When we hear about Krsna enjoying with the gopis, we also enjoy. But when we try to enjoy our own gopis, we suffer. (We may even sometimes suffer when we try to enjoy a woman according to religious principles). So when you see a picture of Krsna with Radharani or the gopis, the mantra to remember is, “Don’t try this at home.”
Prabhupada told us to see all women as Krsna’s gopis meant for His enjoyment and to try to engage all women in Krsna’s service. To the degree we try to enjoy women we will not be able to appreciate the love of Radha and Krsna. Thus our lust is truly our greatest enemy because it bars us from entering into the sweetness of the pastimes of Radha and Krsna.
If we can get a glimpse of the transcendental nature of this relationship, then hearing of Krsna’s pastimes with the gopis will purify us. But if we hear Krsna’s amorous pastimes and this reminds us of ordinary relationships between men and women, we should refrain from hearing those lilas. As Prabhupada said, instead of becoming purified hearing those lilas we’ll become putrefied.
To purify sexual desire Prabhupada recommended deity worship because deity worship forces us to be in the mode of goodness and forces us to confront the reality that actual love only exists on the spiritual platform. As soon as we try to imitate that love, we are only left with a perverted reflection of that love, a shadow of that love, and thus feel emptiness inside.
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How can you apply this lesson in your life?