The Various Moods of Love
नासेव तिसंस्ततुखसुिखतम् ॥
nāstyeva tasmiṁs tat-sukhasukhitvam ॥
In lust, one does not feel happy in the Lord's happiness.
A devotee who experiences pure love feels the need to selflessly serve his Beloved. Impure or desirous love cannot enjoy the real happiness of serving, because the nature of this love seeks selfsatisfaction. This difference is the essence of Sage Narad’s message in the above sutra.
There are various moods in love. We can adore the Lord as our master and become his servant. This is a very simple mood. Or if we can rise higher still, we can think of the Lord as our friend. When one thinks of the Lord as his friend, both the devotee and the Lord are almost on the same level as each other. If we can advance further, we can love the Lord as our child, and we become his parent. And finally, we can reach the highest form of love, madhurya ras, a profound love between two lovers; one which merges the two hearts into one.
The gopis did not desire any physical contact with Krishn. Their pure and unconditional love always searched for an opportunity to serve Krishn, solely for his pleasure. Their bodies, mind, intellect, physical charm, youth, wealth and life itself were offered to him for his happiness. The Chaitanya Charitamrit (1.4.165-169) describes this love:
“The desire to please oneself is called lust, but the desire to give Krishn pleasure is love. A person with lust pursues his own happiness, but in love, Krishn's pleasure is the only goal. Thus, love is supremely powerful. The gopis did not care for society's expectations, the codes of conduct prescribed in the scriptures, or their own bodily needs. They cast aside shyness, hesitation, physical comfort and their own personal happiness, and they accepted abuse from their families, all for Krishn's sake. The gopis do things for Krishn just to make him happy. Their love is powerful and steadfast; it is completely pure, like a white cloth without a single spot. Thus, we can understand that there is a great difference between lust and love. Lust is darkness whilst love is pure light. The love of the gopis does not have the slightest scent of lust. They maintain relationships with Krishn just so they can get a chance to make him happy.”