Thursday, January 12, 2012

Something is rotten in the state of Vrindavan

In yesterday’s tour through things South Asian, we learned that Rasa Lila, The Dance of Divine Love, takes place one night when the gopis of Vrindavan, upon hearing the sound of Krishna’s flute, sneak away from their households and families to the forest to dance with Krishna throughout the night, which Krishna supernaturally stretches to the length of one Night of Brahma, a Hindu unit of time lasting approximately 4.32 billion years.

I believe this calls for what aficionados of theater and film call suspension of disbelief.

I googled “gopis” and learned that gopi is Sanskrit for “cowherd-girl” and that there are 108 gopis in all. Here is a painting called Krishna Balaram With Gopies in Vrindavan:

This is where my suspension of disbelief began to crumble.

I mean, how many cowherd-girls have enough disposable income to deck themselves out in the manner of the five elegantly dressed, perfectly coifed, bejeweled females in that painting?

None, that’s how many. None.

And if you look closely, all five cowherd-girls look exactly alike. How often does that happen?

Extra points will be awarded if you can name all of the Dionne quintuplets without looking.

I mean no disrespect, but I think the Dionne quintuplets (Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie) look more like cowherd-girls than the cowherd-girls.

I think our little foray into the beliefs of South Asia must come to an end without our having determined whether one Night of Brahma, a Hindu unit of time, actually lasts approximately 4.32 billion years. If you want to explore Hindu units of time further, though, this might be a good place to get your feet wet.

Only after you have committed to memory all of the information about Hindu measurements of time should you attempt to learn anything more about Hinduism. Otherwise, your head will probably explode.


  1. Hmmm. Well, maybe it's better to err religiously on the side of great numbers of years than suggest that things can happen extremely quickly, eg Earth and the Universe being made in only six days, and then run into problems later on when humans find out it's probably not possible, so have to say 'oh well, I meant, actually there's a wee typo there, I should have popped the word 'metaphorical' in there between the 'six' and the 'days'... and run the risk of humans saying, ah ha, so, what other typos are there? And questioning all sorts of things they shouldn't, like virgin births, loaves and fishes and resurrections...

  2. Didn't this cowherd girl ever mention that she has four identical sisters and we all like to dress fancy for barn chores. How remiss could I have been!

  3. Thanks, Katherine and Jeannelle, for commenting! I wondered whether this post would elicit any response, and now I know!

    It continues to warm the cockles of my heart that I actually have readers.

  4. If I've said it once, I've said it 4.32 billion times I love the way your brain works! Always enjoy your posts Robert! Hope you and the family are all well.

  5. Emma! Long time no hear! Thanks for dropping by. I returned the favor and dropped by your blog today, and after having done so I highly recommend your blog to others.

  6. Above picture not depicts Maha Raas Leila. Maha Ras Lelia means every Gopi is accompolished krishna in rasa dance not just Shri Radha Rani.

    All gopis of maha raas leila are Raas leila (whatever you say) are not ordinary human being. they all were divine sages in there previous birth.

    Here is the link of picture of maha raas leila

    was a ten-year old boy at that time. Probably even less.
    The Gopis of Vrindavan did a month-long Katyayani vrata.
    The purpose: To get Lord Krishna as their husband (pati, in

    Dont think Spirituality scientifically all the time. Many time Spirituality will give you the scientific answers that you are trying to find
    . For example:
    Katapayadi shloka, this sholka praises about Krishna, however on decryption it gives Mathematical value of PI upto 30 decimal places.

    For more details on Raas Leila and Krishna please read Shreemad Bhagwad Mahapuran. Dont rely on google every time as Its not God.