2. The gopi’s pure love

sahäyä guravaù çiñyä bhujiñyä bändhaväù striyaù
satyaà vadämi te pärtha gopyaù kià me bhavanti na

O Pärtha, I speak to you the truth. The gopés are My helpers, teachers, disciples, servants, friends and consorts. I do not know what they are not to Me.

man-mähätmyaà mat-saparyäà mac-chraddhäà man-mano-gatam
jänanti gopikäù pärtha nänye jänanti tattvataù

O Pärtha, the gopés know My greatness, My loving service, respect for Me, and My mentality. Others cannot really know these. (Çré Caitanya-caritämåta Ädi-lélä 4.211, 213)

Ädi 4.167-169:

loka-dharma, veda-dharma, deha-dharma, karma
lajjä, dhairya, deha-sukha, ätma-sukha-marma
dustyaja ärya-patha, nija parijana sva-jane karaye yata täòana-bhartsana
sarva-tyäga kari’ kare kåñëera bhajana kåñëa-sukha-hetu kare prema-sevana

Social customs, scriptural injunctions, bodily demands, fruitive action, shyness, patience, bodily pleasures, self-gratification and the path of varëäçrama-dharma, which is difficult to give up—the gopés have forsaken all these, as well as their own relatives and their punishment and scolding, for the sake of serving Lord Kåñëa. They render loving service to Him for the sake of His enjoyment.

Ädi 4.170:

ihäke kahiye kåñëe dåòha anuräga
svaccha dhauta-vastre yaiche nähi kona däga

That is called firm attachment to Lord Kåñëa. It is spotlessly pure, like a clean cloth that has no stain.


The author of Çré Caitanya-caritämåta advises everyone to give up all engagements of sense gratification and, like the gopés, dovetail oneself entirely with the will of the Supreme Lord. That is the ultimate instruction of Kåñëa in the Bhagavad-gétä. We should be prepared to do anything and everything to please the Lord, even at the risk of violating the Vedic principles or ethical laws. That is the standard of love of Godhead. Such activities in pure love of Godhead are as spotless as white linen that has been completely washed. Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura warns us in this connection that we should not mistakenly think that the idea of giving up everything implies the renunciation of duties necessary in relation to the body and mind. Even such duties are not sense gratification if they are undertaken in a spirit of service to Kåñëa.

ataeva käma-preme bahuta antara
käma—andha-tamaù, prema—nirmala bhäskara

Therefore lust and love are quite different. Lust is like dense darkness, but love is like the bright sun.( Ädi 4.171)

ataeva gopé-gaëera nähi käma-gandha
kåñëa-sukha lägi mätra, kåñëa se sambandha

Thus there is not the slightest taint of lust in the gopés’ love. Their relationship with Kåñëa is only for the sake of His enjoyment.( Ädi 4.172)

For the sake of Kåñëa one can give up everything…That is ananya – bhäva . The first-class example is the gopés. They gave up everything— their family, their relatives, their husband, their sons, their father, their prestige, their honor—everything sacrificed simply for Kåñëa. That is the highest perfection. That is not possible for ordinary… But we can if we follow the gopés’ way of loving Kåñëa.… Mayy ananyena bhävena: “simply attached to Kåñëa.”… (Çréla Prabhupäda’s lecture on SB 3.25.22—25 Nov 1974, Bombay)

They, their love was so intense that they did not care for any family, any honor, or any prestige—nothing. That is the highest, topmost loving stage of Kåñëa. And Kåñëa also loved the gopés, so much so that Kåñëa asked them that “You cannot expect any return from Me for your ecstatic love. I cannot give you. It is beyond My power.” So they purchased Kåñëa. And the topmost gopé is Rädhäräëé. (Çrémad-Bhägavatam 1.7.1 15, Våndävana, September 13, 1976)

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