Even though I am a great devotee of Sri Krishna,It has always been troublesome for me to understand Rasa Lila and Sri Krishna's relation with Gopikas. Some were even married.
Sukhadeva's explaination to Maharaja Parikshit doesn't help either.
Śukadeva Gosvāmī said: The status of powerful controllers is not harmed by any apparently audacious transgression of morality we may see in them, for they are just like fire, which devours everything fed into it and remains unpolluted. [Bhagavatam 3.33.29]
One who is not a great controller should never imitate the behavior of ruling personalities, even mentally. If out of foolishness an ordinary person does imitate such behavior, he will simply destroy himself, just as a person who is not Rudra would destroy himself if he tried to drink an ocean of poison. [Bhagavatam 3.33.30]
So this means God is not bound to moral decisions but we humans should not even think of transgressing moral values. But that doesn't sound convincing to me , infact Lord Rama despite being troubled so many times never compromised His moral values.
This is even supported by Sri Krishna Himself in Bhagavad Gita.
Whatever a superior person does, another person does that very thing! Whatever he upholds as authority, an ordinary person follows that. [Bhagavad Gita 3.21]
In all the three worlds, O Partha, there is no duty whatsoever for Me (to fulfil); nothing remains unachieved or to be achieved. (Still) I continue in action. [Bhagavad Gita 3.22]
For, O Partha, if at any time I do not continue vigilantly in action, men will follow My path in every way. [Bhagavad Gita 3.23]
Thus even Sri Krishna Himself says that men will follow Him in every path therefore He also performs His prescribed duty.
Please note that I have nothing but admiration and love for Sri Krishna, it's just that this particular aspect of His life present in few scriptures is so difficult for me to digest. Particularly the claim of few Hinduphobes that adultery supported in Hindu scriptures. I didn't want to ask this question but many have already insulted Hinduism and Sri Krishna's rasa lila, particularly bollywood, comedians, people from other religions etc. Many so called Hindus themselves criticize rasa lila and some fools even try to attempt it.
So in short I want to know how can we can reconcile Sri Krishna's relation with Gopikas and Sri Krishna's statements in Bhagavad Gita as quoted above.
Please don't answer with the concept of rasa being bodiless spiritual activity or Gopikas being Rishis in previous avatars or even the argument about God being allowed to do anything He want since He also slays Asuras. My question is to clarify for those who either insult Rasa Lila and Sri Krishna or try to foolishly imitate Rasa on mundane materialistic platform.
Edit - A Swarajya magazine article about the same. "Could Krishna be guilty of adultrey?"
According to this article, description of Sri Krishna in Mahabharata only (Not Puranas) should be considered authentic.