The Devotion of Gopikas

The Devotion of Gopikas

Children, the common belief is that God incarnates in human form to protect and preserve dharma and annihilate adharma. But even beyond that, there is another reason God incarnates. That is to awaken love for Him in human hearts. This is why many sages say that in addition to the four goals of human life—righteousness, financial security, desire and liberation—there is a fifth goal: devotion.

A true devotee does not even desire liberation. He has only one goal: “May I always remember and serve God.” He doesn’t desire anything else. According to the real devotee, devotion is an end in itself. In the devotion to pursue devotion, the individual ceases to exist. With this, surrender becomes complete. Even then, the desire to enjoy loving God remains in the devotee’s heart. By enjoying the bliss of devotion constantly, the devotee also becomes an embodiment of bliss.

Once, Uddhava said to the Lord, “I’ve heard that among all devotees, you love the gopikas the most. There are many other devotees who become teary eyed the moment they hear your name. They go into samadhi when they hear your divine flute. When they see the blue hue of your divine body—even way in the distance—they are overcome and swoon. What then is so great about the devotion of the gopikas?”

Upon hearing this, the Lord smiled and said, “All my devotees are dear to me. But the gopikas have something very special and unique. Other devotees shed tears when they hear my name. But the gopikas hear all names as my name. For them, all sounds are Lord Krishna’s divine flute. Any colour appears as blue in their eyes. The gopikas are able to see oneness in diversity. This is why they have become the most dear to me."

A wife who loves her husband as her own life thinks about her dear husband as she picks up the pen to write with which to write to him. Her mind is filled with his memories alone as she fills the pen with ink and picks the paper upon which to write. Similarly, a true devotee’s mind is constantly on God—as he gets ready for worship, as he prepares the vessels, incense sticks, camphor and flowers. In that supreme, noble moment of devotion, he sees the Creator in all of creation. For this reason alone, the gopikas were unable to see anything as different from their Lord.

May the memories of Lord Krishna and the gopikas—dancing blissfully in Vrindavan, forgetting everything else in their delight—fill our hearts with devotion, delight and bliss.

Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi