Harmonizing Duty with Devotion

Srimad Bhagavatam 10.21.19-20 - Harmonizing Duty with Devotion (download mp3)
by Govinda Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 10.21.19
ga gopakair anu-vanam nayator udara
 venu-svanaih kala-padais tanu-bhrtsu sakhyah
aspandanam gati-matam pulakas tarunam
 niryoga-pasa-krta-laksanayor vicitram

My dear friends, as Krsna and Balarama pass through the forest with Their cowherd friends, leading Their cows, They carry ropes to bind the cows’ rear legs at the time of milking. When Lord Krsna plays on His flute, the sweet music causes the moving living entities to become stunned and the nonmoving trees to tremble with ecstasy. These things are certainly very wonderful.

Krsna and Balarama would sometimes wear Their cowherding ropes on Their heads and sometimes carry them on Their shoulders, and thus They were beautifully decorated with all the equipment of cowherd boys.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that the ropes of Krsna and Balarama are made of yellow cloth and have clusters of pearls at both ends. Sometimes They wear these ropes around Their turbans, and the ropes thus become wonderful decorations.

SB 10.21.20
evam-vidha bhagavato
 ya vrndavana-carinah
varnayantyo mitho gopyah
 kridas tan-mayatam yayuh

Thus narrating to one another the playful pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as He wandered about in the Vrndavana forest, the gopis became fully absorbed in thoughts of Him.


In this regard Srila Prabhupada comments, “This is the perfect example of Krsna consciousness: to somehow or other remain always engrossed in thoughts of Krsna. The vivid example is always present in the behavior of the gopis; therefore Lord Caitanya declared that no one can worship the Supreme Lord by any method that is better than the method of the gopis. The gopis were not born in very high brahmana or ksatriya families; they were born in the families of vaisyas, and not in big mercantile communities but in the families of cowherd men. They were not very well educated, although they heard all sorts of knowledge from the brahmanas, the authorities of Vedic knowledge. The gopis’ only purpose was to remain always absorbed in thoughts of Krsna.”

Thus end the purports of the humble servants of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to the Tenth Canto, Twenty-first Chapter, of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, entitled “The Gopis Glorify the Song of Krsna’s Flute.”