rāso hi tasya bhagavattva-viśeṣa-gopyaḥ
lakṣmyā manoratha-śatair api yo durāpaḥ
rāsaḥ—the rāsa dance; hi—indeed; tasya—His; bhagavattva—the status of God; viśeṣa—unique; gopyaḥ—and most confidential; sarva-sva—of everything He possesses; sāra—of the essence; pāripāka-mayaḥ—comprising the perfection; vyanakti—reveals; utkṛṣṭatā—of His superexcellence; madhurimā—and of His sweetness; apara-sīma-niṣṭhām—the final limit; lakṣmyā—by the goddess Lakṣmī; manoratha—with aspirations; śataiḥ— hundreds; api—even; yaḥ—which; durāpaḥ— impossible to obtain.
150. The Lord’s rāsa dance discloses the most confidential essence of His Godhood. It embodies the perfection of everything most dear to Him. It reveals the final limit of His supremacy and sweetness. The goddess Lakṣmī couldn’t enter that dance, even after aspiring to do so in hundreds of attempts.
Commentary: Lakṣmī, the consort of Lord Nārāyaṇa, desired with all her heart to join the rāsa dance, but all the austerities she performed to gain this privilege proved futile. As Uddhava sings in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.47.60):
nāyaṃ śriyo ’ṅga u nitānta-rateḥ prasādaḥ svar-yoṣitāṃ nalina-gandha-rucāṃ kuto ’nyāḥ rāsotsave ’sya bhuja-daṇḍa-gṛhīta-kaṇṭha-labdhāśiṣāṃ ya udagād vraja-vallabhīnām
“When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was dancing with the gopīs in the rāsa-līlā, the gopīs were embraced by the arms of the Lord. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or other consorts in the spiritual world. Indeed, never was such a thing even imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, whose bodily luster and aroma resemble those of the lotus. And what to speak of worldly women who are very beautiful by mundane estimation?” The gopīs who enjoy Kṛṣṇa’s embraces in the rāsa dance are clearly much more fortunate than Lakṣmī, and the rāsa dance is clearly the most glorious of the Supreme Lord’s pastimes.
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