BHAGAVAT 28 ½
Shri Shukadevaji begins:
Thus commanded by Shri Krishna
Those young Gopis
Having attained their desire
While meditating upon His lotus feet
With great difficulty
Returned to Vraja.
The Gopis are apprehensive and will not disobey Shri Krishna's command. Still, a profound desires lingers in them to play additional love games with their Beloved, but this is not the time; Shri Krishna is simply not motivated.
Although the blessed Gopas attained what they set out to, what they truly coveted, Shri Krishna as their husband was not actualized. To this point, there was no marriage ceremony. Still, the Gopis did not experience any unrelated ras and resorted to a "meditation upon his lotus feet". Within their devotional hearts, they held a Krishna samadhi.
There experienced a great dilemma. They are forced to leave Shri Krishna's presence by the banks of the Yamuna. If they did not contemplate Shri Krishna's lotus feet when He told them to return home, they would not have been able to contain the anguish of His separation and live.
Lotuses remove affliction, they are cooling, They give renewed life. By meditating upon Shri Krishna's lotus feet, the Gopis painful situation was lightening but by no means relieved.
We are now twenty-eight and one half passages into this lila. In this rendering half of the Gopi's devotion and their youthful conditions have been narrated. The other half will arise when they actually touch God.
BHAGAVAT 29 ½
After this lila,
Bhagavan Shri Krishna
The son of Devaki took
His older brother Balaram
And other cowlads
Far from Vrindavan
To another forest.
Shri Krishna starts something new. Now He will give His cowlad friends knowledge, the understanding that in the end, everything is not for them, but for the benefit of others. This revelation will manifest in this current lila. Gradually His friends will come to know that everything is for Shri Krishna's behalf.
...This is the first knowledge,
To make them understand
That true living is for the benefit
Of other beings.
For this purpose alone, Shri Krishna takes them to another forest. The next ten slokas will be dedicated to this wisdom. Shri Krishna has embarked on a new lila and is wandering with other cowlads who were not part of the previous Chir Haran garment stealing lila. To uplift them, He leads them far from Vrindavan.
Vrindavan is place for women, The abode of loving devotion.
Jnan will not arise there.
With this wisdom design in place, Shri Krishna and his happy group left Vrindavan to find true knowledge in the distant glade. The first dharma spoken of is the grazing of cows. Before this, Shri Krishna was not with these cows, cowlads, or even with His older brother Balaram. Now they meet to wander in far off lands.
If these cowlads do not know that everything in Braja is for Shri Krishna's sake, then upon hearing of Shri Krishna stealing the Gopis garments lila, they would have found fault with God. That would have created ill fortune. When all is seen as Hari, for Hari, there can never be any blame. The Gopis have attained knowledge, their wisdom has ripened. They understand that Shri Krishna has appeared solely for them and are full of nectar. They will sing,
"To remove our distress,
You have appeared to us."
They witness all arises for Him. The contrary notion of seeing it as someone else's is unknown to them. Their desires are centered in Him. In the true Vrindavan, there is simply no awareness that anything could be for any other.
When Shri Krishna first gives the cowlads knowledge, recall that they are five types of knowledge: renunciation, Sankhya, yoga, tapa and bhakti. In this lila, renunciation, the first knowledge, should be understood as wisdom because only when you renounce something can there be true magnanimity. Then everything is seen as His, and that is the true state of knowledge.
Translated from the original by Shyamdas.
He has translated numerous books on Pushti Marg.