It was night. Vrajanatha had completed his bhajana for that day.  Putting his hari-nama-mala aside, he fell asleep. Vijaya Kumara had honored prasada, and lay on his bed, but sleep would not come, for he was absorbed in thought. At first he had the idea that Goloka and Gokula were different places. Now, however, he concluded that Goloka and Gokula are non-different. The root of parakiya-rasa is in Goloka. But how can Krsna be upapati (paramour) there? He could not comprehend this point.

     “If Krsna is the supreme substance,” he thought, “and sakti and saktiman are non-different, even if sakti becomes separated from saktiman, how can sakti be called parodha (married to a gopa other than Krsna), and Krsna be called upapati (paramour)?” At first he thought, “Tomorrow I will ask Sri Gurudeva the question and have my doubt removed,” but then he thought, “It would be improper to ask Gurudeva anything further about Goloka.  Still, it must be cleared.”

     Pondering in this way, he finally fell asleep. While asleep, he dreamt that he was in the presence of his Gurudeva, and in order to vanquish his doubt, he was asking the very question that had preoccupied him just before he fell asleep. Gurudeva replied, “Baba Vijaya, Krsna is fully independent in all activities, and His unimpeded desires are not dependent on the desires of others. His eternal desire is that His aisvarya should be concealed and His madhurya should be manifested. Accordingly, He assigns to His sakti an existence separate from Himself. Consequently, His para-sakti assumes the form of millions of attractive young gopis, all endeavoring to render Him various services. Still Krsna is not fully satisfied by His sakti’s service while it is influenced by knowledge of His opulence. Therefore by the wonderful influence of His yogamaya-sakti, He provides those beautiful gopis with the abhimana (self-conception) that they belong to separate households.  That is to say, through the influence of that sakti (yogamaya), they consider themselves the wives of others, and simultaneously, Krsna also assumes the relationship as their upapati (paramour).

      “Out of lobha (greed) for parakiya-rasa, Krsna transcends His atmarama-dharma (self-satisfied nature) and performs varieties of wonderful lilas, such as rasa-lila, with those young gopis, who implicitly believe that they are married to others. Vamsi is His priyasakhi (dear friend) in accomplishing this activity. In order that Krsna taste these special features the eternal parakiya-bhava is established in Goloka. For this reason, all the pastime-forests of Goloka and the sites of Krsna’s loving play, such as Vrndavana, remain eternally present. All the lila-sthanas (places of pastimes) in Vraja – such as the arena of the rasa, Yamuna and Giri-Govardhana – are in Goloka, and in this way, the moods of being married (dampatya-bhava), and of being faithful to one’s husband (svakiyatva-bhava) are present there. Suddha-svakiyatva, the pure conjugal mood reigns splendidly in Vaikuntha. The qualities of svakiya and parakiya are thus considered to be inconceivably different and non-different.

     “Just see, this subject is so astounding. In Goloka, parakiya-bhava is present only as abhimana (a conception). In Vraja, it appears to be like an affair with another’s wife, but there is actually no adultery because the young gopis are Krsna’s own sakti. Krsna is united with them from the beginning of time; therefore, their fundamental quality is actually perfect faithfulness to one’s husband (svakiyatva) and the quality of being married (dampatya). The gopas such as Abhimanyu are special avataras of their respective conceptions in Goloka. They become husbands to nourish Krsna’s lila and to make Him the leader of vilasa (pastimes) on the stage of Vraja in the mood of an upapati. In Goloka, which is far beyond the material world, rasa is nourished only by this conception.  Within the material universe in Gokula, all the conceptions manifest their individual existences and assume bodies by yogamaya’s influence in order to create the experience of being married, and then to transgress the codes of marital conduct. All this is accomplished by the actions of yogamaya.”

     When Vijaya Kumara had thus heard svakiya and parakiya-tattva explained by Gurudeva in his dream, his doubts were dispelled.  Goloka, beyond the mundane world, is factually the selfsame bhauma (earthly) Gokula – his conviction in this fact became steadfast, and the supremely blissful identity of vraja-rasa arose in his heart. At the same time, he felt an awakening of implicit faith in the nitya-asta-kaliya-lila of Vraja. Rising early the next morning, he thought, “Sri Gurudeva has shown me unlimitedly mercy.  Now I will hear from him about the components of rasa and then attain nistha in bhajana.”

     Vijaya Kumara honored prasada and came before his Gurudeva at the prearranged time. Shedding tears of prema, he offered his pranama. Gurudeva lovingly embraced him and said, “Baba, Krsna has favored you with His genuine mercy. Thus I have become fortunate simply by seeing you.” As he said this, the powerful influence of prema made his mind unsteady.

     After a short time, when Gosvamiji regained external perception, Vijaya Kumara offered his sastanga-pranama, and said, “Prabhu, I do not know Krsna’s mercy; I only know your mercy.  Now I have given up trying to realize Goloka. I am fully satisfied in the endeavor to attain realization of Vraja. I want to thoroughly understand the fascinating varieties of vraja-rasa. Kindly tell me, can the unmarried gopis who maintained the mood that Krsna was their husband be called svakiya or not?”

Gosvami: Those unmarried gopis of Gokula were svakiya at that time because of their nistha in the mood of approaching Krsna as their husband, but their intrinsic mood is parakiya. Although their svakiya mood is not natural, their svakiya relationship is perfected in that particular condition in Gokula lila because Krsna accepted them as His wives by the gandharva-vivaha-riti (the custom of marriage by the exchange of garlands).

Vijaya: Prabhu, in due course, I will ask many questions, one after the other. I want to understand all the topics of Sri Ujjvala-nilamani in the sequence in which they have been presented. First, I wish to learn all about nayaka (heroes). There are four types of nayaka, namely, anukula, daksina, satha and dhrsta. Please describe the anukula (favorable) nayaka.

Gosvami: The anukula-nayaka is He who gives up the desire for other attractive maidens because of extreme attachment to only one nayika (heroine). The bhava of Sri Ramacandraji towards Sri Sita-devi and of Sri Krsna towards Srimati Radhikaji is that of the anukula-nayaka.

Vijaya: I want to know the identity of the various bhavas – such as anukula – of the four types of nayaka, such as dhirodatta. Kindly describe the symptoms of the dhirodatta-anukula-nayaka.  Gosvami: The dhirodatta-anukula-nayaka is grave, humble, forgiving, compassionate, resolute, steadfast in his vows, free from vanity, modest and extremely munificent. Still, He renounces all those qualities for the sake of His nayika, and goes to meet with her in secret.

Vijaya: Please tell me the symptoms of dhira-lalita-anukula-nayaka. 

Gosvami: The dhira-lalita-nayaka is by nature a connoisseur of rasa, ever-youthful, expert in joking, and free from anxiety. The dhiralalita-anukula-nayaka has all these, combined with the symptom of enjoying uninterrupted pleasure.

Vijaya: What is dhira-santa-anukula-nayaka?

Gosvami: The dhira-santa-anukula-nayaka is naturally serene and tolerant, wise, and considerate.

Vijaya: Kindly explain the symptoms of the dhiroddhata-anukulanayaka.

Gosvami: When the nayaka who is envious, proud, deceitful, easily

angered, and boastful is favorable, He is called dhiroddhataanukula-


Vijaya: What is a daksina-nayaka?

Gosvami: The word daksina means “simple and honest.” A daksinanayaka is He who does not give up respect, awe, and submissive love for His previous beloved, even when He gives His heart to another nayika. One who is equally disposed towards many heroines is also called a daksina-nayaka.

Vijaya: What are the symptoms of a satha-nayaka? 

Gosvami: A satha-nayaka is endearing in the presence of His beloved, but He secretly commits grave offenses by acting in an unloving manner behind her back.

Vijaya: What are the characteristics of a dhrsta-nayaka? 

Gosvami: A dhrsta-nayaka is completely fearless and expert at lying, even though everyone can clearly see the signs of His having enjoyed the company of another beloved.

Vijaya: Prabhu, how many different types of nayaka are there altogether? 

Gosvami: As far as we are concerned, Krsna is the only nayaka. There is no one besides Him. That one Krsna is purna (perfect) in Dvaraka, purnatara (more perfect) in Mathura, and purnatama (most perfect) in Vraja. He is both pati (husband) and upapati (paramour) in all three of these places. Thus He is (2x3)= 6 types of nayaka. Furthermore, because of the four categories beginning with dhirodatta, He embodies (6x4) = 24 types. Then again, these types are divided into anukula, daksina, satha and dhrsta, so there are (24x4)= 96 types of nayaka. Now you should know that there are types of nayaka in svakiya-rasa, and 24 types of nayaka again in parakiya-rasa. In vraja-lila, svakiya-rasa is a contracted bhava, and parakiya-rasa predominates. Thus, the 24 types of nayaka in parakiya-rasa are eternally and splendidly manifest in Sri Krsna in Vraja. He is perceived as whatever type of nayaka is necessary to perform any particular part in any aspect of a lila.

Vijaya: Prabhu, I have realized the various qualities of nayaka and nayika. Now I want to know how many types of assistants (sahayaka) the nayaka has.

Gosvami: The nayaka has five types of assistants, namely ceta, vita, vidusaka, pitha-mardda, and priya-narma-sakha. They are all expert in using joking words; they are always intensely devoted to Krsna with anuraga (deep love); they know how to behave according to the occasion and circumstance; they are expert; and they are adept in the art of pleasing the gopis when they become angry, as well as giving confidential advice. All five types of assistants have these qualities.

Vijaya: What are the attributes of the ceta assistants? 

Gosvami: They are expert in discovering anything, they perform secret tasks, and their disposition is somewhat bold and arrogant.  In Gokula, sakhas such as Bhangura and Bhrngara perform the activities of Krsna’s ceta.

Vijaya: Who are called vita?

Gosvami: Krsna’s vita, such as Kadara and Bharati Bandha, are extremely talented in activities such as dressing and decorating Krsna. They are cunning, skilled in conversation and expert in manipulating others.

Vijaya: Who are the vidusakas?

Gosvami: The vidusakas are fond of eating and quarreling. They are expert at making others laugh with their comical gestures, words and dress. Madhumangala and gopas such as Vasanta are prominent among Krsna’s vidusakas.

Vijaya: Who is in the category of pitha-mardda?

Gosvami: Sridama is Krsna’s pitha-mardda. Though his qualities are just like those of a nayaka, he conducts all his activities according to the order of the nayaka.

Vijaya: What are the symptoms of the priya-narma-sakhas?

Gosvami: They are privy to extremely confidential secrets and have taken shelter of the bhavas of the sakhis. Subala and Arjuna are prominent among Krsna’s priya-narma-sakhas. Thus they are the best of all Krsna’s friends. Among these five – ceta, vita, vidusaka, pitha-mardda and priya-narma-sakha – the cetas are in dasya-rasa, the pitha-marddas are in vira-rasa, and the rest are in sakhya-rasa. The cetas are servants (kinkara) and the other four are sakhas.

Vijaya: Are there no female assistants (sahayakas)?

Gosvami: Yes, there are, and they are called dutis (messengers).

Vijaya: How many types of duti are there?

Gosvami: There are two kinds: svayam-duti and apta-duti. Kataksa (the sidelong glance) and vamsi-dhvani (the sound of Krsna’s flute)

are svayam-dutis.

Vijaya: Aha! Who are the apta-dutis?

Gosvami: Vira is proficient in speaking bold words, and Vrnda is expert in persuasive flattery. They are both Sri Krsna’s apta-dutis.  The svayam-dutis and apta-dutis are extraordinary dutis. Apart from them, there are ordinary messengers such as lingini, daiva-jna and silpa-karini. I will describe them elaborately later in the context of nayikas and dutis.

Vijaya: I have understood the mood and attributes of Sri Krsna as nayaka, and I have also heard that Sri Krsna performs nitya-lila in both pati and upapati bhava. He performs pastimes in Dvaraka in pati-bhava, and in vraja-puri in upapati-bhava. Our Krsna is upapati, so it is essential for us to know about the vraja-ramanis, the charming young gopis.

Gosvami: Most of the damsels of Vraja with whom Vrajendranandana Syamasundara performs pastimes are in parakiya-bhava, because madhura-rasa does not fully develop without parakiya. The rasa of the charming ladies of Dvaraka-puri remains limited by their marital relationship, whereas the rasa of the female residents of Vraja, who possess that suddha-kama from which Krsna derives the utmost happiness, is unrestricted (akuntha). 

Vijaya: What is the purport of this?

Gosvami: Sri Rudra, who is highly knowledgeable in the subject of srngara-rasa, states that the supreme weapons of Kandarpa (Cupid) are obstacles such as the contrary moods of women (vamata), and the extreme difficulty in meeting with women (durlabhata) because of the prohibitions that society imposes. Canakya Pandita has stated that the nayaka’s heart becomes more deeply attached when He is forbidden to meet His beloved and when the doe-eyed beloved is difficult to attain. Look! Although Krsna is atmarama, at the time of rasa-lila, He manifested Himself in as many svarupas as there were gopis, and then performed lila with them. Every sadhaka should follow rasa-lila. Here the special instruction is that, if the sadhakas desire auspiciousness, they should enter this rasalila as a bhakta, but they should never imitate Krsna. In other words, they should enter this lila only by becoming a follower of a gopi, by adopting the mood of gopi-bhava.

Vijaya: Can you kindly explain more elaborately the subject of gopi-bhava?

Gosvami: Nandanandana Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, is a gopa, and He does not perform amorous pastimes with anyone except with the gopis. The sadhaka who is eligible for srngara-rasa should engage in krsna-bhajana with the same bhava with which the gopis render loving service to Sri Krsna. In the course of his bhajana, the sadhaka should meditate on himself as a vraja-gopi. The sadhaka should consider himself the maidservant of some extremely fortunate vraja-vasini (female resident of Vraja), and under her guidance, should render services to Radha-Krsna. One cannot possibly awaken rasa unless one considers oneself parodha, that is, married to a gopa other than Krsna. It is this parodha- abhimana, the self-conception of being married to a gopa other than Krsna, that is the specific dharma of the vraja-gopis. Sri Rupa Gosvami has written:


na jatu vrajadevinam patibhih saha sangamah

                             Sri Ujjvala-nilamani,

                                           Krsna vallabha prakarana (19)


          The vraja-devis who, through the influence of yogamaya, consider themselves married to               gopas other than Krsna, never come in physical contact with their dharmika wedded                        husbands. At the time of the gopis’ abhisara (rendezvous with Krsna) and so on, the gopas       in their houses see forms of the gopis that exactly resemble their own wives. These forms           are fabricated by yogamaya so that the gopas will think to themselves, “Our wives are right      here at home,” and they never have any opportunity to be jealous or to feel enmity towards              Krsna.

     The vraja-devis never had physical contact with their lawfullywedded husbands, who were all contrived by yogamaya. Each of the vraja-gopis’ husbands is only the manifestation from their respective bhavas in the Goloka lila. Their marriages are also nothing but an implicit conviction created by yogamaya. The gopis are not actually married to other gopas, but the abhimana, or self-conception, of being married to other gopas is eternally present. If it were not so, it would naturally be impossible for the unprecedented parakiya-rasa to manifest because of contrariness (vamata), inaccessibility (durlabhata), obstructions, social prohibitions, fear and so on. The nayika-bhava of vraja-rasa cannot be attained without such a conception. Laksmiji of Vaikuntha is an example of this. 

Vijaya: What is the bhava of knowing oneself as parodha? 

Gosvami: A gopi thinks, “I am a girl who was born in the house of a vraja-gopa, and when I grew up to be a young adolescent, I was given in marriage to a youthful gopa.” Only through this type of conviction does the intense yearning to meet intimately with Krsna become powerful. Gopi-bhava means to attribute (aropa) to oneself the mood of being a gopa’s wife who has not yet given birth to a child.

Vijaya: If the sadhaka is male, how can he attribute gopi-bhava to himself?

Gosvami: People only consider themselves male because they are under the influence of the illusory nature imposed by maya. Except for Krsna’s eternal male associates, the pure, inherent spiritual nature of all others is female. Really, there are no male and female characteristics in the spiritual structure, but the sadhaka can attain eligibility to be a vraja-vasini when he is impelled by svabhava and a steadfast abhimana. Only those who have ruci for madhura-rasa are eligible to become vraja-vasinis. If one performs sadhana according to one’s ruci, one will attain a perfected state that corresponds exactly to the nature of that sadhana. 

Vijaya: What are the glories of being a gopi married to a gopa other than Krsna?

Gosvami: The vraja-gopis who are married to others naturally become mines of superabundant beauty and extraordinarily powerful transcendental virtues when the intense hankering to meet intimately with Krsna arises in their hearts. They also become decorated with the exquisite loveliness of prema. The sweetness of their rasa exceeds that of all the saktis of Bhagavan, headed by the goddess of fortune Laksmi.

Vijaya: How many kinds of vraja-sundari (beautiful damsels) are there?

Gosvami: There are three types: sadhana-para, devi, and nityapriya.

Vijaya: Are there also different types of sadhana-para-sundari? 

Gosvami: Yes, there are two types of sadhana-para-sundari: yauthiki and ayauthiki.

Vijaya: Who are the yauthiki?

Gosvami: The yauthiki sundaris have taken birth in Vraja together in a group, after being absorbed in the sadhana for vraja-rasa. In other words, they are members of a particular group. There are two kinds of yauthiki: muni-gana and upanisad-gana. 

Vijaya: Which munis have taken birth in Vraja as gopis? 

Gosvami: Some munis offered worship to Gopala, but were unable to attain siddhi (perfection). After having darsana of Sri Ramacandra’s beauty, they further endeavored in sadhana in accordance with their cherished desire. Thus, they accepted gopibhava and took birth as gopis. Padma Purana refers to them in this way, and Brhad-Vamana Purana states that some of them attained perfection at the beginning of the rasa-lila.

Vijaya: How did the Upanisads take birth as gopis in Vraja? 

Gosvami: The Maha-Upanisads personified, who were gifted with extremely fine discrimination, became thoroughly astonished when they saw the gopis’ good fortune, and after performing severe austerities with sraddha, they attained birth in Vraja as gopis. 

Vijaya: Who are ayauthiki?

Gosvami: There are two types of sundaris celebrated by the name ayauthiki: long-standing (pracina) and new (navina). They are exceptionally attached to gopi-bhava, and perform sadhana with intense eagerness and natural anuraga. Some take birth alone, and others in groups of two, three, or even more at the same time. The pracina ayauthiki-gopis attained salokya (living on the same planet) together with the nitya-priya gopis a long time ago. The navinaayauthiki gopis come to Vraja by taking birth in the species of devas, humans, and other beings. They gradually become pracina, and attain salokya in the way I have already mentioned. 

Vijaya: I have understood the subject of sadhana-para. Now please be so kind as to explain to me about the devis.

Gosvami: When Krsna descends among the devas in Svarga by His amsa, amsas of His nitya-kantas also manifest as devis in order to satisfy Him. Those very devis take birth in krsna-lila as the daughters of gopas and become the prana-sakhis of the nitya-priya-gopis of whom they are amsas – in other words, of their own amsanis. 

Vijaya: Prabhu, when does Krsna take birth by His amsa in the species of devas?

Gosvami: Krsna takes birth from Aditi’s womb by His svamsa form as Vamana, and by His vibhinnamsas (separated expansions), He becomes the devatas. Siva and Brahma are not born from the womb of a mother, and although they are not in the category of ordinary jivas who have fifty qualities to a minute degree, they are still only vibhinnamsa. Those fifty qualities are certainly present in Brahma and Siva to a somewhat greater extent, and in addition they have

five more qualities that are not found in the ordinary jivas. Therefore, these two are called the chief devatas. Ganesa and Surya are also situated in the same category as Brahma for the same reason, but all the other devas are classified as jivas . All the devatas are Krsna’s vibhinnamsas, and their wives (devis) are the vibhinnamsas of cit-sakti. Just before Krsna’s appearance, Brahma ordered them to take birth to satisfy Krsna, and following his order some of them took birth in Vraja and others in Dvaraka, according to their different tastes and sadhana. The devis who take birth in Vraja because of intense eagerness to attain Krsna are the prana-sakhis of the nitya-priya-gopis.

Vijaya: Prabhu, the Upanisads attained birth as gopis, but kindly tell me, do any other presiding devis of the Vedas also accept birth in Vraja?

Gosvami: It is written in the srsti-khanda of Padma Purana that Gayatri, who is Veda-mata, the mother of the Vedas, also took birth as a gopi and attained Sri Krsna’s association. From that time, she assumed the form of kama-gayatri.

Vijaya: But isn’t kama-gayatri without any beginning (anadi)? 

Gosvami: Kama-gayatri is certainly anadi, and this anadi-gayatri first manifested in the form of Veda-mata. Later, by the influence of sadhana, and seeing the good fortune of many Upanisads, she took birth in Vraja along with the Gopala Upanisad. Although the form of kama-gayatri is eternal, she exists splendidly in an eternal and separate form as Veda-mata Gayatri.

Vijaya: All those, such as the Upanisads, who took birth in Vraja had the abhimana of being the daughters of gopas, and they accepted Krsna as their own husband with the conception that He was a gopa-nayaka. Krsna became their husband at that time by the custom of gandharva-vivaha. I have understood this much. However, Krsna’s eternal beloved consorts are His associates from time without beginning, so is Krsna’s relationship of upapati with them only a contrivance of maya?

Gosvami: It is certainly one type of creation of maya, but not of jada-maya, the illusory energy exhibited in the material world.  Jada-maya can never touch krsna-lila. Although vraja-lila is within the material world, it is completely beyond the jurisdiction of jadamaya.  Another name for cit-sakti is yogamaya, and in krsna-lila this very yogamaya acts in such a way that one who is influenced by jada-maya sees that krsna-lila in an external form. Yogamaya brings to Vraja the parodha-abhimana of Goloka with each of the nityapriyas, and gives that abhimana form a separate individual existence.  Then, by arranging for the marriages between the nitya-priyagopis and those separate existences,1 she makes Krsna upapati. 

     The omniscient purusa and the all-knowing saktis who are absorbed in their respective rasa accept these bhavas. This indicates the superiority of rasa and the super-excellence of the fully independent iccha-sakti. There is no such eminence in Vaikuntha and Dvaraka. When the prana-sakhis attain salokya along with the nityapriya gopis, their restricted pati-bhava broadens and becomes upapati-bhava. This is their ultimate achievement. 

1 All the abhimanas of Goloka are manifest in tangible forms in Vraja, such as Abhimanyu.

Vijaya: This siddhanta is quite extraordinary. My heart has become refreshed. Now kindly explain to me about the nitya–priya gopis. 

Gosvami: Sri Gauracandra could not have revealed such esoteric principles through my mouth if there were no qualified listener present such as your good self. Look here, in various places, Sri Jiva Gosvami, who is all-knowing (sarva-jna), has deliberated on this subject in a very confidential manner, which one can understand by reading his commentaries and literatures such as Krsnasandarbha.  Sri Jiva Gosvami was always afraid that if unqualified persons came to know about these very esoteric principles, they might later take shelter of a corrupted form of dharma. At that time, Sri Jiva Gosvami felt anxious about all the faults, such as rasabhasa and the distortion of rasa, that are seen in so-called Vaisnavas today.  He could not prevent this misfortune, although he was so careful. You should not speak this siddhanta in the presence of others, except for those who are qualified to receive it. Now I will describe the nitya-priya gopis.

Vijaya: Who are the nitya-priya gopis? Although in the past I have studied many sastras, now my sole desire is to drink this nectar from the lotus mouth of Sri Gurudeva.

Gosvami: Like Krsna, the nitya-priya gopis in Vraja are the abodes of all qualities, such as beauty and cleverness. Radha and Candravali are most prominent among them. They have been referred to in the Brahma-samhita (5.37).


tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya kalabhih

goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto

govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami


      When the ananda-amsa of the sac-cid-ananda-para-tattva agitates the cid-amsa, and is then enthused by the separately manifest hladini pratibha (splendor), then Srimati Radhika, along with Her sakhis who are all extensions of Her    spiritual form, become manifest. I perform bhajana of that Govinda, who is the supreme, original Soul of all souls.  He eternally resides in Goloka-dhama with those damsels, who are all endowed with the sixty-four arts.


     The nitya-priya gopis have been mentioned in this statement of Brahma, which is the essence of all the Vedas. They are nitya, which means that they are a manifestation of cit-sakti and are thus beyond time and space – this is truth. There, nitya-lila is an expression of the sixty-four arts: kalabhih svamsa-rupabhih saktibhih. Although there are different meanings given by the acaryas in other commentaries on Brahma Samhita, I have explained Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami’s extremely confidential commentary. This secret treasure is hidden in the vault of the hearts of Sri Rupa-Sanatana and Sri Jiva Gosvamis.

Vijaya: I am intensely eager to hear the various names of the nityapriya gopis.

Gosvami: Sastras such as the Skanda Purana and Prahlada-samhita, have mentioned names such as Radha, Candravali, Visakha, Lalita, Syama, Padma, Saibya, Bhadrika, Tara, Vicitra, Gopali, Dhanistha, and Pali. Another name of Candravali is Somata, and Srimati Radhika is also called Gandharva. Vraja-gopis such as Khanjanaksi, Manorama, Mangala, Vimala, Lila, Krsna, Sari, Visarada, Taravali, Cakoraksi, Sankari and Kumkuma are also famous in this world.  Vijaya: What is their relationship with each other? 

Gosvami: These gopis are yuthesvaris (group leaders). There are not one or two groups, but hundreds, and in each of them, there are hundreds of thousands of beautiful, individual gopis. All of the above mentioned gopis, from Srimati Radhika to Kumkuma, are yuthesvaris. Visakha, Lalita, Padma and Saibya have been described in the sastras more elaborately than the others. Among these yuthesvaris, the eight gopis beginning with Radha have been called pradhana, because they are most fortunate.

Vijaya: Visakha, Lalita, Padma, and Saibya are pradhana gopis, and they are especially expert in nourishing Krsna’s pastimes. Why have they not been accepted as distinct yuthesvaris?  Gosvami: They are so qualified that although it would be proper to call them yuthesvaris, Lalita and Visakha remain so enchanted by Srimati Radhika’s supremely blissful bhava that they do not want to call themselves independent yuthesvaris. Among them, some are followers of Srimati Radhika, and others are followers of Candravali.

Vijaya: I have heard that Lalita has a gana (sub-group). What type of group is it?

Gosvami: Srimati Radhaji is prominent amongst all the yuthesvaris.  Some of the gopis in Her dependent yuthas are attracted to Sri Lalitaji’s special bhava, and call themselves Lalita gana. Other gopis refer to themselves as Visakha gana, and so on. The asta-sakhis headed by Lalita and Visakha are the heroines of Srimati Radhika’s various ganas. If one is very fortunate, one can acquire the qualification to enter Srimati Lalita’s gana.

Vijaya: In which sastra can the names of these gopis be found? 

Gosvami: Their names are found in sastras such as Padma Purana, Skanda Purana and the Uttara khanda of Bhavisya Purana. Many names are also mentioned in Satvata-tantra.

Vijaya: Srimad-Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel of all sastras in the entire universe, so it would have been a matter of great joy if these names were mentioned there.

Gosvami: Srimad-Bhagavatam is a tattva-sastra, but it is also an ocean of rasa. From the point of view of the rasika-bhaktas, Srimad-Bhagavatam is filled with the complete deliberation on rasa-tattva, as if an ocean were contained in a single jar. Sri Radha’s name and the bhavas and identities of all the gopis have been described there in a highly confidential way. If you reflect thoroughly upon the slokas of the Tenth Canto, you can find everything. Sri Sukadeva Gosvami has described this subject in a confidential way to keep unqualified people at a distance. Vijaya, what will be the result of giving chanting beads and full and explicit descriptions to one and all? The reader can understand the confidential topics only as far as his conceptions are advanced. Therefore, one quality of a genuine pandita is that he can reveal in a hidden way subjects that are not fit to be revealed in the presence of everyone. Qualified people understand them only as far as their adhikara allows. There is no knowledge of the factual vastu without sri-guru-parampara.  One may acquire knowledge in other ways, but it will have no effect.  You can only attain the complete rasa of Srimad-Bhagavatam after thoroughly understanding Ujjvala-nilamani. 

     In this way, after a long period of questions and answers, that day’s istagosthi was completed. Vijaya returned to his residence, meditating incessantly on the subjects that he had heard. As all the vicara (considerations) in relation to nayaka and nayika awakened in the field of his heart, he became absorbed in paramananda, and as he remembered the discussion about vamsi and svayam-duti, a stream of tears flowed from his eyes. At that time, the pastime that he had seen in the grove on his way to Sundaracala the previous night appeared vividly upon the screen of his heart.






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