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Gopikas

Meaning

"The syllable 'Go' in the word "Gopika' has four meanings: The Veda, the cow, the earth and the faculty of speech (Vaak). The Gopikas derive their attributes from these different meanings. They chant the Vedas, protect the cows, nourish the earth and proclaim the glories of the Divine by their speech." Sai Baba, SS, 2/98. p. 38 ,

"Gopi means sense control; one who controls the senses. It is not a lady's name." Sai Baba, Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, p. 18

Narakasura And His Sixteen Thousands Imprisoned Gopikas

"The capital of the kingdom ruled by Narakasura was known as 'Prag-jyoti-sha-puram'. The name consists of four syllables: Prag, Jyoti, Sha and Puram. 'Prag' means before, 'Jyoti' means light, 'Sha' refers to forgetting. The inner meaning of this name is that the inhabitants of this city have forgotten the ancient and eternal light (Atma Jyoti). Narakasura, the king of Prag-jyoti- sha-puram had totally forgotten the Atmic Principle, identifying himself with the body, leading a life full of darkness of ignorance. One has to develop attachment to the Self, not to the body. Attachment to the body is the main cause for all sufferings. One who travels towards ignorance is Naraka and the one who travels towards wisdom is Nara, the human. To travel along the path of wisdom, one needs to develop sacred thoughts, sacred words and sacred actions.

God does not like to kill the wicked Himself. So, Krishna decided to weaken him gradually by subjecting him to fits of anger. The modus operand! was to provoke Narakasura and when he would come chasing in a fit of anger, Krishna would withdraw. Anger is the main cause for man to lose his physical and mental powers. If one gets angry, one loses energy obtained from the food partaken over a period of three months. When Narakasura lost all his strength due to his anger, Krishna made Satyabhama kill him. God has His own master plan for everything because He is the master of everything.

Narakasura committed many sins in his life. He imprisoned thousands of women and tortured them. They were the sixteen thousands Gopikas. They could neither live nor die. After Narakasura was killed, Krishna freed them from prison and asked them to return to their respective homes after being prisoners of Narakasura. They said, 'Krishna was their only refuge and prayed that he should take care of them. Krishna agreed to take responsibility of protecting them. The Gopikas sang in praise of Krishna thus:

 

'O Krishna! It is impossible to describe your glory in word's. Even Brahma, the Creator, cannot understand you. We have been longing/or Your Divine Grace. You freed Devaki-Vasudeva from prison. You protected the Pandavas. You removed the poverty of Kuchela. You turned ugly Kubja into a beautiful -woman. You freed sixteen thousands Gopikas from prison.' Sai Baba, SS, 11/12-98, p. 290

Simultaneous Vision Of Krishna To 16000 Gopikas

"Is it possible for any ordinary individual to make his appearance simultaneously in the homes of 16,000 Gopikas, not only will people today disbelieve it, but many will ridicule it. But this is the reaction of petty, unthinking people, who have no spirit of enquiry. If one enquires into the truth, it will be seen that even in the modern times such a phenomenon is taking place. The broadcast of a music programme from Delhi is heard in millions of homes in its completeness, all at the same time in myriad different places. A person, speaking on TV, can be seen in a million homes. If a man-made contrivance (Yantra) can have such a far-reaching power, why should it not possible for the power of " Mantra to reach millions simultaneously? The image of Krishna could appear in the hearts of the Gopis, though they were far away from him. What is necessary is to purify the heart. The image of the Divine will not be reflected in an impure heart. There is no limit to the power of the Divine. Only the small-minded have limited power" Sai Baba, SS, 9/93, p. 228.

Spiritual Symbolism

"In commenting on Krishna story in the Bhagavatam, many writers have indulged in all kinds of misinterpretations. One such misinterpretation relates to Krishna's wives.

In the human body, there are what are called "Shadchakras", six spiritual centers. Of these, the two most important are: the Hridaya-chakra (the Heart Centre) and Sahasraara (the thousand-petalled centre). The Hridaya-chakra is also known as the Lotus of the Heart. It has (Hridayakamala) and Sahasraara is called the Thousand-Petalled Lotus. The Lotus of the Heart has eight petals. These eight petals symbolize the eight worlds, the eight directions, the eight guardians of the world, me eignt spirus (Bhaias) and eight parts of the earth. Because Krishna was the Lord of these eight petals, he was described as the husband of these eight queens. The 'master' is called 'Pati' and those under him are described as wives. This is a symbolic relationship in the worldly sense. It is because the esoteric significance of these relationships was not properly understood; the Bhagavatam came in for misinterpretation.

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. Each of these petals has 16 kalas. The Lord is described as the embodiment of the 16 kalas. As the Lord of the Sahasraara (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 (Moolaadhaara), rises and merges with 16,000 entities in the Sahasraara. This is the esoteric significance and meaning of the role of the Divine within the body. Oblivious to this inner meaning, people indulge in misinterpretations and perverse expositions." Sai Baba, SS, 1/90, p. 10

"The Sahasraara Chakra (in the body) has a thousand petals. Each petal carries sixteen phases (Kalas). Thus the Sahasraara Chakra is said to represent of 16,000 Gopikas, while the eight petals of the Hridaya Chakra are adored as the eight consorts of Krishna." Sai Baba, SS, 2/98, pp. 37 & 38

"The ancient sages reached the thousand petalled Sahasraara through the adoration of the Lord in the eight-petalled lotus of the heart. They used all their God-given intelligence for this spiritual goal. But modem man is using his intelligence only for worldly ends. The ancient sages considered cultivation of virtues and good qualities and righteous conduct as the true education.

What do the eight petals of the heart represent? They are love (Prema), truth (Satyam), forbearance (Sahanam), sacrifice (Tyaga), compassion (Daya), beauty (Sundram), bliss (Ananda) and Shanti (peace). To realise the bliss of the Divine, all other qualities have to be fostered. God is the embodiment of these eight attributes. Sacrifice is the most important of them." Sai Baba, SS, 2/98, p. 38

"In every human being, there are what are known as the 'Shadchakras' (the six Chakras). Among them, two are important. One is the 'Hridaya Chakra', the Chakra relating to the heart. The other is the 'Sahasraara Chakra'. The 'Hridaya Chakra' is described in Vedantic parlance as 'Hridaya Kamala (the Lotus of the Heart). The 'Lotus' has eight petals. Every petal is called 'Prakrit!' (Nature). All the eight petals are under the sway of the Lord. This means the God is the master (Adhipati) of the eight petals. Because Krishna is the 'Pati' (husband) of these eight petals, he is said to have eight 'queens', according to the scriptural text. Those who did not understand the esoteric meaning of all this, described Krishna as having eight queers and as having sported with 16,000 Gopikas. The real meaning of the reference to Krishna's 'eight queens' is that He is the Lord of the lotus of the human heart. As such. He holds sway over the heart. When this is rightly understood, the supreme greatness of the Divine will be apparent." Sai Baba, SS, 9/93, p. 226