Romantic, selfless, blissful love
Sharad Purnima celebrates ecstatic divine love, and several stories in the Bhagavata illustrate this. Shiva, roused from meditation on hearing Krishna’s flute, rushes to Vrindavan where Vrinda Devi stalls him saying that Raasa is meant only for those with Sakhi Bhava (friendly attitude) and a male devotee cannot have such an attitude. A dip in the Yamuna transforms Shiva into a beautiful Gopi and she enters Raas Mandal shyly. Calling her ‘Gopeshwar’, Krishna dances with her, making her dizzy with ecstasy and her hair and sari come undone, making everyone laugh, ‘Ik din Shiva bhole bhandaari ban ke gopika naari biraja mein aa gaye, Khul gaya jooda, khisak gayi saree muskaye banwari’.
When Brahmavidya, ultimate knowledge of Creation failed to transmit that blissful feeling the devotee was advised to shift to Vrindavan where the Creator had descended. Brave ones seeking ultimate knowledge happily abandon even dharma, artha, kaama, moksha or rightful duties, wealth, desires and liberation. The flute’s enchanting melody slakes the thirst for spiritual knowledge in those gopis who loved Krishna with friendly or loving attitude.
Four kinds of Gopis participated in it – Gopis who did austerities to get Krishna; Shrutis or Mantras personified as Gopis, Rishirupa Gopis and Nityasiddha Gopis who always remain with the Divine in each Yuga. Krishna appeared differently for each Gopi according to their age and
On Sharad Purnima night, Krishna played the flute and gopisleft their homes, husbands and children to reach Krishna in whatever state they were in, each one of them hearing her own name in the music. Gopis who were stopped forcibly at home became so desperate with intense desire that Krishna appeared in their hearts and embraced them. His presence in their hearts burnt down past Samskaras, chains of bondage, their Maya, Avidya, Tamas and they united with him forever, achieving knowledge of Self, overcoming all duality.
While dancing and laughing, Krishna finds traces of ego in the Gopis for they felt their devotion to be highest. He elopes with Radha but when she asks Krishna to carry her on his back, he disappears on seeing her pride. Repentant, the Gopis plead withthe trees and plants, earth and deer, sing Gopi Geet, imitate his actions (Lila) and surrender completely, each one saying, ‘I am Krishna’ when out of the blue he reappears, assuring them that he was always there for them.