Lord Caitanya taught people in general the method of vipralambha-sevā, which is the method of rendering service unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the feeling of separation. The six Gosvāmīs also taught worship of Kṛṣṇa in the feeling of the gopīs in separation. The prayers composed by Śrīnivāsācārya about the Gosvāmīs explain these matters very clearly. Śrīnivāsācārya said that the Gosvāmīs were always absorbed in the ocean of transcendental feelings in the mood of the gopīs. When they lived in Vṛndāvana they were searching for Kṛṣṇa, crying, “Where are You, Kṛṣṇa? O gopīs, where are You? Where are You, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī?” They never said, “We have now seen Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and therefore our mission is fulfilled.” Their mission remained always unfulfilled; they never met Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Kṛṣṇa reminded the gopīs that at the time of the rāsa dance those gopīs who could not join Him for the rāsa-līlā gave up their bodies simply by thinking of Him. Absorption in Kṛṣṇa consciousness by feeling separation is thus the quickest method for attainment of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. By the personal statement of Kṛṣṇa, the gopīs were convinced about the strength of feelings of separation. They were actually experiencing the supernatural method of Kṛṣṇa worship and were much relieved by understanding that Kṛṣṇa was not away from them but always with them.
The gopīs therefore received Uddhava very happily and began to speak as follows: “We have heard that King Kaṁsa, who was always a source of trouble for the Yadu dynasty, has now been killed. This is good news for us. We hope, therefore, that the members of the Yadu dynasty are very happy in the association of Kṛṣṇa, who can fulfill all the desires of His devotees. My dear Uddhava, kindly let us know whether Kṛṣṇa sometimes thinks of us while in the midst of the highly enlightened society girls in Mathurā. We know that the women and girls in Mathurā are not village women. They are enlightened and beautiful. Their bashful smiling glances and other feminine features must be very pleasing to Kṛṣṇa. We know very well that Kṛṣṇa is always fond of the behavior of beautiful women. It seems, therefore, that He has been entrapped by the women of Mathurā. My dear Uddhava, will you kindly let us know if Kṛṣṇa sometimes remembers us while in the midst of other women?”
Another gopī inquired, “Does He remember that night in the midst of kumuda flowers and moonlight, when Vṛndāvana became exceedingly beautiful? Kṛṣṇa was dancing with us, and the atmosphere was surcharged with the sound of foot bells. We exchanged pleasing conversation then. Does He remember that particular night? We remember that night, and we feel separation. Separation from Kṛṣṇa makes us agitated, as if there were fire in our bodies. Does He propose to come back to Vṛndāvana to extinguish that fire, just as a cloud appears in the sky to extinguish a forest fire by its downpour?”
Another gopī said, “Kṛṣṇa has killed His enemy, and He has victoriously achieved the kingdom of Kaṁsa. Maybe He is married with a king’s daughter by this time and living happily among His kinsmen and friends. Therefore, why should He come to this village of Vṛndāvana?”
Another gopī said, “Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the husband of the goddess of fortune, and He is self-sufficient. He has no business either with us, the girls in the Vṛndāvana forest, or with the city girls in Mathurā. He is the great Supersoul; He has nothing to do with any of us, either here or there.”
Another gopī said, “It is an unreasonable hope for us to expect Kṛṣṇa to come back to Vṛndāvana. We should try instead to be happy in disappointment. Even Piṅgalā, the great prostitute, said that disappointment is the greatest pleasure. We all know these things, but it is very difficult for us to give up the expectation of Kṛṣṇa’s coming back. Who can forget a solitary conversation with Kṛṣṇa, on whose chest the goddess of fortune always remains, in spite of Kṛṣṇa’s not desiring her? My dear Uddhava, Vṛndāvana is the land of rivers, forests and cows. Here the vibration of the flute was heard, and Kṛṣṇa, along with His elder brother, Śrī Balarāma, enjoyed the atmosphere in our company. Thus the environment of Vṛndāvana constantly reminds us of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. On the land of Vṛndāvana are the impressions of His footprints, the residence of the goddess of fortune, and because of such signs we cannot forget Kṛṣṇa.”