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The Sri Vaishnava sect has two sub-sects, Thenkalai and Vadakalai. Vadakalais follow the teachings of Vedanta Desikan, whereas Thenkalais follow the teachings of Pillai Lokacharya. My question is about Pillai Lokacharya. In verse 80 of his Sri Vachana Bhushanam, Pillai Lokacharya lists different devotees of Vishnu we should emulate:

As to Upaya (method), one should be like the Goddess (Sita), Draupadi and Thirukannamangai Andan; as to Upeya (goal), one should be like the younger Lord (Lakṣmana), Periyavudayar (Jatāyu), Pillai Thirunarayur Araiyar and Cintayanti.

Most of these names are recognizable, but I'm interested in Chintayanti. Here is what the translator says:

Chintayanti, simply expired upon hearing Krishna's flute and being unable to go to him.

My question is, what scriptures mention the Gopi Chintayanti dying upon hearing Krishna's flute?

  • Here the word expired is used for the restlessness or anxiety in the event of separation . - see saying 85. – SwiftPushkar Apr 9 '18 at 10:54
  • @SwiftPushkar Pillai Lokacharya goes on to say "The body of Chintayanti perished of itself", so I think it does mean actual death. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 9 '18 at 15:32
  • Haha, very less details. :P – Mr. Sigma. Apr 9 '18 at 15:52
  • @KeshavSrinivasan - Ok , if it is mentioned as such then it's quite possible. But still i somewhat think that the language used is kind a symbolic , this kind of Rupakas or examples are widely seen to be used by all the saints of Bhakti tradition. – SwiftPushkar Apr 9 '18 at 16:09
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I found the story in this chapter of the Vishnu Purana:

One damsel gently sang an accompaniment to his song; another attentively listened to his melody: one calling out upon his name, then shrunk abashed; whilst another, more bold, and instigated by affection, pressed close to his side: one, as she sallied forth, beheld some of the seniors of the family, and dared not venture, contenting herself with meditating on Krishńa with closed eyes, and entire devotion, by which immediately all acts of merit were effaced by rapture, and all sin was expiated by regret at not beholding him: and others, again, reflecting upon the cause of the world, in the form of the supreme Brahma, obtained by their sighing final emancipation.

But it doesn't give her name. So the name Chintayanti may be from some other scripture.

  • But where does it say she died? – Just_Do_It Feb 21 at 21:02
  • There is no specific name "Chintayanti". The words "contenting herself with meditating on Krishna" in Sanskrit translate to "Chintayanti". Since this characterized is how this particular gopi is identified, the acharyas refer to her with the name Chintayanti. – Surya Mar 17 at 17:19
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    @Surya Oh, I didn’t know that. There’s an obvious comparison with Radha that can be made :-) – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 17 at 20:07
  • @Keshav Well, just as Acharyas have named her Chintayanti, other Acharyas have named the other her Radha. But that's a discussion for another question. :) – Surya Mar 20 at 16:58

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