Srimad Bhagavatam 10.84.01 - Jagannath's Attraction For Vrindavan (download mp3)
by Damodar Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
srutva prtha subala-putry atha yajñaseni
madhavy atha ksitipa-patnya uta sva-gopyah
krsne ’khilatmani harau pranayanubandham
sarva visismyur alam asru-kalakulaksyah
Sukadeva Gosvami said: Prtha, Gandhari, Draupadi, Subhadra, the wives of other kings and the Lord’s cowherd girifriends were all amazed to hear of the queens’ deep love for Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Soul of all beings, and their eyes filled with tears.
Draupadi is the chief hearer in this assembly of exalted women, since, as explained by Srila Sridhara Svami, she had asked the question that Lord Krsna’s queens answered by relating their respective stories. Since Gandhari and the other ladies named here were not even mentioned in the previous chapter as having been present, Acarya Sridhara concludes that they must have heard the queens’ narrations only secondhand. Indeed, Draupadi would never have spoken so freely in the presence of Prtha and Gandhari, her elders, or before the gopis, whose attitude toward the queens of Dvaraka was not particularly sympathetic. Even though the gopis joined in shedding tears, it was more because of their being reminded of Sri Krsna’s pastimes than because of any loving affinity between them and the queens.
We should remember, of course, that there is always perfect harmony on the spiritual platform. Apparent conflict between pure devotees is nothing like mundane envy and strife. The jealousy of the gopis was more show than substance, being exhibited by them as an ecstatic symptom of their overflowing love for Krsna. Srila Sridhara Svamipada further analyzes the phrase sva-gopyah as implying that these gopis were the queens’ sva-svarupa, the original prototypes of whom the queens were specific expansions.