Canto 10: The Summum BonumChapter 22: Kṛṣṇa Steals the Garments of the Unmarried Gopīs

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.22.19

yūyaḿ vivastrā yad apo dhṛta-vratā

vyagāhataitat tad u deva-helanam

baddhvāñjaliḿ mūrdhny apanuttaye 'ḿhasaḥ

kṛtvā namo 'dho-vasanaḿ pragṛhyatām


yūyam — you; vivastrāḥ — naked; yat — because; apaḥin the water; dhṛta-vratāḥ — while executing a Vedic ritualistic vow; vyagāhata — bathed; etat tat — this; u — indeed; deva-helanaman offense against Varuṇa and the other gods; baddhvā añjalim — with palms joined together; mūrdhni — upon your heads; apanuttaye — for counteracting; aḿhasaḥ — your sinful action; kṛtvā namaḥ — paying obeisances; adhaḥ-vasanam — your lower garments; pragṛhyatām — please take back.


[Lord Kṛṣṇa said:] You girls bathed naked while executing your vow, and that is certainly an offense against the demigods. To counteract your sin you should offer obeisances while placing your joined palms above your heads. Then you should take back your lower garments.


Kṛṣṇa wanted to see the full surrender of the gopīs, and thus He ordered them to offer obeisances with their palms joined above their heads. In other words, the gopīs could no longer cover their bodies. We should not foolishly think that Lord Kṛṣṇa is an ordinary lusty boy enjoying the naked beauty of the gopīs. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Absolute Truth, and He was acting to fulfill the loving desire of the young cowherd girls of Vṛndāvana. In this world we would certainly become lusty in a situation like this. But to compare ourselves to God is a great offense, and because of this offense we will not be able to understand Kṛṣṇa's transcendental position, for we will wrongly take Him to be materially conditioned like ourselves. To lose transcendental sight of Kṛṣṇa is certainly a great disaster for one trying to relish the bliss of the Absolute Truth.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
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