Uddhava minutely studied the transcendental abnormal condition of the gopīs in their separation from Kṛṣṇa, and he thought it wise to repeat again and again all the pastimes they had enjoyed with Him. Materialistic persons are always burning in a blazing fire of material miseries. The gopīs were burning in a transcendental blazing fire due to separation from Kṛṣṇa. The blazing fire exasperating the gopīs, however, is different from the fire of the material world. The gopīs constantly wanted the association of Kṛṣṇa, whereas materialistic persons constantly want the advantage of material comforts.
It is stated by Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura that Kṛṣṇa saved the cowherd boys from the blazing forest fire within a second, while their eyes were closed. Similarly, Uddhava advised the gopīs that they could be saved from the fire of separation by closing their eyes and meditating on the activities of Kṛṣṇa from the very beginning of their association with Him. From the outside, the gopīs could visualize all the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa by hearing the descriptions of Uddhava, and from within they could remember those pastimes. From the instructions of Uddhava, the gopīs could understand that Kṛṣṇa was not separate from them. As they were constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa was also thinking of them constantly at Mathurā.
Uddhava's messages and instructions saved the gopīs from immediate death, and the gopīs acknowledged the benediction from Uddhava. Uddhava practically acted as the preceptor spiritual master of the gopīs, and in return they worshiped him as they would worship Kṛṣṇa. It is recommended in authoritative scriptures that the spiritual master be worshiped on the level of the Supreme Personality of Godhead because of being His very confidential servitor, and it is accepted by great authorities that the spiritual master is the external manifestation of Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs were relieved from their transcendental burning condition by realizing that Kṛṣṇa was with them. Internally, they remembered His association within their hearts, and externally Uddhava helped them associate with Kṛṣṇa by his conclusive instructions.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is described in the scriptures as adhokṣaja, which indicates that He is beyond the perception of all material senses. Although beyond the material senses, He is present in everyone's heart. At the same time, He is present everywhere by His all-pervasive feature of Brahman. One can realize all three transcendental features of the Absolute Truth (Bhagavān, the Personality of Godhead; Paramātmā, the localized Supersoul; and the all-pervasive Brahman) simply by studying the condition of the gopīs in their meeting with Uddhava, as described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
It is said by Śrīnivāsācārya that the six Gosvāmīs were always merged in thoughts of the activities of the gopīs. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has also recommended the gopīs' method of worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead as superexcellent. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī has also recommended that anyone who hears from the right source about the dealings of the gopīs with Kṛṣṇa and who follows the instructions laid down by the previous ācāryas will be elevated to the topmost position of devotional service and be able to give up the lust of material enjoyment.
All the gopīs were solaced by the instructions of Uddhava, and they requested him to stay in Vṛndāvana for a few days more. Uddhava agreed to their proposal and stayed with them not only for a few days but for a few months. He always kept them engaged in thinking of the transcendental message of Kṛṣṇa and His pastimes, and the gopīs felt as if they were experiencing direct association with Kṛṣṇa. While Uddhava remained in Vṛndāvana, the inhabitants enjoyed his association. As they discussed the activities of Kṛṣṇa, the days passed just like moments. Vṛndāvana's natural atmosphere, with the presence of the river Yamunā, its nice orchards of trees decorated with various fruits, Govardhana Hill, caves, blooming flowers—all combined to inspire Uddhava to narrate Kṛṣṇa's pastimes. The inhabitants enjoyed Uddhava's association in the same way that they enjoyed the association of Kṛṣṇa.
Uddhava was attracted by the attitude of the gopīs because they were completely attached to Kṛṣṇa, and he was inspired by the gopīs' anxiety for Kṛṣṇa. He offered them his respectful obeisances and composed songs in praise of their transcendental qualities as follows: “Among all the living entities who have accepted the human form of life, the gopīs are superexcellently successful in their mission. Their thought is eternally absorbed in the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. Great sages and we ourselves also try to be absorbed in meditation on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, but the gopīs, having lovingly accepted the Lord, are automatically accustomed to this and do not depend on any yogic practice. The conclusion is that one who has attained the gopīs' condition of life does not have to take birth as Lord Brahmā or be born in a brāhmaṇa family or be initiated as a brāhmaṇa.”
Śrī Uddhava confirmed Lord Kṛṣṇa's statement in the Bhagavad-gītā that one who takes shelter of Him for the right purpose, be that person a śūdra, a woman or a member of a low-grade family, will attain the highest goal of life. The gopīs have set the standard of devotion for the whole world. One who follows in the footsteps of the gopīs by constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa can attain the highest perfectional stage of spiritual life. The gopīs were born not of any highly cultured family but of cowherd men, yet they developed the highest love of Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supreme Brahman. For self-realization or God realization there is no need to take birth in a high family. The only thing needed is development of ecstatic love of God. For achieving perfection in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, no qualification is required other than to be constantly engaged in the loving service of Kṛṣṇa, the supreme nectar, the reservoir of all pleasure. The effect of taking up Kṛṣṇa consciousness is just like that of drinking nectar: with or without one's knowledge, it will act. The active principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness will equally manifest itself everywhere; it does not matter how and where one has taken his birth. Kṛṣṇa will bestow His benediction upon anyone who takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, without any doubt.
Uddhava continued: “The supreme benediction attained by the gopīs in spite of their being born in the families of cowherd men was never attained even by the goddess of fortune herself, and certainly not by the denizens of heaven, though the bodily scent of the women there is exactly like the scent of the lotus. The gopīs are so fortunate that during the rāsa-līlā Kṛṣṇa personally embraced them with His arms and kissed them face to face. Certainly it is not possible for any women in the three worlds to achieve this except the gopīs.
"Therefore I wish to take birth as one of the plants or creepers in Vṛndāvana, who are so fortunate that the gopīs trample them. The gopīs have so lovingly served Kṛṣṇa, Mukunda Himself, the giver of liberation, who is searched after by great sages and saintly persons. For His sake they left everything—their families, their children, their friends, their homes and all worldly connections."
Uddhava appreciated the exalted position of the gopīs and wished to fall down and take the dust of their feet on his head. Yet he dared not ask the gopīs to offer the dust from their feet; perhaps they would not be agreeable. Therefore, to have his head smeared with the dust of the gopīs' feet without their knowledge, he desired to become only an insignificant clump of grass or herbs in the land of Vṛndāvana.
The gopīs were so much attracted to Kṛṣṇa that when they heard the vibration of His flute they instantly left their homes, families, children, honor and feminine bashfulness and ran toward the place where Kṛṣṇa was standing. They did not consider whether they were passing over the road or through the jungles. Imperceptibly, the dust of their feet was bestowed on small grasses and herbs of Vṛndāvana. Not daring to place the dust of the gopīs' feet on his own head in this life, Uddhava aspired to have a future birth in Vṛndāvana in the position of a clump of grass or herbs. He would then be able to have the dust of the gopīs' feet.
Uddhava appreciated the extraordinary fortune of the gopīs, who were relieved of all material pangs and anxieties by placing on their beautiful high breasts the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, which are worshiped not only by the goddess of fortune but by such exalted demigods as Brahmā and Lord Śiva, and which great yogīs meditate upon within their hearts. Thus Uddhava prayed to be constantly honored by the dust from the lotus feet of the gopīs, whose chanting of Lord Kṛṣṇa's transcendental pastimes has become celebrated all over the three worlds.
After living in Vṛndāvana for some time, Uddhava desired to go back to Kṛṣṇa, and he begged permission to leave from Nanda Mahārāja and Yaśodā. He had a farewell meeting with the gopīs, and, taking permission from them also, he mounted his chariot to start for Mathurā.
When Uddhava was about to leave, all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, headed by Mahārāja Nanda and Yaśodā, came to bid him good-bye and presented him with various kinds of valuable goods secured in Vṛndāvana. They expressed their feelings with tears in their eyes due to intense attachment for Kṛṣṇa. All of them desired a benediction from Uddhava. They desired to always remember the glorious activities of Kṛṣṇa and wanted their minds to be always fixed upon His lotus feet, their words to be always engaged in glorifying Him, and their bodies to be always engaged in bowing down as they constantly remembered Him. This prayer of the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana is the superexcellent type of self-realization. The method is very simple: to fix the mind always on the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, to talk always of Kṛṣṇa without passing on to any other subject matter, and to engage the body in Kṛṣṇa's service constantly. Especially in this human form of life, one should engage his life, resources, words and intelligence for the service of the Lord. Only such activities can elevate a human being to the highest level of perfection. This is the verdict of all authorities.