Nature Of Bhakti

The gopîs had the highest type of bhakti in their hearts. There was Neeraja, for example. She was warned against Krishna, when she came to Brindavan from a distant village as the bride of a gopa. In spite of all warnings, however, she saw Krishna during the Govardhana festival and when she saw Him, she surrendered her heart to the Lord. She passed through great ordeals on account of this spiritual attachment, but she bore it all with courage. She had seen Krishna first at the foot of the Govardhana hill playing sweetly of the flute. So she used to go often to that bower where she first saw Him, to inhale the holy air. She was the foremost among those gopîs who tried to curb the horses that drew Akrûra's chariot with Krishna in it, away from Brindavan to Mathurâ.


She suffered silently the separation for years and years, until one day when she was exhausted with the agony, Krishna appeared before her in the self-same bower, where she was. She had one request to make, she longed to hear the divine flute, before she died on Krishna's lap. The Lord said, "I have not brought it", but, just to grant her the boon, He broke a length of reed from the bower, made it in a trice into a flute and played on it a tune that melted Neeraja's heart into tears, which washed her soul away.