The Inner Significance of the Mutual Love of Gopikas and Krishna

The Gopis, the simple sincere cowherd maids of Gokula, sought Krishna within or behind every bush and bower, for He was fascinating them, but ever keeping Himself away! This is only another way of describing the search for the God that we know to be within us, who eludes our efforts to sink into that sweetness. Krishna is hiding in the recesses of your hearts; you have to trace Him there and hold fast. He runs away, but leaves footprints marked by the split milk on which He has trodden, in His hurry to be beyond our reach. Yes, the lesson is: recognise His Footprints in every thing of beauty, every act of goodness, every tear of gratitude, every sigh of compassion, and discover Him in the bower of your own heart, filled with the fragrance of Love and Light of Virtue.
“The Spider in the Same Web”
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 09,
September 03, 1969, Prasanthi Nilayam

Yashoda, despite many occasions in which Krishna demonstrated His Divinity, continued to regard Him as a human child and frequently thanked the Lord for saving her child from many dangers.

Once Yashoda appealingly asked Krishna why He was going to the Gopikas’ houses to steal their butter when there was so much butter in their own house. The child Krishna replied: “Mother, I am not stealing butter but the hearts of the Gopis”. (Swami sang a beautiful song relating to this episode). “Their hearts are pure and full of devotion,” said Krishna. “Their butter is filled with the devotion with which they churn the buttermilk. Their bangles keep time as they sing Krishna’s name while churning. The butter that is got contains the essence of the Vedas”. In this manner, every word of Krishna was replete with spiritual significance.
“The Glory of Krishna Avatar”
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 27,
August 28, 1994, Brindavan

Krishna wanted to teach the Gopalas about the Atma. It was the rainy season, and dark clouds were hovering over the sky. There was lightning followed by thunder. Krishna said that the dark clouds represent the Tamasic (ignorance) quality in man, thunder the Rajasic (passionate) quality and lightning the Satvic (enlightening). Because of Tamo-Guna you are not able to see the vast sky which is the Divine. Just as lightning shines in a dark cloud, Jnana (wisdom) shines beyond the cloud of ignorance.

On another occasion, Krishna gave the Gopalas a sublime experience. The cowherd boys had taken the cows to the forest to graze. When they felt hungry, they asked Krishna and Balarama to give them food. Krishna said, “When you have the all-powerful Being with you, why do you worry about food? There is a Yajna being performed by some pandits nearby. All of you may go and tell them that you are hungry. They will feed you”. Accordingly they went to the place and asked for food. The Pandits told them that they could serve food only after the Purnahuti (completion of the sacrificial ritual). The lads returned disappointed and informed Krishna about it. Krishna asked them to go to the wives of the Pandits who were cooking the food, and not to the Pandits who could not recognise the nature of Divinity. Krishna asked them to go behind the Yajnashala (hall of ritual) and ask the women to serve food. They went there and informed the ladies that they were Krishna’s friends. While the Pandits could not recognise the greatness of Balarama and Krishna, the ladies asked them with great devotion as to where Balarama and Krishna were. When told that they were nearby; the ladies took all the food in their vessels to the place where Krishna was. They forgot body-consciousness and were in ecstasy at the sight of Krishna. They made all the cowherds sit and served the food. The Pandits came in search of their women and found them serving food to Balarama, Krishna and their friends. The Pandits later realised that the God to whom they had been making their offerings at the Yajna was Himself there in the form of Krishna. Krishna showed the form of Narayana to the Pandits, who prostrated before Him. What was the use of doing Yajnas without realising the God who was in human form available close by?
“Immortal Devotees of the Lord”
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 28,
May 26, 1995, Brindavan

Once a Gopika went to a well to bring two pitchers of water. After placing one pitcher on her head, she wanted someone to place the other water-filled pitcher on the first one. At that time, Krishna came there and she asked Him to place the water-filled pitcher on the first one. Krishna refused to do so. Soon another Gopika came along and helped the first Gopika. The Gopika carrying the two pitchers reached her home. Krishna followed her to the house and without even waiting to be asked, He took the top pitcher from the Gopika’s head and placed it down. She was surprised at Krishna’s strange behaviour. She asked him, “Krishna, at the well, You refused to place the pitcher on my head when I appealed to You to help me. Now You take it down from the head without my asking. What is the inner meaning of this action?” Krishna replied, “Oh Gopika! I remove the burdens borne by people and not to add to them”.
“The Mansion of Life”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 25, February 20, 1992, Prasanthi Nilayam

Once, Krishna too pretended to be suffering from headache, intense, unbearable headache! He acted that role quite as realistically. He wound warm clothes around His head, rolled restlessly in bed. His eyes were red and He was in evident distress. The face too appeared swollen and pale. Rukmini, Satyabhama and the other queens rushed about with all kinds of remedies and palliatives. But they were ineffective. At last, they consulted Narada and he went into the sick room to consult Krishna Himself and find out which drug would cure Him.

Krishna directed him to bring – What do you think the drug was? – The dust of the feet of a true Bhakta! In a trice, Narada manifested himself in the presence of some celebrated Bhaktas of the Lord; but, they were too humble to offer the dust of their feet to be used by their Lord as a drug!

That is also a kind of egoism. “I am low, mean, small, useless, poor, sinful, and inferior” – such feelings also are egoistic; when the ego goes, you do not feel either superior or inferior. No one would give the dust wanted by the Lord; they were too worthless, they declared. Narada came back disappointed to the sickbed. Then, Krishna asked him, “Did you try Brindavana where the Gopis live?” The queens laughed at the suggestion and even Narada asked in dismay, “What do they know of Bhakti?” Still, the sage had to hurry thither.

When the Gopis heard Krishna was ill and that the dust of their feet might cure Him, without a second thought they shook the dust off their feet and filled his hands with the same. By the time Narada reached Dwaraka, the head-ache had gone. It was just a five-day drama, to teach that self-condemnation is also egoism and that the Lord’s command must be obeyed without demur by all Bhaktas.
“Protection of the Devotees”
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 03,
July 07, 1963, Prasanthi Nilayam

People forget that Krishna was just eleven years old, when He finally left Brindavan, the scene of the Rasa Leela, towards Mathura and from thence to Dwaraka. The Bhagavata itself explicitly says that. But, it is ignored, because the minds of the people and the poets who want to see sensuality in the Rasaleela are vitiated by Vishaya Vasana (attachment to sense objects).
“Vishaya: The Visha”, Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 03, September 06, 1963, Prasanthi Nilayam

It is also stated that Krishna was wedded to 16,000 Gopikas. Who are these Gopikas? They are not cowherdesses in physical form. In the human head there is a lotus with a thousand petals. The Lord is described as the embodiment of the 16 Kalas. As the Lord of the Sahasrara (thousand-petalled lotus), He presides over the 16,000 Kalas which are present in this lotus. The Kundalini Shakti, which starts at the bottom of the spinal column (Mooladhaara), rises and merges with the 16,000 entities in the Sahasraara. This is the esoteric significance and the meaning of the role of the Divine within the body. Oblivious to this inner meaning, people indulge in misinterpretations and perverse expositions.
“The Divine and the Demon”
Sathya Sai Speaks, Volume 22,
October 28, 1989, Brindavan


  1. AUM SAI RAM. Baba I am perhaps unfortunate as whenever I wanted to go to Putaperti, some unfortunate would happen and the programme was cancelled. You gave me darshan foue times but in dreams. Baba call me and my wife to Putaperti to have your darshan. You sre my Mather snd Father both. Baba help me. Jai Sai Ram.


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