The Rasalila
A Mandala of Love

Based on a Story from the Bhagavata Purana
Rendered by Margaret Simpson


About Margaret Simpson

author photo Copyright SYDA Foundation

Margaret Simpson has been following the Siddha Yoga path for over thirty years. She offers seva as a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher. She also serves as a writer and editor—both from home and as a visiting sevite—in the SYDA Foundation Content Department. Margaret is the author of A Perfect Life, a biography of Baba Muktananda for young people, and was a regular contributor to and occasional guest editor of Darshan magazine. She hosted a Siddha Yoga chanting and meditation group in her home in Laurieston, Scotland from 1994 to 1997, and in Bath, England from 2003 to 2013.

Margaret is a professional writer with novels, books on history, and television scripts to her credit. She currently lives in Wiltshire, England.

The story of Shri Krishna, the gopis, and the Rasalila has been told in India for many centuries. It appears in great scriptures such as the Harivamsha, the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavata Purana, and the Gitagovinda, the earliest of which date back, in parts, to the fourth century C.E. These texts describe Shri Krishna as an avatar of Lord Vishnu, the sustaining power of the universe, who takes birth whenever righteousness, or dharma, is in jeopardy.

Shri Krishna was born into the royal house of Mathura, a grandson of King Ugrasena. At a time of his birth, his parents were prisoners of his uncle, the tyrant Kamsa, who had deposed the king. To keep him safe, the baby Krishna was smuggled to a remote area on the banks of the Yamuna River. There, in the Forest of Vrindavan, he was brought up by a family of cowherds. He grew up caring for the cattle with all the other children, bathing in the cool river, and swinging from branches in the trees.

Krishna was known as an especially delightful child, but most of the time, as he grew up among them, the people of Vrindavan were only dimly aware of his divine nature. This was because Shri Krishna was able to invoke the power of maya, or illusion, to conceal his true identity.

The Rasalila is a story about one of the times he revealed himself. “Rasa” refers to a circle dance traditional in rural areas of India, and “lila” means a play or game. Thus the “Rasalila” means “the Play of the Dance.” The story speaks to seekers everywhere about the nature of God and the human longing for spiritual union.

Rasalila – Part OneRasalila – Part TwoRasalila – Part Three
Rasalila – Part FourRasalila – Part FiveRasalila – Part Six
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