When the gopīs saw that Uddhava was representing Kṛṣṇa even in his bodily features, they thought he must be a soul completely surrendered unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They began to contemplate, “Who is this boy who looks just like Kṛṣṇa? He has the same eyes like lotus petals, the same raised nose and beautiful face, and he is smiling in the same way. In all respects he resembles Kṛṣṇa, Śyāmasundara, the beautiful blackish boy. He is even dressed exactly like Kṛṣṇa. Where has this boy come from? Who is the fortunate girl who has him for her husband?” Thus they talked among themselves. They were very anxious to know about him, and because they were simple, unsophisticated village girls, they surrounded Uddhava.
When the gopīs understood that Uddhava had a message from Kṛṣṇa, they became very happy and called him to a secluded place and offered him a nice sitting place. They wanted to talk with him very freely and did not want to be embarrassed before unknown persons. They welcomed him with polite words, in great submissiveness: “We know that you are a most confidential associate of Kṛṣṇa and that He has therefore sent you to Vṛndāvana to give solace to His father and mother. We can understand that family affection is very strong. Even great sages who have taken to the renounced order of life cannot give up family affection cent percent. Sometimes they think of their family members. Kṛṣṇa has therefore sent you to His father and mother; otherwise He has no further business in Vṛndāvana. He is now in town. What does He have to know about Vṛndāvana village or the cows’ pasturing grounds? These are not at all useful for Kṛṣṇa because He is now a man of the city.
“Surely He has nothing to do with persons who do not happen to be His family members. Friendships with those outside the family continue as long as there is some selfish interest in them; otherwise, why should one bother about those outside the family? Specifically, a person attached to the wives of others is interested in them as long as there is a need of sense gratification, just as bumblebees have interest in flowers as long as they want to take the honey out of them. It is psychologically very natural that a prostitute does not care for her paramour as soon as he loses his money. Similarly, when the citizens find that a government is incapable of giving them full protection, they leave the country. A student, after finishing his education, gives up his relationship with the teacher and the school. A priest, after taking his reward from the worshiper, gives him up. When the fruit season is over, birds are no longer interested in the tree. Just after eating in the house of a host, the guest gives up his relationship with him. After a forest fire, when there is a scarcity of green grass, deer and other animals give up the forest. And so a man, after enjoying his girlfriend, gives up his connection with her.” In this way, all the gopīs indirectly accused Kṛṣṇa by citing many examples.
Uddhava understood that the gopīs of Vṛndāvana were all simply absorbed in the thought of Kṛṣṇa and His childhood activities. While talking about Kṛṣṇa with Uddhava, they forgot all about their household business. They even forgot about themselves as their interest in Kṛṣṇa increased more and more.
One of the gopīs, namely Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, was so much absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa by dint of Her personal touch with Him that She actually began to talk with a bumblebee which was flying there and trying to touch Her lotus feet. While the other gopīs were talking with Kṛṣṇa’s messenger Uddhava, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī took that bumblebee to be a messenger from Kṛṣṇa and began to talk with it as follows: “Bumblebee, you are accustomed to drinking honey from flower to flower, and therefore you have preferred to be a messenger of Kṛṣṇa, who is of the same nature as you. I can see on your mustaches the red powder of kuṅkuma which was smeared on the flower garland of Kṛṣṇa while it was pressed against the breasts of some other girl who is My competitor. You feel very proud because of having touched that garland, and your mustaches have become reddish. You have come here carrying a message for Me, anxious to touch My feet. But My dear bumblebee, let Me warn you—don’t touch Me! I don’t want any messages from your unreliable master. You are the unreliable servant of an unreliable master.” It may be that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī purposely addressed the bumblebee sarcastically in order to indirectly criticize the messenger Uddhava. Like the other gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī saw that Uddhava’s bodily features resembled Kṛṣṇa’s, but She also saw Uddhava as being equal to Kṛṣṇa. Indirectly, therefore, She indicated that Uddhava was as unreliable as Kṛṣṇa Himself. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī wanted to give specific reasons why She was dissatisfied with Kṛṣṇa and His messenger.