W hile all the gopīs were hurriedly leaving their respective places, their husbands, brothers, and fathers were all struck with wonder to know where they were going. Being young girls, they were protected either by husbands, elderly brothers, or fathers. All their guardians forbade them to go to Kṛṣṇa, but they disregarded them. When a person becomes attracted by Kṛṣṇa and is in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he does not care for any worldly duties, even though very urgent. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is so powerful that it gives everyone relief from all material activities. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has written a very nice verse wherein one gopī advises another, “My dear friend, if you desire to enjoy the company of material society, friendship and love, then please do not go to see this smiling boy Govinda, who is standing on the bank of the Yamunā and playing His flute, His lips brightened by the beams of the full moonlight.” Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī indirectly instructs that one who has been captivated by the beautiful smiling face of Kṛṣṇa has lost all attraction for material enjoyment. This is the test of advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness: a person advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness must lose interest in material activities and personal sense of gratification.

One who has truly fallen in love with the captivating smile of Krishna have naturally lost their interest in material pursuits. The charms of the material world cease to enchant them, and the trappings of a personal sense of gratification lose their appeal. In essence, one’s advancement in Krishna consciousness can be measured by the waning attraction to materialism and the increasing attachment to the divine.

The story of the gopis and their deep, unswerving devotion to Lord Krishna teaches us that spiritual awakening is marked by a gradual detachment from the material world. As one’s love for the divine intensifies, the allure of worldly distractions diminishes. This is the essence of Krishna consciousness, a transformative journey that leads the seeker away from the mundane and towards the sublime, where the radiant smile of Krishna becomes the singular focus of the heart and soul.

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