krsnam viduh param kantam
na tu brahmataya mune
tasam guna-dhiyam katham
Sri Pariksit Maharaja said: O sage, the gopis knew Krsna only as their lover, not as the Supreme Absolute Truth. So how could these girls, their minds caught up in the waves of the modes of nature, free themselves from material attachment?
King Pariksit was sitting in an assembly of great sages and other important personalities, listening to the words of Sukadeva Gosvami. According to Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti, as Sukadeva began speaking of the gopis’ conjugal love for Krsna, the King noticed the expressions on the faces of some of the more materialistic persons present there and realized the doubt lurking in their hearts. Therefore, although the King thoroughly knew the purport of Sukadeva’s words, he presented himself as experiencing personal doubt so that he could eradicate the doubt of others. That is why he asked this question.