Conjugal Affection

Conjugal Affection

Above even the humor of love between Kṛṣṇa and His parents is the relationship of conjugal love. This is exhibited between the Lord and the young gopīs in different ways-glancing, moving the eyebrows, speaking very sweet words, and exchanging smiles. 

There is a statement in Govinda-vilāsa to this effect: “Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī was looking for Kṛṣṇa very anxiously and almost disappointedly.” When there is such indirect expression of conjugal love, there is smiling, astonishment, enthusiasm, lamentation, anger, dread and sometimes ghastliness. These seven exchanges of conjugal love form another state of ecstatic love. 

In a direct relationship of conjugal love, there is laughter, astonishment, chivalry, lamentation, anger and dread, but there is no ghastliness. These expressions are considered to be the great reservoirs of pleasure. When these seven kinds of ecstatic loving exchanges are manifested, they attain the status of steadiness by which the taste of conjugal love expands. 


After He had stolen some curd from the pots of two gopīs, Kṛṣṇa told one of His gopī friends: “My dear beautiful friend, I can take oath that I have not stolen even a drop of curd from your pot! But still, your friend, Rādhārāṇī, is very shamelessly smelling the flavor of My mouth. Kindly forbid Her from this devious policy of putting Her face near Mine.” When Kṛṣṇa was speaking like this, the friends of Rādhārāṇī could not check their laughter. This is an instance of ecstasy in conjugal love. 


Once Brahmā was watching all the cows and the cowherd boys dressed in yellow garments and decorated with valuable jewels. The boys were expanding their four arms and were being worshiped by many hundreds of other Brahmās. All the cowherd boys began to express their joyfulness for being with Kṛṣṇa, the supreme Brahman. At that time, Brahmā showed his astonishment by exclaiming, “What am I seeing here?” This is an instance of astonishment in ecstatic love. 


On the bank of the Yamunā once there was the crackling sound of dry leaves, giggling from the cowherd boys, and thundering from the sky. Śrīdāmā was tightening his belt to fight with Kṛṣṇa, the conqueror of the demon Agha. This is an instance of chivalry in ecstatic love. 


In the Tenth Canto, 7th Chapter, 22nd verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is a description of Kṛṣṇa’s being taken away by the whirlwind demon Tṛṇāvarta. As Kṛṣṇa was being thus carried up into the sky, all the gopīs began to cry aloud. They approached Mother Yaśodā, stating that they could not find the son of Nanda. He had been taken away by a whirlwind. This is an instance of lamentation in ecstatic love. 

When Kṛṣṇa was fighting with Kāliya, Mother Yaśodā exclaimed, “Kṛṣṇa is now entrapped within the hoods of the Kāliya snake, and yet I am not tattered to pieces! So I must admit how wonderful is the preserving power of this material body!” This is another instance of lamentation in ecstatic love. 


When Kuṭilā, the sister of Abhimanyu, saw Kṛṣṇa wearing a necklace, she could understand that the jeweled ornament had been given to Him by Rādhārāṇī. She therefore became absorbed in anger and began to move her eyebrows, expressing her anger in ecstatic love. 


There is a statement by Yāmunācārya to this effect: “Since I have begun to enjoy these transcendental exchanges of love, which are always newer and newer, whenever I remember the pleasure of past sex life, my lips curl and I wish to spit on the idea.” This is an instance of ecstatic love in ghastliness. 


One old devotee said, “My dear Lord, when we are away from You we become so anxious to see You again, and there is great misery in our lives. But then, when we do see You, there immediately comes the fear of separation. Under the circumstances, both when we see You and when we do not see You, we are subjected to different kinds of tribulation.” This is an instance of a contradictory mixture of ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa. Such ecstatic love is palatable, and expert critics have compared such ecstatic love with a mixture of curd, sugar candy and a little black pepper. The combined taste is very palatable. 

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