Sri Krishna plays His magic flute. Each Gopi (young maidens of Vraja) hears her name and runs. She runs leaving her household work, milking the cow, serving her husband, dressing up, even feeding her baby. All are dropped immediately, and she runs to answer the call of the beloved.
Many, many Gopis arrive and dance in the Autumn full moon, beside the Yamuna river with their soul’s beloved, Sri Krishna. Each feels He dances with her alone – the dance of the jivatma (individual soul) with the paramatma (supreme soul). They have this thought, “Wow! I am special. So beautiful. Of all the beings in creation, the Lord chose me to dance with.”
Immediately Sri Krishna disappears. He vanishes from their midst.
They see each other and are forlorn. They walk in the forests and search for Him. They ask the trees, flowers, and Yamuna river about him. They call out his name, meditate on His form and enact His divine plays. Together they pour out their heart and soul in searching for him. But to no avail. Nowhere is He to be found.
Their hearts broken, they cry out. Sonorous tears from deep within their soul pour out. They are helpless and know not what else to do. Lord appears with a smile as if to say, “Oh Gopis! Why do you cry? I was here all the time. All this is just a play! Come let us dance again.” The divine dance begins.
Our saints say that this episode of Ras Leela (Dance of the Lord with the Gopis) teaches us about the journey of a spiritual seeker.
First, when we are absorbed with ourselves (I am so-and-so, my world is such-and-such, my thoughts and opinions are like this or like that), we turn away from the Lord. He disappears.
We suddenly realize this and say, “How can I live without my heart’s beloved? Let me try to find Him.” So we ask spiritual teachers, read scriptures, chant His name, go on pilgrimages, meditate. We do whatever we think we can and whatever we are advised to do, to see Him.
When we try with all our heart and soul, the Saints say that a time comes when you accept defeat. You cry from deep within your soul in surrender. We cannot act this or imagine it. It happens, in the journey of the soul. And then He will appear.
With a smile. To dissolve us in pure love forever.
Sri Krishna Sharanam Mama