” ‘But the reason I do not immediately reciprocate the affection of living beings even when they worship Me, O gopis, is that I want to intensify their loving devotion. They then become like a poor man who has gained some wealth and then lost it, and who thus becomes so anxious about it that he can think of nothing else’ (SB 10.32.20). It happens: We get something with great difficulty and then we lose it and become obsessed with the loss. Or we may take something for granted, and when we lose it we appreciate what we had.
“Then Krishna says, ‘My dear girls, understanding that simply for My sake you had rejected the authority of worldly opinion, of the Vedas, and of your relatives, I acted as I did only to increase your attachment to Me. Even when I removed Myself from your sight by suddenly disappearing, I never stopped loving you. Therefore, My beloved gopis, please do not harbor any bad feelings toward Me, your beloved’ (SB 10.32.21). Here Krishna is saying that it is not true that He did not reciprocate their love. He did, in such a way as to increase their attachment for Him. He was reciprocating—because the gopis‘, or any pure devotee’s, only desire is to love and serve Krishna and to increase their love for Him and their service to Him. And so by removing Himself from them He was reciprocating with their hearts’ deepest, innermost desire—to increase their love for Him.”
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Sarat Purnima and the First Night of Karttika