Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Case of the 16,000 Wives Part TWO

Originally posted at Gaudiya Discussions:

Actually there are a few more references to this lila later on which, most surprisingly, explains how Krishna's actions are perfectly in tune with dharma:

"Krishna enjoyed Himself as the sole beloved of 16,000 wives. He assumed as many different forms as there were mansions for these women." (SB 10.90.5)

And then:

"The queens lovingly ministered to the guru of the world in such ways as massaging His feet and other such devotional acts, keeping in mind that He was their husband. How can one describe the penance [they must have performed in previous lives]? Thus, Krishna, the goal of the righteous, by following the strictest standards of dharma as expressed in the Veda, continually demonstrated that the household is the place for pursuing dharma, artha and kama. While following the strictest dharma for householders, Krishna had 16,100 queens."
- SB 10.90.27-29

I think that this is connected with SB 10.69.41 somehow, where it is related how Krishna was actually one in tattva:

Sri Suka said: "Narada saw Krishna Himself, as one person, performing the righteous and purifying householder dharmas in all the houses." (SB 10.69.41)

I'm confused about this point of tattva; What is the meaning of the above verse describing Krishna as one person when several other verses state how He expanded into 16,000 or so forms to associate with all of the wives? What is the Gaudiya siddhanta on this point? Can we say it was all one Krishna expanding into 16,000 forms, or are they 16,000 or so different Krishnas as evidenced to Narada, even if that was a display of yogamaya?

As for associating with the wives, what exactly did Krishna do?

"Thus, following the ways of humans, Narayana manifested his sakti powers for the liberation of everyone. He enjoyed Himself with 16,000 of their choicest women, O dear king, delighting in their laughter, their glances, their affection and their shyness." (SB 10.69.44)


"Sixteen thousand wives were unable to distract His senses in any way. Sending arrows of love in seductive charms through the curves of their enchanting eyebrows, their love was discreetly revealed through glances and smiles. The honeyed streams of Your stories, and the rivers produced from washing Your feet, are both able to destroy the impurities of the three worlds. Those who live a pure life contact those two holy bodies of water produced from Your feet, by hearing with their ears, and by immersion of their bodies." (SB 11.6.18-19)

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