There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Krsna in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopis

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"There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopīs"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead

When we are not in physical contact with Kṛṣṇa, we can associate with Him like the gopīs, through feelings of separation. Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental form, qualities, pastimes and entourage are all identical with Him. There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopīs.

The gopīs of Vṛndāvana were so attached to Kṛṣṇa that they were not satisfied simply with the rāsa dance at night. They wanted to associate with Him and enjoy His company during the daytime also. When Kṛṣṇa went to the forest with His cowherd boyfriends and cows, the gopīs did not physically take part, but their hearts went with Him. And because their hearts went, they were able to enjoy His company through strong feelings of separation. To acquire this strong feeling of separation is the teaching of Lord Caitanya and His direct disciplic succession of Gosvāmīs. When we are not in physical contact with Kṛṣṇa, we can associate with Him like the gopīs, through feelings of separation. Kṛṣṇa’s transcendental form, qualities, pastimes and entourage are all identical with Him. There are nine different kinds of devotional service. Devotional service to Kṛṣṇa in feelings of separation elevates the devotee to the highest perfectional level, to the level of the gopīs.

It is stated in Śrīnivāsācārya’s prayer to the six Gosvāmīs that they left the material opulences of government service and the princely status of life and went to Vṛndāvana, where they lived just like ordinary mendicants, begging from door to door. But they were so much enriched with the gopīs’ feelings of separation that they enjoyed transcendental pleasure at every moment. Similarly, when Lord Caitanya was at Jagannātha Purī, He was in the role of Rādhārāṇī, feeling separation from Kṛṣṇa. Those who are in the disciplic succession of the Mādhva-Gauḍīya-sampradāya should always feel separation from Kṛṣṇa, worship His transcendental form and discuss His transcendental teachings, His pastimes, His qualities and His entourage. That will enrich the devotees to the highest devotional perfection. Feeling constant separation while engaged in the service of the Lord is the perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

The gopīs used to discuss Kṛṣṇa amongst themselves, and their talks were as follows. “My dear friends,” one gopī said, “do you know that when Kṛṣṇa lies on the ground He rests on His left elbow, and His head rests on His left hand? He moves His attractive eyebrows while playing His flute with His delicate fingers, and the sound He produces creates such a nice atmosphere that the denizens of the heavenly planets, who travel in space with their wives and beloveds, stop their airplanes, for they are stunned by the vibration of the flute. The wives of the demigods who are seated in the planes then become very much ashamed of their singing and musical qualifications. Not only that, but they become afflicted with conjugal love, and their hair and tight clothes immediately loosen.”

Another gopī said, “My dear friends, Kṛṣṇa is so beautiful that the goddess of fortune always remains on His chest, and He is always adorned with a golden necklace. Beautiful Kṛṣṇa plays His flute in order to enliven the hearts of many devotees. He is the only friend of the suffering living entities. When He plays His flute, all the cows and other animals of Vṛndāvana, although engaged in eating, simply take a morsel of food in their mouths and stop chewing. Their ears raise up and they become stunned. They do not appear alive but like painted animals. Kṛṣṇa’s flute-playing is so attractive that even the animals become enchanted, and what to speak of ourselves.”