Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lord Shiva as Gopīśvara (Srila B.S. Tirtha Goswami Maharaj)

The Shiva Lingam in the Gopīśvara Mahādeva temple in Vrindavan India
(This is where you have to go first when you come to Vrindavan
to ask for Lord Shiva's permission to enter)

Lord Shiva as Gopīśvara
(Excerpt, with minor ortographical edits) 
Srila Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj


Once while in deep meditation on Mount Kailash, Lord Shiva heard the sweet vibration of Krishna playing His divine flute. Mesmerized, He entered samadhi. He followed that transcendental sound until He came to Vrindavan, where Lord Gopinath was getting ready to start the rasa lila with His gopis.

Desiring intensely to join the rasa lila, when He came to the entrance of the rasa sthali, He was stopped by Yogamaya, who told him, "No males except Krishna are allowed entry. First you must have gopi-rupa, the form of a Vraja milkmaid, a gopi, only then can you enter."

Lord Bholanath [Shiva] asked, "How can I get gopi-rupa?" Yogamaya replied, "Seek the shelter of Vrinda Devi. She will grant you the form of a gopi."

Vrinda Devi asked Lord Shiva to take a dip in the waters of Manasarovar. After bathing there, Lord Shiva emerged from the lake with the form of a beautiful gopi.

Vrinda Devi then took Lord Shiva in her gopi form to one corner of the rasa sthali. Lord Shiva stood there and prayed to Sri Sri Radha Krishna for getting prema bhakti [pure devotional love of Krishna].

Then the rasa lila started. Lord Krishna danced with all the gopis. He also danced very elegantly with Lord Shiva disguised as a gopi.

Then after some time, when they rested, the Lord said 'I'm not getting the usual pleasure from our rasa lila. Something is not right. I think there is another man in our midst." Then He asked Lalita Devi to check all the gopis and make sure no man was lurking amongst them dressed as one of them.

Lalita Devi went around and lifted the veils of all the hundreds of gopis but couldn't find any man disguised as a woman. She came and reported to Krishna, "I have not found any man, but there is one gopi with three eyes", she said puzzled.

Lord Krishna asked her to bring her to Him. When the Lord saw the Shiva gopi, He laughed heartily and addressed him, "O
Gopīśvara, I am very pleased to see you in the form of a gopi. But you know that this rasa lila is not for grihastas (householders). Therefore, since you have already participated and fulfilled your desire, now I offer you the post of rasa dwara pala (gatekeeper of the rasa lila). I also give you the blessing that henceforth, all the gopis will offer respect to you and seek your blessing to get gopi bhava.


Vrindavanvani-pate jaya soma soma
maule sanandana-sanatana-naradeya
gopishvara vraja-vilasi-yuganghri-padme
prema prayaccha nirupadhi namo namas te

O Shiva, O gatekeeper of Vrindavan! O you who are accompanied by Uma! O you who carry the moon in your hair!
O lord worshiped by Sananda Kumara, Sanat Kumara and Narada Muni!
O Gopisvara, the worshipable deity of the gopis!
Desiring that you bestow upon me love for the divine couple, Sri Sri Radha Madhava, who perform joyous pastimes in Vraja, I offer my obeisances unto you again and again.

— Srila Visvanatha Chakravarti Thakura, Sri Sankalpa-Kalpadrum 

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