योगेश्वरैर्हृदि विचिन्त्यमगाधबोधै: ।
गेहं जुषामपि मनस्युदियात् सदा न: ॥ ४८ ॥
yogeśvarair hṛdi vicintyam agādha-bodhaiḥ saṁsāra-kūpa-patitottaraṇāvalambaṁ
gehaṁ juṣām api manasy udiyāt sadā naḥ
āhuḥ — the gopīs said; ca — and; te — Your; nalina-nabha — O Lord, whose navel is just like a lotus flower; pada-aravindam — lotus feet; yoga-īśvaraiḥ — by the great mystic yogīs; hṛdi — within the heart; vicintyam — to be meditated upon; agādha-bodhaiḥ — who were highly learned philosophers; saṁsāra-kūpa — the dark well of material existence; patita — of those fallen; uttaraṇa — of deliverers; avalambam — the only shelter; geham — family affairs; juṣām — of those engaged; api — though; manasi — in the minds; udiyāt — let be awakened; sadā — always; naḥ — our.
The gopīs spoke thus: Dear Lord, whose navel is just like a lotus flower, Your lotus feet are the only shelter for those who have fallen into the deep well of material existence. Your feet are worshiped and meditated upon by great mystic yogīs and highly learned philosophers. We wish that these lotus feet may also be awakened within our hearts, although we are only ordinary persons engaged in household affairs.
The translation and word meanings for this verse are taken from Śrīla Prabhupāda’s English rendering of Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya 1.81), where this verse is quoted.
Revealing the jealous mood in which the gopīs spoke these deceptively reverential words, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī gives their statements as follows: “O Supreme Lord, O directly manifest Supersoul, O crest jewel of instructors in definitive knowledge, You were aware of our excessive attachment to home, property and family. Therefore You previously had Uddhava instruct us in the knowledge that dispels ignorance, and now You have done so Yourself. In this way You have purified our hearts of contamination, and as a result we understand Your pure love for us, free from any motivation other than assuring our liberation. But we are only unintelligent cowherd women; how can this knowledge remain fixed in our hearts? We cannot even meditate steadily on Your feet, the focus of realization for great souls like Lord Brahmā. Please be merciful to us and somehow make it possible for us to concentrate on You, even a little. We are still suffering the reactions of our own fruitive work, so how can we meditate on You, the goal of great yogīs? Such yogīs are immeasurably wise, but we are mere feeble-minded women. Please do something to get us out of this deep well of material life.”
Pure devotees are never motivated by a desire for material elevation or spiritual liberation. And even if the Lord offers them such benedictions, the devotees often refuse to accept them. As stated by Lord Kṛṣṇa in the Eleventh Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.20.34):
bhaktā hy ekāntino mama
vāñchanty api mayā dattaṁ
“Because My devotees possess saintly behavior and deep intelligence, they completely dedicate themselves to Me and do not desire anything besides Me. Indeed, even if I offer them liberation from birth and death, they do not accept it.” It is quite appropriate, therefore, that the gopīs respond with a trace of jealous anger to Lord Kṛṣṇa’s attempt at teaching them jñāna-yoga.
Thus, according to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, the words the gopīs speak in this verse may be interpreted as follows: “O sun who directly destroys the darkness of ignorance, we are scorched by the sun-rays of this philosophical knowledge. We are cakora birds who can subsist only on the moonlight radiating from Your beautiful face. Please come back to Vṛndāvana with us, and in this way bring us back to life.”
And if He says, “Then come to Dvārakā; there we will enjoy together,” they reply that Śrī Vṛndāvana is their home, and they are too attached to it for them to take up residence anywhere else. Only there, the gopīs imply, can Kṛṣṇa attract them by wearing peacock feathers in His turban and playing enchanting music with His flute. Only by His appearing again in Vṛndāvana can the gopīs be saved, not by any other kind of meditation on Him or theoretical knowledge of the self.
Thus end the purports of the humble servants of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda to the Tenth Canto, Eighty-second Chapter, of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, entitled “Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma Meet the Inhabitants of Vṛndāvana.”