Call Each Other Gopi?

Hare KrishnaBy Khonika Gope-Kumar

Though since childhood, I was used to being called “gopi” by my classmates and coworkers as my surname had been “Gope”, however, that never made me uncomfortable. I knew those karmi people did not have any clue what they were referring to. But my devotee girlfriends surely know what they are talking about. Or do they? To my surprise, I found out that it has become quite common among young ladies in ISKCON to call each other gopi, even call each other Srimati Radharani! I was in a dilemma. Is it offensive or trivial to call another devotee girl gopi? At first, I thought, may be it is not as bad as I am thinking. Since “without the help of the gopis, one cannot enter into these pastimes. Only one who worships the Lord in the ecstasy of the gopis, following in their footsteps, can engage in the service of S’ri S’ri Radha-Krishnain the bushes of Vrindavana. Only then can one understand the conjugal love between Radha and Krishna. There is no other procedure for understanding.” CC Madhya 8.204-205