The gopis may be divided into three groups : 1. Gopi friends of the same age as Krsna, 2. maidservants and 3. gopi messengers.

Learned scholars have also divided Lord Krsna's associates into the following nine categories : 1. yutha, 2. kula, 3. mandala, 4. varga, 5. gana, 6. samavaya, 7. sancaya, 8. samaja, 9. and samanvaya.

Of the three kinds of gopi associates of the Lord of the three kinds of gopi associates of the Lord, the first group, Krsna's contemporary gopi friends, are the most exalted, the second group, the maidservants are the next most exalted, and the gopi messengers come after them. These three groups correspond to the groups mentioned as samaja, mandala and gana respectively. The first group, Krsna's contemporary gopi friends, may be further divided into varistha (the most exalted ) and vara (exalted).

The varistha gopis are more famous than all the others. They are eternally the intimate friends of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. No one can equal or exceed the love they bear for the divine couple.

Of all Krsna's friends, the varistha gopis are the most worshipable. They are decorated with incomparable transcendental qualities, bodily beauty and all other charming opulences.

Krsna's contemporary gopi friends decorate their own dear friend Srimati Radharani. They cheat their husbands parents and other guardians (by going to meet Radha and Krsna) and they take Srimati Radharani's side when she has a lover's quarrel with Lord Hari.

These gopis assist Radha and Krsna in Their secret rendezvous. These gopis serve palatable meals to the divine couple and afterward relish tasting the remnants left by Them. These gopis carefully guard the secret of Radha's and Krsna's confidential pastimes together.

Their minds are pure and they are very expert and intelligent. They serve Radha and Krsna very appropriately. They glorify their own group and criticize the followers of Candravali, Radharani's rival.

They please Radha and Krsna by expertly singing, dancing and playing instrumental music. At the appropriate time they beg to be engaged in various appropriate services.

For the most part the learned devotees know about these activities of Krsna's gopi friends. All the gopis are aware of these and all the other similar services and they actively serve Radha and Krsna by performing these activities.

The gopis who are close associates of the divine couple are directly engaged in these services, whereas other gopis are not.

Some gopis serve the divine couple in the garden known as Madanonmadini among the flowering creepers, betel creepers and betel trees. Some gopis are expert at playing various magic tricks, some are expert at composing riddles and some are appointed to provide betel nuts for the divine couple. All these gopis are the servants of Srimati Radharani.

Other gopis are specifically the friends of Lord Baladeva. Lalita-devi is the leader and controller of all these exalted and worshipable young gopis. 

Srimati Radharani's rival is Candravali. Among Candravali's friends are Padma, Syama, Saibya, Bhadra, Vicitra, Gopali, Palika, Candrasalika, Mangala, Vimala, Lila, Taralaksi, Manorama, Kandarpa-manjari, Manjubhasini, Khanjaneksana, Kumuda, Kairavi, Sari, Saradaksi, Visarada, Sankari, Kunkuma, Krsna, Sarangi, Indravali, Siva, Taravali, Gunavati, Sumukhi, Keli-manjari, Haravali, Cakoraksi, Bharati and Kamala.

The beautiful gopis may be considered in hundreds of groups, each group containing hundreds of thousands of gopis.

Among all these gopis the most important are Srimati Radharani, Candravali, Bhadra, Syama and Palika. These gopis are full of all transcendental good qualities.

Of these gopis Srimati Radharani and Candravali are the best. Each of them has millions of doe-eyed gopi followers.

Because She possesses all charm and sweetness, Srimati Radharani is the better of the two. She is supremely famous. In the Sruti-sastra She is known by the name Gandharva-devi.

Lalita-devi and the other eight principal gopis, the other gopis and the manjari have forms that are for the most part like the transcendental form of Srimati Radharani, the queen of Vrndavana. (SSRKGD)

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