The gopīs, having been instructed by Kṛṣṇa in this philosophy of simultaneous oneness and difference, remained always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and thus became liberated from all material contamination. The consciousness of the living entity who falsely presents himself as the enjoyer of the material world is called jīva-kośa, which means imprisonment by the false ego. Not only the gopīs but anyone who follows these instructions of Kṛṣṇa is immediately freed from the jīva-kośa imprisonment. A person in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness is always liberated from false egoism; he utilizes everything for Kṛṣṇa’s service and is not at any time separated from Kṛṣṇa.
The gopīs therefore prayed to Kṛṣṇa, “Dear Kṛṣṇa, from Your navel emanated the original lotus flower, which is the birthsite of Brahmā, the creator. No one can estimate Your glories or Your opulence, which therefore remain always a mystery even to the highest thoughtful men, the masters of all yogic power. However, the conditioned soul fallen in the dark well of this material existence can very easily take shelter of Your lotus feet. Thus his deliverance is guaranteed.”
The gopīs continued: “Dear Kṛṣṇa, we are always busy in our family affairs. We therefore request that You remain within our hearts as the rising sun. That will be Your greatest benediction.” The gopīs are always liberated souls because they are fully in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They only pretended to be entangled in household affairs in Vṛndāvana. Because of their separation from Kṛṣṇa, He might have asked them to return with Him to His capital city, Dvārakā. But the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, the gopīs, were not interested in the idea of going with Kṛṣṇa to Dvārakā. They wanted to remain busy in Vṛndāvana and thus feel the presence of Kṛṣṇa in every step of their lives. They immediately invited Kṛṣṇa to come back to Vṛndāvana. This transcendental emotional existence of the gopīs is the basic principle of Lord Caitanya’s teaching. The Ratha-yātrā festival observed by Lord Caitanya is the emotional process of taking Kṛṣṇa back to Vṛndāvana. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī refused to go with Kṛṣṇa to Dvārakā to enjoy His company in the atmosphere of royal opulence, for She wanted to enjoy His company in the original Vṛndāvana atmosphere. Lord Kṛṣṇa, being profoundly attached to the gopīs, never goes away from Vṛndāvana, and the gopīs and other residents of Vṛndāvana remain fully satisfied in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.