Discussions on the nectarine qualities and pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna. Please don't copy and paste here without starting a discussion.
Esoteric meaning of rasa-lila - Just a "dance"?
TarunGovindadas - Mon, 03 Nov 2003 14:46:45 +0530
Very often people ask me the following:
"We know that your God likes to dance a lot. What is the spiritual significance of that rasa-dance? Are there any esoteric concepts ? Why is it that the rasa-dance is so giving utmost pleasure to its participants?"
Since I´m not so expert in these advanced matters, I would like to ask you for an encouraging answer, since these people are very openminded. Why is the rasa-dance so extraordinarily blissful?
To my mind came the point that even in the material world , dancing is very thickly connected to pleasure-giving and to a very nice atmosphere, including all the uddipanas (music, fragrances, natural settings, etc..).
Are there indeed any esoteric concepts? Inner meanings?
Thank you so much
Madhava - Mon, 03 Nov 2003 18:08:59 +0530
Esoteric concepts, inner meanings?
If the question is asked by people not intimately familiar with our theology ("your God likes to dance"), I wouldn't go too deep into the theme of the rasa-dance. There is no point in explaining the intricacies of rasa to a person who has no basis for understanding them.
Perhaps you can reply that the rasa-dance is the emblem of God's blissful enjoyment with the living entities. Just as Krishna plays His flute, luring the gopis into the forest from amidst their domestic duties, similarly God calls for the spirit souls steeped in mundane ways to join Him in an eternal life of bliss and ecstacy.
That should be sufficient to make the point that we do not view God as a God of wrath or a God of commandments, but rather as a fascinating God of bliss and ecstacy, with whom our eternal inner journey is about to begin.
TarunGovindadas - Mon, 03 Nov 2003 20:07:16 +0530
thank you Madhava. good points.
i appreciate heartily.
but now , for my own benefit ( and all readers), are there any concepts of esoteric truths within the theology of rasa-lila?
where can i read something about the inner meaning?
of course this is now for me and i understand the point in shooting words above the heads of bew people.
Madhava - Tue, 04 Nov 2003 01:37:42 +0530
What would you consider an esoteric, hidden truth?
TarunGovindadas - Tue, 04 Nov 2003 14:45:11 +0530
Never mind the Tarunji, his questions are sometimes a little weird."
i just meant : "where can i read something on the theology of the rasa-lila".
forget that "esoteric"-blabla.
jiva - Wed, 05 Nov 2003 00:38:30 +0530
In his book "At Play with Krishna",John Stratton Hawley said,"The graetest symbols are the simplest,and for that reason they are the most difficult".Here,someone can ask-¨ Why ?¨Because their simplicity makes them accessible to all and makes it possible for them to magnetize great chunks of meaning.
The rasa-dance is such a symbol.In visual terms it is a circle,and nothing on its periphery anchors it to any fixed point,so it rotates freely.Krsna is equally distribted around the ring,multiplying himself in such a way that each of the gopis feels his presence as intimate and encompassing.A true circle,it is purposeless:it is a dance of pure pleasure;love and nothing else.
"Without Krsna there is no song",Bengalis said.Similary,without Radha there is no rasa-dance.For she is the link between the singular Krsna and the many gopis.If one understands Krsna as the divine Self and the gopis as its human counterpart,as has often been done,then it is Radha who brings them together.Radha symbolizes relation.She is constant,unswerving love.This is why there can be no rasa-dance without Radha;for the circle dance is no spectacular coupling between Krsna and his countless woman;it is a testament of love itself.This is its singular meaning,and Radha must be there-Krsna's singular love-to make it possible.
I must go now...