Krişhna, the beloved boy of Vrindavan, is pictured among the dancing gopīs. Much criticism has been leveled against Krishna’s association with these milkmaids. Little do the critics realize that the Lord is ever an unconcerned and unaffected witness of the milkmaid’s dance, even though He may be in their midst.
Krishna is like the Consciousness within, which vitalizes one’s thoughts (gopīs) but remains unperturbed and unaffected by them. The Self is ever immaculate, uncontaminated by the thoughts in one’s bosom.
The gopīs performed their obligatory duties throughout the day constantly remembering Krsna. Their limbs were ceaselessly engaged inactivity, while their minds were ever attuned to the Lord.
This, in short, is the essence of karma-yoga – the dedication of one’s actions to a higher altar, working without ego and egocentric desires. Such activities exhaust one’s existing vāsanās (inherent tendencies) and also prevent the formation of any new vāsanãs. When one thus strives hard and reduces his vāsanās to the minimum, their last lingering traces are liquidated by the Lord Himself, even without one’s knowledge. Hence Krishna is also described as a thief stealing the butter which the gopīs had carefully stored in their apartments.
The most beautiful and the most beloved of all gopiĪs was Rãdhā. The love of Radha and Krishna is symbolic of the eternal love affair between the devoted mortal and the divine. In relation to God, it is said that we are all women.
This long-forgotten pair of separation is the root cause of all suffering. To rediscover our oneness is the source of all happiness and fulfillment. In this sense, Krishna is the fulfillment of all desires.