On a full moon evening Krishna lures the Gopis, the milk-maids, to the banks of river Yamuna with the rapturing sounds of his bansuri. In their eternal longing for Krishna the gopis gather around Krishna and his consort Radha. As a response to their pure, overwhelming love, Krishna duplicates himself many times and joins each gopi in their dance. Their passionate and joyful dance, called Rasa Lila, the Divine Dance of Love, allows them to break through the constraints of their body and reach a state of trance. The longing and the yearning of the gopis for Krishna leads them to a total state of surrender to the divine.
The state of trance resulting from Rasa Lila simply is cessation of fluctuations of the mind, where no crowd of thoughts is present and one can connect with profound desires and visions. The attraction of feminine and masculine energies brings the latent energies to flow in the stream of love and life. In such a state, Shiva as the supreme consciousness and masculine principle in form of Krishna, and Shakti as the power of consciousness in form of Radha, perform the eternal dance of creation and destruction. The gopis represent the individual soul, jivatman, and they reach the divinity within through their bhakti as Krishna multiplies for each one of them.
There are many other essences, seeds of emotions, qualities and states of being for getting in touch with divinity, and rasa Lila is a story carrying the essence of love and beauty; shringara rasa.
Rasa Lila symbolizes creation as an interplay of opposites, thesis and anti-thesis. When opposites collide there is war and conflict, when they embrace each other there is love and friendship. The story invites us to celebrate life and our very existence, to find joy in ourselves and live by it as a way of communion with the divine.