Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 13 Nov 2019

     

Why were the sages reborn as the Gopikas after a long delay?

In the Tretā Yuga, Rāma told the sages that they would be reborn as the Gopikās to face His tests. But the Gopikās were reborn only at the end of the Dvāpara Yuga. Why was there such a long delay? [This question is part of a mahā satsaṅga or a great spiritual discussion between Swami and several devotees who had come from various places, seeking the clarification of their doubts.]

Swami replied: By the end of Dvāpara Yuga, Kali Yuga had almost entered. Kali Yuga is characterized by an atmosphere of all bad qualities like theft, illegitimate sex and so on. The tests conducted by God for the Gopikās externally appeared to involve such bad qualities. Krishna’s stealing of the butter of the Gopikās was a test of whether their bond with God (Krishna) was stronger than their bond with wealth. The theft was also a test of whether their bond with God was stronger than their bond with their children, since the butter was stored in their houses for the sake of their children. Dancing with the married Gopikās secretly at midnight in Bṛndāvanam, similarly tested their bond with their life-partners. These three strongest worldly bonds—with one’s children, wealth and life-partner—are called the three eṣaṇas. Testing these three bonds requires the use of the bad qualities, which are more common among people during the Kali Yuga. They had already entered the minds of people by the end of Dvāpara Yuga, during the time of the Gopikās. So, the Gopikās could be easily attracted towards Krishna and they could mix freely with Him. In due course of their acquaintance with Him, they learned the spiritual knowledge taught by Him and the true background of those incidents was revealed to them.

In the Tretā Yuga of Rāma, these bad qualities were very rare among people. So, conducting such tests in the Tretā Yuga would have led to serious misunderstanding in the minds of people. The rajas and tamas (bad qualities) exhibited by God externally, also had another purpose. They were also meant to make bad people feel comfortable with the personality of Krishna. Such people could thus, freely approach Him and over time, develop a strong attraction for Him. Eventually, they could get reformed due to the correct spiritual guidance given by Him. So, by Krishna exhibiting those bad qualities at the end of Dvāpara Yuga, not only were the tests of the Gopikās completed, but some bad people were also reformed.

| Shri Dattaswami | Dvaapara yuga Brundaavanam Gopikas Tretaa yuga