An end in itself

Love for Krishna is an end in itself to His devotees.

According to them, there is no higher state to be realised and

nothing further to be attained. A true devotee only revels in

his experience of God and does not seek even the benefits of


The Gopiswere steeped in such an experience of love for

Krishna. They lived in the same state of love even after

Krishna had left Brindavan.Uddhava iswonder-struck by

their exemplary devotion to Krishna,when he goes to

Gokula to convey Krishna’s message of love to the Gopis,

said Sri M. V. Anantapadmanabhachariar in a discourse.

Observing theway of life of the Gopis leftUddhava, a

staunch devotee himself, speechless and stunned with

astonishment. Theywere involved in their daily chores, but

theirwhole beingwas absorbed in Krishna. They sang about

Him, conversed about Him among themselves, andwere

forever in a state of total identification with Krishna. What

an experience of Krishna’s presence in everything,which is

the essence of Brahma jnana that sees the all pervading

Brahman in all beings and all aspects of creation, thinks

Uddhava.Narayana Bhattatiri describesUddhava’s

experience of the Gopis’ state of mind thus: “In all the

worlds, none has witnessed or heard of God-love equal to

this. Manymay have access to scriptural study or engage in

austere practices, but in spite of these opportunities may not

be filled with true devotion.” An individual is bound by

hatred, fear, shame, aversion, egoism and vanity, pride of

noble birth, or obsession with the formalities of good

conduct,which may stand in theway of his devotion.

Bhakti is the essence of religious experience. It is both a

means and the end, the highest Purushartha.