Gopis and their ‘Nauka Vihara’

Naukacharita 1

It was a beautiful and pleasant day in Vrindavan. River Yamuna was flowing gently, the breeze was blowing softly, the cuckoo birds were warbling sweet notes. The Gopis, all of them in the best of their attire had all assembled on the river bank narrating to each other the pranks of Krishna. They decided on a “Nauka Vihara” – a pleasure-trip in a boat on the Yamuna. At that time, Krishna came there and he also wished to accompany them in their boat-ride. However, the Gopis who had decided that it was going to be an exclusive trip all for themselves, and by themselves refused to take him along with them. In their vanity they thought that they can manage everything all by themselves, including rowing and steering the boat. Krishna knowingly smiled at their arrogance. He told them that it was not safe to venture into the river all by themselves and he should be allowed to accompany them. They teased him saying that he was after all only a child and he has no knowledge of rowing and managing the boat; but when he insisted on going with them, they agreed to take him.

All of them got into the boat. They began to feel very important because they were the ones rowing the boat. They sang and danced along with Krishna. He acknowledged each one of them and made them feel very special. The Gopis started becoming egoistic and vain that not only they were the most beautiful ones, but were also extremely privileged to have earned Krishna’s full attention. And above all these, He was obliged to them for the boat-ride! They thought nobody could be compared to them. The Lord knowingly smiled and within a fraction of a second He created a storm. The boat got caught in the storm and it dangerously tossed up and down. The Gopis were now terrified. The boat was damaged and water started to fill into the boat through holes created by the storm.

Then, they all surrendered and pleaded with Krishna to save them. He said there was only one way out and that was to plug the holes of the boat with their dupattas. They were reluctant to forgo their beautiful attire, but with no other alternative left they listened to Krishna.  With faith in Him, they tried to block the holes of the boat with their dupattas. They were totally and visibly shaken up. They looked absolutely helpless and tearfully surrendered on to the Lord leaving aside all their ego and vanity. The moment they unconditionally surrendered unto the Lord, the storm miraculously subsided and they found themselves all safe on the banks of the Yamuna. To the Gopis the “Nauka Vihara” was a lesson of unquestionable faith, total surrender and unconditional bhakti.

This beautiful incident is called Nauka Charitam” – a Musical Opera (Music drama) composed in various ragas by the great Musician-Saint Sri Tyagaraja.
[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]
Refuse to worry. Develop titiksha. Surrender all your worries at His Feet. Let Him be the helmsman to your boat-of-life. Have faith in Him. Surrender and sit back. You will find your life being lifted into quieter routes. Smoothly sailing forward, let His favourable wind ever court your sails. Sri Achyuthan is a great Boatsman. - Swami Chinmayananda

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