|Rasa Lila Collection
|THE RASA LILA (framed on silk)
The sacred, circular dance of the Rasa Lila (the 'Intoxicating Play') is the most famous episode in the young life of the pastoral cowherd Krishna. Told in the Shrimad Bhagavata Purana (Story of the Beloved Lord) and celebrated poetically in the Gita Govinda (song of the Dark Lord), the Rasa Lila dance is the culmination of mystical communion between Krishna, the transcendent Lord, and the gopis (cowherd women), who represent the beautiful forms of his creation.
The are enraptured by each other.
On a stormy, enchanted Spring night, Krishna prances about in the forests of Vrindavana, playing gorgeous melodies on his flute that coax the unsuspecting gopis out of their homes. Each soon yearns with all of her heart to join with Krishna. As the gopis emerge into the clearing, Krishna appears to each of them individually. Soon he leaves each of them; lovestruck and saddened, the gopis, to their amazement, suddenly discover that each of them has her very own Krishna to dance with! He has multiplied himself so that each gopi has her very own Krishna.
And so the dance of divine nectar begins. Krishna stops time itself under the auspices of the full moon so that the joyous dance can go on for thousands of years on the banks of the sacred Yamuna river. The Rasa Lila represents the eternal union of the Lord and all of his devotees; all of us seek that blessed reunion that comes with the melting of the heart, by devotion to our own highest Krishna nature.
Jayadeva poetically captures the moment before the divine dance commences:
From the GITA GOVINDA, chaper XI--
"Jayadeva's song evokes the potent memory of Hari's feet, coloring the forest in the springtime mood heightened by Love's presence. Budding mango trees tremble from the embrace of rising vines. The Vrindavana forest is wasked by the meandering Yamuna river's waters. Gleaming saffrom flower pistils are golden scepters of Love. Trumpet flowers like wanton bees are arrows in Love's quiver. When spring's mood is rich, Hari roams here to dance with young women friend--a cruel time for deserted lovers."
The Rasa Lila Dance--
"The wondrous mystery of Krishna's sexual play in the Vrindavana forest is Jayadeva's song. Let its celebration spread Krishna's love! Hari revels here as the crowd of charming girls revels in seducing him to play...
When he quickens all things to create bliss in the world, his soft black sinuous lotus limbs begin the festival of love. Beautiful cowherd girls wildly wind him in their bodies. Friend, in spring young Hari plays like the erotic mood incarnate..."
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