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Uddhava and the Gopis

Uddhava was a close devotee and a dear friend of Krishna, avatar and King of Dwarika. They had many close discussions and intense dialogues about the mysteries of the Self - as related in the Uddhava Gita.  Uddhava, now very learned in all the scriptures, just could not fathom the relationship between Krishna and the gopis – the cowgirls of Vrindaban

Uddhava was plainly upset at the women’s ignorance, weeping and crying over Krishna.  They had known him for most of their lives; did they not know who they were dealing with?  Why did they not follow the scriptures and learn about the self and the Ultimate Reality.  He discussed his puzzlement about the gopis’ attitudes with his Lord Krishna.  Krishna listened carefully, sagely nodding his head and finally suggested that Uddhava should go to Vrindaban and ‘teach’ the gopis. Uddhava was very pleased and felt rather proud to have been entrusted with this task as the knowledgeable teacher.

So, off he set towards Vrindaban. The gopis received him gladly and all gathered around him as he began to teach the group, expounding his Vedantic wisdom.

“Oh Gopis, you are so attached to the person of Krishna, why do you not focus on his Divine nature, on the Godhead?  You need to study the scriptures, the Vedas, the Upanishads to understand the nature of Krishna; you need to do sadhana, tapasya, etc, etc…”

Uddhava talked for one hour, all the gopis listened politely and with full attention.  Uddhava waited for response, but all was quiet.

Finally he spoke and asked them: “So, did you understand what I was explaining, please, say something…”

One Gopi spoke up: Oh Uddhava, we heard what you said and all I can reply is this:  Shyama (Krishna) dwells in my mind, my whole wealth is Shyama, all what I have is Shyama and every cell of my body is filled with Shyama.  If Krishna represents the Supreme Godhead and he has taken every inch of my body, tell me oh learned Uddhava, where shall I put your knowledge?

Uddhava was no fool and humbled he bowed down to the gopis and left, going back to Krishna.

“Oh my Lord, why did you send me to teach the gopis? You knew all along how they feel and how they relate to you. No one can teach them; they not only know about your being, they are filled with you.

 Well, Krishna replied: “Perhaps that is what was missing in your knowledge…”

Narada describes that that the human experience of love is only a spark of the divine love; when you do the things you like most you get pleasure and they are only the tiniest, minutest part of the divine bliss.  Imagine, that when you are in love in your regular human life and you are prepared to give anything and everything for that love, then compare this to being immersed in the whole ananda, the total bliss – experiencing the totality of love.


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