Once upon a time, in the village of Vrindavan, there lived a young cowherd boy named Krishna. He was known for his mischievous nature and playful demeanor. Krishna was particularly fond of the gopis, the young cowherd girls of the village.
As the winter season approached, the gopis decided to undertake a month-long vow to worship the goddess Devi Katyayani. The purpose of this vow was to seek Krishna as their husband. They would wake up early in the morning, bathe in the river, and offer prayers to the goddess.
One day, while the gopis were bathing in the river, they left their clothes on the bank and entered the water. Krishna, who had heard about their vow, saw this as an opportunity to play a prank. He gathered up all their clothes and climbed up a nearby tree with them.
From the top of the tree, Krishna called out to the girls, pretending to offer help. He told them that he would return their clothes to them, but they had to come out of the water to retrieve them. The gopis were hesitant, but eventually, they came out of the water, covering themselves with their hands.
Krishna was not satisfied with this, and he scolded the girls for bathing in the river without clothes. He told them that they needed to perform a ritual to atone for their sins. He asked them to place their hands on their heads and prostrate on the ground.
The gopis were embarrassed, but they did as Krishna asked. Krishna returned their clothes, but not before reminding them that any sensual attraction towards him would be destroyed by association with him.
Although the gopis were initially ashamed, Krishna had destroyed their sense of shame. This was one of the fetters that kept their souls from attaining the Lord. Krishna's mischievous act had ultimately led to their spiritual upliftment.
As promised, in the autumn, Krishna fulfilled the gopis' vow by dancing with them under the full moon. His playful nature had led the gopis to the path of spiritual devotion, and they were grateful to him for it.