The divine love of the gopis is of three kinds: sadharani rati, samanjasa rati and samartha rati. Sadharani rati is still related to one’s desire to receive happiness from God. Samanjasa rati and samartha rati are the selfless forms of love expressed by the gopis of Braja, who hold the highest place in the divine world. The Bhagavatam explains (3.29.8-12) that the selfless gopis reached the most elevated state of divine love called mahabhava. Because of this, (Bhagavatam, 10.14.30, 32, 34) even Brahma prayed to one day be blessed with receiving their foot dust.
In worldly love, selfishness is always present. Selfishness means we are selfishly searching for our own happiness. Love in the world is always increasing and decreasing depending on the degree to which our self-interest is fulfilled. If our self-interest is satisfied, we feel love. If our self-interest is harmed, we feel hate. In this way the temperature of our love is always changing – either it is running hot or cold, and that too, could be for the same person.
The definition of selflessness or nishkamata is to be free of all desires related to the qualities or gunas of maya, and to have no desire for the four selfish forms of liberation. True selflessness means following the example of the highest class of sadharani rati gopis and only having the desire for Shri Krishna’s happiness in one’s heart.
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
26 September 2009
Rangeeli Mahal, Barsana
© Radha Govind Samiti
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