Sunday, September 13, 2015

(3) The gopis as adulteresses in Puranas and secular poetry

1. Introduction

Having looked through the secular accounts of adulterous love we have come to the following conclusion: though the paroḍhā woman was accepted by the poeticians as a legitimate category of leading woman or nāyikā, she was in fact held to be an inappropriate character for the play, as indeed she was in life. Where she was not exclusively devoted to a single man, she would be relegated to a farcical role, like that of the prostitute in one of the minor varieties of play such as the prahasana. The prostitute was acceptable as a character in a certain type of play, the prakaraṇa, if she was exclusively in love with the hero, such as is the case in the play Mṛcchakaṭikā. Though the paroḍhā might perhaps have been theoretically acceptable in similar circumstances, there are no examples of such characterisation in any extant literature. The accepted face of the parakīyā woman was the virgin, who became the primary vehicle for love in the romantic Sanskrit drama. On the other hand, it would appear that another tradition existed, evidence of which is found in the muktakas left to us in the anthologies. In this tradition, it would appear that any and all women could and well may have been paroḍhā nāyikās. The adulterous nature of the relation of the nāyikā becomes overt when she is the abhisārikā going to her assignation with her lover. It is at this time that the fear of exposure adds a frisson of excitement which is exploited by the poets. Elsewhere, some justification for her adulterous activity can befound in her criticism of her husband's inadequacy, but generally, the husband isnothing more than a shadow, as are the other gurujana who are mentioned aspeople who must be avoided.

Much later in the history of Sanskrit literary criticism, the love of a married woman, the paroḍhā nāyikā, for a paramour, became identified with the love of Radha for Krishna. The reason for this may simply have been that there was no other commonly known love affair of this type in Hindu mythology which had evolved apositive mystique. Due to this added dimension of religious approval, it became the only avenue through which poets could explore the possibilities for description of adulterous love without opprobrium. Neverthe less, we have already observed that this tendency was treated with some ambivalence by certain writers as is revealed by the fourteenth century verse of Vishwanath cited above. On the one hand, he felt that adulterous love should be classified as rasābhāsa or śṛṅgārābhāsa, on the other, he recognized that Krishna's divine status called for different treatment. It allowed for a double standard: that which was acceptable behaviour for the god Krishna was not so for the ordinary man.

In this paper, we shall attempt to trace the growth of the story of Krishna and the gopis into the Indian archetype of adulterous love. In so doing, we shall accept the general thesis that the gopi-Krishna mythology can be divided into two separate traditions, one epic-puranic, the other secular. The distinctive natures of these two streams of Krishna legend in the first millenium have been broadly categorized by Friedhelm Hardy who states that the secular mythology "illustrates a general tendency to impose themes on the gopi story which are characteristic of the stereotyped love poetry formulated by the poeticians. "...[It] knows the figureof Radhika as Krishna's favourite gopi and increasingly imposes the conventions and themes of Sanskrit poetics on their relationship, including the theme of temporary separation." (1)

On the other hand, the puranic tradition, exemplified in Hari-vaṁśa (3rd-4th centuries A.D.), the Krishna cycle as found in the BrahmaP and ViP (6th-7th centuries) and the BhP (9th-10th), to which Hardy adds the works of Bhāsa, i.e. Bāla-carita, "ignores Radhika and some of the more earthy aspects of Krishna's love-making, but introduces the rāsa dance and the theme of final viraha into the myth." (2)

Both of these traditions, the former in the domain of the religious leaders, the latter of the classically educated poets, were no doubt informed by the folk or vernacular traditions of the Radha and Krishna story which continued to grow and nourish the other two until the sixteenth century and even afterward.

Discerning the ur-elements of the Krishna myth is a daunting task. It is generally assumed that the folk myth of the cowherd child-hero Krishna with all its rustic features was grafted onto the earlier, more sophisticated Vāsudeva/Vishnu mythology in the onward march of syncretic Vishnuism. This task of syncretism fell to the writers of the religious materials, i.e. the purāṇas. It is thus somewhat strange to find that the element of an illicit relationship, i.e. that existing between Krishna and the lawfully wedded wives of other men, is a feature which, like the final viraha and the rasa dance, figures more prominently in the epic/purāṇa sources. It may be supposed that these features come from the original myth, but in fact there is only slight evidence to support this assumption.


1 Virahabhakti, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1985, 112.

2 ibid.

2. Adultery as a feature in the earliest stratum of the myth

Though reference to final viraha (Krishna's departure for Mathura) might be found in the early portions of the secular tradition, few clear references can befound to Krishna's adulterous activities. The earliest indicator of such is found in Magha's 7th century Śiśupāla-vadha, where Krishna is said to have made love to the "wives of the cowherds." The purport of this single verse is that despite Krishna's engagement in what is universally accepted as sinful activity--Magha mentions both adultery and the killing of a bull--he was not adversely affected by such activity due to his divine nature.(3) Magha, though a secular poet, was strongly influenced by the epic MBh, which with the HV was probably his only source, while his work in turn likely had some influence on the BhP. (4)

Another verse quoted by Anandavardhana (9th c.) in his commentary to the Dhvany-āloka (Locana, ad. 2.6), attributed to the poetess Vidyā, makes reference to the activities of the gopis with Krishna in the bowers on the banks of the Yamuna River. The verse is also cited by Vidyakara as an instance of the asatI. It containsthe description of the separation of Radha from Krishna. It should be considered to be the words of Krishna himself speaking to a representative of Vrindavan while far away in Dwaraka.
Say, friend, if all is still well with the bowers that grow upon the Jumna bank, companions to the dalliance of cowherd girls and witnesses of Radha's love. Now that there is no use to cut their fronds to make them into beds for love, I fear their greenness will have faded and they grown old and hard.(5)
There may be a linguisitic problem here, for the word vadhū ("wife, bride") used in both of these verses may have nothing more than the simple sense of "woman" in its earliest usages in the Rig-veda, etc. This is confirmed by Amara, who does note the further definition for this word as a "wife" or "daughter-in-law." Indeed Ingalls renders gopa-vadhū in the above verse by "cowherd girls," though whether the authoress Vidya intended the former or latter meaning cannot be discerned from the context itself. Certainly this argument is employed by Jiva later.(6)

Perhaps the earliest unambiguous reference to Krishna's adulterous activity is to be found in Damodara Gupta's Kuṭṭanī-mata, where the prostitute Manjari, in vaunting the glories of adulterous love, uses Krishna as an example, along with Indra and Ravana, all of whom were blessed with unlimited opportunities for sexual gratification with heavenly courtesans, etc., and yet chose to approach married women instead (the gopis, Ahalya and Sita, respectively).(7)

This contrasts with the roughly contemporaneous Daśa-kumāra-carita, which though accepting Krishna as a particularly libidinous individual, identifies his sexual exploits as taking place in the company of his 16,000 wives (padmanābhasya ṣoḍaśa-sahasrāntaḥ-pura-vihāraḥ). And yet he did not lose his religious power. The argument is presented by a prostitute seeking to seduce a celibate monk. Here Krishna is presented in the company of Brahman (and Tilottama), Shiva and the wives of the rishis, Indra (with Ahalya again), Prajapati with his own daughter, the Moon-god and the wife of Brihaspati, the Sun-god and his sexual activity with Samjna in the form of a mare, Parashara's seduction of a fisherwoman, Vyasa's sexual activity with his brothers' wives, and finally Atri's sexual activity with a deer. As is evident, a wide variety of different types of immoral behaviour: incest, adultery, bestiality, etc., have all been lumped together here.

The earliest available traditions, such as Hāla, however, seem to support the gopis being young girls who were attracted to Krishna, but not married to other men. Thus Hāla (89) envisions the gopis laughing to themselves at Yashoda's innocence about Krishna's sexual maturity. Similarly (114), a gopi expresses her love for Krishna in a public situation by kissing his reflection in the cheek of a perspiring gopi. Though this would, as we have seen from the above discussion, still have made these girls parakīyā, there is no evidence that they were paroḍhā. An apocryphal, though nevertheless early, verse accreted to the Hāla tradition (given as verse 655 of the printed edition)(8) indicates that the gopis were contenders of sorts in the competition to become Krishna's wives: when Yashoda mentions that Krishna is now of marriageable age, the gopis all try to hide their relatedness to her, i.e., they try to hide their own ineligibilty to be married to him. (9)

Furthermore, Bhāsa's idiosyncratic treatment of the Krishna legend, felt by some to be a pre-canonical version of the puranic legends, identifies the gopis as wives of other men. His description of Krishna's dance in the company of a group of cowherd girls appears essentially innocent; there are certainly no overtones of adulterous or even erotic activity.

No verses in Hāla show familiarity with the legends of Krishna's departure to Mathura. This is not altogether surprising since the traditions represented in Hāla predate the epic canon which brought about the full identification of the Krishna of the cowherds with the Vāsudeva of Dwaraka and Mathura. The tragic aspects of Krishna's departure are not treated in the Hari-vaṁśa or Bāla-carita. The first detailed description of this heart-rending scene is found in the ViP, and as with many of the other stories, is fully developed in BhP. These developments of the legend are reflected in Jayavallabha's Prakrit Vajjā-lagga, the only secular work of the first millenium left to us which gives a group of verses that can be said to reflect a loose narrative sequence, including the theme of "final separation."

Thus in v.601, Radha expresses her determination to not give up Krishna at any cost; in v.602, she is told not to weep, for Krishna, like all gods, is "made of stone"; in v.603, Krishna is in Mathura, remembering the gopis; in v.604, the gopis insult Krishna calling him "cowherd" (particularly pointed if he is posing as a kshatriya in Mathura. In v.605, the gopi says in a message to Krishna, "Do you remember, Krishna, how you put on my loincloth [by mistake] when we were bathing in the Yamuna. Now that you rule as king in Mathura, I doubt that you will even speak to me." In v.605b, the Yamuna has turned darkish on account of Radha's tears, which have dissolved her collyrium. There is no mention of any return of Krishna from Mathura or elsewhere to Vrindavan. It would appear then that Jayavallabha drew on sources that knew of the permanent separation of Krishna from Radha and the gopis, as indeed is found in all the puranic sources. Despite the above-mentioned possibility of a linkage between final separation and the paroḍhā state, there is no mention of the gopis being wives to other men anywhere in this brief description of Krishna's loves as given by Jayavallabha.

It would appear then that this early stratum of the secular version of the gopi-Krishna mythology did not contain an adulterous dimension in the paroḍhā sense. The secular Prakrit anthologists Hāla and Jayavallabha cannot be said to have been predisposed to a svakīyā or kanyā-parakīyā version of the story for sectarian reasons, nor due to adherence to the theoretical dogmas of a particular school of poetics. The concept of the gopis and Radha as paroḍhā women only entered the consciousness of the secular poets as a result of the developments found in the puranic literature, where it became progressively more pronounced, particularly in BhP. Some later authors, even after the wide establishment of the authority of the BhP model, continued to give alternative portrayals. The Pañcatantra has an explicit reference to Radha as the wife of Vishnu. (10)

Another such effort at putting Radha in the married camp is found in the Campū-bhāgavata of Abhinava Kalidas, who gives an idiosyncratic account of Radha as a queen at Dwaraka, daughter of a king of Sri Lanka. (11)

South Indian apocrypha to the Hari-vaṁśa also contain a story of Krishna's marriage to a gopi named Nīlā after killing seven bulls. (12) The killing of bulls as a heroic act by the cowherding classes to win the woman of one's heart is a Dravidian custom which is found in the Cankam literature and is later becomes a part of the folk Krishna mythology. This act of heroism is apparently connected with the dancing of the kuravai. Reference to this dance in relation with the Krishna legend and the cowherding peoples who worshipped him is found first in the Tamil epic Cilappatikāram (the final recension of which is dated to the 6th or 7th centuries) Ch.17, called Āycciyarkuravai, "The dance of the cowherdesses,"(13) though the heroic conquering of the bulls is found in an earlier Tamil poem Kalittokai.(14)

Both incidents are referred to frequently in the writings of the Alvars. The favoured gopi and wife won by Krishna in these accounts is Nappiṇṇai (or simply Piṇṇai or Piññai, literally "younger sister") and never Radha, who remains unmentioned in these Dravidian sources. Nappiṇṇai remains a role-model in the early erotic-devotional writings of the Alvars which shall be discussed in relation to the puranic and religious materia. Since the account of the Cilappatikāram, written by an impartial observer (a Jain), giving a description of the customs of the Abhiras, who are considered to be the originators of the Krishna worship, the possibility that the gopi-Krishna mythology had a svakīyā origin.


3 Sis 16.8.
kṛita-gopa-vadhū-rater ghnato
vṛṣam ugre narake'pi samprati |
pratipattir adhaḥ-kṛtainaso
janatābhis tava sādhu varṇyate ||

4 Reference to David Smith.

5 Srk 808,
teṣāṁ gopa-vadhū-vilāsa-suhṛdāṁ rādhā-rahaḥ-sākṣiṇāṁ
kṣemaṁ bhadra-kalinda-rāja-tanayā-tīre latā-veṣmanām |
vicchinne smara-talpa-kalpana-vidhi-cchedopayoge'dhunā
te jāne jaraṭhī-bhavanti vigalan-nīla-tviṣaḥ pallavāḥ ||

This translation by Ingalls. It is in Abhinavagupta's commentary that this is said to be a case of rasābhāsa. Also durārādhā rādhayad anenāpi mṛjataḥ [3.41].

6 See Jiva's commentary on UN 1.20. This citation should go to support the use of the word vadhū in the general sense of a woman. [8.8] vadhū used in a non-marital sense. prathayati pūtanikeva vadhū-vadha-nirdaya-bāla-caritram ||

7 Verse 859:
apsarasaḥ kiṁ na vaśā vaidagdhyavatāṁ ca kiṁ na dhaureyaḥ |
yena cakārāsaktiṁ govindo gopa-dāreṣu ||

8 Though only 455 of the 700 verses of Hāla are found in all MSS and are therefore considered to be genuine, the later accretions remain sufficiently ancient to be considered valuable evidence.

9 ūaccāsaṇṇa-vivāhe samaṁ yaśoāi taruṇa-govīhiṁ |
vaḍḍhante mahumahaṇe saṁbandhāṇiṇhuvijjanti ||

[atsāsanna-vivāhe samaṁ yaśodayā taruṇa-gopibhiḥ |
vardhamāne madhumathane sambandhā nihnūyante

10 Bombay: Nirnayasagara Press (9th edn.), 1950, p.54: rādhā nāma me bhāryā gopa-kula-prasūtā prathamam āsīt sā tvam avatīrṇā.

11 Reference in Campū-bhāgavata.

12 Hari-vaṁśa, appendix no.12, p.61. Nila, is characterized as the daughter of a cowherd in Mithila named Kumbhaka. Her brother is Sridaman. In Rupa's works, Sridaman is said to be the brother of Radha.

13 For a full account of this onemay read the translation by Ramachandra Dikshitar (1939), or the summary given by Hardy (1983), 172-8. Hardy also discusses the bullfight and the Dravidian version of the rāsa dance, the kuravai extensively in Appendix VIII of Virahabhakti, 617-27.

14 dhvastaṁ kena vilepanaṁ kucayuge kenā janaṁ netrayoḥ
rāgaḥ kena tavādhare pramathitaḥ keśeṣu kena srajaḥ |
tenāśeṣa-janaugha-kalmaṣam uṣā nīlābja-bhāsā sakhi
kiṁ kṛṣṇena na yāmunena payasā kṛṣṇānurāgas tava ||

3. The early puranic accounts

HV contains no reference to the gopis being wives of other men, except in an alternative reading which does not seem to pertain to the original text.(15) In a later context, however, one statement of the gopis does seem to confirm their married status. (16)

By the time of the ViP, however, the puranic tradition of the adulterous natureof the loves of at least some of the gopis with Krishna is fully established, though the details of such a relationship, the fears and deceptions, etc., involved in such a relationship, do not play any part in the ViP narrative. All the reader is told is that some of the gopis fled from their husbands, and not only their husbands, but all their kith and kin in order to be with Krishna. This information comes almost an afterthought, at the end of the chapter describing the rasa dance and again in the context of BalarAma's visit to Vraja.
[Despite having] been obstructed by their husbands, their fathers and their brothers, the cowherd women, loving sex, gave pleasure to Krishna in the night.(17)
We have abandoned our fathers and mothers, our brothers, our husbands and our relatives for him. He is extremely ungrateful to us.(18)
In tandem with this revelation, ViP also gives us the rudimentary form of the rationalization and justification for these acts of Krishna: As the form of the soul within their husbands, within them, indeed within every created thing, all-pervading like the air. Just as the ether, fire, earth, water and air pervade all the elements, so too is the soul Krishna situated within all. (19)

The closeness of this rationalization and the one given on no less than three occasions in BhP to explain the phenomenon of permanent separation shows how in the minds of the writers of the purāṇas, these two two aspects of Krishna's relation to the gopis (parakīyātva and final separation) were related. It may be, however, that the dominating intention of the early writers of the Krishna legend, were to illustrate the sexual prowess of the divine hero. This would fit a structure of the mythology of the child hero in other cultures as well.

Krishna as the lover of many women is a feature of the gopi-Krishna mythology which is as essential a feature, if not more so, than the parakīyā situation. Thus, the emphasis is not on the paroḍhā gopi in particular, but on the fact that all the gopis came, whether married or unmarried. Thus, in v.13.20-22, the description is given of a gopa-kanyakā who achieved liberation when meditating upon him, though unable to go to him because she saw an elder (guru) standing outside the house. Similarly, original to ViP (vis-à-vis HV) is the introduction of an especially fortunate gopi whom Krishna roams with alone after suddenly abandoning the other gopis (v.13.33). This gopi too is abandoned by him (v.13.39-40). The theme of jealousy (māna) is only hinted at and not developed fully.


15 Reference to be sought.

16 Reference to be sought.

17 ViP v.13.59:
tā varyamānā patibhiḥ pitṛbhir bhrātṛbhis tathā |
kṛṣṇaṁ gopāṅganā rātrau ramayanti rati-priyāḥ ||

18 ViP v.25.16:
pitā mātā tathā bhrātā bhartā bandhu-janaś ca kim |
santyaktas tat-kṛte'smābhir akṛtajña-dhvajo hi saḥ ||

19 ViP v.13.61-2:
tad-bhartṛṣu tathā tāsu sarva-bhūteṣu ceśvaraḥ |
ātma-svarūpa-rūpo'sau vyāpī vāyur iva sthitaḥ ||
yathā samasta-bhūteṣu nabho'gniḥ pṛthivī jalam |
vāyuś cātmā tathaivāsau vyāpya sarvam avasthitaḥ ||

4. The Tamil Bhakti tradition : The Alvars

Before going on to discuss the BhP, which is the direct puranic successor to the ViP, it is necessary to discuss the earliest religious manifestationof the erotic mood in Krishnaite devotionalism. During the latter half of the first millenium in South India, twelve saints known as the Alvars, later held by the Sri Vaishnava tradition to be their precursors and spiritual masters, carved out an innovative path of emotional devotionalism which differed from anything that had been seen in the Northern streams of Vaishnavism. The progressive development of this school and its gradual transformation have been brilliantly demonstrated by Friedhelm Hardy, and it is primarily upon his extensive work that this précis of Alvar religion is based. Hardy has shown how with Nammalvar (c.700), also known as Saṭhakopa (Caṭakopaṇ), this emotional strand of Vishnuite devotion began to take on an erotic flavour which was maintained and developed on by Viṭṭucittaṇ, Periyāllvār, Kulacekaraṇ and Koṭai (Antal), before being submerged again by a more transcendental vision and ultimately taking the form given it by Yāmuna and Rāmānuja. The creation of the BhP marked the culmination of the erotic devotionalism of the Alvars, though its aim was evidently far wider and the influences of Vedānta, Jainism, etc. can also be found in it. Neverthe less, the originality and the literary value of the gopi-related passages, coming in a very direct line from the Alvar writings, were to have the most lasting impact on pan-Indian religion and culture.

From the evidence of the Tamil writings of the Alvars, preserved in the Divya-prabandham, it would appear that their knowledge of the Krishna legend was founded on the early PurANic accounts, i.e. Hari-vaṁśa and perhaps Bāla-carita or its sources. There is no evidence that any of the Alvars had knowledge of ViP. There may well have been an earlier, folk tradition of Krishnaism in South India also, as is borne out by the Cilāpattikāram, which mentions Krishna's dance with the cowherd women. To this base of early puranic mythology the Alvars added numerous features particular to South Indian society and culture, an important element of which was the temple-based religious culture peculiar to them. More to the point are the elements of viraha and the expression of spiritual desire in physical terms. Krishna is clearly bahu-vallabha, the lover of many women; the implications of a faithlessness in God is the essential governing feature of the unique devotional attitude of the Alvars, expressed as the loving feeling of a woman for her lover.

Nowhere are the gopis said to be wives of other men. Rather they are almost always pictured as young girls in the care of their mothers who are enamoured of Krishna, also known in the South Indian tradition as kāṇṇaṇ, māyoṇ and māḻ (all = "black"). The desire of these girls is for physical union with Krishna, the ultimate expression of which is marriage.

The first Alvar to have adapted erotic themes to the devotional mood was Nammalvar. Though he wrote a number of works which are included in the Alvar canon, Tiruvāymoḻi (TVM) is "his mature, homogenousand absolutely unique creation" (Hardy, 309). Within this work, Hardy specifies 26 poems which are in this erotic-devotional mood. These are further divided into 23 "girl-poems" and three "gopi-poems." In the first group of songs, the speaker is a young unmarried girl who has fallen in love with the mythological Krishna, the god in the temple. The poems are her words spoken to herself, her mother or to a friend where she expresses her love for and her pain at being unable to have her lord. This erotic element with Krishna as the object of love is found in the "gopi-poem" as well, with the difference that the girl speaking makes it clear that she isherself a gopi participating directly in the lila in a relation with Krishna (Kaṇṇan or Māyoṇ). The barrier between mythology and reality here becomes blurred, as does the identity of the Alvar and the girl/gopi. A feeling of separation pervades the poems: the gopi laments in the evening that she could not support her soul in her separation from Krishna (TVM ix.9). She feels separation during the day also Krishna is out herding the cows (ix.9, x.3). She feels abandoned by Krishna: " Māyoṇ embraced me, clasped my breasts and shoulders, and then abandoned me."(ix.9) The reason that Krishna abandons her is clear: she has much competition. All the gopis love Krishna and he cannot be faithful to any one of them. They thus all scold him for his mischievous and deceitful behaviour (vi.5).

This feeling of having been abandoned is also found in the Periyatirumoli (PVT) of Tirumaṅkai Alvar.
It is the abode of Him
who one day in former times,
in the shadow of a screw-pine with flowers sucked by bees
made my heart overflow with love and desire,
and then abandoned me. (ix.3)
However, some of Tirumaṅkai's songs are the statements of the girl's mother, who indicates that it is she who has been abandoned by her daughter who hasdeparted with Krishna, indicating that the daughter at least has attained union with him. He came like a black bull and spoke to my daughter:
"Come come!" He took her hand with the white bracelets, and they abandoned [me], the mother who gave birth to her. Have they now entered Ali [the temple town of Maṅkai, i.e. the spiritual abode]? [My daughter] desired that cowherd, who had done naughty things before: he had sneaked in and kissed her beautiful lips... She has run away with him. (Hardy 383)
Vittucittan (Periyālvār) (c.800) in his Tirumoli describes a mother's concern about her daughter's adventurism:
What would be gained by having her married, losing thereby all the wealth we possess, and by placing her in the custody of a husband?... While we were planning to keep her inside the house and to arrange inaffection her marriage at great expense, she thought differently [i.e. she elopes with Krishna]. (iii.7.9-10; Hardy, 410)
Though the emphasis in Vittucittan is on the motherly emotions, the erotic only subservient to the mother's worry, nevertheless the emphasis appears to be on the success of the girl's efforts to be united with Krishna in marriage, even if that be a marriage of the Gandharva sort. He also describes the parental emotions ascribed to Krishna's mother Yashoda who worries about Krishna's precocious behaviour after hearing complaints about his stealing the gopis' clothes and other such mischief. (iii.7.7; Hardy, 384)

Periyālvār's daughter Godai or Antal, the only woman amongst the Alvars, made the "girl-song" her exclusive mode of expression. The predominating emotionin her two works, Tiruppāvai (TPA) and Nacciyār-Tirumoli (NAcTM), is erotic. In TPA, Antal describes herself as a participant in both the context of the present world where she is engaging in the Dravidian custom of ritual bathing and worshipping the goddess in order to obtain a husband, and in the dimension of the Krishna-world where she is a gopi performing the same acts in Vraja with the goal of having Krishna as her husband. A third dimension of the song involves templerituals at the temple where her father served the deity. Thus she prays: "We have come to you today not only to obtain the drum for all time to come we want to be joined with you and be accepted by you as slave-girls." (PA 29, Hardy, 416)

In In TPA Antal refers to Nanda's daughter-in-law (Nappiṇṇai) as her role model. In NāccIyār-Tirumoli, perhaps shedding light on the parental emotions described by her father, Antal lends expression to the complex feelings of a young girl, apparently rebelling against an imminent arranged marriage. : "Since my youth I have faithfully dedicated my growing breasts to the Lord of Dwaraka and worshipped him." (ibid. 418)
"See, I could not live if other men enjoyed my large breasts
that grew while I meditated on Krishna;
it would be like a jackal that roams in the forest
stepping upon and sniffing with its nose
at the oblations offered by the Vedic sages." (NAcTM i.5)
This determination to become the wife of Krishna is realized in a dream where Vishnu arrives in all his heavenly splendour to celebrate marriage with her which is elaborately described. Though Kulacekaran (c.850), the last of the Alvars to use erotic themes is much more subdued, he sheds some light on the relation of the devotee to god with a simile in which he compares himself to "a girl of a good family who remains faithful to her husband even when he is unfaithful to her." (Hardy, 431)

On the whole, though there is a decidedly sensual element in a number of the Alvars' hymns, the theme of the paroḍhā woman is nowhere to be found in them. Indeed, though separation is found to play a generally significant role, there seems to be as much evidence of successful realisation of the goal of marital union as not. The Alvars do not seem to have described Krishna's departure for Mathura as a tragic event for the gopis who were devoted to him, apparently confirming their lack of knowledge of the ViP.

NOTES Notes give in the text. No Tamil transliterations given, sorry.

5. The Bhāgavata-purāṇa

BhP is a major puranic work which was the single greatest influence on the North Indian mediaeval devotional movements, in particular the Vallabha and Gaudiya schools. Gaudiya Vaishnavas identify it as the "faultless source of knowledge" (pramāṇam amalam).(20)

The chief puranic source used by its author was ViP, though the influence of the Dravidian Vaishnava literature, as well as those of the Jains and VedAntists are all clearly discernable. Though one would also have to admit the author's wide reading and knowledge of Sanskrit poetic literature, he has not been trapped into a repetition of the clichIs of the poets, which for the most part he avoids successfully. It is rather the theological depth of BhP as well as the literary pretensions and devotional passages of its tenth book that contributed to its success. The illicit nature of the gopis' relation to Krishna is seen not merely as a theme to exploit and expand upon for its poetic value, but as one containing ethical problems needing resolution as well as an underlying theological significance needing interpretation. These explanatory footnotes to the narrative are inserted by the author in the customary puranic form of dialogue, either between Parikshit and the speaker of BhP, Shukadeva, or Krishna himself and the gopis.

The BhP makes numerous additions to the gopi-Krishna cycle as known to the puranic tradition, most of which can be traced directly to the Alvars’ writings. The BhP version of this cycle thus contains two main strands: the puranic and the Alvaric. As we may well expect after the previous discussion, the emphasis on the paroḍhā aspects of the gopi-Krishna relationship is found primarily in those portions deriving from the purāṇas rather than the Alvars. However, Alvaric elements, where they have been adapted to the puranic narrative, have also accomodated the paroḍhā theme.

Most of the pūrva-rāga sequences (x.16.42-3, 20.42, 45, 21.1-21) are clearly based on the theme of daily separation found in the Divya-prabandham. In these passages, the gopis are called vraja-yoṣitaḥ (x.16.43, 20.42) or vraja-striyaḥ (x.21.3, 6). In one verse of the Venu-gita (x.21.11), the gopis exclaim at the fortune of the doe who, in the company of their husbands, are able to offer Krishna worship with glances full of love. The suggestion of the verse is not lost on the Gaudiya commentators who sense that the gopis, being themselves married to unsympathetic spouses, could make no such united expression of love in their company. At the same time, the gopis demonstrate a possessiveness of Krishna: the nectar of his lips is really their property, though the fortunate flute is in the position of enjoying Krishna's kisses all by himself. The paroḍhā elements are thus peripheral rather than central to these portions.

The chapter which follows (x.22) is the famous story of the vastra-haraNa: the stealing of the unmarried gopis' clothes. This chapter contains two original Alvar themes that have been combined. The first, the MarkolI ritual, was a dominanttheme in TPA; the second, the stealing of the gopis' clothes is mentioned here and there in the songs of Vittucittan and others. The unmarried gopis (vraja-kumārikāḥ) go to the Yamuna in the first month of the cold season to bathe and worship Katyayani in order to have Krishna as their husband. Krishna fulfills their desire by stealing their clothes and demanding that they come naked to him, thus de facto fulfilling a condition of married life. He promises the gopis that he shall enjoy with them sexually when the time comes. The word kumārikāḥ is repeated in both the first and last verses of the narrative (x.22.1-28), showing that the author clearly wished to distinguish this group of girls from the other gopis, who are by implication married.

The next major segment of the gopi-Krishna tale is the BhP reworking of the rasa dance, the original element in the epic/puranic account of the cowherd Krishna's loves. Nearly all of the five chapters (x.29-33) have their basis in the ViP version. Only x.31, the "gopī-gīta", can be said to be dominated by antecedents from the Alvar traditions. However, the BhP version of the rāsa dance contains numerous references to the gopis' married status and is dominated by this issue in a way that the ViP never is.

Shukadeva makes it even more explicit than ViP that the gopis are married. The vraja-striyaḥ (x.29.4) are serving their husbands and tending their small children when they come under the sway of Krishna's enchanting flute call. Completely maddened by the flute, the gopis become the embodiments of the abhisārikā, though BhP's author avoids all the usual elements used by the poets in describing her. They are rather manifestations of the element emphasized by the poeticians in their definitions of the abhisārikā: "Abandoning shame, in the grasp of intoxication and desire, she who goes to meet her lover...'(21)

Some of the gopis manage to escape their husbands' clutches, others are not sofortunate and are held behind. These less fortunate women, locked in their rooms, enter into a deep meditation in which they were able to attain his embrace (x.29.10). Even though they joined with him, the supreme soul, considering himto be a paramour (jāra), they immediately gave up their bodies of matter, their material bondage coming to an end. (x.29.11)

The word jāra is, needless to say, a term of high disapprobation (synonym pāpa-pati, Amara-koṣa ) showing us that the author did not wish to hide from the ethical problem. It would appear that the issue was one which had already becomea matter of critical comment from opponents of the Vaishnavas whom the author felt he had to answer. Thus, at this point ParIkshit asks the first of his questions:
"The gopis knew Krishna as their supreme lover and not as brahman. Since their thoughts were of a material quality, how could they attainfreedom from the bondage of material qualities?" (22)

Shuka answers by referring to an earlier statement (vii.1.29-30) made by him in the course of describing the death of Sisupala, where he had made it clear that demons killed by Krishna also attained liberation due to their constant thinking of him. By this logic, meditation upon Krishna is always beneficial, whether one does it in hate, envy or lust. If enemies such as Sisupala could be liberated through their intense hatred of Krishna, then was it not natural that the gopis, who were dear to Krishna, should be liberated through their sensuous love for him? (x.29.13-16) Krishna is himself divine: oneis cured by a powerful medecine whether one has priorknowledge of its power.(23)

Though Shuka answers by arguing a fortiori (kim utādhokṣaja-priyāḥ), the equation of the gopis' kāma to the kāma, krodha or bhaya felt by Krishna's enemies only serves as a basis from which to commence the discussion of the issue of the gopis' love. The author wishes to show just how great the gopis' love is, ultimately to eliminate any stigma whatever from the appellation of kāma that has been given to it. Shuka thus goes on to describe the test which Krishna sets for the gopis when they arrive at his side: "Not seeing you, your mothers, fathers, sons, brothers and husbands are searching for you. You should not cause distress to your relations." Krishna further tells them to go back to their homes to serve their husbands, giving them a brief lesson in strī-dharma: "The non-deceitful service of the husband, his kith and kin, and raising his children is the ultimate religious duty for a woman. A woman should not abandon a husband if she desires to attain a higher destination after death, even if he is bad-tempered, luckless, old, stupid, sickly or poor -- as long as he is not a sinner. For a family women, to take a lover does not lead to heaven, it brings infamy, it is false, painful and fearsome. It is condemned everywhere."

Krishna ends his speech by telling them that they would be better off hearing and speaking about him, looking at him, meditating on him, etc., rather than associating with him directly, and that therefore they should return to their homes. (x.29.18-27)

The gopis' answer contains not only the erotic elements as they describe how they have fallen in love with him on account of his great beauty, his playing of the flute, etc., but also a theological rebuttal to his own lesson. This passage contains some of the finest verses in BhP:
You know the principles of duty, and you have told us
the duty of womenfolk is to attend to the needs
of the husband, children and relatives.
And so it should be, but to you, our lord, the giver of the instruction,
for you are the beloved, the friend and soul of all embodied beings

Those who are fortunate love only you, oh soul!
for you are the eternal beloved.
What is the use of husbands and sons who bring only pain?
Oh supreme lord, lotus-eyed one, be merciful then to us.
Do not cut off the hopes which we have cherished for so long. (24)
These pleadings of the gopis for Krishna's acceptance of their love in purely physical terms is combined with the religious sense of surrender in a way unequalled by any of the literature that preceded or followed it.
Where in heaven, earth or hell is the woman who,
being enchanted by the beautiful melodies of your flute,
would not stray from the proper Aryan behaviour?
For even the cows, birds, trees and forest creatures did frisson
when they saw your beauty, unique in the three worlds. (25)

he gopis know that Krishna is the object of the desire of the goddess of fortune, who abides on his breast. They repeat that they wish to be his slaves, a term whichhas both devotional and erotic overtones. Finally, they remind him that just as Narayan protects Indra and the gods, he, Krishna, is committed to the protection of the residents of the cowherd community and he should therefore fulfill their desires.

Krishna accepts the gopis, but soon leaves them again. This disappearance, unexplained in ViP, is attributed in BhP to the gopis' pride at their own good fortune. BhP x.30 follows fairly closely the narrative of the ViP, describing Krishna's preference for a single, more fortunate gopi, who is in turn abandoned by him. BhP x.31 contains the pleas of the gopis, united with this last abandoned gopi, for Krishna to acccept them once more. This chapter is of ten known as gopi-gIta. It contains numerous references to the pain of the daily separation from Krishna as he wanders in the woods with the cowherds, as well as repeating some of the other sentiments already encountered in x.21 and x.29.
O Achyuta, we came to you, completely ignoring
our husbands, children, brothers and relatives,
being enchanted by your flute song
you knew very well what would take place, you scoundrel!
Who would then leave women all alone in the night? (26)
Krishna's epiphany in the midst of the lamenting, lonely gopis is the subject of the rasa lila's fourth chapter. It also follows the path set out by the ViP version of the episode. The chapter concludes, however, with more questions and answers as the author of BhP attempts to solve the riddle of Krishna's disappearance from the scene of the rasa dance in the face of their intense love. Krishna answers a loaded question given him by the gopis by attesting to the greatness of their love for him, as well as by giving an explanation of the nature of his love. Once again, the theological content is strong: God responds to his devotees in ways which will increase their love for him. The loving exchange with God is not a simple business transaction in which the devotee's love is evaluated and the requisite amount of happiness is given in exchange. The relation of love operates under a different law. Krishna cannot repay the total sacrifice which the gopis have made. The best that he can do for them is to seek to increase their love, either through granting association or through separation. The philosophy of separation is explained: when a poor man loses the wealth fortuitously won, he thinks of the lost fortune even more than he would have had he never had it. This is, of course, a statement of the general principle stated by Bhoja, that separation enhances the pleasure of union.(27)
I am not able [to fully repay] your pious action
you who are blameless in your union with me
even in the lifespan of a god.
You came to me cutting of the unaging chains of the family;
be satisfied, therefore, by your own good deed. (28)
The "good deed" (sādhu-kṛtyam), i.e. their all-sacrificing love, was the only thing which could satisfy them. Separation or union are not the rewards for love. Love itself is the reward; separation and union are tools used by God to increasethis love. Through love, the gopis had made all sacrifices, this placed Krishna at an obligation to them, not necessarily to fulfill their desire for union, but to allow them to taste love in its fullness, which was only possible when both union and separation were experienced.

Krishna highlights once again the all-sacrificing nature of the gopis' love. It iswell-known that Hinduism in the post-Buddhist period adopted much of the pessimism inherent in the non-Vedic religions of India. BhP follows determinedly in this path, despite its theism and its less pessimistic Dravidian roots. Statements like nivṛtta-tarṣair upagīyamānāt (x.1.4), dharmaḥ projjhitaḥ kaitavo'tra (i.1.2), etc., all confirm the BhP's commitment to a theology of salvation rather than to any of the other human goals of endeavour. Renunciation is thus repeatedly prioritized and glorified, even in this difficult and unorthodox situation dealing with women. Esoteric and exoteric religion is contrasted, as in the Gita: direct surrender to the personal deity is given priority over the following of rules and regulations belonging to the religion of convention.

After the gopis enjoy the rasa dance, etc., and the entire episode draws to aconclusion, the BhP's author once again takes a cue from ViP and makes another effort at justifying Krishna's activities. Parikshit asks the question, "Krishna supposedly came to teach the principles of religion, yet here we have heard of him openly flaunting these principles; so what are we to make of this?'

Shukadeva's response to this question in ten verses contains four answers:

1. The first answer might be said to apply to any powerful person, including a king. Just as fire cannot be contaminated by filth thrown into it, such powerful persons cannot be reproached for activities that are apparently sinful. This is primarily because they do not act out of a selfish interest that can be damaging to others, but out of some transcendent purpose. This is further substantiated by the answer in verse 38, which states that the husbands of the gopis were never aware of their relations with Krishna.

2. Krishna is the Supersoul, the antaryāmin of all living beings, including both the gopis and their husbands, thus how can any fault be ascribed to him if he chooses to claim the prerogative which is his? This is, of course, the solution we saw that was given in ViP.

3. Shuka says that Krishna, in a human body to show his compassion for the created beings, performs such activities which when they hear of them become fixed on him.

4. Finally, the husbands of the gopis were never aware of their relations with Krishna, thinking that their wives remained beside them throughout the night. This transpired as a result of Krishna's yogamāyā potency, whose shelter he had taken to start the evening anyhow.

This last answer is the most significant from the point of view of the later Vaishnavas who expanded on the erotic themes of the gopis and Krishna's relations, for it is the answer that deals with the concrete facts of the narrative. Answer no. 2 is the one that contains the kernel of the svakīyā doctrine: extrinsically, the gopis appear to be parakīyā, intrinsically nothing is parakīyā to him.

The chapter concludes with the phala-śruti:
Any level-headed person who hears of these games (vikrīḍitam)
of Vishnu with the women of Vraja (vraja-vadhūbhiḥ) with faith,
or describes them, shall attain supreme devotion to the Lord
and very quickly give up the disease of the heart
which is desire (kāma).(29)

Clearly, this last verse makes a distinction between the desire of the gopis, which has also been described as kāma, and the desire of any ordinary adulterous woman for her paramour.

Other passages coming later in BhP do not contribute anything further to the argument. At the time of Krishna's departure from Vrindavan for Mathura, the gopis are described as having deserted shame for they openly reveal their love for Krishna without concerning themselves with the reactions of their elders. This same theme was also found in ViP.

Krishna later sends messages to the gopis from Mathura and Dwaraka (x.46-7, x.61). In the first of these sequences, Uddhava eulogizes the love of the gopis, acclaiming them as the greatest of Krishna's devotees (x.47.56ff), for having cast aside their families as well as the religious path for him. This sacrifice is seen as the supreme sacrifice, evidently much greater than any that a man could attain. Bharata, whose renunciation too is glorified, is never spoken of in such glowing terms. No other devotees are themselves spoken of as objects of worship in the way that Uddhava says of them:
I constantly worship the foot dust
of the wives of Nanda's vraja;
whose loud glorification of Hari
purifies the three worlds. (30)
Uddhava also states that the gopis gained a mercy from Krishna, his embrace, which was not had even by Lakshmi. Though such statements are found elsewhere in relation to Nanda and Yashoda (x.9.20) and Uddhava (xi.14.15), and even Kaliya (x.16.36), to be considered superior to Sri herself is an indication of the high position held by the gopis. Thus, though in the chapters on the rāsa never exceeded the role of sAdhikAs they are creatures attaining perfection in attaining Krishna. Their love, though great and glorious, is still subject to the perfecting mechanisms controlled by Krishna. This is appropriate to the double level on which the entire episode is being played and which is also the hallmark of the girl-poems of Nammalvar and his successors.

The acolyte of this world can easily fit himself into the role of the gopi: his renunciation of worldly life is analogous to that of the gopis; he too has to overcome the demands of exoteric religious duty in order to go to the ultimate religious experience of direct union with Krishna; he too must undergo the pains and pleasures of occasional mystical union and, more frequently, heart rending separation. No attempt is made to account for the gopis' previous existences in the way that was for both sets of Krishna's parents; neither are we told that they are eternally perfected associates of Krishna, incarnated with him. [The BhP, for all its glorification of Krishna, nevergoes absolutely and unequivocally out on the limb and puts Krishna above Vishnu, as the use of the epithe t Vishnu in the last verse of the five chapters on the rāsa show.]

Uddhava's statements, however, place the gopis onto another plane of eternal reality. Though their greatness is demonstrated and indeed proven by the magnitude of their renunciation, they are nevertheless beyond even Vishnu's eternal consort. Then how could they be anything less than eternal consorts the mselves? {A hint of this has already come in the form of a contrast: the wives of the yajnika Brahmins had come to Krishna with an attitude of surrender notdissimilar to that of the gopis. Krishna greeted them with words almost identical tothose with which he greeted the gopis on the night of the rāsa dance, words which the gopis treated as a test, a hurdle to be overcome. The Brahmin women, however, could not do so, and returned to their husbands, leaving us to assume that they would have to await rebirth as gopis before they could physically attain union with Krishna according to their desire. This contrast awards special status to the gopis only attributable, according to the Hindu mindset, previous lifetimes of austerities and pious acts.)

The occasional slip, such as a gopi's use of ärya-putra (x.47.21) an epithet usually used by wives for their husbands, or the naming of the gopis "Krishna's wives" (kṛṣṇa-vadhvaḥ; x.33.8), show that this divine platform of eternal union on the transcendental plane actually is realized the first time in separation, the latter in union. This too, however, cannot be said to be beyond the experience of the earth-bound mystic, as we have indeed seen from Antal's vision of her marriage to Vishnu. The sense that the devotee has of ultimately belonging to God is the motivation and justification for his giving priority to his piety above all other religious and secular duties.

The gopis of the BhP experience a great deal more separation; indeed, there is no resolution to their separation, despite the hints of their transcendental union. These hints come in upanishadic language, echoing those of a transcendental union which does not carry the very physical and anthropomorphic vision that predominates in the rasa lila chapters. Indeed, it would appear that the author was pushed by a desire to revert from a concrete anthropomorphism to a more ambiguous language. In their separation from Krishna, a separation which is final in BhP, Krishna's attempts to salve the pain of this separation take the form of philosophical dissertation: he, as the supreme truth is all pervading, therefore they are never trully separated from him (x.47.29-37). When Krishna repeats this same message upon meeting the gopis at Kurukshetra (x.82.44-47), the gopis appear (x.82.48-9) to humbly accept the message by praying to remember his lotus feet while they continued to engage in their day-to-day duties, attached as they were to their households. Their humble words bely the glories that have been heaped on them in earlier chapters and it is little wonder that later authors, particularly of the Gaudiya school should reinterpret this verse in a way which is more true to their understanding of the gopis' character. Nevertheless, the emphasis given here on separation points to an allegorical intention on the part of the BhP's author. He is speaking to the devotee in this world who must wait for death in order to achieve union with his god. The platitude that meditation is a truer union, never acceptable to a lover of flesh and blood, must be accepted by the spiritual lover.

However, though there is no resolution of Krishna's separation from the gopis in BhP, this must be attributed to the lack of precedent in ViP rather than on any theological intention on the part of the author. Not found in ViP are Krishna'snumerous promises to return. The existence of Goloka, Krishna's personal paradise, the ultimate destination of the cowherds, is revealed by him to Nanda and the other gopas after Krishna returns with his father from Varunaloka (x.28). Naturally, the gopis too have a place in this heavenly abode.

Perhaps as a result of the increased emphasis created by the puranic tradition, both the final viraha and the parakīyā relation were not only anathema to the critical tradition, which also increasingly sought something in the manner of purity in love, as we have come to expect from the occidental courtly tradition. Bhoja in particular amongst the poeticians appears to have held idealistic conceptions of love and based his rasa-theory on the idea of pure love (śṛṅgāra). Though Bhoja's ideas may have had roots in the same traditions which lead Hardy to talk of a "body-centered conception of religion", he was no Vaishnava. Though he speaks of a bhakti-rasa, this was not likely to have been anything like that later conceived of by Rupa Goswami. Indeed, in the last chapter of his great work on poetics and drama, Śṛṅgāra-prakāśa ,(31) Bhoja cites a verse from a work that has now been lost, Vasudeva's Hari-vaṁśa- kāvya , as an example of an inferior type of love, i.e. manda-prema, the definition of which is alpa-kāraṇāpaneyaḥ, i.e. love that is easily destroyed.

Bhoja accepts the concept of separation, he is the author of a verse quoted by Rupa himself,
Not without separation
does union attain fullness;
only when one adds dye to cloth
does it become colourful.(32)
The verse shows that in Sanskrit drama, the tragic theme of a final viraha was not acceptable to the critics. Separation served as a vehicle to the joy of union, like a dye that revives the washed-out colour of a cloth.

On the other hand, the secretive aspect of these affairs is undeniable, and the word rahaH appears frequently in the Sanskrit verses about them such as in the following verse of Dimboka, quoted in Srk (980):
The pilgrims in the street have warded off the painful cold
with their broad quilts sewn of a hundred rags;
and now with voices clear and sweet
they break the morning slumber of the city folk
with songs of the secret love of Madhava and Radha.(33)


20 Srinath Chakravarti's introductory verse to his commentary on BhP. Caitanya-mata-mañjuSA, (ed.) Puridasa, Calcutta: Gaudiya Mission, 1942.

21 NAT 22.220;
hitvā lajjāṁ tu yā śliṣṭā madena madanena ca |
abhisārayate kāntaṁ sā bhaved abhisārikā
|| p.201.

22 x.29.12
kṛṣṇaṁ viduḥ paraṁ kāntaṁ na tu brahmatayā mune |
guṇa-pravāhoparamas tāsāṁ guṇa-dhiyāṁ katham ||

23 This point is made in BhP x.47.59:
nanv īśvaro'nubhajato'viduṣo'pi sākṣāc
chreyas tanoty agada-rāja ivopayuktaḥ

24 BhP x.29.32-33;
yat paty-apatya-suhṛdām anuvṛttir eva
strīṇāṁ sva-dharma iti dharma-vidā tvayoktam |
astv evam upadeśa-pade tvayīśe preṣṭho
bhavāṁs tanu-bhṛtāṁ kila bandhur ātmā ||
kurvanti hi tvayi ratim kuśalah sva ātman
nitya-priye pati-sutādibhir ārtidaih kim
tan naḥ prasīda parameśvara mā sma chindyā
āsām bhṛtām tvayi cirād aravinda-netra ||

25 x.29.40:
kā stry aṅga te kala-padāyuta-mūrcchitena
sammohitārya-caritān na calet trilokyām |
trailokya-saubhagam idam ca nirīkṣya rūpaṁ
yad go-dvija-druma-mṛgāh pulakāny abibhran ||

26 x.31.16
ativilaṅghya te’nty acyutāgatāḥ |
gati-vidas tavodgīta-mohitāḥ
kitava yoṣitaḥ kas tyajen niśi ||

saṁgama-viraha-vikalpe varaṁ viraho na tu saṁgamas tasyāḥ |
saṁgame sā tv ekā tribhuvanam tanmayam virahe ||

In Pv. Contrast Nat 22.235:
na tathābhavati manuṣyo madana-vāsaḥ kāminīm alabhamānaḥ |
dviguṇopajāta-harṣo bhavati yathā-saṅgatah priyayā ||

Separation is all very well and good, but without describing union, above and beyond just attainment (Abhinava Gupta).

28 x.32.19;
na pāraye'haṁ niravadya-saṁyujāṁ
sva-sādhu-kṛtyaṁ vibudhāyuṣāpi vaḥ |
yā mābhajan durjara-geha-śṛṅkhalāṁ
saṁvṛścya tad vaḥ pratiyātu sādhunā ||

29 x.33.39;
vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvito'nu śṛṇuyād atha varṇayed vā
bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati parilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ ||

30 x.47.63;
vande nanda-vraja-strīṇāṁ pāda-reṇum abhīkṣṇaśaḥ |
yāsāṁ hari-kathodgītaṁ punāti bhuvana-trayam ||

31 See Raghavan, op. cit., p. 792.
pāntha dvāravatīṁ prayāsi yadi he tad devakīnandano
vaktavyaḥ smara-mantra-moha-vivaśā gopyo na nāmojjhitāḥ |
etāḥ ketaka-puṣpa-dhūli-paṭalair ālokya śūnyā diśaḥ
kālindī-taṭa-bhūmayo'pi tava re nāyānti cintāspadam ||

32 SKA 5.52.
na vinā vipralambhena sambhogaḥ puṣṭim aśnute |
kaṣāyite hi vastrādau bhūyān rāgo'nuṣajyate ||

This also appears in Ras and UN 15.3 with vivardhate for anuṣajyate. Rupa does not attribute the verse to Bhoja, introducing the verse tathā coktam. The same introduction is used for another verse from SKA (5.48) which appears in UN (15.102). Delmonico also argues on the basis of other evidence that Rupa did not know Bhoja's work directly. "Sacred rapture: a study of the religious aesthetic of Rupa Gosvami", PhD thesis, University of Chicago, 1990.

33 Dimboka in Srk 980 (Ingall's translation). Quoted in Part II.


Anonymous said...

"All is relative to the observer"



prabhā प्रभा

Definition: प्रभा 1 Light, splendour, lustre, effulgence, radiance; प्रभास्मि शशिसूर्ययोः Bg.7.8; प्रभा पतङ्गस्य R.2.15,31; 6.18; Ṛs.1.2; Me.49; दृष्टस्त्वं प्रभया गोप्या युक्तो वृन्दावने वने Brahmavaivasvata P. -2 A ray of light. -3 The shadow of the sun on a sun-dial. -4 An epithet of Durgā; प्रभा प्रभानशीलत्वात् Devī. P. -5 Name of the city of Kubera. -6 Name of an Apsaras. -Comp. -करः 1 the sun; प्रसन्नत्वात् प्रभाकरः R.1.74. -2 the moon. -3 fire. -4 the ocean. -5 an epithet of Śiva. -6 Name of a learned writer, the founder of a school of Mīmāṁsā philosophy called after him. -7 A gem (पद्मराग); Rām.2.114.1. -कीटः a fire-fly. -तरल a. tremulously radiant; न प्रभातरलं ज्योतिरुदेति वसुधातलात् Ś.1.25. -पल्लवित a. overspread or glowing with lustre; प्रभा- पल्लवितेनासौ करोति मणिना खगः (अवतंसकम्); V.5.3. -प्रभुः the sun; दृष्टदृग्भिर्दुरालोकं प्रभयेव प्रभाप्रभुम् (व्यलोकत) N.17. 25. -प्ररोहः a ray or flash of light. -भिद् a. brilliant, shining; शक्रधनुः प्रभाभिदः Ki.16.58. -मण्डलम् a circle or halo of light; स्फुरत्प्रभामण्डलया चकाशे Ku.1.24;6.4; R.3.6;14.14. -लेपिन् a. covered with lustre, emitting lustre; प्रभालेपी नायं हरिहतमृगस्यामिषलवः V.4.62. - See more at:ā/22438/4#sthash.5Ws061wi.dpuf


Anonymous said...

Kiṁ ca,
punyā bata vraja-bhuvo yad ayaṁ nṛ-linga-
guḍhaḥ purāna-puruṣo vana-citra-mālyaḥ
gāḥ pālayan saha-balaḥ kvaṇayaṁś ca veṇuṁ
vikriḍayāñcati giritra-ramārcitāṅghriḥ


Anonymous said...

Dear Jagadananda Das,

In the Kaula tradition it is "Candradvipa".

Kind regards,

M. N.


candra ("shining"):

Vipassanā (See Etymology):

Anonymous said...

Although the suffix "d" of candra"d"-vipa gives the word candra (shining) a quality, tense, gender, other signification to itself or in its relationship in compound form with the co-word vipa (seeing [intensely], with insight, clear seeing, before the eyes).

There again, (I) could be completely wrong and the "d" is a prefix to vipa or some kind of language bridge between candra and vipa.

In truth (I) am not sure what the d is Jagadananda Das.

M. N.

Anonymous said...

Or some kind of coronal consonant which is articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue (implying a double meaning, i.e. khecarī mudrā and garland [energetic halo]).

Anonymous said...

The Sanskrit language has so many wonderful choices (-:

Anonymous said...

Although all said and done, when actually pronouncing the letter d it is definitely a dental; on its pronouncement the tongue immediately shoots up to the top four front incisors and gums.