In the legends, the joyful dance of Krishna with Radha and the Gopis has been immortalized very beautifully. However, what is its significance and why was even Lord Shiva attracted to it, I am going to reveal this here to all my readers and followers.
Celebration has always essentially been feminine. A beautiful story from the epic Mahabharata would describe the significance of feminine more profoundly. When Krishna moved to Vrindavan at the age of eight, he soon became very popular among the village folk. During the time of the Holi festival, on a full moon evening, young boys and girls of the village gathered near the banks of the river Yamuna. They began playing with sand and water and eventually, the play slowly converted into a dance form. They reached an exuberant state where they kept dancing in a joyful state. The dance, accompanied with Krishna’s magical flute tune enchanted everyone around and they swayed to his mesmerizing tune almost till midnight. This was how the concept of Raasleela was introduced where a simply joyous mingling of girls and boys got transformed into a transcendental state.
The literal meaning of the word ‘Raas’ means ‘juice’ but it also indicates deep passion, hence Raasleela was addressed as the dance of passion. Slowly the word spread that on full moon night at midnight this dance took place and slowly the number of participants to it increased.
Lord Shiva too heard about this mesmerizing form of dance that took place on the full moon nights on the banks of river Yamuna. Shiva, being the Lord of Dance, Nataraj, became aware that what he achieved through deep meditation was being achieved by people through this dance form. Not to forget mentioning here that only Indian Gods dance when they are happy or annoyed, so being the Lord of dance, Shiva wanted to witness this little boy, Krishna, who took people to transcendental state simply by blowing his flute and making them dance to his tune.
With a deep desire to see Krishna’s Raasleela, Shiva walked from the Himalayas to the banks of the river Yamuna and instructed one of the boatmen to take him to Vrindavan where he wished to see the Raas. To this, the boatman replied that he could not go there as Krishna was the only man present when the Raas goes on. So, Shiva needs to be dressed as a woman to go there.
Shiva, considered to be the ultimate of masculine, dressed himself up as one of the Gopis in order to see the Raas. The essence of this story signifies that celebration is feminine which in turn means exuberance. Life should be exuberant for everyone and should be celebrated whole heartedly. For this, you need to become joyful from within by your own nature.