Kṛṣṇa’s cowherd friends love Him so much. If Kṛṣṇa would disappear behind a tree even for one-eleventh of a second, they would bitterly cry, “O Kṛṣṇa! O Kṛṣṇa!” They have so much affection for Him that they cannot tolerate Him leaving for even one moment. When Nanda Bābā took Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma to Mathurā, all the cowherd boys, like Śrīdāma, Subala, and Madhumaṅgala, went with Him. One second felt to them like a catur-yuga, so many hundreds of thousands of years.
Only one who has mamatā, a sense of possessiveness, towards Kṛṣṇa, thinking “Kṛṣṇa is mine,” can experience this viraha, mood of separation. In order to be able to possess this mamatā, one must first have such feelings toward Śrī Gurudeva and the Vaiṣṇavas. We must first develop a relationship with Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, and then prema towards Kṛṣṇa can manifest in our hearts. There should be no self-interest at all. We see these days that, due to the influence of time, there is no prema at all, rather there is only self-interest. Prema is only available in the spiritual world.
September 05, 2003 Mathurā