The gopis may be divided into three groups : 1. Gopi
friends of the same age as Krsna, 2. maidservants and 3. gopi messengers.
Learned scholars have also divided Lord Krsna's
associates into the following nine categories : 1. yutha, 2. kula, 3.
mandala, 4. varga, 5. gana, 6. samavaya, 7. sancaya, 8. samaja, 9. and
Of the three kinds of gopi associates of the Lord of
the three kinds of gopi associates of the Lord, the first group, Krsna's
contemporary gopi friends, are the most exalted, the second group, the
maidservants are the next most exalted, and the gopi messengers come after
them. These three groups correspond to the groups mentioned as samaja,
mandala and gana respectively. The first group, Krsna's contemporary gopi
friends, may be further divided into varistha (the most exalted ) and vara
The varistha gopis are more famous than all the others.
They are eternally the intimate friends of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. No one can
equal or exceed the love they bear for the divine couple.
Of all Krsna's friends, the varistha gopis are the most
worshipable. They are decorated with incomparable transcendental qualities,
bodily beauty and all other charming opulences.
Krsna's contemporary gopi friends decorate their own
dear friend Srimati Radharani. They cheat their husbands parents and other
guardians (by going to meet Radha and Krsna) and they take Srimati
Radharani's side when she has a lover's quarrel with Lord Hari.
These gopis assist Radha and Krsna in Their secret
rendezvous. These gopis serve palatable meals to the divine couple and
afterward relish tasting the remnants left by Them. These gopis carefully
guard the secret of Radha's and Krsna's confidential pastimes together.
Their minds are pure and they are very expert and
intelligent. They serve Radha and Krsna very appropriately. They glorify
their own group and criticize the followers of Candravali, Radharani's
They please Radha and Krsna by expertly singing,
dancing and playing instrumental music. At the appropriate time they beg
to be engaged in various appropriate services.
For the most part the learned devotees know about these
activities of Krsna's gopi friends. All the gopis are aware of these and
all the other similar services and they actively serve Radha and Krsna by
performing these activities.
The gopis who are close associates of the divine couple
are directly engaged in these services, whereas other gopis are not.
Some gopis serve the divine couple in the garden known
as Madanonmadini among the flowering creepers, betel creepers and betel
trees. Some gopis are expert at playing various magic tricks, some are
expert at composing riddles and some are appointed to provide betel nuts
for the divine couple. All these gopis are the servants of Srimati
Other gopis are specifically the friends of Lord
Baladeva. Lalita-devi is the leader and controller of all these exalted
and worshipable young gopis.
Srimati Radharani's rival is Candravali. Among
Candravali's friends are Padma, Syama, Saibya, Bhadra, Vicitra, Gopali,
Palika, Candrasalika, Mangala, Vimala, Lila, Taralaksi, Manorama,
Kandarpa-manjari, Manjubhasini, Khanjaneksana, Kumuda, Kairavi, Sari,
Saradaksi, Visarada, Sankari, Kunkuma, Krsna, Sarangi, Indravali, Siva,
Taravali, Gunavati, Sumukhi, Keli-manjari, Haravali, Cakoraksi, Bharati
The beautiful gopis may be considered in hundreds of
groups, each group containing hundreds of thousands of gopis.
Among all these gopis the most important are Srimati
Radharani, Candravali, Bhadra, Syama and Palika. These gopis are full of
all transcendental good qualities.
Of these gopis Srimati Radharani and Candravali are the
best. Each of them has millions of doe-eyed gopi followers.
Because She possesses all charm and sweetness, Srimati
Radharani is the better of the two. She is supremely famous. In the
Sruti-sastra She is known by the name Gandharva-devi.
Lalita-devi and the other eight principal gopis, the
other gopis and the manjari have forms that are for the most part like the
transcendental form of Srimati Radharani, the queen of Vrndavana. (SSRKGD)