Seven Reasons Why Krishna' Pastimes With The Gopis Cannot Be Immoral


The greatest immorality is to claim that God is immoral. There can be no better authority on what is moral and what is immoral than God. If the judgement of morality becomes the realm of conditioned souls it is the beginning of the moral relativism which is the greatest immorality.


The government of the state issues laws and if the citizens do not abide by the laws but instead create their own laws they are immediately arrested and punished. Especially in the modern days of democracy, one cannot defy the government and claim that the government is unlawful since it is the government, not an unelected whimsical citizen who issues laws in the first place. If an unelected citizen becomes the authority it is the beginning of an authoritative regime, and people of the state thus become subjected to a tyranny of a dictator. Similarly, if the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna becomes defamed and accused of immorality, it is the beginning of the greatest immorality within the ranks of humanity and the cause of all sins.

How can we then explain the seemingly adharmic activities performed by Krsna, especially in connection with pastimes performed in loving relationships with his beloved gopi friends, who took part in his rasa dance although unmarried. Such trespass of Vedic principles would surely be immoral. If Krsna as the Supreme Godhead is supposed to be the giver of all standards of morality, how is that He Himself indulges what appears to be immoral behavior?

This question has been asked by the great Maharaja Pariksit, the personality to whom the glorious Srimad Bhagavatam had been spoken some 5000 years ago. It is the duty of a disciple to inquire from the spiritual master whenever doubts arise and the spiritual master must be qualified to answer such possible inquiries. Maharaja Pariksit accepted as his spiritual master none other than the great devotee Sukadeva Goswami and Sukadeva Goswami listed several reasons to explain the loving pastimes of the Lord.


1) These transgressions of religious principles by the supreme controller testify to His great power. For example, fire can consume any abominable thing; that is the manifestation of the supremacy of fire. Similarly, the sun can absorb water from a urinal or from stool, and the sun is not polluted; rather, due to the influence of the sunshine, the polluted, contaminated place becomes disinfected and sterilized. Sukadeva Gosvami has very clearly said that the isvara, or supreme controller, may sometimes violate His own instructions, but this is possible only for the controller Himself, not for the followers. Unusual and uncommon activities by the controller can never be imitated. Sukadeva Gosvami warned that the conditioned followers, who are not actually in control, should never even imagine imitating the uncommon activities of the controller. A Mayavadi philosopher may falsely claim to be God or Krsna, but he cannot actually act like Krsna. He can persuade his followers to falsely imitate the rasa dance, but he is unable to lift Govardhana Hill.

2) Most of the gopis in their previous lives were great sages, expert in the study of the Vedas, and when Lord Krsna appeared as Lord Ramacandra they wanted to enjoy with Him. Lord Ramacandra gave them the benediction that their desires would be fulfilled when He would appear as Krsna. Therefore the desire of the gopis to enjoy the appearance of Lord Krsna was long cherished. Krsna is not bound by the rules and regulations of the material world. In special cases, He acts as He likes to favor His devotees.

3) As stated in the Bhagavad-gita, na mam karmani limpanti: [Bg. 4.14] Krsna never enjoys or suffers the results of His activities. Therefore it is not possible for Him to act irreligiously. He is transcendental to all religious duties and principles. He is untouched by the modes of material nature.

He is the supreme controller

of all living entities, whether in human society, in demigod society in the heavenly planets, or in lower forms of life, and He is also the supreme controller of material nature; therefore, He has nothing to do with religious or irreligious principles.


4) Krsna, the Supersoul of everyone, is already within the body of everyone; therefore if He sees someone or embraces someone there is no question of impropriety.


5) The loving pastimes of Krsna and the gopis are manifested by Him just to captivate the conditioned souls. Since they are very much attracted by sex, they can enjoy the same life with Krsna and thus become liberated from the material condition. In the Second Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Maharaja Pariksit also explains that the pastimes and activities of Lord Krsna are medicine for the conditioned souls. If they simply hear about Krsna, they become relieved of the material disease. They are addicted to material enjoyment and are accustomed to reading sex literature, but by hearing these transcendental pastimes of Krsna with the gopis, they will be relieved of material contamination.



6) None of the gopis who danced with Krsna were in their material bodies. They danced with Krsna in their spiritual bodies. All their husbands thought that their wives were sleeping by their sides. The so-called husbands of the gopis were already enamored with the influence of the external energy of Krsna; so by dint of this very energy they could not understand that their wives had gone to dance with Krsna. What then is the basis of accusing Krsna of dancing with others' wives? The bodies of the gopis, which were their husbands', were lying in bed.


7) One must hear from an authorized person who is in the disciplic succession and is always engaged in Krsna consciousness. if a person hears from the right source about the pastimes of Krsna, who is Visnu Himself, and the gopis, who are expansions of His energy, then he will be relieved of the most dangerous type of disease, namely lust. In other words, one who actually hears the rasa-lila will become completely freed from the lusty desire of sex life and elevated to the highest level of spiritual understanding. Generally, because they hear the rasa-lila from Mayavadis and they themselves are Mayavadis, people become more and more implicated in sex life. The conditioned soul should hear the rasa-lila dance from an authorized spiritual master and be trained by him so that he can understand the whole situation. Thus one can be elevated to the highest standard of spiritual life; otherwise one will be implicated. Material lust is a kind of heart disease, and to cure the material heart disease of the conditioned soul, it is recommended that one should hear, but not from the impersonalist rascals. If one hears from the right sources with right understanding, then his situation will be different.

Sukadeva Gosvami has used the word sraddhanvita for one who is trained in spiritual life. Sraddha, or faith, is the beginning. One who has developed his faith in Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Spirit Soul, can both describe and hear the rasa-lila. Sukadeva also uses the word anusrnuyat. One must hear from the disciplic succession. Anu means "following," and anu also means "always." So one must always follow the disciplic succession and not hear from any stray professional reciter, whether a Mayavadi or an ordinary man. Anusrnuyat means that one must hear from an authorized person who is in the disciplic succession and is always engaged in Krsna consciousness. When a person hears the rasa-lila in this way, the effect will be sure: he will be elevated to the highest position of spiritual life.

Sukadeva Gosvami uses two specific words, bhaktim and param. Bhaktim param means execution of devotional service above the neophyte stage. Those who are simply attracted to temple worship but do not know the philosophy of bhakti are in the neophyte stage. That sort of bhakti is not the perfectional stage. The perfectional stage of bhakti, or devotional service, is completely free from material contamination. The most dangerous aspect of contamination is lust, or sex life. Bhaktim param devotional service is so potent that the more one advances in this line, the more he loses his attraction for material life. One who is actually deriving benefit from hearing the rasa-lila dance surely achieves the transcendental position. He surely loses all traces of lust in his heart.

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