Love for Krishna is an end in itself to His devotees.
According to them, there is no higher state to be realised and
nothing further to be attained. A true devotee only revels in
his experience of God and does not seek even the benefits of
The Gopiswere steeped in such an experience of love for
Krishna. They lived in the same state of love even after
Krishna had left Brindavan.Uddhava iswonder-struck by
their exemplary devotion to Krishna,when he goes to
Gokula to convey Krishna’s message of love to the Gopis,
said Sri M. V. Anantapadmanabhachariar in a discourse.
Observing theway of life of the Gopis leftUddhava, a
staunch devotee himself, speechless and stunned with
astonishment. Theywere involved in their daily chores, but
theirwhole beingwas absorbed in Krishna. They sang about
Him, conversed about Him among themselves, andwere
forever in a state of total identification with Krishna. What
an experience of Krishna’s presence in everything,which is
the essence of Brahma jnana that sees the all pervading
Brahman in all beings and all aspects of creation, thinks
Uddhava.Narayana Bhattatiri describesUddhava’s
experience of the Gopis’ state of mind thus: “In all the
worlds, none has witnessed or heard of God-love equal to
this. Manymay have access to scriptural study or engage in
austere practices, but in spite of these opportunities may not
be filled with true devotion.” An individual is bound by
hatred, fear, shame, aversion, egoism and vanity, pride of
noble birth, or obsession with the formalities of good
conduct,which may stand in theway of his devotion.
Bhakti is the essence of religious experience. It is both a
means and the end, the highest Purushartha.