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Debunking myths about Lord Krishna's 8 wives and 16000 gopikas from yogic perspective

The mystical events of Lord Krishna's life, when viewed through the prism of Kundalini yoga, uncover a deep spiritual symbolism far beyond their conventional narrative. The tales of Krishna's eight wives and his relationship with the 16,000 gopikas often misread by literal interpretations, actually serve as profound metaphors aligned with the intricate teachings of the chakra system inherent in Kundalini yoga.

This article draws upon the divine discourses of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba to re-examine and clarify these myths

The Symbolism of the Eight Wives and the Hridayachakra


The reference to Krishna having eight wives is symbolically tied to the Hridaya chakra, or the heart chakra, which is depicted as an eight-petalled lotus. These eight petals symbolise the eight worlds, the eight directions, the eight guardians of the world, the eight bhutas (spirits) and the eight parts of the earth. Because Krishna was the lord of these eight petals, He was described as the husband of eight queens. The Lord of the heart is also described as Madhava. "Ma" means Lakshmi or Maya or Prakriti. "Dhava" means husband. God is the Lord of Lakshmi, or Maya or Prakriti. Krishna is thus the Lord of the eight-petalled lotus of the heart.


The master is called Pathi and those under him are described as wives. This is a symbolic relationship and not a husband-wife relationship in the worldly sense. It is because the esoteric significance of these relationships was not properly understood, the Bhagavatham came in for misinterpretation. 


This lotus represents the eight directions or parts of the earth as mentioned above, suggesting that the divine or God is the sovereign of the entire world, metaphorically the heart of every being. Here, Krishna is envisioned as the lord of this eight-petalled lotus, embodying the divine essence that resides in the heart of all individuals. The concept aligns with the Kundalini yoga belief that spiritual awakening and enlightenment begin from within, specifically from the heart, where divine love and compassion are seated.

The 16,000 Gopikas and the Sahasrara Chakra


Krishna freed from prison 16,000 women and asked them to go back to their respective homes. But all the Gopikas fell at Krishna's feet and pleaded that it would not be possible for them to live in dignity in their old homes after having been prisoners of Narakasura, and they would prefer to end their lives at His feet rather than to go back. "You are the Protector of the Universe, can't you protect us?" they pleaded. Krishna agreed to protect them. Because of the pledge He gave to them that He would bear the responsibility for protecting them, He was called their Bhartha (Supporter). This has been wrongly interpreted as meaning that He was their husband. It is a libel on Krishna to say that He married 16,000 Gopikas.


The story of Krishna and the 16,000 gopikas is also rich with esoteric meaning related to the Sahasrara chakra, located at the crown of the head. This chakra is visualized as a thousand-petalled lotus, each petal housing 16 divine potencies or kalas. The 16,000 gopikas symbolize these divine potencies, emphasizing the idea that God or the divine consciousness dwells within this chakra, embodying infinite potentialities. The spiritual journey in Kundalini yoga aims to awaken these dormant energies, symbolized by the gopikas, to achieve a state of divine consciousness or enlightenment.


Spiritual Significance and Kundalini Awakening

The spiritual significance behind these stories underscores the importance of awakening the Kundalini energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine, in the Mooladhara chakra. The ascent of this energy through the spinal column to the Sahasrara chakra mirrors the journey of spiritual awakening, where one realizes their divine potential and attains union with the cosmic consciousness. The emphasis on Prema, or divine love, as the life-breath of this power highlights the necessity of love and devotion on the path to enlightenment.


Ardhanareeswara and the Union of Dualities

The concept of Ardhanareeswara, representing the synthesis of masculine and feminine principles, echoes the foundational principles of Kundalini yoga and the chakra system, where the harmonious balance and union of opposing forces lead to wholeness and spiritual realization. This ancient wisdom, paralleled in the modern understanding of the atom as comprising both electrons (feminine) and protons (masculine), illustrates the timeless relevance of these spiritual teachings, offering insights into the interconnectedness of science and spirituality.

By exploring the esoteric meanings behind Krishna's life stories, one can gain deeper insights into the principles of Kundalini yoga, emphasizing the inner spiritual journey, the awakening of dormant energies, and the ultimate realization of the divine within. These teachings encourage a holistic understanding of spirituality, where ancient wisdom and modern science converge, revealing the profound interconnectedness of all life.




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