If we have a task to perform but due to some obstacle we cannot complete it, we simply return home. But the gopis were searching for Krsna everywhere, asking the vines, trees, tulasi, and the deer if they had seen Him; still they could not find Him anywhere. But did they return to their homes? Even though they could not find Him, their homes and families had been completely forgotten.
They became so absorbed in thinking of Him that it was as if they were possessed by ghosts. Taking on Krsna’s identity, they began imitating His activities and saying to one another, “How beautiful is my gait? How beautifully do I play the flute?” At that time they didn’t know what they were doing, and this is what is meant by ‘tan-manaskas’. They became so absorbed in Krsna that their natures changed like iron put into a fire and they forgot everything.
Bhakti Rasayana page 92