In this way all the gopīs were madly feeling the absence of Kṛṣṇa. They inquired about Him from the trees and plants. In some places they found the imprints of the marks on the soles of His feet—namely the flag, the lotus flower, the trident, the thunderbolt, etc. After seeing those footprints, they exclaimed, “Oh, here is the impression of the marks on the soles of Kṛṣṇa’s feet! All the marks, such as the flag, the lotus flower, the trident and the thunderbolt, are distinctly visible here.” They began to follow the footprints, and shortly they saw another set of footprints beside them, and immediately they became very sorry. “Dear friends, just see! Whose are these other footprints? They are beside the footprints of the son of Mahārāja Nanda. It is certainly Kṛṣṇa passing through, resting His hand on some other gopī, exactly as an elephant goes side by side with his beloved mate. We must, therefore, understand that this particular gopī served Kṛṣṇa with greater affectionate love than ourselves. Because of this, although He has left us, He could not leave Her company. He has taken Her along with Him. Dear friends, just imagine how the dust of this place is transcendentally glorious. The dust of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa is worshiped even by Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva and the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī. But at the same time, we are very sorry that this particular gopī has gone along with Kṛṣṇa, for She is sharing the nectar of Kṛṣṇa’s kisses and leaving us aside to lament. O friends, just see! At this particular spot we do not see the footprints of that gopī. It appears that because there were some pinpricks from the dried grass, Kṛṣṇa took Rādhārāṇī on His shoulder. Oh, She is so dear to Him! Kṛṣṇa must have picked some flowers in this spot to satisfy Rādhārāṇī, because here, where He stood erect to get the flowers from the high branches of the tree, we find only half the impression of His feet. Dear friends, just see how Kṛṣṇa must have sat down here with Rādhārāṇī and tried to set flowers in Her hair. You can be certain that both of Them sat together here.” Kṛṣṇa is self-sufficient: He has nothing to enjoy from any other source. Yet just to satisfy His devotee, He treated Rādhārāṇī exactly as a lusty boy treats his girlfriend. Kṛṣṇa is so kind that He always tolerates the disturbances created by His girlfriends.
In this way, all the gopīs pointed out the faults of the particular gopī who had been taken alone by Kṛṣṇa. They said that this chief gopī, Rādhārāṇī, must be very proud of Her position, thinking Herself the greatest of the gopīs. “Yet how could Kṛṣṇa take Her away alone, leaving all of us aside, unless She is extraordinarily qualified and beautiful? She must have taken Kṛṣṇa into the deep forest and told Him, ‘My dear Kṛṣṇa, I am now very tired. I cannot go any further. Please carry Me wherever You like.’ When Kṛṣṇa was spoken to in this way, He might have told Rādhārāṇī, ‘All right, better get on My shoulder.’ But immediately Kṛṣṇa must have disappeared, and now Rādhārāṇī must be lamenting for Him, ‘My dear lover, My dearest, You are so fine and so powerful. Where have You gone? I am nothing but Your most obedient maidservant. I am very much aggrieved. Please come and be with Me again.’ Kṛṣṇa, however, is not coming to Her. He must be watching Her from a distant place and enjoying Her sorrow.”
All the gopīs then went further and further into the forest, searching out Kṛṣṇa, but when they learned that actually Rādhārāṇī was left alone by Kṛṣṇa, they became very sorry. This is the test of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In the beginning they were a little envious that Kṛṣṇa had taken Rādhārāṇī alone, leaving aside all the other gopīs, but as soon as they knew that Kṛṣṇa had also left Rādhārāṇī and that She was alone lamenting for Him, they became more sympathetic to Her. The gopīs found Rādhārāṇī and heard everything from Her—about how She had misbehaved with Kṛṣṇa and how She was proud and was insulted for Her pride. After hearing all this, they became actually very sympathetic. Then all the gopīs, including Rādhārāṇī, proceeded further into the forest, until they could no longer see the moonlight.
When they saw that it was getting gradually darker, they stopped. Their mind and intelligence became absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa; they all imitated the activities of Kṛṣṇa and His speeches. Due to their heart and soul being completely given to Kṛṣṇa, they began to chant His glories, completely forgetting their family interests. In this way, all the gopīs returned to the bank of the Yamunā and assembled there, and expecting that Kṛṣṇa must return to them, they simply engaged in chanting the glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa—Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare / Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.