Krishna’s Frolics with the Milkmaids
Humanizing Divinity or Sacralizing Profanity
Keywords:Love, Sex, Kama, Play, Separation
The story of the sporting experience of Krishna with a group of milkmaids is most popular in the Hindu Vaisnava tradition. It portrays Krishna as both a kinsman of the shepherd community in Vrndavana (Vraj) and the supreme God, synonymous to Vishnu. The story starts with Krishna playing his flute and milkmaids rushing to meet him. They leave their dear ones at home and it shows their unswerving love for their Lord. While the pleasant conversation and amorous behaviour reach a climax, Krishna disappears and the young women become remorseful and are caught up in the fever of love. Krishna reappears blossoming and after explaining that separation intensifies love, the culmination happens in a whirlpool circle dance in the moonlight. Passion and compassion, individuality and plurality, and erotic and divine mix and mingle, which is both liberating and unifying. The picture is stimulating for a creative discussion on sex and the sacred.
Bryant, Edwin F. 2003. Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God, Srimad Bhagavata Purana. Book X. Chapters 1, 6 and 29–31 from Book XI.