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The Story of Maha Raas Leela

..RamKiJanaki.. IF-Addictz

Joined: 20 August 2008
Posts: 50792

Posted: 26 June 2009 at 8:26pm | IP Logged
Hi Guys,
I found this article on the Internet containing the story of Maha Raas Leela of Bhagwan Krishna, Radharani, and the Gopis. It is very interesting.

Now let us come to the actual story part. Remember Krishna
was a ten-year old boy at that time. Probably even less.
The Gopis of Brindavan did a month-long Katyayani vrata.
The purpose: To get Lord Krishna as their husband (pati, in
Sanskrit). The vrata itself was a very complicated one:
Bathing in the Yamuna at daybreak, making an image of the
Goddess Parvati with sand on the river bank and
worshipping Her with all the formalities. It was at the end
of this month-long worship, the incident (as described
earlier) of the robbing of their clothes by the Lord
happened. The Lord chastised them that they had no business
to bathe naked in the river, particularly when they were
supposed to be engaged in this Katyayani vrata. After
telling them that his treatment of them was in punishment
of their misbehaviour, he gave them back their clothes;
but also promised them that very soon their desire for
sporting with the Lord, for which they did the Katyayani
vrata, would be fulfilled. And in this context, he makes a
very important statement which is significant for our
understanding of the Ras Leela:

'In the case of whomsoever that has turned their minds
towards Me, the desire or lust that thereby arises in them
would not result in bad, just as a fried or baked seed
would not sprout again'
(X -22 – 26):

na may-yAveshita-dhiyAM kAmaH kAmAya kalpate /
bharjitA kathitA dhAnA prAyo bIjAya neshhyate //

Note: Recall that all books of Vedanta tell us how a man of
wisdom (Brahma-jnAni) has no karma chasing him, because they are
like a fried seed in his case and it will not sprout!

The night of that fulfillment arrived in the autumn
following. The requisites for the divine play were all
created by Him by His mAyA. "yogamAyAm-upAshritaH"
(resorting to His yoga-mAyA) says the text (10-29-1). On
that moonlit night, His melodious note on His flute, played
in the woodlands adjoing the Yamuna, went all the way to
the ears of the gopis and enraptured them. It pleasantly
distracted every one and everything from normal activity
and enchanted them to revel in ecstasy. Even shrubs and
trees, flowers and leaves, birds and animals 'stood
enchanted' with that rapturous divine musical rendering.

No sooner the Gopis heard the music of His flute, than
they were all captivated by the symphony of joy that
emanated from it. They came from all sides to the spot
where He was playing the flute. Some were milking their
cows, some were serving food to their husbands, some were
keeping busy with their cosmetics, some were cleaning
their houses, -- but all of them dropped their work just
where it was and ran towards Krishna. Their husbands,
brothers and parents did try to stop them but of no avail.
The minds of the Gopis had been lured away by the music of
the flute and by the thought of Lord Krishna and they
forgot all about themselves.

Some of the gopis, however, could not manage to get out of
their houses, and instead they remained home with eyes
closed, meditating upon Him in pure love. For these gopis
the intolerable separation from their beloved caused an
intense agony that burned away all impious karma
("tIvra-pApa-dhutA-shubhAH" – X-29-10). By meditating upon
Him they realized His embrace, and the ecstasy they then
felt exhausted their material piety. Although Lord Krishna
is the Supreme Soul, these girls simply thought of Him as
their lover and associated with Him in that intimate mood.
Thus their karmic bondage was nullified and they abandoned,
as it were, their gross material bodies.

At this point, King Parikshit asks a pertinent question to
Sage Suka who is narrating the story: O sage, the gopis
knew Krishna only as their lover, not as the Supreme
Absolute Truth. So how could these girls, their minds
caught up in the waves of worldly love, free themselves
from material attachment? And the Rishi replies: Since
even Sisupala, who hated Krishna, achieved perfection, then
what to speak of the Lord's dear devotees. The Supreme Lord
is inexhaustible and immeasurable, and He is untouched by
Prakrti because He is its controller. His personal
appearance in this world is meant for bestowing the highest
benefit on humanity. Persons who constantly direct their
lust, anger, fear, protective affection, feeling of
impersonal oneness or friendship toward Lord Hari are sure
to become absorbed in thought of Him. You should not be so
astonished, Oh King, because you are the unique one who had
the benefit of seeing His beatific presence even while you
were in your mother's womb. (X-29-13 to 16).

Krishna saw them all coming, and when they had gathered, he
told them to go back. He waved them back saying that their
first duty was in their home with their husbands and
relatives. He says: "I know you have ties of attachment for
Me. It is but proper. All creatures in the world will find
delight in Me ('prIyante mayi jantavaH' : X-29-23). But
your duty is elsewhere. For a woman from a respectable
family, petty adulterous affairs are always condemned. They
bar her from heaven, ruin her reputation and bring her
difficulty and fear". And He ends this sermon by making a
famous declaration (X-29-27) which He himself repeats

shravaNAt darshanAt dhyAnAt mayi bhAvo'nukIrtanAt /
na tathA sannikarshheNa pratiyAta tato gRhAn //

"Transcendental love for Me arises by the devotional
processes of hearing about Me, seeing My Deity form,
meditating on Me and faithfully chanting My glories. The
same result is not achieved by mere physical proximity. So
please go back to your homes".

But the Gopis don't listen. To his argument that their duty
is to their husbands and families, they reply that He is
the pati, the husband of the entire world and therefore of
them all, and so their first duty is to Him. "Not only
that, Oh Lord, our minds which were all along with our
families and our work have now been totally captivated by
You. Our hands and feet are not ours. Our minds are not
ours. They are all yours. They refuse to do any work which
is not directed at You. So don't throw us back. Deign to
accept us as your servants". And they were steadfast in
this determination. Seeing their steadfastness, Krishna
decided to please them.

iti viklavitaM tAsAM shrutvA yogeshvareshvaraH /
Prahasya sadayaM gopIH AtmArAmo'pyarIramat // X-29-42

Smiling upon hearing these despondent words from the gops,
Lord Krishna, the supreme master of all masters of mystic
yoga, mercifully satisfied them, although He is Himself

He was Himself AtmArAma, that is One who is fulfilled in
Himself, by Himself for Himself. He has nothing to obtain
which He does not already have. (cf. nAnavAptam-avAptavyam,
... Gita III-22). When He thus moved in intimate terms with
the Gopis, very soon they thought highly of themselves.
They thought they were the greatest women on Earth. And the
Lord became aware of their pride and arrogant thought, and
intending to bless them with the right kind of
spirituality, immediately vanished!

And then begins a long wailing and searching, by the Gopis.
They could not stand this separation from the Lord. They
lose their head and become really mad for Him. This is
called the experience of 'viraha', separation. It is said
by all exponenets of bhakti that the highest form of bhakti
is the experience of this viraha from the Lord. We think we
are all very devoted to God. But do we feel the pangs of
separation from Him as the gopis felt?

People say God does not take the offering we give Him ; but
do we offer it the way Sabari offered Him?
[ "lok kahte hai bhagwAn khAte nahiM;
kyA haM shabarI kI taraH khilAtehaim?" ]

People say that God does not come to our rescue; but do we
call Him with that conviction and pangs of anxiety that
was characteristic of Draupadi's call?
[ "lok kahte hai bhagwAn Ate nahiM;
kyA haM draupadI kI taraH bulAte haiM?"]

People say that God does not bless us; but do we love Him
with that intensity of Radha's love?

["lok kahte hai bhagwaan prasAd karte nahiM;
kyA ham rAdhA kI tarah pyAr karte haiM?"]

PraNAms to all devotees of Krishna.
Raasa Leela of Krishna with Gopis of Brindavan - 3 of 4


To continue our story. The Gopis keep roaming about in
the woods, searching for Him. In the process of this
roaming, they identify the footsteps of their Lord and
try to follow those footsteps. Lo and behold! They do not
find their Lord but they find one more pair of footsteps
side by side with the Lord's footsteps! And they look at it
carefully. They recognise it as a woman's footsteps. Their
jealousy knows no bounds. How come! One of their own group,
has found it possible to be with the Lord and is now
enjoying the privilege of His company all alone! What a
supreme fortunate circumstance for her! She must be the
most beloved of Krishna among all of them!

On the other hand that single gopi who was with Krishna had
an interesting experience. She certainly enjoys the company
of the Lord, all alone. But that very enjoyment puffs up
her head and she tries to aspire for more of the Lord
than the others. Instead of walking up along with the Lord,
she suggests to Him that He may carry her on His
shoulders, and to her great satisfaction the Lord agrees to
do that. He says "Alright, get up on my shoulders" and he
poses for her. But when she attempts to climb up on His
shoulders, He is no more there – He has vanished! That was
the end of her puffed up pride! And the rest of the
company joins her now and together they all search for the

Incidentally, this single gopi is perhaps the Radha of
later literature. The name Radha does not occur in the

When finally the moon went behind the clouds and there was
no more moonlight, they all returned to their starting
place and spent their time talking about Krishna. Their
minds absorbed in thoughts of Him, they conversed about
Him, acted out His pastimes and felt themselves filled with
His presence. They no more remembered their homes as they
loudly sang the glories of Krishna's transcendental
qualities: The shloka which says this, namely,

tan-manaskAs-tad-AlApAs-tad-viceshhTAs-tad-AtmikAH /
tad-guNAn-eva gAyantyaH nAtmAgArANi sasmaruH // X-30-43

is one of the most famous quotes from Shrimad Bhagavatam,
because it characterises the supreme prema-bhakti of the
Gopis. It is considered to be at the apex of all bhakti
forms. In fact, it reflects exactly what Krishna himself
describes in the Gita (V-17):

tad-buddhayas-tad-AtmAnas-tan-nishhTAs-tat-parAyaNAH /
gacchanty-apunar-AvRttiM jnAna-nirdhUta-kalmashhAH //


Those who have their intellect absorbed in That, whose Self
is That, who are steadfast in That, who have That as their
supreme Goal-they attain the state of non-returning, their
dirt having been removed by Knowledge.

This kind of total absorption in God is the ultimate in
Bhakti. That is why the Gopis are cited as the supreme
example of self-effacing bhakti. There have been several
types of devotees all over time and all over the world. But
the Lord values only such selfless bhakti. The bhakti of
the gopis is unique in all of history, because, they did
not achieve that kind of superlative approbation from the
Lord by any of the usual means of spiritual living, namely,
charity, ritual sacrifice, ritualistic vrata, religious
discipline, penance, philosophical speculation, or yogic
practice. None of these they had. None of these can give
that kind of union with the Lord as the constant mental
association with Him that they did have. (Narayaneeyam:

aikyaM te
tvat-sangenaiva gopyaH kila sukRti-tamAH
prApur-Ananda-sAndraM /
bhakteSh-vanyeShu bhUas-svapi bahu-manuShe bhaktim-eva
tan-me tvad-bhaktim-eva dRDaya hara gadAn kRShNa
vAtAlayesha //

That state of supremely blissful union with Thee, which is
difficult to obtain through (disciplines like) charity,
(ritual) sacrifices, observance of vows, self-control,
austerities, knowledge (sAnkhya), and yoga, was attained by
the blessed gopikas of Brindavan, through just personal
attachment to Thee as their own beloved. Numerous are Thy
other devotees, but it is this loving personal devotion of
the gopikas that has received Thy highest appreciation.
Therefore Oh Krishna, Oh Lord of Guruvayoor, May Thou
strengthen devotion in me and destroy my ailments.

In fact this underscores the importance of personal
involvement with the Lord in intimate terms, from the heart
of hearts. All the formalities of our religious observances
pale into insignificance before such a personal
relationship with God. Whatever we may do, we must strive
to see that this innate feeling of love for the Lord
becomes the undercurrent. This is the only thing He asks
from us. More than intellectual understanding of the
various nuances of scriptures and philosophy, what He
expects from us is this self-negating love for Him and all
that stands for Him, namely, the universe. One may recall
here Gita IX – 34:

manmanA bhava madbhakto madyAjI mAM namaskuru /
mAmevaiShyasi yuktvaivaM AtmAnaM mat-parAyaNaH //

meaning, Saturate your mind with me; be devoted to me; work
for me; bow down to me; having thus united your whole self
with me, taking me as the supreme Goal, you shall come unto
me. This self-negating love has been defined by Narada in
his bhakti-sutra, as follows (Sutra 54):

guNa-rahitaM kAmanA-rahitaM pratikShaaNa-vardhamAnaM
avicchinnaM sUkShma-taram anubhava-rUpaM.

Meaning, (This pure love is) without attributes, without
the poison of desire, every moment increasing, unbroken,
subtlest, and of the nature of sheer immediate experience.

In fact almost every exponent of bhakti says the same

Let us come back to the story. The Gopis, having lost track
of Krishna in the physical world, spend their time now
singing about Him in all ecstasy. This singing as told in
18 delightful verses of Shrimad Bhagavatam is called
"gopikA-gItaM". It is chapter 31 of Skanda 10. In
traditional India these 18 verses are usually taught to
young girls for them to obtain the fullest grace of God,
particularly with respect to their marriage. Jayadeva's
Gita Govindam derives inspiration from this. Let us see
just three shlokas out of the 18. In the practical
performace of the dance of gopikA-gItaM it is common to use
the word 'kRshhNa' repeatedly to keep the beat:

jayati te'dhikaM (kRshhNa) janmanA vrajaH
shrayata indirA (kRshhNa) shashvad-atra hi /
dayita dRshyatAM (kRshhNa) dikshhu tAvakAH
tvayi dhRtAsavaH (kRshhNa) tvAM vicinvate // (X-31-1)

O beloved, Your birth in the land of Vraja has made it
exceedingly glorious, and thus Indir, the goddess of
fortune, always resides here. It is only for Your sake that
we, Your devoted servants, maintain our lives. We have been
searching everywhere for You, so please show Yourself to

na khalu gopikA (kRshhNa) nandano bhavAn
akhila-dehinAM (kRshhNa) antar-Atma-dRk /
vikhanasArthito (kRshhNa) vishva-guptaye
sakha udeyivAn (kRshhNa) sAtvatAm kule // (X-31-4)

You are not actually the son of the gop Yas'od, O friend,
but rather the indwelling witness in the hearts of all
embodied souls. Because Lord Brahm prayed for You to come
and protect the universe, You have now appeared in the
Stvata dynasty.

tava kathAmRtaM (kRshhNa) tapta-jIvanaM
kavibhir-IDitaM (kRshhNa) kalmashhApahaM /
shravaNa-mangaLaM (kRshhNa) shrImad-AtataM
bhuvi gRNanti te (kRshhNa) bhuridA janAH // (X-31-9)

The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your
activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this
material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned
sages, eradicate one's sinful reactions and bestow good
fortune upon whoever hears them. They are filled with
spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of
Godhead must have been munificent.

(To be concluded in one more post)

PraNAms to all devotees of Krishna. Radhe Krishna.


The following 1 member(s) liked the above post:


..RamKiJanaki.. IF-Addictz

Joined: 20 August 2008
Posts: 50792

Posted: 26 June 2009 at 8:31pm | IP Logged

I am really looking forward to the Maha Raas Leela episode of JSK!Tongue I know Meghan (Krishna) will be fantabulous but I hope Kritika (Radha) is trained to be graceful and modest for that epi as it is a very important part of Shri Krishna and Radha's story!Blushing

Following, I will post all the Raas Leela songs of previous serials/movies. If I forgot one, please add the video so that we can enjoy all the various Raas Leela songs until JSK's is shown.Smile
This one is from Ramanand Sagar's Shri Krishna serial starring Swapnil Joshi (Krishna) and Shweta Rastogi (Radha)
..RamKiJanaki.. IF-Addictz

Joined: 20 August 2008
Posts: 50792

Posted: 26 June 2009 at 8:33pm | IP Logged
This one is from Prithviraj Chauhan starring Rajat Tokas (as Krishna for the scene) and Mugdha (as Radha)....this one is also very nice! :D
..RamKiJanaki.. IF-Addictz

Joined: 20 August 2008
Posts: 50792

Posted: 26 June 2009 at 8:38pm | IP Logged
This is not Raas Leela, but it is a Radha Krishna scene from BR Chopra's Mahabharat. The song is also melodious. :D
sita11 IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 01 September 2005
Posts: 27646

Posted: 26 June 2009 at 10:53pm | IP Logged
WOW !!! such great info & superb pics lalitha !!!
very very interesting story Clap
lalitha if ur posting the shivji story of raas-leela
& if ur not posting then tell me ,i will post it Smile
in raas leela the souls of the devotees (gopies who were rishies in their previous birth & did  hard tapasya for their LORD KRISHNA ) danced with the soul of LORD KRISHNA !!!!
& i wish the actress who is playing radha in JSK is replaced by some dignified & good actress !!! who cud live the great role & character of goddess radha !!!!TongueBig smile
--sanchita-- IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 08 May 2007
Posts: 11590

Posted: 26 June 2009 at 10:54pm | IP Logged
really very wonderful story and wonderful videos.
kitu Goldie

Joined: 21 April 2005
Posts: 1020

Posted: 27 June 2009 at 12:55am | IP Logged

Simply Gre88 job Lalitha!!!! d pics n videos r awesomeeeeeClap.... n d story s also very interesting...Tongue

kitu Goldie

Joined: 21 April 2005
Posts: 1020

Posted: 27 June 2009 at 12:57am | IP Logged
Hey plzz post songs of ras leela tht r gonna come in JSK..Smile

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