The Bhagavata Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 780,972 words | ISBN-10: 8120838203 | ISBN-13: 9788120838208

This page describes Notes regarding Radha and Yogamaya of the English translation of the Bhagavata Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas containing roughly 18,000 metrical verses. Topics include ancient Indian history, religion, philosophy, geography, mythology, etc. The text has been interpreted by various schools of philosophy. This is the of the Appendices of the Bhagavatapurana.

Notes regarding Rādhā and Yogamāyā

Verse 1 (extracted from Chapter 29 of Book 10 the Bhāgavata Purāṇa):

भगवान् अपि ता रात्रीः शरदोत्फुल्लमल्लिकाः ।
वीक्ष्य रन्तुं मनश्चक्रे योगमायामुपाश्रितः ॥ १ ॥

bhagavān api tā rātrīḥ śaradotphullamallikāḥ |
vīkṣya rantuṃ manaścakre yogamāyāmupāśritaḥ || 1 ||

“Perceiving that those (indescribably beautiful and hence proper for indulging in delightful sports) nights were beautified with full-blown jasmines of the autumnal (śarad) season, even the glorious Lord, in exercise of his Supreme yogic Māyā potency [see notes] made up his mind to play (rāsa)”


Yogamāyā upāśritaḥ: in the company of Rādhā—SG. equates Rādhā with yogamāyā as follows:

yogaśya sambhogasya māyo mānam paryāptir yasyāṃ sā yoga-māyā śrī rādhā—SG

“Rādhā in whom was the highest accomplishment of enjoyment”—SG

Padaratnāvalī: exercising his own essential powers.

Various conjectures are expressed by annotators why Lord Kṛṣṇa exercised his yogic Māyā Potency. He used it (1) to hypnotize the minds of people in Vraja, (2) to devise a flute capable of attracting Gopa woman (Vaiṣṇava-Śaraṇa’s Siddhāntārthadīpikā), (3) to supply the necessities of such a dance in a forest (Siddhāntapradīpa, also Rāmanārāyaṇa’s Bhāvābhāva-vibhāvikā etc.

KD: Kandarpa, the god of love, who subdued all gods like Hari, Hara and Brahmā was elated with pride. His pride was humiliated by Kṛṣṇa in this rāsa krīḍā (29.57-59). KD. raises the usual moral problem of playing with women married to others and explains the words yogamāyām upāśritaḥ as “without touching the wife of another man, he enjoyed himself in his natural essential bliss”, and quotes ātmārāmo pyarīramat The Lord was the subduer of the god of love (Manmatha mathana) and under the pretext of eroticism, these five chapters lead to the stage of spiritual renunciation (29.63-68). Dhanapati-Sūri in Bhāgavatagūḍhārthadīpikā endorses Bhāvāratha Dīpikā’s view that this Pañcādhyāyī leads to renunciation from saṃsāra.

Here two currents of interpretations become obvious in the various annotations in the Vrinḍavana edition, one endorsing madhurā bhakti and the other (including Bhāvāratha Dīpikā, Padaratnāvalī) advocating the usual non-erotic bhakti.

SG: As soon as the desire to play with Gopīs arose in the mind of Kṛṣṇa, the moon (the hero) was actuated with the same desire towards the orient (the heroine), the stars being their attendants. By his balmy beams he removed the distress not only of the orient but also of other people of the trouble caused by the autumnal sun’s heat.

Padaratnāvalī: carṣaṇī—The plant-world.

BKS: Although he loved all the Gopīs of Vraja and removed their distress, he daubed the face of Rādhā with saffron paste even though he was ever present with her (prīyayā saha dīrghaṃ sārvakālīnaṃ darśanaṃ yasya svādhīna-bhartṛkatvāt)

Or: dīrgha-darśana—of large eyes. Dhanapati in Gūḍhārtha dīpikā: The moon was the predecessor of Kṛṣṇa, He painted the face of the Orient (which is legally Indra’s direction) with his soft balmy beams and advised (by his example) Kṛṣṇa to do the same with Rādhā who was another man’s wife and remain above sin like himself.

Subodhinī The moon, the presiding deity of the mind, was the brother of Lakṣmī and as such had facial similarity with her. And he appeared reddish like Lakṣmī’s countenance at the time of her marriage awakening eroticism. He quotes a śruti text: “Women love a singer” and states that Kṛṣṇa invited all beautiful maidens of Vraja by the sweet notes of the flute.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: