Raas Leela: As seen by me!

It is sharad Purnima night and Radha with her Gopis are done with evening prayers. They ask the God to bless Braja bhumi. And then as usual their thoughts go to Nandalal Govinda. They all walk down into the kunj vatika. The garden is full of flowers and the flowers are all blushing thus making the whole garden look sweet and beautiful. Birds are singing songs while lotus sways with the waves of pond water.

In all this, Radha rani feels the pangs of separation with Shree Krishna, with tears rolling down she calls out to Nandalal. Patches of white lotuses, their broad stems swaying! When stirred by the wings of geese honking lustily. But they seemed dark blue as she looked in the intervals, between one tear falling and the next welling up.

Gopis and Radha Rani are sitting near the Kalpataru tree when suddenly they hear the flute. The sweet sound was enveloping everything around the forest and turning it more beautiful.

The sweet sound of murli was intoxicating the sky and breeze all around. The call for Radhe Radhe that carried with the murli was making it maddening for all. Sweet flow of the murli was telling the Gopis that it’s their love and they need to submit to it.

Radha is spell bound but don’t want to show him. She asks him why he had to come at this hour and that too among so many Gopis. Why did he need to play the sweet music at the garden and bind them all to its sweetness at this hour!

To Radhe’s query he smiles and in turns asks, “Why did you have to come out at this ungodly hour to the forest? Who asked you to leave all household chores and come here?”

The Gopis and Radha were quiet for some time. How and what could they say! Finally the Gopis pointed at Radha and said, “She wanted to come for a walk, and we all accompanied her. We were going back. But it’s the music from your flute which pulled us back. It’s you and your flute who is the thief, look at her (pointing at Sree Radha Rani) how you have stolen her peace of mind. In Braja bhumi you are the chief thief, none would deny to this fact.”

Hearing this Nanda Kumar feels elated. He then asks the Gopis, “What do you all want? At this ungodly hour of night, what is your wish?”

Hearing this Gopis reply, “We don’t want anything much. We want to dance with you, all of us. We have come with lot of expectations. Even Narayani (pointing at Radha Rani) is with us and wishes the same.”

Kanha smiles with twinkle in his eyes. Then he says, “I am ready to dance with you all but first she need to dance for me. And she’ll dance as I ask her to.”

And then he looks at Radhe Rani and says, “Will you dance Radha to my flute? But I have a condition. You will dance to my flute but there should not be any sound of your clothes, your ‘aanchal’ should not flutter and neither should your anklet make any sound when you tap feet. I am going to draw a circle and you’ll need to dance in that. Can you take this challenge and dance?”

Gopis: “If our Rai dances as per your challenge, what next?”

To this Kanha again smiles and says, “If she loses, I take all makhan of yours for next one month. And if she wins then this “mohan murli” is yours”

Radha Rani was thinking, “Can I do it?” And Lo! Shree Krishna starts playing his flute and also giving the taal. Radha Rani had no way out so starts dancing according to the taal being given by Kanha.

Raag ranga mangala shubhangana
Bhaav vichi chanchala kanchani varaanna
[Here is the charming damsel bearing nobility with the hue of love. The golden–figured lady is swinging with the waves of sentiments.]

As she continues to dance, Kanha now starts shifting. He tries to hide his flute. Only one thought is in his mind, “There looks like now I lose this beloved bansuri of mine! This loving bansuri of mine, now Radha will take it away. My bansuri is gone!!”

Gopis realize his turmoil and smiling tell him, “We are not going to leave you so easy. You’ll now have to dance for us. And this time you’ll dance as we ask you to. Remember this is not cowherds group that you can dance in any way. You are among best dancers of Braja, so now dance as we give the taal.”

Shree Krishna agrees and starts the dance. Gopis change taal at every other chance making it difficult for the Lord to dance. But he carries on. He had to save his bansuri. It was now a matter of pride for him.

And then he finds way out to outwit them all. He decides to give in to their first wish, which was the only way out to save his murli. He pulls Radhe Rani and starts dancing with her. Within minutes there are many Shree Krishna and they all start dancing with the Gopis. Whole atmosphere turns beautiful. Gods came over to watch this beautiful display of dance by the Lord from sky, the “Raas Leela” as enacted by the Lord of this Universe. Not just the Gopis, everyone who saw the Leela got drunk in the divine nectar.

Here shines the Earth beautiful with fair fragrance. The Night smiling with moon-beams looks very much attractive. O! Come and place here some sprinkling of divine drops!!

Everything in the dance was in tune and harmony. It was the divine bonding of soul with the divine power. The Gopis and Radhe Rani lost all consciousness of this materialistic world. They were enjoying the divine raas. They were in contact with the supra-reality and enjoying this divine state.

When dancing was over Krishna and Radha walks off together to Yamuna banks.

Through flowering bowers and groves, they stroll lovingly with their arms around each other, lost in the ecstasy of divine love. Their free and intoxicating gait is putting even a swan to shame. Although both Shri Radha and Shri Krishna are one, from the point of view of the rasikas and me, there is no second question; Shri Radha is the Swamini of Shri Krishna.

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