Sai Baba makes another boo-boo
The city of Dwaraka presented a scene of total destruction. The entire Yadava clan had perished. Arjuna did not know what to do in those circumstances. He remembered the possibility of his mother Kunthi enquiring about the welfare of Lord Krishna and the Yadavas. A hundred and one questions cropped up in his mind, but he had no answers for any of them. Finally, Arjuna collected all the Gopikas and started on his march out of Dwaraka, as per the Divine command. Suddenly Arjuna and the Gopikas were surrounded by a horde of forest dwelling nomads. But, to his utter dismay, Arjuna could not even lift his bow, the Gandiva; strange indeed! The great warrior Arjuna who tore the opposing army lines into pieces with utter ease in the Kurukshetra war, could not even lift his Gandiva now. He lamented at his helplessness and prayed to Krishna “Oh! Lord Krishna! What has happened to all my strength? Where is it gone now?” Again, he answered to himself: “He who had granted this power to me has now taken it back.”
At last, in utter helplessness and agony, he prayed to Lord Krishna “Oh! Lord! You have to protect your Gopikas yourself. I am helpless.” Finally Arjuna reached Hasthinapura along with some of the Gopikas who could be saved from the clutches of the barbarians by the divine grace of Krishna. There, Arjuna found the people in great despair. He could not understand the reason for their sorrow.
To my surprise, I discovered that I was right. The Gopikas are the cowherd maidens of Vrindavana and were Krishna's youthful paramours. The permanent residence of the Gopikas is in Vrindavana and not Dvaraka, which is where Krishna spent much of His time in His adult life. Rather, the females referred to in the above story seem more likely to be Krishna's wives, or rather, queens. The collective name of the queens is 'mahishis' just like the cowherd maidens of Vrindavana are collectively referred to as 'gopikas'. The only reference I was able to find for this is contained in Bhagavata Purana 1.15.20, where the Sanskrit word 'parigraham' is taken to refer to as wives.
In any case, anyone who would know anything of Krishna's avataric career would know without a doubt that there were no gopis living in Dvaraka, but only the wives of Krishna. The very idea of gopis being present in Dvaraka would cause a considerable disturbance to certain theological and philosophical concepts held by certain Vaishnava schools, which I could go into with considerable detail. One thing for sure is that since no gopis lived in Dvaraka, it is a mystery as to where Sai Baba got this queer idea from.
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