(Click to enlarge painting of Krishna and the gopis)
"The gopīs have set the standard of devotion for the whole world. One who follows in the footsteps of the gopīs by constantly thinking of Kṛṣṇa can attain the highest perfectional stage of spiritual life. The gopīs were born not of any highly cultured family but of cowherd men, yet they developed the highest love of Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Supreme Brahman. For self-realization or God realization there is no need to take birth in a high family. The only thing needed is development of ecstatic love of God. For achieving perfection in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, no qualification is required other than to be constantly engaged in the loving service of Kṛṣṇa, the supreme nectar, the reservoir of all pleasure. The effect of taking up Kṛṣṇa consciousness is just like that of drinking nectar: with or without one’s knowledge, it will act. The active principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness will equally manifest itself everywhere; it does not matter how and where one has taken his birth. Kṛṣṇa will bestow His benediction upon anyone who takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, without any doubt."