Uddhava’s praise of the gopīs appears in the Bhāgavata purāṇa 10.47.58-63. We present Śrī Babaji’s translations below.
After seeing the love of the gopīs for Kṛṣṇa and hearing Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s amazing words, the great scholar Uddhava felt utterly humbled by their grace. Comprehending the purity and depth of their love for Kṛṣṇa, Uddhava realized that the gopīs’ love for Krsna was far far superior to his own, and desired to become their follower.
With this mood, he replies to Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s song, praising Her and the gopīs as the topmost devotees of Kṛṣṇa and supreme recipients of His grace, far superior to everyone else in existence, including Brahmā. He says he would be
blessed to receive on his head just one dust-particle from the feet of any of the gopīs.
The ultimate import of this prayer is that anyone who aspires to make intelligent decisions should pray only to become a servant of the gopīs. We present Babaji’s translations below.
एता: परं तनुभृतो भुवि गोपवध्वो
गोविन्द एव निखिलात्मनि रूढभावा:
वाञ्छन्ति यद् भवभियो मुनयो वयं च
etāḥ paraṁ tanu-bhṛto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo
govinda eva nikhilātmani rūḍha-bhāvāḥ
vāñchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayaṁ ca
kiṁ brahmā-janmabhir ananta-kathā-rasasya
These cowherd women have justified their human bodies on this earth, for
they have achieved the most elevated feelings of love for Govinda, the Soul of
the unlimited creation. This is something aspired for by the sages, who view
material existence with fear, and by ourselves as well. Oh! What need is there
for a non-devotional life or a birth as a brāhmaṇa [without devotion] for one
who is immersed in the infinite joy of hearing about the Lord?
क्वेमा: स्त्रियो वनचरीर्व्यभिचारदुष्टा:
कृष्णे क्व चैष परमात्मनि रूढभाव:
kvemāḥ striyo vana-carīr vyabhicāra-duṣṭāḥ
kṛṣṇe kva caiṣa paramātmani rūḍha-bhāvaḥ
nanv īśvaro’nubhajato’viduṣo’pi sākṣāc
chreyas tanoty agada-rāja ivopayuktaḥ
Contrast these simple forest-dwelling women, seemingly of unchaste
behavior, with this great mahābhāva for Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Self. There is a
great difference between the two. Yet, it is true that Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa directly
grants the ultimate welfare to one who constantly serves Him although the
worshiper may be ignorant about His true nature, just like ambrosia, the king
of medicines, cures an ailing person even if consumed without knowledge.
नायं श्रियोऽङ्ग उ नितान्तरते: प्रसाद:
स्वर्योषितां नलिनगन्धरुचां कुतोऽन्या:
लब्धाशिषां य उदगाद् व्रजवल्लभीनाम्
nāyaṁ śriyo’ṅga u nitānta-rateḥ prasādaḥ
svar-yoṣitāṁ nalina-gandha-rucāṁ kuto’nyāḥ
ya udagād vraja-vallabhīnām
Oh! The grace attained by these gopīs of Vraja is unparalleled: Śrī Kṛṣṇa put His
arms around their necks during the rāsa-līla festival. Celestial damsels with the
fragrance and splendor of a lotus flowers cannot attain this. Nor can Lakṣmī,
who is ever at His feet. What chance is there for anyone else to attain this?
आसामहो चरणरेणुजुषामहं स्यां
वृन्दावने किमपि गुल्मलतौषधीनाम्
या दुस्त्यजं स्वजनमार्यपथं च हित्वा
āsām aho caraṇa-reṇu-juṣām ahaṁ syāṁ
vṛndāvane kim api gulma-latauṣadhīnām
yā dustyajaṁ sva-janam ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā
bhejur mukunda-padavīṁ śrutibhir vimṛgyām
Oh! Let me be a shrub, creeper, or herb in the forests of Vṛndāvana so that
I might be blessed with a dust particle from the feet of these gopīs! They
sacrificed even their unsacrificable relationships and morals to worship
Mukunda; such sacrifice is sought after even by the Vedas.
या वै श्रियार्चितमजादिभिराप्तकामै-
र्योगेश्वरैरपि यदात्मनि रासगोष्ठ्याम्
कृष्णस्य तद् भगवत: चरणारविन्दं
न्यस्तं स्तनेषु विजहु: परिरभ्य तापम्
yā vai śriyārcitam ajādibhir āpta-kāmair
yogeśvarair api yad ātmani rāsa-goṣṭhyām
kṛṣṇasya tad bhāgavataś caraṇāravindaṁ
nyastaṁ staneṣu vijahuḥ parirabhya tāpam
During the rāsa-līlā, these gopīs completely relinquished their anguish [of
separation] by embracing to their breasts the lotus feet of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa.
Those very same feet are always worshipped in the heart by Lakṣmī Devī,
by the devas beginning with Brahmā, by those whose desires are already
completely fulfilled, and even by the masters of yoga.
वन्दे नन्दव्रजस्त्रीणां पादरेणुमभीक्ष्णश:
यासां हरिकथोद्गीतं पुनाति भुवनत्रयम्
vande nanda-vraja-strīṇāṁ pāda-reṇum abhīkṣṇaśaḥ
yāsāṁ hari-kathodgītaṁ punāti bhuvana-trayam
I salute again and again even the dust of the feet of the women of Nanda’s
cowherd settlement, for their loud chanting of Hari’s glories purifies all the
Categories: Devotee Prayers