Udhav’s discourse with Gopis

Hemant Dharmat

When Lord Krishna was just an eleven years old kid, HE killed the demon King Kansa and restored the kingdom of Mathura to Ugar Sen. Later, HE asked HIS close friend, devotee and aide Udhav to proceed on a visit to Gokul with a message for Nandbaba, Yashodamayiah, Gop and Gopis. HE requested Udhav, “Please help console the Gopis who are bearing the pangs of separation from ME. They long for ME day and night, continually remaining engrossed in MY thoughts. They consider ME as the dearest, the closest, nay their very soul. For ME they have abandoned their husbands and children and other kin as well. This is MY resolve – I take into MY refuge all those who shun all ‘dharmas’ of this and the next world for MY sake. MY beloved Gopis are passing through agonizing period, assuming I have forgotten them. Before departing, I had assured them of My return to Gokul. These words verily, provide sustenance to them. My message, would surely bring them some respite.”
Strikingly handsome, suave and astute Udhav who was a disciple of Brahaspati and descendant of celebrated Vrishni lineage left for Nandgaon located in Braj. He reached there in the evening when cowherds were returning to the hamlet along with exquisitely dressed Gop and Gopis singing ballads in praise of Lord Krishna and Balram with some Gops playing musical notes on their flutes. All the houses in the village were tastefully decorated with colourful flowers. Nandbaba took him into his arms in intense delight as if he was embracing his son Krishna. When Udhav met the Gopis, they surrounded him while singing Shri Krishan ‘leelas’ portraying HIS various exploits. Recollecting their intimate relationship and pretty long period of association with Kanha, they started weeping and tended to cry, having become oblivious of their female modesty. Meanwhile speaking to the honey bee hovering around, one of the Gopis said, “In the company of Mathura’s city bred ladies, who must have been fascinated by Mohan’s charming looks, HE would hardly remember the poor Gawalin. Does HE ever recollect the Rasleela of Vrindavan when we danced hand in hand with HIM” Another said, “O wasp! Would Kanha ever rest HIS lovely arm over our heads and caress us with HIS delicate hands. Whoever is fortunate to drink a droplet of Keshav’s ‘leela-amrit’, his attachments-dislikes, happiness-sorrow and ‘dwandh’ automatically vanish. In such state of supreme ecstasy, even if we wish, we cannot for a moment remain without thoughts revolving around HIM.”
Addressing the restless Gopis, Udhavji said, “Glory to you O Gopis! You have attained the goal of life. You are worth adoration by all people, for you have surrendered your heart, nay everything you call as yours to Lord Krishna and gained HIS paramount devotion. The seekers of spiritual path adopt various ways e.g. alms giving, fasting, penance, offering oblations, chanting mantras, study of scriptures, meditation, steadiness and Samadhi to acquire resolute bhakti. You are fortunate in having already entered into a spiritual bond with the Supreme Being that even saints and sages find difficult to attain.” Then he related Lord Krishna’s message to the Gopis, which is as follows:
“I am the Soul of all beings and am inhering in all that exists. Therefore O Gopis! Far or near, wherever you be, there can be no separation from ME. It is Verily, ME that sustains the five basic elements – space, air, fire, water, and earth constituting the whole material universe besides mind, breath, ten senses and all the objects which one can discern through the faculties of perception. All these are in ME and I am in them. It’s ME that manifests in their shapes. I conjure up all these through Maya. The Soul is different from Maya and its various functions. It is truly ‘Gyanswaroop’, ever pure, devoid of all multiplicities, gross nature, and is different from organism and its own dualistic divisions. It is devoid of characteristics of good and evil. Whereas Maya has three states – profound sleep, dream state, and wakefulness. Through these the imperceptible, indivisible and infinite Soul, which is likened to supreme consciousness appears as all-knowing, self-illuminating and permeating the whole universe. As all rivers fall into the Sea, so also the study of Vedas, Yoga, Self-discernment, renunciation, penance, sense-restraint, and truth – all dharma of the seekers on the Godward path culminate in My attainment. One should, therefore, stop one’s mind and senses from being swayed by the worldly pleasures and shun the ephemeral sense attractions to seek MY intuitive perception.”
“O Gopis! Despite being your ‘sarvasav’, I am living away from you so that you may continually remain engrossed in ME. For most lovers develop deep affection and remember their distant beloveds much more than when they are living close by. Dear Gopis! If you also absorb yourself in MY thoughts, you would soon become one with ME. All those Gopis who couldn’t participate in the VarindavanRasleela, on being prevented by respective kin, had already attained to ME by remaining immersed in ME. Do not despair Gopis! I would meet you soon”.
The Gopis went into rapture on listening to Lord Krishna’s message and were filled with intense love for HIM. They asked, “Udhavji we are awe-fully craving for HIM, would HE really visit us so as to revive us to life with a touch of HIS hand. We can just not forget Shyamsunder whose glory saints and sages do not tire narrating. Udhavji this is the same stream in which Kanha used to recreate. HE would stare at us on way to the meadows with these very cows. This is the same forest in which Keshav played night-long Rasleela, and we danced to the melodious tune of HIS flute. Very similar tune continues to reverberate in our ears.
Before returning to Mathura, Udhav was filled with divine love and bliss on observing all the Gopis completely lost in sweet memories of Mohan. He joined his hands in reverence before them saying, “The object of your birth only on this planet has been meaningful, in that you have acquired undistracted devotion of ‘Sarvatama’ Shri Krishna. This love and affection for the Lord is what the saints and sages, the liberated souls and devotees like us desire to attain. But we have not summited the pinnacle of bhakti yet. Wish I may grow as wild grass in Vridavan, so as to besmear in the dust of Gopis’ footprints.