Krishna’s celestial dance Maha Raas and the fascinating story behind it

This is that part of the year when the whole world waits to watch Krishna’s celestial dance Maha Raas with its naked eyes.

I am not kidding but it is believed in many parts of India that Lord Krishna actually comes down to  Earth in His mortal body and dances with Gopies!

Read this article to understand the philosophical meaning of this legend.

Krishna's celestial dance Maha Raas
Maha Raas- The word means ‘Great Dance’

Actually, I should have written about this fascinating story a couple of years ago but God knows why I did not pen it down.

You know who Lord Krishna is, right?

For the benefit of my overseas readers, Krishna is the eighth avatar of Vishnu. I am writing about Him in the present tense because, though, He lived and died several thousand years ago, Krishna lives on in the hearts and minds of billions of people the world over.

Maha Raas
Krishna’s celestial dance Maha Raas- These are Gopies or maidens. Philosophically speaking, Gopies represent us or Atmas.

Some people, particularly the ladies, consider Him to be a bubbly child, whereas others consider him to to be the perfect human being. For them, Krishna is devoid of desires, greed and other human imperfections. He was the embodiment of God or Bramha or Parmatma who came down to Earth to teach us about how to lead a good and virtuous life.

Krishna’s celestial dance Maha Raas


Every year, millions of Indians believe that Krishna comes back to Earth during these days of the autumn season and dances with His Gopies.

Krishna's celestail dance Maha Raas
This form of dance is called Kathak which means ‘of stories’

I think this is just a legend and nothing else. This legend has a philosophical underpinning that I will explain to you, but first, let me explain the meaning of ‘Gopies’.



This word means young maidens and girls in a simple sense. But do you think that Krishna would come down to Earth simply to dance merrily with young nubile girls?


Krishna is Parmatma or Supreme Being. Gopies are us the atmans of us mortal beings. We yearn to become one with God or Parmatma. We are unsuccessful in our attempt to become one with Paramatma because our atma is covered up with desires, wants, greed, lust, anger etc.

Until we remove these bad qualities from our persona, we will never be able to achieve Nirvana or Moksha. The ultimate aim of every human being is to become one with Paramatma but for most of us, this task is near impossible.

So, when Krishna comes down to Earth to dance with his Gopies, it essentially means that the Lord is trying to help us become better human beings so that we can become one with Him. Unless we consciously remove our vices, we will never succeed in our efforts.

Watch this video and you will be zapped by this unknown facet of Indian culture ;

This is my interpretation. There can be thousands of other interpretations and each one of them may have a ring of truth to it.

Krishna's celestial dance Maha Raas
Krishna is with me, you and everyone here. We just have to call Him for help

Let’s read an interesting story about Krishna’s celestial dance Maha Raas


My dear Robert, John, Joseph, Lisa etc, what if I told that Krishna actually dances with the ladies these days in a secluded garden located in Central India?

You’d be zapped, isn’t it?

Well yes, many people believe that during this time of the year, Krishna cavorts and plays with his favorite Gopies in a small park in Vrindavan. This ancient town, Vrindavan is roughly 160 kilometers from Delhi.

Intruders turn to stone!


Yes, the same people believe that gatecrashers to this park- Nidhivan- face a terrible punishment for this crime. All of these ‘ unwanted guests’ turn to stone!

All of these ‘ unwanted guests’ turn to stone and nobody is spared.

You know what? I have been trying to visit this park for many years but I guess, Lord Krishna does not want me to visit this place.

You may want to read more about this fascinating Nidhivan here

Would you like to see Nidhivan? Let me know so we can plan a visit to this interesting place.

Carrying the Indian culture forward


I wrote this post on Maha Raas because I feel that more and more number of Indians and people living outside must know about it. Though Kathak is a popular form of dance, yet many people do not really know about Krishna’s celestial dance.

I will fail in my efforts if I did not tell you about the lady who is the driving force behind the Maha Raas dance. She is none other than Sushri Uma Sharma, one of the greatest experts in Kathak today. I have grown up watching her perform this dance in several shows.Read more about this wonderful person here

Uma Sharma
One of the legends in Kathak, Umaji is promoting this dance form in India for very many years.

Nearing seventy, Uma ji still looks like a sprightly 25-year-old today. Surely, it was sheer joy in watching her speak and perform a little bit yesterday.

Venue of Maha Raas


If you happen to be in Delhi at the time of reading this article, then you should go to the Lakshmi Narayan temple or Birla Temple. This performance starts at 6.30 and goes on till 9.30 in the night.

The last day of this dance drama will be October 7, 2017. So rush to this magnificent place with your family.

I was there yesterday and a full moon shone brightly down upon the temple spires, the sight was truly enchanting.


Di you like this post about Krishna’s celestial dance Maha Raas? Did I answer all your questions?




  1. I am sure these Krishna festivals are cultural and really interesting.I’ve read about Lord Krishna and like the historical stories.Even in Sri Lanka,Lord Krishna is popular.Radha-Krishna love story is also a part of the same story,am I correct?I would love to see such a cultural show in real.

  2. That’s a beautiful post. Watching Krishna Raas performance is always such a pleasure. I’ve seen twice. One was by the Barathanatyam danseuse Shobana! I was so so mesmerized by it. I’d say you’ll become frozen (and become a stone) even if you’re so so mesmerized it! Is it even possible, not to fall in love with Krishna!!!

  3. In my hometown, I have experienced and witnessed this dance on the street, they were jolly and happiness is there! Respect all the practices even not in my league. Learned also from this blog, thanks!

  4. Such an interesting read. It is nice to see such dances and acts are being performed in front of wide audience to give everyone a slice of Indian culture. I have been to Brindavan long back, don’t remember much

  5. Having been a Kathak student for 5 years, I wasn’t aware of the Maha Raas and the connection to Kathak. Of course, to me Krishna will always be the Maakhan chor , a naughty little lovable fella. I like your interpretation about the Gopis and Krishna coming back to earth. Thanks for sharing Swayam

  6. As a non-Indian (and non Hindu, the information you provided is very much appreciated. I don’t think I will be able to understand the dance if I ever saw it without this information. I may be able to just view it for its entertainment value but I wouldn’t be able to have a far deeper appreciation. It’s amazing that you provided the backstory.

  7. Thanks for sharing the explanation of Krishna and Maha Raas. It’s not something that we are familiar with at all so it was quite interesting to get an introduction. It’s great learning about the many cultures around the world.

  8. Thank you for an amazing blog post. I am sure many Indians like me would not be aware of the impact Maha Raas has on the intruders. Swayam, you always manage to evoke a feeling of curiosity and awe! Thanks for sharing.

  9. Such an interesting read about Krishna including the faith, traditions, belief and legends… I have heard about it before but I didn’t really get the whole idea… I understand better now through reading this post.
    Even I’m from another faith, I do hope that we will also be free from all our vices.

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