12 January, 2015 08:09

yathā vraja-gopikānām


yathā — as; vraja — of Vraja; gopikānām — of the cowherd women.


The cowherd women of Vraja are an example of pure bhakti.


In Sūtra 19, Nārada gave the ultimate definition of bhakti. This has led him inevitably to mention the topmost of all devotees, the gopīs of Vraja. Nārada might have mentioned other renowned bhaktas, such as Uddhava, Arjuna, Prahlāda Mahārāja, or mother Yaśodā, but he has chosen to give the singular example of the gopīs. Nārada’s opinion is shared by all realized Vaiṣṇavas, because the gopīs are renowned as the best lovers of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs are most exalted because they gave everything, and sacrificed everything, for their beloved. As Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja writes in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 4.167-69),


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