GOPI CHANDANAM


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Dear fellow-Iyers and readers of “IndiaDivine”

Through sheer curiosity, I ventured to read the article below, and to find about the Gopi-chandana Mahatmya, about which I had never heard before, and the intriguing (to me) Glories of Gopi-chandana Tilak.   What a great disappointment awaited me.

The “Maahaathmyam” is attributed to something called the Gaarga Samhitha, Canto Six, Chapter 15.  Texts 15 and 16 of which are said to read as follows:-

“yasya-smarena-matrena karma-bandhat pramuchyate
gopinam-yatra vaso ‘bhut tena gopi bhuvah smrtah

“simply by hearing about gopi-bhumi, which is so-called because the gopis reside there, one becomes free from the touch of karma.”
(Comment:  This is plagiarised, in part at least, from the Vishnu Sahasra-naama Sthrothram,  slokam six of the Poorva-peetika of which reads:-

“yasya smarana maaathrena janma-samsaara-bandhanaath
vimuchyathe namasthasmai vishnave prabhavishnave.”

Moreover, the invention of an exotic “gopi-bhumi” is puzzling.  Where exactly is it, if it is not just a figment of the imagination?)

“gopy-angaraga-sambhutam gopi-chandanam uttamam
In gopi-bhumi gopi-chandanam is manifested from the gopis’ cosmetics.”

(Comment:-  So, now we know that gopi-chandanam was actually from earthly milkmaids’ beauty aids, and not from some diviner origin.)

Text 22 as quoted says:-

“nityam karoti yah papi gopi-chandana-dharanam
sa prayati harer dhama golokam prakrtah param

“the sinner who daily wears gopi-chandana tilakam goes to Lord Krishna supreme abode,  goloka, which is beyond the world of matter.”

(Comment:-  We also hear, for the first time that, over and above the known fourteen worlds or lokas, there is  a fifteenth one, called Goloka (Cow-World), a special heaven inhabited by Lord Krishna and his gopis.   You can commit any sin as you like (major and minor), as often as you like.  By just wearing gopi-chandanam, your permanent place in heaven is assured.

But this is not all.  You do not have even to wear the gopi-chandanam daily, on any part olf your body, or on any day of your life.

One wicked king called Dirgabahu lived a completely evil and dissolute life on Earth, murdering priests and pregnant women.  When his end came, Yama-dutas appeared and dragged him to Yama-loka for appropriate punishment, which was duly awarded.  But he miraculously escaped all that, and ended up in Heaven in the eternal presence of Lord Krishna.  How?  Simple.  By sheer accident, he happened to fall to the ground at a place where a little gopi-chandanam was present, unnoticed by him.  He was deemed to be a  Krishna-bhaktha, and was taken to goloka.

Unlike Ajamila, he had no son named Naaraayana, to whom he called out in his last moments of agony in death.  But he achieved Heaven, all the same.)

S Narayanaswamy Iyer
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