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The chapter thus concludes with Krsna's commending the gopls' ardent devotion, even as he says that he cannot return their love, thereby making the lack of mutuality in their relationship both inevitable and explicit, and elaborating the purpose of viraha.
Satisfied by his response, and by his body, the gopls escape the "pain born of separation" (10.33.1) in praising and fondling Krsna (10.33.7-16), and Krsna enjoys himself likewise.
He who dwells within the gopls, their husbands, and all embodied beings is the Overseer enjoying a body here in play.
Immediately invoking yogamaya also serves to differentiate Krsna's behavior from the ordinary erotic play of impassioned teenagers: to be sure, the gopls -are not even mentioned in the Bhagavata in relation to Krsna's deliberate decision, in sharp contrast to his spontaneous reaction to seeing the adolescent girls in the Harivamsa.
Although the precise meaning of rati remains unclear, the Bhagavata, like the Harivamsa, unmistakably celebrates the sensual, shared delights between Krsna and the gopls. Once Krsna decides to enjoy, he effortlessly attracts the gopls fond of (sexual) pleasures {ratipriyah, 10.33.9), and together they sing (10.29.44, 10.33.10), dance (10.33.2-3, 16), play in the water (10.33.24), and generally enjoy (Vram) together (10.29.45, 10.33.20).
Though some gopls are trapped in their homes, they unite with their lover (jam) in meditation (10.29.11), and though they know him only as the supreme beloved (param kantam) they attain liberation (10.29.12).
Although the Bhagavata adds in the same verse that the gopls are 'free from sorrow' (visokd) as they sing about their departed beloved, the text nevertheless portrays their continual suffering when Krsna's messenger-friend Uddhava later comes to Vraja and attempts to console the impassioned gopls with philosophical messages from their lover.
Uddhava sees things differently, however, when he responds to the gopls "ardently longing for a glimpse of Krsna" (krsnadarsanalalasah, 10.47.22): by good fortune (distya), he says, the gopls have abandoned everything and chosen Krsna (10.47.26), and precisely 'because of separation' (virahena) they devoted themselves completely (10.47.27).
That Krsna is not sensually attached to the gopls, or to anyone, is made emphatically clear in a variety of more explicit ways throughout the Bhdgavata, as I have already documented above.
Within the context of 10.22, moreover, the gopls could potentially become Krsna's legitimate wives, for they are still daughters (darika, 10.22.17) and unmarried virginal girls (kumarika, 10.22.1, 4, 28; kumari 10.22.5).
Quite unlike the Harivamsa's gopis, then, the Bhdgavata's gopls are celebrated for their shameless adoration, their constant anxious longing, their intense suffering, and their self-effacing servitude.
The Para-Bhakti of the Gopls in the Rasa-UIa Pancadhyayl.