Pratikula, or Unfavorable Bhajana


4/11/12 – Krsna-sasthi

“Putana-bhava” of the Gopis? Is this not Pratikula, or Unfavorable, Bhajana?

Srila Gurudeva says, “When a Sakhi desires to render service in the correct manner, it is called svabhaviki-sthiti, one’s natural position. But when one loses one’s perspective due to ecstasy and does things which should not be done, it is called unmada, becoming maddened or intoxicated. When Krsna left the gopis during the rasa-lila, they thought about Him more and more until they became mad and began imitating Him. Each and every gopi thought, ‘I am Krsna and all of you are my beloveds.’

Kavi Karnapura’s Viewpoint

“In the Ananda-Vrndavana-Campu, Kavi Karnapura explains how this happened. Each gopi was thinking herself to be Krsna and saw some of the others as PUTANA, Bakasura, or Aghasura. How was this happening? One’s asakti or attachment is never directed to where there is no taste. If something tastes sweet, we can become attached to it and only then can we have tadatmya-bhava (feelings of unity or oneness). We will not become attached to something which is pratikula, or unfavorable, nor will we become unmada and feel oneness with her. In re-enacting Putana-lila, one gopi forced another gopi to the ground, climbed on top of her, and took her breast in her mouth. Here Kavi Karnapura reveals that those ladies who were lying down as Putana were not actually gopis, but rather manifestations created by the potency of Yogamaya, because the gopis will not take on Putana-bhava! This is a very important point, and it is difficult to understand this from reading the description of this pastime in the Srimad-Bhagavatam…

“Kavi Karnapura reveals something else here: Krsna, himself acting in tadatmyabhava, has entered the gopis’ hearts and is the actual cause of their identifying with Him. But where there is pratikula-bhava such as when they were imitating Putana, everything is arranged by Yogamaya. Another example of this is when the gopis heard Krsna’s flute-melody and left their husbands in the dead of night, Yogamaya expanded duplicate gopis to take their places.”

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s Illumination

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s point: “At this time, as Krsna had entered into the gopis, all of His six opulences fully manifested within them. Although they were imitating Krsna’s pastimes, they became capable of lifting Govardhana Hill or subduing Kaliya.”


About TP Das

I am a initiated disciple of Prabhupada. I love to write, creatively and also to edit. My love of reading is for Vedic shastras like Jaiva Dharma, Bhagavatam, etc. My path is bhakti-yoga. I live mostly in India. The title for my blog comes from both Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums and Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Jaiva Dharma (The Dharma of Souls). My instructing Gurus are Srila BR Sridhara and Srila BV Narayana. Haribol!

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