so ’ham nrpendra rahitah purusottamena
sakhya priyena suhrda hrdayena sunyah
adhvany urukrama-parigraham anga raksan
gopair asadbhir abaleva vinirjito ’smi
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
O Emperor, now I am separated from my friend and dearmost well-wisher, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore my heart appears to be void of everything. In His absence I have been defeated by a number of infidel cowherd men while I was guarding the bodies of all the wives of Krsna.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
The important point in this verse is how it was possible that Arjuna could be defeated by a gang of ignoble cowherd men and how such mundane cowherd men could touch the bodies of the wives of Lord Krsna, who were under the protection of Arjuna. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has justified the contradiction by research in the Visnu Purana and Brahma Purana. In these Puranas it is said that once the fair denizens of heaven pleased Astavakra Muni by their service and were blessed by the muni to have the Supreme Lord as their husband. Astavakra Muni was curved in eight joints of his body, and thus he used to move in a peculiar curved manner. The daughters of the demigods could not check their laughter upon seeing the movements of the muni, and the muni, being angry at them, cursed them that they would be kidnapped by rogues, even if they would get the Lord as their husband. Later on, the girls again satisfied the muni by their prayers, and the muni blessed them that they would regain their husband even after being robbed by the rogues. So, in order to keep the words of the great muni, the Lord Himself kidnapped His wives from the protection of Arjuna, otherwise they would have at once vanished from the scene as soon as they were touched by the rogues. Besides that, some of the gopis who prayed to become wives of the Lord returned to their respective positions after their desire was fulfilled. After the departure of Lord Krsna, He wanted all His entourage back to Godhead, and they were called back under different conditions only.