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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Jiva Goswami > Gopala Champu > First Champu > Twenty-sixth Purana

Twenty-sixth Purana


Expansion of the Rasa Dance



     1. Snigdhakantha said: When they heard Krishna’s sweet words, the gopis felt the anguish they had felt in separation from Him was now destroyed. However, the worry and doubt in their hearts was not destroyed. Considering the situation, Krishna became very meek and submissive to their wishes.

     2. To ther gopis, whose faces were like abodes of blossoming lotus flowers, and whose eyes were charming like restless khanjana birds, Krishna sweetly said:

     3. “For My sake you long suffered. In this secluded place We will now celebrate a festival of fulfilling your difficult-to-fulfill desire.” In the following words Krishna described the nectar rasa-dance:.

     4. “The autumn fuull-moon is the lamp. Vrindavana forest is the dancing-arena, You girls of vraja are the playful and expert heroines. This is the perfect opportunity. I am joyful Hari. Who is better than Me at celebrating festivals? O beloved gopis, what festival is better than the rasa dance?

     5. Then Krishna became like a full moon risen from the ocean of Vraja. The cakora birds of the gopis’ eyes gazed at the full moon Krishna. Then Krishna expanded to appear beside each pair of gopis. These forms were visible only to the two gopis at the left and right. With embraces and other like activities, Krishna delighted the gopis. Then, to enjoy the rasa-dance pastime, the gopis formed a great circle on the Yamuna’s bank in a beautiful and smooth place free of mud, kusha grass, or other impediments.

     6. Going to the Yamuna’s banks, Krishna at every moment fulfilled the desires in the gopis hearts. They gazed at Him with their eyes. The hairs on the gopis bodies stood erect with bliss. How can I describe the great festival they celebrated? Even today that festival has not come to an end.

     7. Gazing at the splendid beauty of the gopis arrayed in a great circle like a bracelet around Him, forest-flower-garlanded Krishna thought:

     8. “The circle of the moon above is splendid and glorious, and the circle of gopis on the Yamuna’s bank is also splendid and glorious. However, the moon’s splendor is marred by its spots, but the gopis’ splendor is not marred in any way.

     9. “Aha! The beautiful gopis are like a great golden bracelet. If I become like many sapphires set wityhin that bracelet, that would be very beautiful and pleasing to the heart. Therefore I should now enter amongst these gopis.” Thinking in this way, Krishna acted according to His desire. Why would He not have expanded into many Krishnas at that time?

     10. Krishna and the doe-eyed gopis were very splendid and glorious on the Yamuna’s banks. Indeed, the moon in the sky seemed to be a reflection of them.

     11. The Yamuna’s banks were the moon’s friend. The beautiful gopis with raised eyebrows were the Yamuna’s banks’ friend. Thwe many graceful forms of Krishna dancing in the circle were the gopis’ friends.

     12. Dancing between each two gopis in that rasa dance, Krishna held the gopis hanbds and placed His arms around their shoulders and backs.

     13. A fair gopi and a dark Krishna. A fair gopi and a dark Krishna. This was repeated hundreds of thousands of times in that rasa-dance circle. In the middle of that circle Krishna played the flute and danced with Radha.

     14. When Krishna first enjoyed the rasa dance His age was Kaishora (11-15 years). This Lord Parashara Muni clearly explains (in Vishnu Purana). At that time Krishna thought, “The teenage gopis have made My life fruitful. Aha! Look. Thenhairs of My body now stand erect with bliss. This I declare.”

     15. Although Krishna enjoyed pastimes with many different gopis, the gopi named Radha was the most dear to him. I think Her glorious activities have no peer.

     16. To broing auspiciousness to the gopis, Krishna accepted them as His associates and danced with them in the dancing-arena. The touch of His body aroused the gopis amorous desires.

     17. Splendid like gold, their eyes smiling, their bracelets and other ornaments jingling with the music’s rhythm, and their playful gestures filled with amorous hints, the gopis danced. In their midst Krishna, His form like sapphire, shone with great splendor.

     18. Their eyebrows gracefully curved, their forms filled with youthful splendor, theior dancing movements playful, splendid, graceful, and expert, their moving bracelets, belts, and anklets jingling as they danced, the gopis were like the dancers in the celestial worlds.

     19. Aha! The rhythmic jangling of the anklets and other ornaments in the rasa-dance attracted the demigods flying nearby in their airplanes. Flying nearby and listening to the songs and musical instruments, the demigods did not know whether they belonged to other demigods or to some other kind of being.

     20. The demigoddesses said: “Look! Look! Krishna sings and the beautiful gopis sing in response. Then the gopis sing and Krishna sings in response.

     21. Look! Playful Krishna walks on the riverbank. Now Krishna embraces the gopis. Learned in music, the gopis sing very sweetly.”

     22. With graceful gestures, playful motions, and movements of eyes and eyebrows, the gopis gracefully danced.

     23. Expert at singing, musical instruments, and dance, the demigods and goddesses sounded many musical instruments. Then Krishna and the gopis danced with great entusiasm. This is descriobed in the following verse: As the demigods splendid sounded dundubhis, dindimas, damarus, and mrdangas, Krishna and the gopis danced with great energy. They seemed to have many millions of feet, hands, necks, and hips.

     24. Gracefully moving their hands, Krishna and the gopis looked like warriors expert at fighting with weapons.

     25. Krishna and the gopis moved their hands this way and that. Sometimes they held hands. Sometimes they did not. In this way dark Krishna and the fair gopis enjoyed the bliss of the rasa-dance.

     26. Again and again the demigods showered flowers on the circle of dark Krishnas and fair gopis. Although the flowers were certainly falling down from above, they seemed to be rains falling up from the dark monsoon-cloud Krishnas and the glittering lightning-flash gopis.

     27. Their hearts filled with spiritual love, the demigods and goddesses called out to lotus-eyed Krishna, who now stood before their eyes by the arrangement of the Yogamaya potency. Playing on their musical instruments, the demigods and goddesses mad a great tumult of sweet music.

     28. The demigoddesses then sang the following song.


A Song





jaya jaya sad-guna-sara

jagati vishishtam kalayitum ishtam gokula-lasad-avatara



     O most virtuous Lord who descended to Gokula to give the best gift to the world, all glories to You! All glories to You!



kamalabhaveshvara-vaikuntheshvara-patni-cintitam eva

rajasi rase valita-vilase nija-ramanibhir deva



     Brahma, Shiva, and Vaikuntheshvara Narayana’s wife Lakshmi meditate on You. O Lord, You shine in the playful rasa-dance with Your beautiful gopi-beloveds.



natavat parikara nikhila-kaladhara racita-paraspara-moda

alingana-mukharitama-maha-sukha ballava-vadhu-hrita-toda



     O Lord who enjoys graceful dancing with the gopis, O Lord who pleases them with affectionate words and embraces, and who removes their suffering,



vyativikshana-krita-shatvika-parivrita-mandalam anu bahu-murte

vraja-taruni-gana-racita-nayana-panasa cita-vashi-kriti-purte



     O Lord who expanded into many forms to stand beside each gopi gazing on You in ecstasy, O Lord completely purchased by the young vraja-gopis’ glances,







     The gopis gracefully moved their lotus feet, flower-petal hands, and eyebrows as they danced. They bent their waists, Their jewel earrings swung, the hairs on their bodies stood up, they perspired, and they displayed signs of ecstatic happiness.



kalayati bhavata ghana-samyavata tadid iva sarva lalana

api vah parimiti-tara-tamatam iti seyam jNapayati tulana



     O Lord, You are like a dark raincloud, and all the gopis are like lightning flashes. This comparison is perfect.



su-madhura-kanthe nrityotkanthe tava rati-matra-prite

tvat-sparshamrita-mada-caya-samvrita-citte bhava-krite



     The gopis sing sweetly and long to dance. Your advances are their only pleasure. The nectar of Your touch fills their hearts with bliss. They are purchased by Your love.



yuvati-jate gitaja-shatenavrita-vishva-prabhave

yas tvam rajasi tat-sukha-bhag asi nama etasmai prabhave



     As the gopis’ singing fills the universe with happiness, You shine with joy. O Lord, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You.



ya saha bhavata vismayam avata svara-jatir ati-shuddham

gayati seyam nikhilair geyam kalayati nija-guna-ruddham



     You become filled with wonder as a certain gopi sweetly sings with You. With all the gopis She sings the praises of Your transcendental qualities.



tata utkarsham valayita-harsham valayati yeyam gane

sa shri-radha valitaradha bhavata kalita mane



     Her song brings You great happiness. You respond by worshiping Her with great respect.



yeyam rase shramaja-vilase vigalan-malli-valaya

sa bhavad-amse lasad-avatamse dharati karam vara-kalaya



     Exhausted from the pastimes of the rasa dance, and Her jasmine-bracelet slipping, She gracefully places Her hand on Your shoulder, which is touched by Your glistening earrings.



ya camsam paribhuja-parigham paricumbati tava sa-vinodam

hrishyati seyam tanv-aganeyam yad-roma ca samodam



     She playfully kisses Your arm and shoulder. She is very happy. Unknown to others, the hairs of Her body stand up with joy.



cala-kundala-dhara ganda-mukura-vara samisha-sparsha-vidhane

tambula-drava-parivartad dravam ayase cumbana-dane



     O Lord whose earrings swing to and fro! O Lord whose cheeks are splendid mirrors! On a pretext You touch Her. Giving Her a kiss, You both exchange the nectar of chewed betel-nuts.



esha nartana-kirtana-vartana-shiNjita-jata-sutala

tava ramanuja karam atulambuja-misham adhad dhridi bala



     This girl is expert in singing and dancing, and Her moving ornaments tinkling in graceful rhythms. O Ramanuja (younger brother of Balarama), pretending that Your hand is a peerlessly beautiful lotus flower, She places it on Her heart.



atha rasa-krama-parivalita-shrama-vanita-lakshita-deha

parito-bhramanaka-gana-vishramanaka sa-mudita-parama-sneha



     O Lord who noticed the gopis’ fatigue in the rasa dance, O Lord who made them rest, O happy, affectionate Lord,



kavi-krita-nishcaya-shubhra-yashash-caya mala-samudaya-harin

jaya jaya jaya jaya jaya jaya jaya jaya jaya jaya rasa-viharin



     O Lord whose splendid fame is recounted by the greatest poets and philosophers, O Lord splendid with flower garlands, O enjoyer of the rasa dance, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, glory, to You!


     29. The second couplet of this song (rajasi rase valita-vilase) is explained in the following verse: Krishna’s form is the crest jewel of all eternally handsome forms. By His own potency He manifests His spiritual humanlike form. His form fills everyone, including even Himself, with wonder. Krishna is Himself the ornament that decorates the ornaemnts He wears. He is the beauty that makes the gopis beautiful.

     30. In Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.2.12) it is said: “The      Lord appeared in the material world by His internal potency, Yogamaya. He came in His eternal form, which is just suitable for His pastimes. These pastimes were wonderful for everyone, even for those proud of their own opulence, including the Lord Himself in His form as the Lord of Vaikuntha. Thus His (Shri Krishna’s) transcendental body is the ornament of all ornaments.”* It is also said in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.6): “As Krishna and the gopis danced together it appeared that Krishna was a greenish sapphire locket in the midst of a golden necklace decorated with valuable stones.”*


     31. Since this is true of Krishna, how much more must it apply to Radhaalso.

     32. The eighth couplet of this song (yuvati-jate) is explained in the following verse: The vraja-gopis are teenagers (kishori) eternally. They never took birth. Their glories fillall the worlds.

     33. The ninth couplet of this song (ya saha bahavata) is explained in this verse: I offer my respectful obeisances to Shri Radhika. Hearing Her beautiful songs glorifying Her beloved Krishna, the gopis become filled with wonder and the demigods headed by Brahma, Shiva, and Indra become filled with bliss.

     34. The thirteenth couplet of this song (cala-kundala) is explained in this verse: Twice Krishna sipped the nectar of Radha’slips. Why would He not taste the betelnuts chewed by Her?

     35. In the confidential meetings of Vraja’s people, Krishna is always praised with words like, “Krishna is the root of spirituallove. His form is playful and glorious.” I offer my respectful obeisances to Radhika. Of all of Krishna’s gopi-beloveds, Radhika has the most precious jewel of love for Krishna.

     36. Bringing Him completely under Her control, Radha enjoys pastimes with Her beloved Krishna. On the pretext of manifesting a form where each take one half, Shiva and Parvati do not enjoy pastimes in that way.

     37. The poets speculate that Shiva and Parvati combine to become each half of a single form. I say that Radha and Krishna are both filled with perfect and complete love for each other. This is known in all the three worlds. Because They are thus perfect and complete in Themselves, it is not right that They combone in a single form.

     38. Wghen the divine singing and instrumental music became stopped, the jangling ornaments and buzzing bees provided musical accompaniment to the dancing. When these two became exhausted and stopped, the earrings and crowns of the dancers continued to glisten as the dancers continued to dance.

     39. Krishna and the gopis enjoyed smiling pastimes of embracing, touching, and gazing with loving eyes. As Krishna and His beloved gopis danced, They seemed to be reflections of each other.

     40. When the rasa-dance festival came to an end, the gopis had no power to keep in order their flower garlands, hair, the garments on their necks and breasts, their other garments, or their ornaments. When they meditate on this rasa-dance, the great sages forget everything else. The gopis were very wonderful and glorious in the rasa-dance. What narration is like the narration of the rasa-dance?

     41. Watching the rasa dance, the demigoddesses flying in airplanes in the sky became filled with passion and wonder. This we have heard. The moon and stars wandered and wandered in the sky. In this way the wonder and sweetness of the rasa-dance continued to be manifest.

     42. Then Krishna’s rasa-dance pastimes with His dear and passionate gopi-beloveds, who were eager for more pastimes, came to an end.

     43. When the rasa-dance came to an end, Krishna and the gopis wished to enjoy amorous pastimes. Entering with each gopi into a different forest grove, Intent on become ornaments decorating each other, To enjoy amorous pastimes Krishna and the gopis entered private places unseen by the others. There They embraced and enjoyed many pastimes.

     44. When He said, “Ah! Without Me, your beloved, you must have been plunged into the darkness of sorrows,” and when He embraced her, a gopi wept, sprinkling Krishna weith the tears from her eyes.

     45. Saying, “I did not know that this girl delicate like a new leaf from a tree, had become so exhauisted,” Krishna again and again wiped the perspiration and tears from each gopi’s face.

     46. When they were exhausted from the rasa-dance pastime, Krishna wiped the perspiration and tears from each one of the beautiful-eyebrowed gopis.

     47. When, carrying various kinds of paraphernalia,  Vrinda-devi’s assistants asked her to describe Krishna’spassionate pastimes, Vrinda-devi replied: “Krishna wiped the tears from the gopis eyes, wiped the perspiration from their faces and the hair of their heads, fanned them with a cloth, kissed the egde of their cheeks, anointed their bodies with fragrant oils, dressed them in fine garments, offered them betelnuts, spoke sweet words to them, and glorified them. In this way Krishna relieved the fatigue His beloved gopis felt from the rasa dance.

     48. “With smiling eyes the gopis gazed at Krishna’s face. They fanned Him with new leaves, massaghed His limbs, rejoined His broken flower-garland, rearranged His disarrayed garments, spoke cheerful joking words that pleased His heart, and offered Him betelnuts mixed with camphor. In this way the dear gopis relieved the fatigue Krishna felt from the rasa dance.

     49. Approaching her, the gopi assistants smiled and again asked Vrinda-devi: “O goddess, did you see how, when their garments and ornaments were in disarray, Krishna and the gopis dressed and decorated each other? O friend, we ask of you this one favor: Without telling us any lies, please reveal to us those secret pastimes.”

     50. Smiling, Vrinda then thought in her heart: “What the girls say is true. Krishna and the gopis were seen again and again enjoying many pastimes of singing songs to remove Their fatigue, delight their sense, and bring auspoiciousness.”

     51. Concluding his narrattion, Snigdhakantha said: O Radha, Your beloved is very difficult to attain. Of all the gopis, Krishna chose You.