When Krishna dances with the Gopikas, they think they are unsurpassed in beauty. Why else would Krishna dance with them? But even our love for the Lord should be without pride, said Adur Asuri Madhavachari.
Krishna wants to teach the Gopikas a lesson. So He suddenly disappears from their midst, leaving them aching for His company. They set about looking for Him. Even as they keep wandering about the forest looking for Him, the Gopikas see the footprints of Krishna. They know they are His footprints because they notice the imprints of the conch and discus in the footprints. They follow the footprints.
After some time, they notice another pair of footprints, beside His. These seem like the footprints of a woman. So they come to the conclusion that Krishna must have come across a woman more beautiful than them, and has gone into the forest with her. After some more distance, they notice that the footprints of the woman disappear and only those of Krishna are seen. They think that Kishna, taken in by the beauty of the newcomer, must have carried her on His shoulder and walked away.
But even as they are wondering what to make of it all, they hear the cries of a woman. Looking up, they find her suspended from a tree. She narrates what happened to her. Krishna had come along and spoken sweetly to her. In her pride, she had thought that Krishna had approached her because there was no greater beauty than her. She had then asked Krishna to hoist her on His shoulders, and when He had obliged, she had felt her guess was right, and Krishna really was captivated by her beauty. Krishna then pointed to a tree with lovely flowers and suggested that, standing up on His shoulders, she bend a branch with one hand and pluck the flowers with the other. The moment she stood up on His shoulder and held on to the branch, He moved away, leaving her suspended from the tree and hanging on to it for dear life. Krishna taught her a lesson, and through her the Gopikas also learnt the lesson that devotion with pride does not please the Lord.