Lord Kṛṣṇa is also named Hari, which means “one who takes away all distress from the surrendered souls.” Lord Caitanya states that there cannot at any time be a worship as exalted as that realized by the gopīs. Being very anxious about the gopīs’ grief, Kṛṣṇa talked with Uddhava and politely requested him to go to Vṛndāvana. Shaking Uddhava’s hand with His own hands, He said, “My dear gentle friend Uddhava, please go immediately to Vṛndāvana and try to pacify My father and mother, Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā-devī, and the gopīs. They are grief-stricken, as if suffering from great ailments. Go and give them a message. I hope their ailments will be partially relieved. The gopīs are always absorbed in thoughts of Me. They have dedicated body, desire, life and soul to Me. I am anxious not only for the gopīs but for anyone who sacrifices society, friendship, love and personal comforts for Me. It is My duty to protect such exalted devotees. The gopīs are the most dear. They always think of Me in such a way that they remain overwhelmed and almost dead in anxiety due to separation from Me. They are keeping alive simply by thinking that I am returning to them very soon.”
Requested by Lord Kṛṣṇa, Uddhava immediately left on his chariot and carried the message to Gokula. He approached Vṛndāvana at sunset, when the cows were returning home from the pasturing ground. Uddhava and his chariot were covered by the dust raised by the hooves of the cows. He saw bulls running after cows for mating; other cows, with overladen milk bags, were running after their calves to feed them with milk. Uddhava saw that the entire land of Vṛndāvana was filled with white cows and their calves, running here and there all over Gokula, and he could hear the sound of milking. Every residential house in Vṛndāvana was decorated for the worship of the sun-god and the fire-god and for the reception of guests, cows, brāhmaṇas and demigods. Every home was sanctified by lights and incense. All over Vṛndāvana there were nice gardens filled with flowers and the sounds of humming bees and singing birds. The lakes were filled with lotus flowers and with ducks and swans.
Uddhava entered the house of Nanda Mahārāja and was received as a representative of Vāsudeva. Nanda Mahārāja offered him a sitting place and sat down with him to ask about messages from Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma and other family members in Mathurā. He could understand that Uddhava was a very confidential friend of Kṛṣṇa’s and therefore must have come with good messages. “My dear Uddhava,” he said, “how is my friend Vasudeva enjoying life? He is now released from the prison of Kaṁsa, and he is now with his friends and his children, Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma. So he must be very happy. Tell me about him and his welfare. We are also very happy that Kaṁsa, the most sinful demon, has been killed. He was always envious of the family of the Yadus, his relatives. Now, because of his sinful activities, he is dead and gone, along with all his brothers.
“Please let us know whether Kṛṣṇa now remembers His father and mother and His friends and companions in Vṛndāvana. Does He like to remember His cows, His gopīs, His Govardhana Hill, His pasturing grounds in Vṛndāvana? Or has He now forgotten all these? Is there any possibility of His coming back to His friends and relatives so we can again see His beautiful face, with its raised nose and lotuslike eyes? We remember how He saved us from the forest fire, how He saved us from the great snake Kāliya in the Yamunā, and how He saved us from so many other demons, and we simply think of how much we are obliged to Him for giving us protection in many dangerous situations. My dear Uddhava, when we think of Kṛṣṇa’s beautiful face and eyes and His different activities here in Vṛndāvana, we become so overwhelmed that all our activities cease. We simply think of Kṛṣṇa—how He used to smile and how He looked upon us with grace. When we go to the banks of the Yamunā or the lakes of Vṛndāvana or near Govardhana Hill or the pasturing fields, we see that the impressions of Kṛṣṇa’s footprints are still on the surface of the earth. We remember Him playing in those places, because He was constantly visiting them. When His appearance within our minds becomes manifest, we immediately become absorbed in thought of Him.