Witchery! HAHAHA. Not the word of mine, but from the Exordia below. Did you know, that Krishna loves Witch-House Music insanely?
I liked the part of English Exordia to Sanskrit 1900 edition of "Shree Krishna-Karnamrita".
Two notable ideas from this Exordia:
1) The word "भर्ता" (bhartA) in the Verse 9.18 of "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" could be translated as "HUSBAND" (usually, the word is translated as "SUSTAINER").
If someone translates "भर्ता" (bhartA) as "HUSBAND", then the Verse is transformed into Rasika one.
Parenthetically, it is not something exceptional for Rasika-Sampradayas to interpret some Verses of "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" from the Rasa point of view.
So, from Rasika point of view, the Verse 9.18 of "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" tells about 2 Rasas: Madhurya (Bhagavan Shree Krishna as "HUSBAND") and Sakhya (Bhagavan Shree Krishna as सुहृत् - suhRt, that is "FRIEND").
So, "Shree Bhagavad-Gita", Verse 9.18:
गतिर्भर्ता प्रभुः साक्षी निवासः शरणं सुहृत् |
प्रभवः प्रलयः स्थानं निधानं बीजमव्ययम् ||९- १८||
gatirbhartA prabhuH sAkShI nivAsaH sharaNaM suhRRit |
prabhavaH pralayaH sthAnaM nidhAnaM bIjamavyayam ||9- 18||
that is "I am (Bhagavan Shree Krishna) is THE HUSBAND and THE FRIEND..."
2) The second notable idea is that the Gopis remember that Bhagavan Shree Krishna is Bhagavan (GOD).
As you know, even within Shree Gaudiya Sampradaya no unified opinion on the issue existed, because Shree Shreemad Jiva Goswami told, that Gopis know that Bhagavan Shree Krishna is Bhagavan, while Shree Shreemad Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakur told that under the Influence of Shreemati Yogamaya-Devi, Gopis lose the the perception of Bhagavan Shree Krishna as GOD.
In reality, both points of view are valid, because the Nature of Bhagavan Shree Krishna Leelas is Acintya and totally non-linear, so both variants can exist in the Spiritual World even concurrently, synchronously and on a par.
Vishnudut1926, Moscow, 10.10.2013
English Exordia to Sanskrit 1900 edition of "Shree Krishna-Karnamrita"
In the case of Bhagavan Shree Krishna, His Person and activities in the world, as already pointed out, are DIVYA, - They transcend the plane of matter, the blended totality of a world whose parts are diverse, yet related to one another.
Therefore His Person and Activities could not be classed among the things of beauty through which an artist's constructive imagination makes its appeal to those who have kindred tastes and emotions.
His Form of Beauty was not an image created by an individual's uncommon powers of "combining or cutting up" facts of experience.
Nor had it its genesis merely in human emotion and imagination—in an individual's effectual desire or aspiration, and the illuminative action and reaction to which it gives rise.
Hence we see how appropriately Sri Sankara, in his Gita-Bhashya, asks us to understand how Bhagavan Shree Krishna appeared as if He was born" (जात एव - jAta eva) "as if he had a body" (देहवानिव - dehavAniva).
The combination in Bhagavan Shree Krishna of the sublimity of power and the fascination of Beauty was so unique that to all beholders—and to the Gopis, too, on whom it exercised that Witchery which, originally recorded in the Bhagavata, is now worked out in all the abundance of enrapturing detail in this wonderful Song of Songs, the "Shree Krishna-Karnamrita".
Bhagavan Shree Krishna Alone was, as it were, the beginning and the end, the Ne Plus Ultra, of the essence of Beauty, Power, Prosperity, Virtue, Knowledge and Good Repute, - i.e., in one word, of what we Hindus call ऐश्वर्य (Aishvarya), the Supreme Lordship or Godhead.
None who knew or beheld Him could discover any similar object in their world of experience or imagination.
All were impressed and overwhelmed by the absolute novelty of their experience, emotion, and impression, - and the resulting soul-enjoyments were ever so full and fresh, and so sustained, that the relation in which Bhagavan Shree Krishna was understood and felt to stand towards one and all was only to be likened to, but never identical with, that of a Lover to the object loved.
In Narada's Bhakti Sutras, the following propositions are put forth regarding the Emotion of Bhakti:
नारदस्तु तदर्पिताखिलाचारता तद्विस्मरणे परमव्याकुलतेति
Sutra 19: "Dedicating all purificatory rites and observances whatsoever to Him, and feeling extreme misery in forgetting Him."
Sutra 20: "There are such instances, as we shall show below"
यथा व्रजगोपिकानाम् ।
Sutra 21: "As in the case of the Cow-Maids (GOPIS) of Vraja."
तत्रापि न माहात्म्यज्ञानविस्मृत्यपवादः ।
Sutra 22: "Even in their case no imputation can be made that the knowledge of Bhagavan Shree Krishna being the Supreme Self was forgotten."
तद्विहीनं जाराणामिव ।
Sutra 23: "If that (knowledge) had been wanting, it would have been like the illicit relation between paramours."
नास्त्येव तस्मिन् तत्सुखसुखित्वम् ।
Sutra 24: "In it (the latter) there is not the happiness arising from partaking of the Infinite Bliss which is His (the Lord's)."
The explanation given in the above Sutras is exactly what is given in the Bhagavata by Sri Suka, the narrator of the story of Sri Krishna's sports in Brindavana.
The Gopis were fully aware that Bhagavan Shree Krishna was the Creator and Lord of the Universe who was Atmarama, the Being who was the summit and perfection of all joy and so could win nothing more by the company of, and lose nothing by separation from, the Gopis.
Sri Krishna, as the Supreme Being Himself, was the final desire and goal of the entire world, and, therefore, also of the Gopis.
Arjuna, addressing Sri Krishna (Bhagavad-Gita, Chapter 11) speaks of 3 relations between the Supreme Being and the living soul of man:
पितेव पुत्रस्य सखेव सख्युः
प्रियः प्रियायार्हसि देव सोढुम् ||११- ४४||
"Like a father towards his son's (mistakes), a friend towards his friend's, a Lover towards his beloved's" (Verse 11.44).
Further, Bhagavan Shree Krishna says ("Shree Bhagavad-Gita, 14.3-4): "The undifferentiated Prakriti (Nature or Matter) is the receptacle (womb) in which I deposit My seed. From it, O Descendant of Bharata, proceeds the birth of all objects. Of the bodies, O Son of Kunti, which are born in all the different kinds of wombs, Prakriti is the great womb (source) and I am the Giver of seed, the Father (for them)."
Furthermore, we have the following famous sloka:
sa eva vAsudEvO-yam sAkshAt-purusha uchyatE | strIprAymitarat-saravam jagad-bramha-purassaram ||
"He, Bhagavan Shree Vasudeva, is alone spoken of directly as the Male Principle; the rest - the entire universe, from Brahma downwards - is related to him as the Female Principle."
The conception is somewhat similar to the Christian conception of the Church as the Bride of Christ.
According to the Bhagavata (and all other Hindu authorities), all living souls must finally reach the Lord in Heaven.
The Gopis, having Their place among those souls and knowing, too, that Bhagavan Shree Krishna was the Creator and the All-Pervading Sustainer of life and individuality, approached Him, but in the relation (to use the words of Arjuna already referred to) of "प्रियः प्रियाय - priyaH priyAya" "of one who loves towards his Beloved."...
...This is clearly the meaning of the 3 verses in the "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" (9.16-18) which enumerate the various relations in which Ishvara's worshippers regard Him as standing towards them, and includes the relation of Husband (भर्ता - bhartA) among them (Verse 9.18).
For, in the verse 15 in the same context he has said: "Others, again, offering the sacrifice of knowledge, worship Me as one (with them), as separate (from them), and as All-Pervading in The Numerous Forms" - and thus the inquiry arises, what are the various forms of Worship and the relations between The Deity and the worshipper which those form imply?
We see also that in the Bhagavata itself, Bhagavan Shree Krishna, after He had left Gokula, sent Uddhava with a message to the Gopis:
''Never can there be any separation for you from me, - for I am the All-Pervading cause (of the effected material universe).
Even as the 5 elements exist in all things (moving or stationary), so I am the basal support of all effecied things such as the perceiving mind, the life-breath, the reasoning faculty, the senses, and the properties (or constituents) of matter (the three Gunas) from which they originate."
Bhagavan Shree Krishna goes on to inform Gopis that he was staying far away from them so that they might be constantly meditating on His Form and He might reveal Himself in their minds when they did so and thus enable Gopis ultimately to attain His abode in Heaven, even as, during the night of the Rasa-dance in the forest of Vraja, some Gopis, who had been shut out and remained within their homes absorbed in deep meditation on His Sweet and Beautiful Form, had been for the time being enabled to gain His Highest Self, leaving (all consci ousness of) their bodies behind.
This fact is mentioned in the Bhagavata, account of what happened during the Night of the Rasa-Dance.
The Author explains why the Supreme Being can be approached without the feeling of guilt, compunction, or hesitation, even with the emotion of sexual love - शृङ्गररास (shRRi~NgararAsa).
Some Gopis, who were inside Their homes and had not been able to get out in time and who previously used to be constantly thinking of Krishna now closed their eyes in deep and devout meditation of Him.
They got rid of (the bondage) of all their (previous) sins by the sensation of burning caused in the heart by the unendurable excess of their passion of love (उत्कण्ठ - utkaNTha) for their Beloved Lord; and the bondage, too, of their (previous) meritorious acts was similarly destroyed by the sensation of pleasurable enjoyment (माधुर्य - mAdhurya) arising from the experiences due to their mentally imagined contact with His Body.
As Bhagavan Shree Krishna was the परमात्मा (paramAtmA) Supreme Self of all beings, even by their Feeling and Passion for Him as if He was Their Paramour, they were immediately enabled to get liberated from the bondage of sin and cast off their body composed of material qualities and substances, that is they gained, without dying, a perfectly sinless and spiritual body.
Sridhara Swami here makes the following illuminating comment:
न हि वस्तुशाक्तिर्बुद्धिमपेक्षते | अन्यथा मत्वापि पितामृतवदिति भावः
na hi vastushAktirbuddhimapekShate | anyathA matvApi pitAmRRitavaditi bhAvaH
"The nature of an object must operate on us, even though we may not have an intellectual understanding of what it is - even as the effect follows when we drink the nectar of immortality, thinking that it is some other kind of drink."
From the Bhagavata passage just quoted which asserts that the material body changed into the spiritual in the case of the Gopis who were shut out of the Rasa-Dance, we can infer that the bodies of those who had gone out in time from their homes and joined it had got similarly transformed and their souls too had become liberated thereby from Samsara.
Thus we see that, the sweetly tender passion (माधुर्य - mAdhurya) of the Gopis for Sri Krishna's sublimely Beautiful Form and Person combined with their conscious realisation of the All-Pervading Immanence of His Divinity as the Supreme Being could not but soon become freed from all impurities attaching to any similar passion of sex between merely human beings, and thus lead to the attainment of the ultimate aim of life, the everlasting bliss of the immortal and divine sages in Heaven (the DivyaSuris).