We think we have bhakti, and we even tell people about how devoted we are. But of what kind is this bhakti that we profess to have? The moment we face difficulties in life, we begin to blame the One whom we have so diligently worshipped all along. We begin to question if there is any use having bhakti towards Him. This is not bhakti as it should be. We must never seek anything from Him, except moksha. Simple, unquestioning bhakti is true bhakti, not the bhakti that wavers. The Gopikas were among the few who showed such bhakti and unquestioning love towards the Supreme One, said Akkarakkani Srinidhi, in a discourse.
Akrura went to Brindavan to bring Krishna to Mathura. The love of the Gopikas for the Lord was immense. When Akrura went to Brindavan to fetch Krishna, the Gopikas saw Akrura as an enemy, for he was there to take their beloved Krishna away. In their previous birth, the Gopikas had been sages in Dandakaranya during the Lord’s avatara as Rama.
Sages like Narada wondered what Krishna saw in the Gopikas, who were uneducated. They said mockingly that the Gopikas did not know the difference between the right and left hands. Krishna, therefore, felt He had to show these sages that the devotion of the sages could never match that of the Gopikas. So he staged a little drama. He pretended that He was ill. The sages enquired if they could bring some medicines for Him. He said there was only one cure for His illness. “If the dust from the feet of those who love Me is applied on my body, I will be cured.”
The sages did love Him but were afraid of putting the dust from their feet on the Lord. Would that not amount to a grave sin? Fearing the consequences of such an act, the sages fell silent. But the moment the Gopikas knew what was needed to cure Krishna, they unhesitatingly collected cartloads of dust that had stuck to their feet and brought it to Krishna. They were not worried about what the sin of putting dust from their feet on the body of the Supreme One would do to them. All they knew was that they could not watch in silence when their dear Krishna was ill. Such selfless bhakti is true bhakti.