tasam madhye dvayor dvayoh
kanthe sva-nikatam striyah
yam manyeran nabhas tavad
The festive rasa dance commenced, with the gopis arrayed in a circle. Lord Krsna expanded Himself and entered between each pair of gopis, and as that master of mystic power placed His arms around their necks, each girl thought He was standing next to her alone. The demigods and their wives were overwhelmed with eagerness to witness the rasa dance, and they soon crowded the sky with their hundreds of celestial airplanes.
Srila Bilvamangala Thakura has written the following verse about the rasa dance:
anganam anganam antara madhavo
madhavam madhavam cantarenanganah
ittham akalpite mandale madhya-gah
sañjagau venuna devaki-nandanah
“Lord Madhava was situated between each pair of gopis, and a gopi was situated between each pair of His manifestations. And Sri Krsna, the son of Devaki, also appeared in the middle of the circle, playing upon His flute and singing.”
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura points out that the gopis, maddened by love, were unable to understand that Sri Krsna had expanded Himself so He could personally dance with each of them. Each gopi saw one manifestation of Krsna. The demigods and their wives, however, could see all His different manifestations as they watched the rasa dance from their airplanes, and thus they were completely astonished.