31 One gopi kneels down while outstretching her lata-like arms, and starts to spin. Aho! She appears like Kamadeva’s whirling golden discus !
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: As Radha and Krishna pause to rest, the other sakhi begin showing their various dancing skills to please them. Though we have never heard of Kamadeva possessing a discus weapon along with his blow and flowery arrows, it is not unreasonable to think that he has many weapons in his arsenal.
32 Another Vrajabala repeatedly raises and contracts her arms, stretching them out and then withdrawing them to touch her own bodily limbs, displaying many dancing postures too difficult for others.
33 Touching the ground with her right hand, a gopi lifts her body to the sky and rotates it again and again, sometimes falling to the ground. Then sometimes she performs the same a rotating dance without any support.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Sounds like break dancing. Vrindavan Chakravarti says it is not so amazing that the gopis can dance in the air without any support, since they belong to the supreme independent potency.
34 One slim-waisted gopi stands and bends backwards until her veni touches her heels. While stretching in this way she dances, making it look like she is Cupid’s golden bow taking aim.
35 Another Vraja sundari made the little silver beads in her ankle bells jingle in their spaces to the music’s rhythm, first once, then twice, then three times, in sequence. Then sometimes she would silence them altogether, even while continuing her wondrous dance. Seeing this, Krishna and all the other talented performers honored her with exclamations of, “Well done! Well done!”
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: In these verses, we can hear the echo of the Bhāgavatam
kācit samaṁ mukundena svarajātīr amiśritāḥ |
unninye pūjitā tena prīyatā sādhu sādhv iti |
tad eva dhruvam unninye tasyai mānaṁ ca bahv adāt ||
“One gopi, joining Lord Mukunda in his singing, sang pure melodious tones that rose harmoniously above his. Krishna was pleased and showed great appreciation for her performance, saying “Excellent! Excellent!” Then another gopi repeated the same chorus, but improving on it, and Krishna praised her also.” (BhP 10.33.10)
36 Whether it was the song, dance and instrumentation that Brahma, Shiva and other gods had created, or those that Lord Narayan and all his Lakshmis created appropriate to their world of Vaikuntha, or whether it was the song, dance and instrumentation that the Vraja sundaris themselves created — in the Rasa maṇḍala Krishna further expanded them all in their company in ways never before seen or heard.
37 While displaying inconceivable dancing prowess, Krishna enjoys viewing the gopis, kissing them and petitioning them for rati. He also fondles their breasts or marks them with his nails. Thus becoming Radhika and the sakhi’s ramana, he plunges within the Rasa lila’s rasa sagara!
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Here is svayam bhagavan rasikendra mauli’s paramount feature. By giving supreme pleasure to the gopis he nourishes his own pleasure. Here we can are reminded of the description of the Rasa that is given by Jayadeva at the beginning of Gita-govinda:
harir iha mugdha-vadhū-nikare vilāsini vilasati keli-pare ||dhru||
Krishna has applied sandal paste to his dark blue body,
is clothed in bright yellow and wears a garland of forest flowers.
The ear-globes adorning his smiling cheeks oscillate while he sports.
Refrain: Hari shines among the enchanted gopis who frolick with him.
pīna-payodhara-bhāra-bhareṇa hariṁ parirabhya sarāgam |
gopa-vadhūr anugāyati kācid udañcita-pañcama-rāgam ||2||
One gopi, weighed down by her ample bosom embraces Krishna
with manifest love and gleefully sings in the panchama raga.
kāpi vilāsa-vilola-vilocana-khelana-janita-manojam |
dhyāyati mugdha-vadhūr adhikaṁ madhusūdana-vadana-sarojam ||3||
One artless gopi contemplates the handsome lotus-face of Madhusudana
with its moving, playful eyes radiating passion.
kāpi kapola-tale militā lapituṁ kim api śruti-mūle |
cāru cucumba nitambavatī dayitaṁ pulakair anukūle ||4||
One gopi puts her cheek against his to whisper something in his ear.
Another shapely one kisses him sweetly, her hair standing favorably on end.
keli-kalā-kutukena ca kācid amuṁ yamunā-jala-kūle |
mañjula-vañjula-kuñja-gataṁ vicakarṣa kareṇa dukūle ||5||
Another gopi playfully leads Krishna along the banks of the Yamuna
to a pretty bower and there starts pulling at his clothes.
rāsa-rase saha-nṛtya-parā hariṇā yuvatī praśaśaṁse ||6||
Another gopi dances, mingling the rhythmic tinkling of her bracelets
with the melody from the flute of Krishna, who praises her for her skills.
śliṣyati kām api cumbati kām api kām api ramayati rāmām |
paśyati sa smita-cāru parām aparām anugacchati vāmām ||7||
Krishna embraces one gopi, kisses another, gladdens yet another;
He looks at another with a charming smile, and follows behind yet another.
śrī-jayadeva-bhaṇitam idam adbhuta-keśava-keli-rahasyam |
vipina-vinoda-kalā-valitaṁ vitanotu śubhāni yaśasyam ||8||
Thus Jayadeva describes the wonderful secret of Krishna’s sports
as artistically conducted in his playground forest of Vrindavan.
May it bestow auspiciousness and fame on those who hear it.
One can also look at BhP 10.33.11-14.
38 Krishna he sings and makes them, his consorts, sing. He dances and induces them to dance, and dances according to their direction. He praises their performance and they praise his. So just as a boy plays with his own shadow, Krishna enjoys with them.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: This verse is inspired by Bhagavatam 10.33.17—
reme rameśo vraja-sundarībhir
In this way, by hugging, by touching, by looking affectionately, by extravagant playing, the Lord of Ramā Devi enjoyed with the Vraja sundaris, just like a boy plays with his bewildering reflection in a mirror.
As no dancer is satisfied by dancing alone, and no song is wonderful without an audience, how could the topmost sundara purusha ever be happy and complete without his parama sundari counterparts? Hence, Rasa is the greatest showcase where love and beauty combine in harmony with singing, dancing and music. Here everything is ideal and perfect.
39 One Vraja kishori places Krishna’s chandan anointed arm on her shoulder. But as its divine fragrance enters her nostrils, she shivers, horripilates and sheds ecstatic tears! Thus being stunned, she appears like a sthira-saudamini (steady lightning streak) within a nava jaladhara (new monsoon cloud)!
40 The gopis dancing fatigue personifies like a friendly sakhi to decorate their forehead and cheeks with attractive perspiration beads—the sign of their sweet vilasa with Krishna.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: As the gopis dancing goes on, the friendly sakhi of fatigue congratulates them for their wonderful vilasa with a gift of pearl necklaces. Thus the gopis perpiration enhances their beauty.
śrama-jala-yuta-bhālāḥ sālasāṅgyaḥ kriyāsu |
pupūṣur adhikam etā rāsa-nṛtyāvasāne ||
41 At the Rasa’s conclusion,
the gopis’ hair becomes undone,
their clothes loosen,
the tips of their breasts pulsate
with their heavy breathing,
perspiration beads cling to their foreheads,
and their limbs droop with exhaustion.
Yet, even the luster arising from their fatigue
only increases to new heights
the already peak relish of the Beloved’s eyes!
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Rasika bhaktas may ponder: “Where is the abode of saundarya, refined beauty? And who is actually beautiful?” By meditating on these lilas, anubhava or direct experience awakens. Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi defines saundarya as refined beauty in all situations. Hence the gopis are the ideal example.
The proper and harmonious arrangement of every one of the bodily limbs, e.g. narrowness of waist and breadth of chest (in Krishna), etc., is called beauty (saundarya). (UN 10.30)
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