photo by Ark in Time
Some rights reserved
Drawing, ink and opaque watercolour on paper, depicting Krishna embracing Radha, behind Krishna is a cow and behind Radha a peacock. In the foreground is a lake, and in the background is a terrace with trees and flowers
Gopi & Gopal
ॐ Divine Love ॐ
I bow down before a splendour that bears the name Radha, a splendour that has limbs splendid like millions of lightning flashes, a beautiful face splendid with bliss, bimba-fruit lips splendid like coral, hands splendid like budding twigs, breasts splendid like golden lotus buds, a splendour that has lotus eyes, a splendour that enjoys charming pastimes in the newly-blossoming forest groves. ★ ♡ ॐ
You’re dressed as Rasavihari,
Your mantras are various
and so are Your activities; who can grasp them?
The subject is extraordinarily difficult.
Half Your body’s matchless Radha,
a woman, and the other half’s a man—
a yellow cloth tied at Your waist,
Your wild hair knotted back, and a flute
in Your hand.
Once You infatuated Tripura’s Enemy
stealing sideways glances at Him, but this time
it’s women You tempt
with Your beautiful black figure
and hinting eyes.
Your laugh used to be dreadful;
it threw into a panic
the three worlds.
Now You speak sweetly.
Girls in Vraj swoon.
As Syama, You danced in a sea of blood; today Your favorite waters
are the Yamuna.
Prasad laughs, flooded with delight:
after thinking hard, I finally get it—
Siva, Krsna, and the black-bodied Syama
they’re all one
but nobody else can see it.
Narsimha (नरसिंह मुर्ती) from Rajapur village, Dist. Hingoli
Sung to Raga Vibhasa
Come, Radha, come. Krishna follows your
‘Soil my bed with indigo footprints, Kamini,
lay waste the grove
savage it with your petal-soft feet.
‘I take your feet in lotus hands, Kamini,
you have come far.
Lay those gold flaring anklets across my bed.
‘Let yes yes flow from your mouth like amrita.
From your breasts, Kamini,
I draw off the dukula-cloth. We are no longer separate.’
–from the Gitagovinda (xii.2, 3, 4) by Jayadeva
Oxford Anthology of Bhakti Literature (2011:69)
"My dear Sati, persons who are devoted to Narayana (Krsna) are not afraid of anything. If they are elevated to the higher planetary systems, or if they get liberation from material contamination, or if they are pushed down to hellish condition of life—or, in fact, in any situation whatever—they are not afraid of anything. Simply because they have taken shelter of the lotus feet of Narayana, for them any position in the material world is as good as another."
Srimad Bhagavatam 6.17.52
Upon hearing the transcendental song of Krishna’s flute, the otherwise chaste gopis abandon their husbands and rush in to the forest, following the sound to meet Krishna. Upon seeing a lone Krishna playing his long murali-flute in the otherwise quiet grove they become ecstatic and all wish to dance with him, Krishna being ever merciful to the desires of his lovers suddenly appears in many forms to dance with each of them. Not wanting the ecstatic dance to end, this one night is mystically extended to be as long as a day of Brahmaji. Whereas it may seem Krishna dances with the wives of other men, his lovers being his infinite shakti, he merely dances with his own shadows.
The elegance of true love