Hardy defined virahabhakti as ‘devotion in which the sentiment of “separation” is cultivated.’ According to the Bhagavatapurana (BhP) which tells the truth that everything in the world consists in the transcendent God Krsna, the separation described as that of Gopis, the typical devotees of Krsna, from Him cannot but mean that the Gopis, who are ignorant of the truth, cannot see Krsna as an incarnation.
In the present paper, focusing on the verses of BhP X. 29-33 in which the word viraha occurs, I have attempted to make clear the characteristics of virahabhakti in this text.
According to BhP, when the Gopis are conscious that they are separated from Him, they experience the pain of separation from the loved one. But this text emphasizes that the state of being separated from Him opens the way for their experiencing the joy of the union with Him and attaining Him. It is interesting that the pain and the joy are said to eliminate the effects of bad deeds and those of good deeds, respectively. It may be said that BhP, describing a world of duality, Krsna and his devotees, gives virahabhakti the character of being the source of supreme joy.