When God Falls in Love

By Swami B.V. Tripurari.

Artwork by Krishna For Today.

People on the spiritual path know that God loves all beings, and they know as well what would happen if all beings loved God. Spiritual practitioners also know what happens when a practitioner falls in love. However, they may not know what happens when God falls in love. As Krishna, he falls in love with Radha, and this secret, esoteric information about the personal love life of God is the essence of krishna-bhakti—the heart of the Absolute. When God falls in love, he is in his most vulnerable moment and thus most accessible to those who tender to his inner necessity. Devotees of Krishna sing, dance, celebrate, and live this love, and Krishna is conquered by their bhakti.

Decorated with ornaments from the forest—its flowers, leaves, and multicolored clays—and crowned with the conjurer’s peacock plume, Krishna, his only weapon the flute, is God when God wants to be himself, relaxing in the company of his intimate devotees, forgetful of even his own Godhood in order to facilitate this intimacy. Krishna is the connoisseur of love, yet subjugated by his lover Radha. Radha’s love thus represents the most complete love. It is the essence of bhakti that God himself worships.

The consummation of Krishna’s love affair with Radha, in which he himself bows to her love is found in five chapters of the Bhagavata Purana’s tenth canto (BP 29-33). Commonly known as the rasa-lila, this poem appears in the midst of the Purana’s description of the mythic lila (divine play) of Krishna, just as the flute-bearing cowherd and his young love Radha reach adolescence. As the autumn moon turns full, Krishna’s love for all of the milk maidens (gopis) of the village shines out in its maturity, and with the sound of his magical flute’s fifth note, he calls the gopis and Radha, in particular, to meet with him in the forest bowers to dance and celebrate the secret of their love.

The rasa-lila is considered by many to be the greatest story ever told. It has been recorded in the sacred literature of India, retold by poets, depicted by artists, sung about and celebrated in music, philosophized about, and meditated upon for thousands of years. It is one of the cultural and spiritual gems of the civilized world. Had it not been for the rasa-lila of Radha and Krishna, the rich religious tradition of Hinduism might have been effaced from the world during the Muslim domination of India. Although the Muslims cared little for Hinduism, they could not ignore the love story of Radha and Krishna. The Moguls in particular commissioned their artisans to depict it in art, and the Muslims were thus stopped short in their conquest by the force of mystical beauty and love.1 Enduring, charming, and profoundly mystical, the love story of Radha and Krishna is capable of conquering kingdoms, even one as fortified as the mythical empire of our mind. This is so because it speaks deeply to the soul, yet in a language most suited to our sensual and mental preoccupations.

There is a fine line between myth and reality. A myth can be a falsehood, or it may be the truth expressed allegorically. Indeed, at least since the time of Carl Jung, it has become popular to find meaning in myth. Yet even the best myth is only an allegorical reality.  It is not itself a true story.

What is the true story?  For most of us, our reality is the world of our mind, informed by data gathered through our senses. This may be our reality, but how real is it? It certainly does not endure. Our instruments of perception, our senses, are imperfect to begin with, and thus, the world of our mind informed by them may be more false than real. Hot, cold, happy, sad, good, and bad are mental notions relative to our sense perception. The same day is cold for one and hot for another, good for one, bad for another. We view the world through the glasses of our mental and sensual experience, yet ultimately these get in the way of truly experiencing. Vedanta tells us that which we presently perceive to be reality is more akin to myth, a falsehood, while we ourselves, the experiencers, are units of reality—souls. The phenomenal world may be real, but our perception of it is false, so false that it causes us to lose sight of our souls. The sense of the loss of our souls that dominates our culture thus serves to underscore the mythical nature of our perception of reality arising out of misdirected sensual and mental preoccupations. As for the true story, the myth that leads us to our soul leads us to reality. Indeed, that so-called myth may not be a myth at all, whereas our mental and sensual perception of so-called reality may be mythical. It is not altogether false, but rather an allegory for the Absolute, a reflection of reality.

If we examine it closely, we will find that the reflection of reality informs us indirectly about the ultimate reality. The religious “myth” of the rasa-lila represents ultimate reality. It is an ultimate reality, however, that also confirms the value of humanity, especially its sensual and emotional aspects, for it informs us both that our sensuality has its origins in the Absolute and that the Absolute’s expression of loving emotion is best facilitated within humanity. In the rasa-lila, God Krishna enters humanity to celebrate his sensuality, thus confirming the sense in all of us that our drive for the erotic is not something to be abolished. It is to be redirected away from the world and toward the Absolute, appearing in its human-like expression of Krishna—Radha and Krishna. In the rasa-lila we discover divine humanism, where divinity validates the essence of humanity, and humanity speaks to us about that which divinity must embody in its fullest expression.

Although the love story of Radha and Krishna has been analyzed on many levels—social, psychological, political, and so on—it implies something more profound: Our misdirected mental, sensual, and intellectual lives are a myth, while Radha and Krishna’s love drama is ultimate reality. It is the truth that many have reasoned is synonymous with beauty, and it is the eternal drama in which the soul can realize its highest potential, living in love.

Any attempt to establish a structured logical exegesis of beauty is flawed. An exegesis of ultimate spiritual beatitude is no exception. This is so because beauty, and more so the spiritual experience itself, are non-rational and transrational respectively. Spiritual beauty is not unreasonable, rather it picks up where reason leaves off. Because in this world we speak the language of logic, we must try to speak about the spiritual experience in our language. Should we broach the spiritual, however, the language of logic will be of little utility, for in the spiritual plane the language is love. While we will certainly benefit from the logical exercise of Vedanta in an effort to demonstrate that Vedanta is pointing logically to the love and beauty that Radha and Krishna personify, expressions of the experience love of itself are often more compelling. Thus if the logic falls short as it must, the poetry of and about the experience of rasa-lila speaks for itself. One poem expressing spiritual experience can convey the spirit of that experience more than volumes of tightly reasoned argumentation.

In our times, people look for a spiritual path that is pragmatic. How will it help me in my day-to-day life? How will it make the world a better place for me to live and raise my children? These are good questions. Indeed, the world is overburdened with strife, and our individual lives are affected by it either directly or indirectly, as no decent person can live peacefully knowing of the suffering of others. Famine, disease, political oppression, corporate exploitation, and environmental disaster are but a few of the symptoms indicating the diseased condition of the world. But what is the disease itself? It is selfish desire, the disease of the heart. In the least, it is this disease that the rasa-lila seeks to address. The rasa-lila is a tale of selflessness to the extreme hidden in an exterior of apparent selfish love. That selfish love in which we are all involved and about which we are thus most eager to hear about is the context in which the ultimate in selflessness is couched. Such is the beauty and mystery of the rasa-lila, where Radha risks all, family society, and even religion, driven by her love for Krishna. While she appears to act for her own selfish interest without concern for others, in her tryst with Krishna she teaches us how to give up everything for God. If this were not the inner truth of the rasa-lila, how could her apparent selfishness cause God to fall in love with her?  No story speaks more about that which we all need to hear to make the world a better place—selflessness properly centered on the perfect object of love.

  1. Prasada, Dr. S.S., Bhagavata Purana: A Literary Study (New Delhi: Capital Publishing House, 1984), p. 296. []

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26 Responses to When God Falls in Love

  1. I know I feel the most authentic when I give up everything for love’s sake. When I don’t try to control situations – when I stop trying to will away my dad’s physical frailties, or get my wife to do what I want when I want it, when I stop trying so hard to be in control and just relate, I feel like I understand them better. But better yet, I feel like there is something of a more enduring reality that bleeds over into this transient world. In a real sense, I feel like my life is part of the myth. If that’s the case, and our lives are some opaque reflection of the reality that underlies all of this, how far do we trust that experience?

  2. Trust it completely. After all your experience is shared by others of considerable spiritual status who have articulated well their own more developed experience of the same as well as their means of attaining it. Although they have gone to the distant shore, they have left a boat behind. Board it. Live among with them. You are one of them in process. Love an be loved.

  3. Urmila devi dasi

    Thank you for this article. I wish everyone in the world would read it.

  4. Revered Swamiji,
    What can be said about Krishna falling in love?
    First of all, Krishna falls in love with himself.
    Self-love is the first law of being.
    Nobody can appreciate or love Krishna as much as Krishna himself, as his capacity is the greatest of all.
    Krishna’s love for himself is manifested in the form of Sri Radha.
    Radha is Krishna’s love of his own self.
    She is not a separate entity that Krishna has fallen in love with.
    Krishna’s love of self is Radha.
    She is not a separate entity like the separated parts and parcels.
    Radha is Krishna’s love of himself.
    We must always be careful to portray the love affairs of Krishna as if he has fallen in love with some superior being than himself.
    Krishna loves himself more than anyone can love him and that love of Self if Sri Radha.
    Krishna does not “fall in love”.
    Krishna’s love of his own self is intrinsic to his very own reality which the the one and only reality.

    • According the our Gaudiya siddhanta, Radha and Krishna are one and different at the same time. It is because of this that although Radha is one with Krishna, in lila in consideration of the difference he does fall in love with her. And in lila it is he who bows her feet. Jaya Radhe!

    • Vrajendra Nandana Dasa

      Dandavats Maharaja, while you wrote your previous post I wrote this one, not yet being aware of your answer. Please still allow me to add this one to the discussion:

      Dear Worminstool (if fell a little bit akward writing your username):

      Well, while according to my understanding everything what you said about the oneness of Radha and Krsna is certainly true, it is in no way conflicting the article under discussion.

      Yes, Radha and Krsna are one eternally. But there are separate eternally, too. That is the beauty and perfection of the all-harmonizing philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda tattva propagated by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

      For me this truth of everlasting oneness and difference of everything is the key to all esoteric mysteries and apparent paradoxes of reality. To balance ones life constantly along this wonderful thesis, or rather synthesis, will allow one to accommodate all conflicts and to navigate on the flow of love safely between the two shores of advaita (complete oneness of everything) and materialism (total separation from the source).

      Both, oneness and difference, are absolutely necessary for the experiences of love. And according to circumstances it is appropriate to stress the one over the other. But that should always be done with the goal to balance out extremes that threaten the flow of love.

      For instance, Srila Prabhupada did stress a lot the difference aspect to balance out extreme monism, but if as Vaisnavas we forget the oneness aspect of everything we might end up feeling totally disconnected to Krsna and our own nature as sat-cit-ananda beings. And I think that is what happens to many devotees to the degree that they completely mistrust their own divinity, as minute as it may be, and the constant loving support we have from the caring source of all, Radha and Krsna.

      Therefore in such cases it may be even necessary for a devotee struggling for existence to remember the oneness aspect, in order to not feel lost and lonely. But if we would then forget about the difference aspect, we might end up feeling lonely as well, because if we feel totally one with everything, then there is no one really to talk to, no one to exchange loving sentiments with.

      And that is how Krsna probably would feel like too, if he would be constantly aware of his oneness with Radha, forgetting his separation. There would be no taste, no rasa, no meeting, no love.

      But no, he forgets about his oneness, even though he feels it is there, too. And it must be there. If he wouldn’t feel one with her, there would be no longing for meeting her and there would be no possibility of a mutual understanding and of a loving merging. Without oneness he couldn’t even deal with her or anybody at all. But without consciously forgetting the oneness he would also have no need for loving exchange, because there would be no one to be attracted to.

      So, therefore Krsna eternally takes birth in human surroundings in the so called material world, where he has the opportunity to again and again grow up, hearing about sweet Radha, meeting her and falling completely in love with her again and again and again. And we have the opportunity to participate in that reality and embellish it even further again and again and again.

      Isn’t that wonderful?

  5. My concern with the terminology “when God falls in love” is that the concept of falling in love portrays an image of Krishna being one of the many gods who happens to meet a beautiful goddess and falls in love with her.
    Radha is not some Devi that Krishna bumped into one day while sporting around Vraja.
    Radha is the internal pleasure potency of Krishna.
    She is the internal part of Krishna that loves his own self.
    She is manifested as a separate person, but really she is non-different from Krishna.

    The term “falling in love” is a rather mundane concept that generally indicates that a person “falls” from self-satisfaction into a dependent relationship with another entity.

    Somehow, I just don’t like the terminology “When God falls in love”.
    I would be interested to know if Srila Prabhupada ever used that terminology in reference to the Radha-Krsna.

    • No, not one of the many Gods, a human being! That is his nara-lila. And his sense of self identity in this Vraja-lia (especially on Earth) is predominated by bewilderment (maugdhe) not omniscience (sarvajna).

      Lilasukha, otherwise known as Bilvamangala Thakura writes about this as follows, “In all his lilas the effulgent Lord is simultaneously bewildered and omniscient.” Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti explains that the bewilderment predominates in his Vraja-lila. This is an arrangement of his own will facilitated by hisyogamaya, but one should not think that his will to become bewildered or fall in love that his sakti facilitates makes him any less bewildered. Here really is bewildered, just as much as he thinks himself a village cowherd. Indeed, he is in his own estimation more a village cowherd than anything else. This is madhurya and this is the heart of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. One of the primary characteristics of bhakti is that it has the power to atract Krishna (sri krsna akarsani), the all attractive. The implications of this reach thier zenith in the Vraja-lila and this is what “Jaya Radhe!” means!

      purnananda-maya ami cin-maya purna-tattva
      radhikara preme ama karaya unmatta

      This poetry above is Vrajendranandana speaking through the pen of Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami Mahasay. He puts it very nicely, intertwining as he does Sri Krishna’s Godhood and his human-like lila reality. Srila Prabhupada translates it thus:

      “I am the full spiritual truth (cin-maya purna-tattva) and am made of full joy (purnananda-maya), but the love of Srimati Radharani (radhikara preme) drives me mad (ma karaya unmatta).

      Drives me mad = falls in love.

    • I should ad the verse that follows Sri Krsnadasa’s verse cited in my previous reply:

      na jani radhara preme ache kata bala
      ye bale amare kare sarvada vihvala

      Prabhupaa translates it thus, “I do not know the strength of Radha’s love, with which she always overwhelms me.” Pathetic no? 🙂

  6. The extraction of “when God falls in love” from any of the references above, to supposedly verify that guru and shastra speaks in terms of Krishna “falling in love”, is an interpolation arrived at through taking liberties with the original statements.
    In fact, the terminology of “Krishna falling in love” cannot be traced to any foundational acharya or Saraswata Gaudiya acharya.

    Krishna’s “nara-lila” was not so very “nara” are he performed many Godly acts and deeds that most certainly cannot be considered as “nara”.

    Nara-lila means that Krishna appeared in human society. It doesn’t mean that Krishna behaved exactly as a human as there is no human ever existed that married 16,000 wives and manifested 16,000 heavenly palaces and lived simultaneously in each and every one of them, not to mention the many,many other wondrous feats performed by Krishna.

    Krishna was never “nara” at any time, as from his very childhood he performed many wondrous acts that certainly no human can ever perform.

    Krishna does not “fall in love”.
    Krishna has eternally possessed the highest type of love and at no time did he go from not loving all living entities to falling in love with another living being.

    • Well, thanks for sharing your understanding. Personally I do not agree with it and I think your understanding of the nature of lila is lacking. Without loosing sight of the idea that Krishna is God at some point in the natural development of your spiritual life and replacing this idea with the sense that he is not God but rather my friend or lover, a notion that he will fully participate in all respects, you will never enter the Vraja-lila. Furthermore, the word “God” in the phrase under discussion perfectly represents Sri Krishna’s aisvarya, and the term “falling n love” perfectly represents his madhurya.

      As for no guru in the Bhaktivinoda pairvara ever using the phrase, one just did. And he has supported it with sastra-yukti, which is quite different from interpolation.

    • Let me point out also that, as Krsnadasa Kaviraja has explained, the many Godly acts that are exhibited in Krishna’s prakata lila such as the slaying of demons are performed by the Visnu within him.

      Furthermore if you study the progression of Krishna lila as it unfolds on Earth, you will see that he does indeed fall in love with Radha. Upon receiving his first flute from Siva after the Govardhana lila he played it with the express purpose of trying to attract the attention of Radha, and it took him some time to accomplish this task. Meanwhile Radha and the other young gopis have begun to fall in love with Krishna and the village as well wants them to marry. However, Prunamasi reveals that Krishna’s astrological chart has problems because it indicates he will leave home and go to a foreign country. So there will be no marriage, but of course the problems with his chart help to set the stage for parakiya bhava. Then during the vastra harana lila a marriage of sorts takes place when Krishna sees the gopis naked in the Yamuna, and then and there he promises to make good and consumate the relationship, which he does during the rasa lila. The bhava of all of this that I have briefly explained is beutifully brought out in Sri Jiva Goswamis final work, Gopala Campu. Perhaps if you study this book it will hep you understand my points.

      You might want to study the concept of purva raga as well, and in all of this remember that Rupa Goswami has used mundane love psychology from secualr rasa theory as the vehicle through which to explain the nature of Krishna-lila.

      When God falls in love, this is what we call Krishna. And this takes place in lila. Yes he eternally loves all beings in a general sense, but Radha’s love drives him mad, and in the context of the lila, he reaches this point of madness through a progression. His love for her is not manifest in his chidlhood lila, but rather in his blooming adolescent lila.

  7. I mentioned purva raga. Thakura Bhaktivinoda defines it thus: “Purva-raga is the infatuated condition that arises before the actual meeting as a result of either seeing or hearing about the beloved.” It is the feelings of separation that appear in the lover and beloved at the dawning of love in their hearts, before they actually meet and reveal their hearts to one another and confirm their mutual love. In other words it refers to falling in love.

    A nice example of purva raga is found in Cc 2.8.194. Here Radha speaks to her gopi friend about how she and Krishna fell in love.

    O sakhe! In the very beginning, our eyes met and our love took birth. Day by day it grew, never finding a limit. He is not my husband and I am not his wife; it is as though Cupid himself ground our minds into powder and mixed them together. O sakhe, now that we are separated, if Krishna has forgotten all these things, then remind him of this: When we first met, we didn’t have to seek out a go-between or anyone else. The only one who brought us together was Cupid with his five arrows, no one else. Now that we are apart, that love has gone and he has had to engage you as a messenger. That is the way of love with good-looking men like Krishna.

    Our most worshipable predecessor acarya Srila Thakura Bhaktivinoda paraphrases this song as follows:

    Prior to our first meeting, during the period known as purva-raga or incipient affection, through the mutual exchange of glances, something called raga or love suddenly came into existence. This raga was born of both our natures and it kept on growing and growing without reaching any limit. Krishna is the lover or ramana, but in this case he was not the cause of the raga; neither was I, the beloved or ramana, its cause. The love that arose when we first looked at each other was created by Cupid, who is known as Manobhava, or ‘mind-born.’‚ He appeared and ground our minds into a powder. If you think, O sakhe, that Krishna has forgotten all this love now that we are separated from each other, then tell him the following: Previously, we sought out no messenger at the time of union‚ we asked no one to intercede. The only mediator we had was Cupid himself with his five arrows. Now that we are separated, the raga has become viraga. Viraga means visista-raga, or a special kind of love, or viccheda-gata raga, love in separation. In this case it has become adhirudha mahabhava, or the most elevated stage of divine love. Now you are acting as the duti, or messenger. You will see that handsome men always behave in this way.

    This is an important topic to understand. I hope others are following and understanding.

    • Would the Cupid referred to here (as the agency of Radha & Krsna’s mutual attraction) be synonymous with yogamaya?

      • Vrajendra Nandana Dasa

        Does Cupid really exist there in Vraja, or is he just an idea of some pious but superstitious cowherdpeople? Allthough, ideas in Vraja may be more real than facts in this world…

  8. Vrajendra Nandana Dasa

    May I paraphrase and purport the above cited words of Radha thus? (Please correct me if I misinterpreted something.)

    “Oh Sakhi! When our eyes met, we immediately fell in love. And this love was growing day by day without end. But how is this possible? We are not married! How can we fall in love, still? I don’t understand. It must have been Cupid who made us completely lost to each other, forgetting our own selves. Oh Sakhi, if Krsna has forgotten this, now that we are separated, then please remind him of this: When we first met, we didn’t need a matchmaker or an astrologer or the blessings of the Gods. We just fell in love. It must have been Cupid who pearced our hearts with his five arrows. I do not have any other explanation….”

    These seem to be the thoughts of a bewildered Radha, who is the emblem of all virtues and therefore cannot understand how she could fall in love with this Krsna, when their relationship was not sanctioned by elders and Visnu. They aren’t married! (And this is happening on a vedic canvas!) This seems to be beyond her comprehension. And her goodness doesn’t allow her to realize that she was just naturally attracted by the beauty and charm of Krsna. It must have been Cupid’s fault that she lost her mind and heart to this good-looking boy Krsna. And now, that she is lost to him, he seems to not care at all. So she not only lost her purity and her heart, but apparantly the object of her love as well. What predicament she is in…

    This is the ultimate Bollywood. Or Holywood, cause it is happening in the sacred woods of Vraja.

    When may I see this movie in my mind, instead of soccergames or worries about maintainance? When will my mind be occupied with Radhas and Krsnas worries and fears?

    Maybe I should work on my Sadhana…One day….

    • I think you have partially captured the spirit of this text. But beyond this it speaks to us of adhirudha mahabhava, which is the highest stage of love and is divided into love in separation and love in union, each of which have their particular characteristics. Relative to the verse, what is being described here is the merging of the minds of Radha and Krishna to the extent that the distinction between subject and object is obliterated and only the highest bliss remains as if tasting itself with no room for an other experience.

      Yes, Cupid here is mythological. Here he is represented in the word manobhava, which also means imaginary, and the term panca-bana (five arrows). Otherwise Krishna himself is the transcendental Cupid and actual God of Love.

      It is somewhat interesting to note that India has a Cupid, or God of Love—Kamadeva, as does Europe—Cupid, both of whom have arrows that incite love.

      • Vrajendra Nandana Dasa

        Thank you, Maharaja, for the clarification and confirmation.

        Interesting as well, at least to me, is the “coincidence” that on two threads simultaneously, the topic of “can’t help falling in love” came up. On the one hand in the discussion about homosexual people and on the other hand in this thread in regard to Radha and Krsna. So love here and in Vraja is uncontrollable and may lead to acts that are not welcomed by the general public, so that those hit by Cupid’s arrows sometimes have to hide their real feelings and make all kind of arrangements to not arouse suspicion. Sure, both cases aren’t exactly on the same level, but still I find this occurance interesting.

        Another interesting occurance for me is, that although some comments and questions on this forum sometimes sound a little bit challenging (like the statement that Krsna doesn’t fall in love or that only madhurya rasa is the focus of our sampradaya) these comments lead to very deep discussions, where a lot of insightful details are revealed. Very nice. But I do not necessarily mean to say that we should therefore purposefully heat up our discussions.

        Just some thoughts.

  9. Here is a link to devotees of Vraja singing about the purva raga of Radha and the purva raga of Krishna.


    The site explains:

    These two recordings narrate the story of purva-raga, describing the falling in love of Radha and Krishna. The first series of songs, describing Radha’s side of the story, is led by Lalita Das Baba. The second, describing Krishna’s, is led by Sanatana Das Baba. Recorded at Chakaleshvar, Govardhan.

    Notice that both sets of songs are prefaced by glrogication of Sri Caitanya (Aju Hama Ki Pekhalu Navadvipacandra and Are Mora Gora Dvijamani), as is the tradition of lila kirtana.

    As a side point relative the the discussion on the article Four Dear Friends, also notice how the songs describing Sri Krishna’s purva raga include descriptions of his sakhas and Subala in particular (Subala Nagare Haiche Katha).

  10. Krishna does not “fall in love”. He is a despot, a liar, a thief and a rascal that has untold numbers of consorts.
    How can you possibly say that such a rascal that maintains uncountable numbers of consorts “falls in love”?
    Playboys like Krishna do not “fall in love”.
    They use women for their own sense pleasure only.

    • Playboys like Krishna do not “fall in love”.

      If Krsna has not fallen for Radha, why then does his mind continually (or constantly) go back to her even when he has enjoyed the association of so many women? Why when he is in Dvaraka with the goddess of fortune herself, is he calling out Radha’s name in his sleep? Our god is smitten sir, there is no way around it.

  11. So, Krishna is lying in bed with thousands of Goddesses in Dvaraka and calling out the name of Radha in his sleep?
    Oh, do you think the gopis of Vrindavan consider that true love of Radha?
    If he truly loved Radha he would not have left Radha alone in agony in Vrindavan while he goes off to Dvaraka and his thousands of gorgeous Queens.
    Krishna’s love of Radha is a sham.
    If he loved her he would never have left her and gone to Dvaraka to be with his 16,108 Queens.

    • madan gopal das

      If he loved her he would never have left her and gone to Dvaraka to be with his 16,108 Queens.

      There is less drama and depth of love in “happily ever after”. Separation and parakiya extends the limits of love, and Radha-Krsna lila thus proceeds from there.

      On another note, if we are discussing this from a rasika perspective, the discussion is over. Please make a clear distinction so that people can know whether to observe your comments as reflections of your personal internal feelings, or as questions on siddhanta. Communication on two different tracks doesn’t work… Thanks.

  12. Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 8.187

    rāya kahe, — kṛṣṇa haya ‘dhīra-lalita’

    nirantara kāma-krīḍā — yāńhāra carita


    rāya kahe — Rāmānanda Rāya replied; kṛṣṇa — Lord Kṛṣṇa; haya — is; dhīra-lalita — a person who can keep his girlfriend always in subjugation by different qualities; nirantara — constantly; kāma-krīḍā — pastimes of sexual enjoyment; yāńhāra — of whom; carita — the character.


    Rāya Rāmānanda replied, “Lord Kṛṣṇa is dhīra-lalita, for He can always keep His girlfriends in a subjugated state. Thus His only business is enjoying sense gratification.

    So, this business of subjugating MULTIPLE girlfriends for the purpose of enjoying his senses is hardly the description of someone that is “in love”.
    In this world, we consider such boys as players.
    I don’t know of any girl that consider such actions as “love”.

    • Note that Prabhupda’s tranlation here of “dhira-lalita” is incorrect. Brs 2.1.230 citing Sahitya Darpana describes the dhira-lalita nayaka as “a person who is very cunning and always youthful, expert in joking and without anxiety, and who is always subjugated by his girlfriends, is called dhira-lalita nayaka.” In Cc Prabupada’s translation has it the opposite. Elsewhere in his early edition of Nectar of Devotion he desrbes the dhira-lalita correctly: “Such a dhira-lalita personality is generally found to be domesticated and very submissive to his lover.. Perhaps an editing mistake in Cc. In Jaiva Dharma Thakura Bhaktivinode describes the dhira-lalita thus, “The dhira-lalita nayaka is naturally funny, witty, and expert in joking, ever full of youthfulness, a relisher of rasa, very submissive to his lovers, and extremely confident of himself and thus free from all anxieties.”

      Despite Krishna’s proclivity for female encounters he is nonetheless subjugated by Radha’s love. That the two are mutually in love with one another and that this love has a beginning in the lila has already been demonstrated above. Again we need but allow Radha to speak for herself:

      O sakhe! In the very beginning, our eyes met and our love took birth. Day by day it grew, never finding a limit. He is not my husband and I am not his wife; it is as though Cupid himself ground our minds into powder and mixed them together. . . .

      The wok of cupid and his arrows is to cause people to fall in love.

      I see no need to discuss this further,* but I do appreciate your interest in the subject and indirectly your disapproval of my article has helped to being out many points of Gaudiya theology for all to consider. Thank you for that.

      *I have written you a personal email regarding your comments.

  13. I felt that the gist of the article and the discussions veered in slightly different directions, not necessarily good nor bad. But moving away from the discussions and coming to the original article written by Tripurari Swami…

    Unlike some of the discussion topics, I felt that Tripurari Swami dealt with some of the most esoteric subjects in Gaudia-Vaishnavism without making me feel uncomfortable reading it. There is a lot I don’t know about the esoteric nature of Krishna. But, through Swamijis common sense logic I could appreciate the love that Radharani has for Sri Krishna. It was at a level that even I could relate to.
    I loved the fact that Maharaj brought Carl Jung and the world of mythologies into the discussion. I think that we need more mature devotees bringing the vocabulary used by educated adults into understanding how phenomenon’s like myths and psychology works in the context of Gaudia Vaishnavism.

    I am not qualified to say if Maharaj did ‘justice’ to the subject. But I can say that I felt very fortunate to read this article. Haribol!


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