Bharatheeya Samskruthi  »  Atharva Vedic Upanishads – XIV
Gopala Tapani Upanishad
In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad the sages ask Brahma questions beginning with, "Who is the supreme object of worship?" Brahma answers that Lord Krishna is the supreme object of worship, and devotional service is the way to attain Him. In beginning of the Gopala-tapani Upanishad the question is asked:

"Who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead?"

The sages asked Brahma about the identity of Supreme, who is the supreme object of worship, the deliverer from the world of repeated birth and death, the shelter of all, the first cause of all causes. Brahma replied:

"Lord Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

Then, to help enable meditation on the Lord, Brahma described Lord Krishna's various qualities. Then Brahma says

"One who meditates on Lord Krishna, glorifies Him, and worships Him, becomes liberated. He becomes liberated."

Thus Brahma shows that by meditating on Lord Krishna, chanting mantras glorifying Lord Krishna, and engaging in other activities of devotional service, one becomes liberated from the world of birth and death.

The sages said: “What is His form?"

This question is about devotional service and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is worshiped in devotional service. Brahma answered this question in these words

"He is a cowherd boy. He is dark like a monsoon cloud."

"One should engage in devotional service to Lord Krishna."

Then, in Gopala-tapani Upanishad, Brahma describes Lord Krishna's transcendental form, which is full of knowledge and bliss.

In the second chapter of Gopala-tapani Upanishad it is said that the gopis, after enjoying pastimes with Lord Krishna, and after asking Him questions, and after attaining His permission, presented a great feast before the sage Durvasa. Pleased, the sage blessed them. When they asked him about Lord Krishna, the sage described to them the extraordinary nature of Lord Krishna's pastimes. He told them that Lord Krishna is the first cause of all causes, that He is conquered by the pure love of His devotees, that He is dear to His devotees, and many other glories of Lord Krishna.

Then Durvasa is asked about Lord Krishna's birth, activities, mantra, and abode. The sage answered the question by recounting a conversation of Brahma and Lord Narayana. In that account he explained that Lord Krishna is perfect and complete and he also explained that Lord Krishna is the savior from the world of birth and death. Brahma described the Lord's spiritual abode named Mathura, which is protected by the Lord's chakra and which is splendid with many forests.

One should think, “I am the Supreme Lord beyond the passions of the material world'."

In this way it is said that the condition of thinking oneself non-different from the Lord is the cause of liberation. Because devotional service was described previously in this Upanisad as the cause of liberation, the oneness with the Lord here must but a certain feature of that devotional service. It must be a symptom of ecstatic love, like the shedding of many tears or other symptoms of ecstatic love.

In the Gopala-tapani Upanishad Lord Narayana tells Brahma:

"Anyone who becomes My sincere devotee becomes very dear to Me. As dear as you and your sons are, as dear as Lord Siva and his associates, as dear as the goddess of fortune."

"One who meditates on Me is eternally dear to Me. He attains liberation. He becomes liberated. I give Myself to him."

In these words the Lord declares that the devotees are eternally dear to Him and He also declares that he gives Himself as a gift to His devotees.


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