Chapter 30: Krsna’s Hiding from the Gopis
When Krsna suddenly disappeared from the company of the gopis, they searched for Him everywhere. After not finding Him anywhere, they became afraid and almost mad after Him. They were simply thinking of the pastimes of Krsna in great love and affection. Being absorbed in thought of Him, they experienced loss of memory, and with dampened eyes they began to see the very pastimes of Krsna—His beautiful talks with them, His embracing, kissing and other activities. Being so attracted to Krsna, they imitated His dancing, His walking and His smiling, as if they themselves were Krsna. Due to Krsna’s absence, they all became crazy; each one of them told the others that she was Krsna Himself. Soon they all assembled together and chanted Krsna’s name very loudly as they moved from one part of the forest to another, searching for Him.
Actually, Krsna is all-pervasive: He is in the sky, and He is in the forest; He is within the heart, and He is always everywhere. The gopis therefore began to question the trees and plants about Krsna. There were various types of big trees and small plants in the forest, and the gopis addressed them: “Dear banyan tree, have you seen the son of Maharaja Nanda passing this way, laughing and playing on His flute? He has stolen our hearts and gone away. If you have seen Him, kindly inform us which way He has gone. Dear asoka tree, dear naga flower tree and campaka flower tree, have you seen the younger brother of Balarama pass this way? He has disappeared because of our pride.” The gopis were aware of the reason for Krsna’s sudden disappearance. They could understand that when they had been enjoying Krsna they thought themselves to be the most fortunate women within the universe, and since they were feeling proud, Krsna had disappeared immediately just to curb their pride. Krsna does not like His devotees to be proud of their service to Him. He accepts everyone’s service, but He does not like one devotee to proudly consider himself better than others. If sometimes there are such feelings, Krsna ends them by changing His attitude toward the devotee.