After being received by the cowherd men and boys, the gopīs, and King Nanda and Yaśodā, Lord Balarāma sat down, feeling satisfied, and they all surrounded Him. First Lord Balarāma inquired from them about their welfare, and then, since they had not seen Him for such a long time, they began to ask Him different questions. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana had sacrificed everything for Kṛṣṇa, simply being captivated by the lotus eyes of the Lord. Because of their great desire to love Kṛṣṇa, they never desired anything like elevation to the heavenly planets or merging into the effulgence of Brahman to become one with the Absolute Truth. They were not even interested in enjoying a life of opulence, but were satisfied in living a simple life in the village as cowherds. They were always absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa and did not desire any personal benefits, and they were all so much in love with Him that in His absence their voices faltered when they began to inquire from Balarāmajī.
First Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodāmāyī inquired, “My dear Balarāma, are our friends like Vasudeva and others in the family doing well? Now You and Kṛṣṇa are grown-up married men with children. In the happiness of family life, do You sometimes remember Your poor father and mother, Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodādevī? It is very good news that the most sinful King Kaṁsa has been killed by You and that our friends like Vasudeva and the others who had been harassed have now been relieved. It is also very good news that You and Kṛṣṇa defeated Jarāsandha and Kālayavana, who is now dead, and that You are now living in a fortified residence in Dvārakā.”
When the gopīs arrived, Lord Balarāma glanced over them with loving eyes. Being overjoyed, the gopīs, who had so long been mortified on account of Kṛṣṇa’s and Balarāma’s absence, began to ask about the welfare of the two brothers. They specifically asked Balarāma whether Kṛṣṇa was enjoying His life surrounded by the enlightened women of Dvārakā Purī. “Does He sometimes remember His father Nanda and His mother Yaśodā and the other friends with whom He so intimately behaved while in Vṛndāvana? Does Kṛṣṇa have any plans to come here to see His mother, Yaśodā, and does He remember us gopīs, who are now pitiably bereft of His company? Kṛṣṇa may have forgotten us in the midst of the cultured women of Dvārakā, but as far as we are concerned, we still remember Him by collecting flowers and sewing them into garlands. When He does not come, however, we simply pass our time by crying. If only He would come here and accept these garlands we have made. Dear Lord Balarāma, descendant of Dāśārha, You know that we would give up everything for Kṛṣṇa’s friendship. Even in great distress one cannot give up the connection of family members, but although it might be impossible for others, we gave up our fathers, mothers, sisters and relatives. But then Kṛṣṇa, without caring a pinch for our renunciation, all of a sudden renounced us and went away. He broke off our intimate relationship without serious consideration and left for a foreign country. But He was so clever and cunning that He manufactured very nice words. He said, ‘My dear gopīs, please do not worry. The service you have rendered Me is impossible for Me to repay.’ After all, we are women, so how could we disbelieve Him? Now we can understand that His sweet words were simply for cheating us.”
Protesting Kṛṣṇa’s absence from Vṛndāvana, another gopī said, “My dear Balarāmajī, we are of course village girls, so Kṛṣṇa could cheat us in that way, but what about the women of Dvārakā? Don’t think they are as foolish as we are! We village women might be misled by Kṛṣṇa, but the women in the city of Dvārakā are very clever and intelligent. Therefore I would be surprised if such city women could be misled by Kṛṣṇa and could believe His words.”
Then another gopī began to speak. “My dear friend,” she said, “Kṛṣṇa is very clever in using words. No one can compete with Him in that art. He can manufacture such colorful words and talk so sweetly that the heart of any woman would be misled. Besides that, He has perfected the art of smiling very attractively, and by seeing His smile women become mad after Him and give themselves to Him without hesitation.”
Another gopī, after hearing this, said, “My dear friends, what is the use of talking about Kṛṣṇa? If you are at all interested in passing time by talking, let us talk on some subject other than Him. If cruel Kṛṣṇa can pass His time without us, why can’t we pass our time without Kṛṣṇa? Of course, Kṛṣṇa is passing His days without us very happily, but we cannot pass our days happily without Him.”
When the gopīs were talking in this way, their feelings for Kṛṣṇa became more and more intense, and they were experiencing Kṛṣṇa’s smiling, Kṛṣṇa’s words of love, Kṛṣṇa’s attractive features, Kṛṣṇa’s characteristics and Kṛṣṇa’s embraces. By the force of their ecstatic feelings, it appeared to them that Kṛṣṇa was personally present and dancing before them. Because of their sweet remembrance of Kṛṣṇa, they could not check their tears, and they cried without consideration.
Lord Balarāma, of course, could understand the ecstatic feelings of the gopīs, and therefore He wanted to pacify them. He was expert in presenting an appeal, and thus, treating the gopīs very respectfully, He began to narrate the stories of Kṛṣṇa so tactfully that the gopīs became satisfied. To keep the gopīs in Vṛndāvana satisfied, Lord Balarāma stayed there continuously for two months, namely the months of Caitra (March-April) and Vaiśākha (April-May). For those two months He kept Himself among the gopīs, and He passed every night with them in the forest of Vṛndāvana to satisfy their desire for conjugal love. Thus Balarāma also enjoyed the rāsa dance with the gopīs during those two months. Since the season was springtime, the breeze on the bank of the Yamunā was blowing very mildly, carrying the aroma of different flowers, especially the flower known as kaumudī. Moonlight filled the sky and spread everywhere, and thus the banks of the Yamunā appeared very bright and pleasing, and Lord Balarāma enjoyed the company of the gopīs there.