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CC Madhya 9.137


anya dehe nā pāiye rāsa-vilāsa
ataeva ‘nāyaṁ’ śloka kahe veda-vyāsa


anya dehe — in a body other than those of the gopīs; — not; pāiye — one gets; rāsa-vilāsa — the pastimes of the rāsa dance; ataeva — therefore; nāyam — beginning with the word nāyam; śloka — the Sanskrit verse; kahe — says; veda-vyāsa — Dvaipāyana Vedavyāsa.


“Vyāsadeva, the supreme authority on Vedic literature, composed the verse beginning ‘nāyaṁ sukhāpo bhagavān’ because no one can enter into the rāsa-līlā dance in any body other than that of a gopī.”


This verse confirms a verse of the Bhagavad-gītā (9.25):

yānti deva-vratā devānpitṝn yānti pitṛ-vratāḥ
bhūtāni yānti bhūtejyā
yānti mad-yājino ’pi mām

Lord Kṛṣṇa said, “Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods, those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors, those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings, and those who worship Me will live with Me.”

In the material world, every conditioned soul changes his material body again and again, but when the spirit soul is purified of all material coverings, there is no longer a chance of his accepting a material body. Such a soul then remains in his original, spiritual identity, a state that is possible to achieve only by understanding Kṛṣṇa in truth through the practice of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. As Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā (4.9),

janma karma ca me divyamevaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma
naiti mām eti so ’rjuna

“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.”

Only when one regains his original spiritual body can he enter into the spiritual kingdom. As far as the rāsa-līlā pastimes of the Lord are concerned, it is futile for one who is within the material world to attempt to imitate the Lord’s dances. One has to attain a spiritual body like that of a gopī to enter into the pastimes of the rāsa-līlā. In the nāyaṁ sukhāpo verse, the devotees are referred to as bhaktimat, that is, fully engaged in devotional service and devoid of material contamination. One cannot enter into Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā dance simply by artificially imitating it or artificially thinking oneself a sakhī and dressing up like one. Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā dance is completely spiritual; it has nothing to do with material contamination. Therefore no one can enter into this pastime by artificial, material means. That is the instruction of the nāyaṁ sukhāpo verse, and it must be strictly understood.