Radha Krishna Rasleela | Dance of Love

Krishna Tandav or Raas

Raas leela of Nidhivan

How else could an expression of love be picturized, watching Krishna dancing with the gopis? You know what? Even Mahadeva, Shiva, got attracted to it!

Little kanha became very popular among people of Vrindavan when he came from Gokul during holi. It was post springtime when the earth breathed happiness everywhere. One full moon day, boys and girls of the village gathered near Yamuna river. They were playing with water and sand on its bank, throwing it on each other.

Soon After this play turned into a dance. They all were dancing with full ecstasy. But gradually, the weaker ones got tired soon and sat down. Little Kanhaiyya saw this and started playing melody on his flute. It was so engaging that each one of them gathered him and resumed their dance till midnight!

This is how “Raas Leela”, also called as krishna tandav or radha krishna ras lila started. “Raas” means juice. It also refers to interest, love or passion. And “Leela” means act, play, or dance. That’s why it is called the dance of love.

The fragrance of this dance was such that more people wanted to participate in this dance. Even Shiva, who is also called as Nataraja, the Lord of Dance, got to know about this beautiful divine dance on the bank of river Yamuna on full moon nights. He got mesmerized to see this little flautist engaging everyone around. He wanted to join that involved group.

All the way from the great Himalayas, adiyogi went to Yamuna and asked a boatman to take him to Vrindavan, on the bank of river Yamuna, where he could witness Krishna's raas. Boatman placed a strange request, “if you want to go to raas, you have to go as a woman because during raas leela, Krishna is the only man, everyone else is a woman.”

Shiva is considered the ultimate of the man (purusha) – the man among all men. As he was desperate to watch raas which was in full swing, Shiva put on gopi’s clothing. Such a sport he is.

Actually whether a man celebrates or a woman, the nature of celebration is feminine. Being feminine is being exuberant, and this is how one should be all their life.

It is an interestingly unique aspect of India that Indian gods dance. They dance in love, in ecstasy and even in anger.

Happy Shri Krishna Janmashtami!!


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