamenting over something. You must have had something bad happen and therefore what can I say?”  Krsna began to tease them even more; “When someone is suffering from a difficult problem it is very hard to forget about it, it is very hard to put that out of one’s mind. If someone has had a very bad thing happen to them, then people like to hide it, however it does continue to churn in their heart.”

Krsna said, “Why are not you answering? What is the problem? You are standing silently like dolls and looking at the ground and in all directions. Why aren’t you speaking?” Seeing this mood of the gopis and seeing them standing silently, Krsna said with some pride, and in an external way, “Think everything through carefully and then tell me what you want Me to do?”

Krsna is not saying this in a neglectful way. He now asked them in a very sweet and humble mood; “Oh my dear gopis, you are so fortunate. Please tell Me why you have come to this lonely and solitary forest, on the full moon night, in the fresh of your youth?” Krsna now spoke in a very sweet and humble manner. He said; “What do you want my dear gopis? Why have you come here? Please tell Me what you want and I will try and fulfil your desire. What can I do to make you happy? Please tell Me openly, whatever it is you are desiring, don’t be shy.”

Still the gopis did not respond.  Krsna said; “Is everything alright in Vraja? What is the matter? Why are you not speaking? You haven’t told Me why you have come. Please, don’t be shy, speak openly.”

NITYA SIDDHA GOPIS – SADHANA-SIDDHA GOPIS – PREPARING FOR RASA

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains in the purport of this verse in his Sarartha Darsini commentary. He says this was the process for preparing for rasa. Krsna has manifested the place of rasa-lila in Vraja and He wanted to give the gopis this transcendental nectar. He wants to make them qualified, pure and related to the nitya-siddha Gopis. He is mostly talking to the sadhana-siddhas Gopis here, those who have recently come to Vraja and achieved the perfection to be in Vraja. He is desiring to make them connected to the nitya-siddhas, Radharani’s eternal associates.

Krsna specifically calls the sadhana-siddhas to help them and make them mature further. He does this by testing them. He asks them things to find out if they still have connection to anything material in this world.

If we have knowledge of the pure rasa then we can transcend and be free of any attachment to gain or loss, victory or defeat, or any problem that comes. We will be completely free of any mundane attachment to whatever external circumstances come to us. We will then be very peaceful, happy and always satisfied within ourselves and in our relationship with the Lord. Otherwise we can never get this transcendental rasa when we are still materially attached and always worried for our own gain and loss.

Krsna tests the Gopis in this way to help them. It is like dhog pita picara, meaning when someone taps on a drum or some musical instrument to make sure there are no cracks or holes. Krsna tested them to make sure there was no crack in their sadhana, and if they were mature and ready for His transcendental nectar. He was trying to make sure there were no holes in their pots so that when He gave His prema, or His aprakrta transcendental rasa, it would not leak out.

Krsna said to the gopis, “You have come here to this solitary forest and had My darsana.” This is not an ordinary thing. To have the darsana of Krsna when He is alone in the forest and He is ready to give His nectar, is not ordinary. Krsna then says to the gopis, “Welcome. Welcome.”

KRSNA TEASES THE GOPIS

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that Krsna spoke to the gopis in a very straight forward and simple manner. He asked; “Why have you come? What can I do to please you? Is everything well at home? Please tell Me without any shyness what can I do? How can I act in such a way to fulfil your desire? I want to satisfy you.”

On hearing this, the Gopis were thinking; “Oh lampat – cheater. Oh debauchee. You know why we have come. You called us here, why are You asking this. We wouldn’t have come if You had not called us with Your flute.” And Krsna told them; “Without any shyness you should tell Me what you want. You should explain what is the mood of your heart, then I can satisfy you and you can return home.”

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is saying, the Gopis coming to meet Krsna in the forest, doesn’t mean they wanted something material. They were thinking, “Oh Krsna, we don’t want anything from You. We haven’t come here for some material benefit. We don’t have any shortage of anything in our lives and homes. We haven’t come here to take anything from You. We have only come here to serve You and to fulfil Your desire. You are asking us how You can fulfil our desire, but we don’t want anything from You. We have come here only to please and serve You. You invited us here with your flute, that is why we left everything. We even dressed quickly and without proper awareness. Only thinking of You, we left everything and came to serve You. Why are You now asking us what we want? You know what we want.”

If someone has a misfortune fall upon them, the test of character is how they react to it, and how thy behave in such circumstances. If someone has some shortage, then they will run here and there looking for a way to alleviate the shortage. If there is some need they will run to whomever they can and ask for help. But if they are completely satisfied, then why will they go anywhere? They will be happy where they are.

When Indra tried to flood Vraja with the clouds of devastation, Krsna protected the gopis by lifting the mountain Giriraja Govardhana. Krsna said to them, “Remember when Indra tried to flood all of Vraja and I protected you under Giriraja? Has something similiar happened in Vraja? Has some demon attacked you, and you have run into the forest looking for help from Me?”

Now in that dark night Krsna said, “Oh there are many vicious and violent animals here in the forest and they could attack you. You shouldn’t come into the forest alone at night, this is not good. You have all come here separately and alone. It is not safe here. You should go home and stay there where it is safe.”

Now the gopis smiled shyly whilst looking down. Even though it was night time and they were in the forest, Krsna was very effulgent, it was a full moon and there wasn’t so many violent animals in Vraja. Krsna really was joking with the gopis by saying this.

Especially during the full moon time, from midnight until 3am, at that time specifically, the spirits and ghosts have influence. Siva’s associates, the different ghosts and spirits, maneaters, cannibals, raksashas, and witches have full influence during this time period.  After 3am it is brahma-muhurta, an auspicious time. From 9am to 12noon the demigods and goddesses come. At this time if there is a young girl or boy, the sun may enter every pore of their body and enjoy them. At night time the moon will enjoy them. Therefore no one is actually really chaste, especially if you are a young beautiful boy or girl. On seeing you the demigods and goddesses will come in a subtle form and try and enjoy you. They will not let you live chastely, so what can you do?

Krsna said to the Gopis, “This time is very dangerous. Demons are always looking for some beautiful girl to attack and enjoy. You should not go into the forest alone at night.” If someone is a little impure then ghosts and spirits will attack them.

Indra once came and served his step-mother. For 9 months when she had children in her womb Indra served her so nicely. She was thinking, “Why is Indra always serving me so much?” One day when she was very pregnant, she fell asleep without cleaning her hands and mouth after eating. Indra took that chance when she was a little impure and contaminated. He entered into her womb in a small form and cut her infant into 49 pieces. He thought that if this child was born then he will be his enemy and will try to kill him. When she woke she saw 49 lumps. She asked her Guru, “How did this happen?” He told her, “Oh Indra served you so much so definitely there was a motive. When you were unclean and he entered your womb and cut up your baby.” Later they all took birth as the Maruts.

We should all be very careful. People may come and serve you so much, but only to steal all your good qualities. When one becomes a Guru he should be very careful. Many people may come who want to be their dear disciples, but what is their real motive? It may be only to steal everything or to destroy you. It is very dangerous, especially if you have a big position, or are very young and beautiful. People will come and serve you, make a relationship with you, but the motive is only to steal and enjoy you.

Krsna said to the gopis; “Oh it is night time and many spirits, ghosts and wicked people come out at this dangerous time. Why have you left the safety of your homes and come into the forest so late at night?”

The Gopis could have said; “We are fearless. You are here. You are Narayana.” But they did not say this. They were decorated with all good qualities and were fearless. Krsna was just teasing them saying; “You should go home it’s not safe here.”

If the Gopis had answered, “Oh we came together with many other Gopis so no one could have attacked us.” Krsna would then say, “No it is the gor ratri. It is night time, and very dangerous time to be in the forest. In Vraja it is safer in the village.”

Don’t think there is no one in the forest. You may be walking alone but you do not know who is watching or waiting to capture and kidnap you. You may be alone but still it may be very dangerous. If you are in a temple, in a place with many devotees, then you can be safe. But if you are wandering alone in the jungle or the forest you don’t know what is happening there. Many animals are killed in the forest. Many hunters are there.

That place may have some tamo-guna, some bad influence that can affect your mind. You should be very careful because you are going alone and are not very strong, then how will you protect yourself? Krsna said; “Oh you don’t know who is in the forest waiting to attack you, and there is no one here to help you. You should not stay, go home. Why? On one side it is night time and there are many violent animals roaming in the forest and there could be hunters who may hunt you. You should quickly return home to Vraja.”

If Krsna were to ask them, “What is the purpose of you coming here? Women should not stay in the forest alone. Men do not have to worry so much.” Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that ladies do not have the same strength as men, therefore they should be even more careful. They should not wander around alone. Krsna says, “You are abala, – without much strength so you should quickly return home.”

If the Gopis were to say; “No. We came together. It is a full moon and it is not that dark. It is almost like day time because the full moon is so bright.” But Krsna said that ladies should not be walking around alone and without protection, and especially at night time when it is such a dangerous and fearful time.

The Gopis could also say; “Oh Kamala Locana. Oh Lotus-eyed one. It is not a dark night and it is not so dangerous in Vraja. There are not any wild and wicked animals or violent men, so don’t worry, we are not alone, we are all together here.”

If there is a lion in the forest, and if he is hunting, then he will capture any pray and kill it. So Krsna was saying, “Oh gopis, there may be many dangerous animals like lions and tigers and you don’t know how to fight them, you are just simple cowherd girls. What will you do if you were attacked by many tigers or lions? I would not be able to protect you alone. Therefore you should quickly return home, don’t stay here.”

If the Gopis said, “Oh Krsna we aren’t afraid of any violent animals, hunters or anything.” Krsna would tease the gopis saying, “Oh you are very thin waisted girls. You aren’t strong, you are very weak girls. How will you save yourself from a very powerful animal or man? You shouldn’t be wandering here, it is not a proper thing in society.”

The Gopis say, “In Vraja no one fights, or has a violent mood. Everyone is peaceful, and there is no fear of any violence happening here in the forest. We are walking in the forest on a full moon night and it is very peaceful like a beautiful garden. There is no danger so why are you telling us to go home? You have called us here with your flute and we have come, so do not tease us like this.”

Still Krsna says, “No go home to Vraja. It is not proper for you to be here alone with Me.”

The Gopis were then thinking, “Why is Krsna teasing us like this?” Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says the gopis were thinking, “What an unfortunate condition we have. We are always trapped in our homes and now Krsna has so mercifully called us with His own flute by our great fortune and we have been able to escape the bondage of our homes. But now having come here He is only teasing us and telling us to return to our homes. He is trying to kick us out and send us back to our homes, completely rejecting us. Oh alas! Alas!”

Krsna said; “It is night time right now. If it was brahma-muhurta (early morning) that would be another thing. Being night time you shouldn’t be here alone.” But the gopis were thinking, “There is no one against us here in Vrindavan. Even all the animals are our friends.”

Then Krsna said; “Ok you have come here, so sit and take rest for 10-15 minutes and then quickly go back to your homes. Why? Because you should act in accordance with proper time, place, and circumstance. You are all young and beautiful girls and it is nighttime here and there are many Demigods that could come and try and steal you. I am also a brahmacari and you should know that girls should not come to a brahmacari at nighttime when he is alone. It is not proper. So why have you here? Don’t you know I am known as  a  famous brahmacari in Vraja? I don’t know why you have come here and are standing in front of Me. Quickly go back to your homes.

When Krsna spoke like this, if the Gopis were to say; “Oh Krsna we are all friends here. We have no strange mood and are not afraid of anyone here in Vraja, evenall  the animals are our friends”. Krsna says; “No, you should understand that by birth you are women, so you should act appropriately according to your position. You should not be here alone with Me, it is not proper etiquette. People will criticize you for this.”

In this way Krsna began to tease and test the gopis.

Guruvarga ki Jaya! Srila Gurudeva ki Jaya! (Excerpted from the up and coming Bhaktabandhav book publication, “Rasa Pancadhyayi”. For more info contact: rasik@kripa.tv )