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Govinda Lilamrita Raas : The dancing slows

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31 One gopi kneels to dance at knee height while outstretching her lata-like arms. Aho! She appears like Kandarpa’s golden chakra spinning!

Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: As Radha and Krishna pause to rest, the other sakhi begin shwing their various dancing skills to please them.

32 Another Vrajabala repeatedly raises and contracts her arms. Then, while touching her various bodily limbs, she displays many difficult poses. Touching the ground with her right hand, a gopi turns her body to the sky. Then she rotates above her left hand. And sometimes she falls to the ground to perform a rotating dance without support.

33 One slim-waisted gopi bends backwards until her veni touches her heels. Then, while stretching her belly like Cupid’s bow, she blissfully dances around the Rasa chakra! Another Vraja sundari’s ankle bells jingle to the music’s rhythm—“One, two, three!” But after silencing them, she continues her dance, and the other talented gopis exclaim: “Well done!”

34 The skills that the Vraja sundaris display for Krishna on the Rasa maṇḍala far surpass the singing, dancing and music that Brahma, Shiva and other devatas exhibit to please Lord Vishnu—what to speak of Lakshmi’s talents?

35 While displaying inconceivable dancing prowess, Krishna enjoys viewing the gopis, kissing them and petitioning them for rati. He also fondles their breasts or marks them with his nails. Thus becoming Radhika and the sakhi’s ramana, he plunges within the Rasa lila’s rasa sagara!

Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Here is svayam bhagavan rasikendra mauli’s paramount feature. By giving supreme pleasure to the gopis he nourishes his own pleasure.


38 Krishna dances and induces the gopis to dance, he sings and they reciprocate. Heglorifies the gopis and they glorify him. So just as a boy plays with his own shadow, Krishna enjoys with them.

Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: This verse is inspired by Bhagavatam 10.33.17—

evaṁ pariṣvāṅga-karābhimarśa-
reme rameśo vraja-sundarībhir
yathārbhakaḥ sva-pratibimba-vibhramaiḥ

In this way, by hugging, by touching, by looking affectionately, by extravagant playing, the Lord of Ramā Devi enjoyed with the Vraja sundaris, just like a boy plays with his bewildering reflection in a mirror.

As no dancer is satisfied by dancing alone, and no song is wonderful without an audience, how could the topmost sundara purusha ever be happy and complete without his parama sundari counterparts? Hence, Rasa is the greatest showcase where love and beauty combine in harmony with singing, dancing and music. Here everything is ideal and perfect.

39One Vraja kishori places Krishna’s chandan anointed arm on her shoulder. But as its divine fragrance enters her nostrils, she shivers, horripilates and sheds ecstatic tears! Thus being stunned, she appears like a sthira saudamini (steady lightning streak) within a nava jaladhara (new monsoon cloud)!

40The gopis dancing fatigue personifies like a friendly sakhi to decorate their forehead and cheeks with attractive perspiration beads—the sign of their sweet vilasa with Krishna.

Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: As the gopis dancing goes on, the friendly sakhi of fatigue congratulates them for their wonderful vilasa with a gift of pearl necklaces. Thus the gopis perpiration enhances their beauty.

41At the Rasa’s conclusion the gopis’ hair becomes undone, their clothes loosen, the tips of their breasts pulsate with their heavy breathing, perspiration beads cling to their foreheads and cheeks and their bodies turn weak due to exhaustion. Yet Krishna relishes it all!

Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Rasika bhaktas may ponder: “Where is the abode of saundarya, refined beauty? And who is actually beautiful?” By meditating on these lilas, anubhava* awakens. Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi defines saundarya as refined beauty in all situations. Hence the gopis are the ideal example.

42 Seeing Pundarikaksha’s* makara earrings* dancing over his cheeks, one nritya acharya* gopa sundari becomes fascinated! Thus placing her cheek beside his, she accepts the pan that Krishna chews with her mouth!

43 Feeling an anaṅga rangini* gopi’s touch, Krishna horripilates—but she horripilates too from his touch! Then leaning against Krishna and blissfully placing her arms on his shoulders, she takes rest.

44 Fatigued and panged from Rasa-vilasa, one caru shila* premavati* places Krishna’s hand on her nipples to attain shanti! But Krishna’s hand and the gopis breasts shake and perspire due to ecstasy! Still Krishna’s touch soothes her more than thousands of moons!

45 Kripa-sindhu Madhava uses his lotus hand to wipe the sweat from the gopis’ faces. But aho! The sattvika ecstasies from his divine touch causes their perspiration to double.

46 With a graceful gesture one friendly gopi uses Krishna’s chador to wipe the sweat from her own face! Then using her upper garment, she wipes Krishna’s face.

47 Many of the doe-eyes gopis become satiated simply by the ecstatic waves of Krishna’s vilasa sindhu touch! Hence they cannot check their slacking malas, ornaments, clothes and loosened hair!

48 Thus Krishna concludes his Rasa vilasotsava with its many forms of dancing, singing and music. Yet only the gopis can performs this pastime with him. 49Then, as Gopi-jana-vallabha’s rati desire awakens, Vrinda escorts Radha and Krishna along the camphor white sands of the Yamuna’s bank, and after seating them on a bedstead, she and the sakhis take up various kinds of seva.

Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: In Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta, Shrila Vishwanath Chakravarti sums up the Rasa by saying:

lihantv arvācīnā nija-rasanayā rāsaṁ kathaṁ taṁ haṭhān
na gīr yatreśānā saphalita-dṛśāṁ tātkālikānām api
prabhus taṁ premā cet kam api caturaṁ svādhāram ākhyāpayet
tadīyair mādhuryair apahṛta-dhiyā tenāpi varṇyo na saḥ

How is it possible for anyone living now to relish the Rasa lila with his tongue, when the words of those who were fortunate enough to see the Rasa with their own eyes were incapable of doing so? Even when premika bhaktas begin speaking their voices falter in ecstasy, so they are unable to go on! (Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta, 19.81)

kintu śaktir atulā kṛpā tayoḥ
sā svayaṁ śuka-mukhendunā jagat
dyotayanty alam avaikṣayad diśaṁ
dhāma vindati tayaiva sekṣaṇaḥ

Nevertheless, the Radha and Krishna’s incomparable kripa shakti has illumined the world through Sri Shukadeva Goswami’s recitation, showing the way so that anyone with eyes can find the Rasa-sthali’s parama-dhama by following it. (Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta, 19.82)


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