[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Around the World, Holland 1996, the first book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]
Krsna told them, “You should return to your husbands. Don’t be here.”
Then how were the gopis married to Krsna? You should know that in Indian culture i.e. Vedic culture, an upanayana-samskara is done firstly. Do you know what upanayana means? It means the sacred thread-giving ceremony conducted in front of a sacrificial fire. And after that, marriage is done. Without this, marriage cannot be done. We all know that the upanayana-samskara and the sacrificial fire ceremony for Krsna was done in Mathura and not in Vrndavana. So how could it be said that Krsna was married in Vrndavana? So, the marriage was not done. Rupa Gosvami, Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, and all are of this idea. This is called parakiya-bhava, the mood of paramour love. In Indian culture or Vedic culture, after marriage, the wife becomes like a dasi (maidservant). And she is controlled by her husband. The husband has the power to tell his wife, “You should get out of my home.” And she cannot tell anything if she is a chaste lady.