|Canto 11: General History||Chapter 12: Beyond Renunciation and Knowledge|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.12.11
tās tāḥ kṣapāḥ preṣṭhatamena nītā
kṣaṇārdha-vat tāḥ punar ańga tāsāḿ
hīnā mayā kalpa-samā babhūvuḥ
tāḥ tāḥ — all those; kṣapāḥ — nights; preṣṭha-tamena — with the most dearly beloved; nītāḥ — spent; mayā — with Me; eva — indeed; vṛndāvana — in Vṛndāvana; go-careṇa — who can be known; kṣaṇa — a moment; ardha-vat — like half; tāḥ — those very nights; punaḥ — again; ańga — dear Uddhava; tāsām — for the gopīs; hīnāḥ — bereft; mayā — of Me; kalpa — a day of Brahmā (4,320,000,000 years); samāḥ — equal to; babhūvuḥ — became.
Dear Uddhava, all of those nights that the gopīs spent with Me, their most dearly beloved, in the land of Vṛndāvana seemed to them to pass in less than a moment. Bereft of My association, however, the gopīs felt that those same nights dragged on forever, as if each night were equal to a day of Brahmā.
Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī comments as follows. "The gopīs suffered extreme anxiety in the absence of Lord Kṛṣṇa, and though outwardly appearing bewildered, they actually achieved the highest perfectional stage of samādhi. Their consciousness was intensely and intimately attached to Lord Kṛṣṇa, and by such Kṛṣṇa consciousness their own bodies seemed very far away from them, even though people normally consider their body to be their closest possession. In fact, the gopīs did not think about their own existence. Although a young woman normally considers her husband and children to be her dearmost possessions, the gopīs did not even consider the existence of their so-called families. Nor could they think of this world or life after death. Indeed, they were not at all aware of these things. Just like great sages who become detached from the names and forms of the material world, the gopīs could not think of anything, because they were rapt in loving remembrance of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Just as rivers enter the ocean, similarly, the gopīs completely merged into consciousness of Lord Kṛṣṇa through intense love."
Thus a day of Brahmā seemed like a single moment for the gopīs when Lord Kṛṣṇa was present with them, and a single moment seemed like a day of Brahmā when Lord Kṛṣṇa was absent. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness of the gopīs is the perfection of spiritual life, and the symptoms of such perfection are described here.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
His Holiness Hrdayananda dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari
Dravida dasa Brahmacari