They immediately informed Nanda Mahārāja that Kaṁsa had invited all the cowherd men and boys to go to Mathurā to participate in the ceremony known as Dhanur-yajña. Kaṁsa wanted them all to go there to participate in the function. On Kṛṣṇa’s word, Nanda Mahārāja at once called for the cowherd men and asked them to collect milk and all kinds of milk products to present to the King in the ceremony. He also sent instructions to the police chief of Vṛndāvana to tell all the inhabitants about Kaṁsa’s great Dhanur-yajña function and invite them to join. Nanda Mahārāja informed the cowherd men that they would start the next morning. They therefore arranged for the cows and bulls to carry them all to Mathurā.
When the gopīs heard that Akrūra had come to take Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma away to Mathurā, they became overwhelmed with anxiety. Some of them became so aggrieved that their faces turned black and they began to breathe warmly and had palpitations of the heart. They discovered that their hair and clothes immediately loosened. Hearing the news that Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma were leaving for Mathurā, others, who were engaged in household duties, stopped working, as if they had forgotten everything, like a person who is called forth to die and leave this world at once. Others immediately fainted due to separation from Kṛṣṇa. Remembering His attractive smile and His talks with them, the gopīs became overwhelmed with grief. They all remembered the characteristics of the Personality of Godhead, how He moved within the area of Vṛndāvana and how, with joking words, He attracted all their hearts. Thinking of Kṛṣṇa and of their imminent separation from Him, the gopīs assembled together with heavily beating hearts. They were completely absorbed in thought of Kṛṣṇa, and with tears falling from their eyes, they spoke as follows.
“O Providence, you are so cruel! It appears that you do not know how to show mercy to others. By your arrangement, friends contact one another, but without fulfilling their desires you separate them. This is exactly like a child’s game that has no meaning. It is very abominable that you arrange to show us beautiful Kṛṣṇa, whose bluish curling hair beautifies His broad forehead and sharp nose, and who is always smiling to minimize all grief in this material world, and then arrange to separate Him from us. O Providence, you are so cruel! But most astonishingly you appear now as Akrūra, which means ‘not cruel.’ In the beginning we appreciated your workmanship in giving us these eyes to see the beautiful face of Kṛṣṇa, but now, just like a foolish creature, you are taking away our eyes by not letting us see Kṛṣṇa here anymore. Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja, is also very cruel! He must always have new friends; He does not like to keep friendship for a long time with anyone. We gopīs of Vṛndāvana, having left our homes, friends and relatives, have become Kṛṣṇa’s maidservants, but He is neglecting us and going away. He does not even look upon us, although we are completely surrendered unto Him. Now all the young girls in Mathurā will have the opportunity. They are expecting Kṛṣṇa’s arrival, and they will enjoy His sweet smiling face and will drink its honey. Although we know that Kṛṣṇa is very steady and determined, we are afraid that as soon as He sees the beautiful faces of the young girls in Mathurā, He will forget Himself. We fear He will become controlled by them and will forget us, for we are simple village girls. He will no longer be kind to us. We therefore do not expect Kṛṣṇa to return to Vṛndāvana. He will not leave the company of the girls in Mathurā.