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CC Madhya 8.215

Text

sahaja gopīra prema, — nahe prākṛta kāma
kāma-krīḍā-sāmye tāra kahi ‘kāma’-nāma

Synonyms

sahaja — natural; gopīra — of the gopīs; prema — love of Godhead; nahe — is not; prākṛta — material; kāma — lust; kāma-krīḍā — lusty affairs; sāmye — in appearing equal to; tāra — of such activities; kahi — I speak; kāma-nāma — the name “lust.”

Translation

“It is to be noted that the natural characteristic of the gopīs is to love the Supreme Lord. Their lusty desire is not to be compared to material lust. Nonetheless, because their desire sometimes appears to resemble material lust, their transcendental love for Kṛṣṇa is sometimes described as lust.

Purport

Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura says that material lust should never be attributed to Kṛṣṇa, who is full of transcendental knowledge. Material lust cannot be engaged in the service of the Lord, for it is applicable to materialists, not to Kṛṣṇa. Only prema, or love of Godhead, is applicable for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Prema is full service rendered unto the Lord. The lusty affairs of the gopīs actually constitute the topmost love of Godhead because the gopīs never act for their own personal satisfaction. They are simply pleased by engaging other gopīs in the service of the Lord. The gopīs derive more transcendental pleasure from indirectly engaging other gopīs in the service of Kṛṣṇa than from engaging in His service themselves. That is the difference between material lust and love of Godhead. Lust applies to the material world, and love of Godhead applies only to Kṛṣṇa.