There are two phases in the Krishna avatara. The first is where Krishna indulges in all kinds of pranks in Gokula. The second is after He leaves Gokula. Azhvars have celebrated the first phase elaborately in their verses. In the first phase, Lord Krishna drew the Gopikas to Him, and they even forgot their duties as wives, daughters-in-law and mothers, to go and frolic with Krishna.

Now the question may arise if this was right. How could all these women dance with Krishna? Their dance with Krishna is not to be seen on the surface as just a mere dance, said V.S. Karunakarachariar in a discourse. The whole Universe is the Lord’s body. He is all pervasive and dwells everywhere. It is in this sense that the Rasa Leela of Krishna and the Gopikas has to be viewed.

While the Gopikas were away in the company of Krishna, their sudden absence was not noticed, because Krishna, even while dancing with them, had also assumed their forms, and was carrying out the duties they had left unfinished. So Krishna danced with each of the Gopikas, but was also in their respective houses, performing their household chores, and attending to the people in their families.

Rasa means taste. Can there be a taste superior to the joy of being in the Lord’s presence? The best taste is Narayana. Once one has experienced that taste, every other taste becomes insignificant. That is what the Rasa Leela shows.

Even those who are not yet eligible for moksha still aspire for it. The Lord, through His Rasa Leela, shows them what moksha will be like. The Rasa Leela is like a curtain raiser on what moksha will be like. The Gopikas were indeed fortunate to be blessed by the Lord in such a manner.

Nothing is possible if the Lord does not will it to be so. The cin mudra shows this symbolically. The thumb is to be taken to be the Jivatma. The index finger is taken to be the Paramatma. However much we manoeuvre the thumb, it cannot touch the tip of the index finger, unless the index finger is bent to touch the thumb. In the same way, unless the Lord chooses to bless us, our efforts to reach Him will all be in vain, but the moment we begin to love Him, He blesses us.

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