When we finally go to the spiritual world, it’s transcendental, and then you have different levels of the spiritual world, where in the Vaikunta planets the devotees of the Lord worship Lord Narayana with awe and reverence and with great pomp, majesty and very formally.
Then you go to Ayodhya where Sita, Rama, Lakshmana and Hanuman are there, where Sita-Rama are being worshipped. It is a little less formal, because Rama is playing the part of a king but is more approachable than Lord Narayana.
Then you come to Krishna loka, and there you find in Dwaraka, Krishna is the part of a king. He is more approachable than Rama, but at the same time, a little formal.
When the Gopis met Krishna in Kurukshetra, they said, “We don’t want to be with You as a prince, we want You to come back to Vrindavana, where you were just like a cowherd boy.” So from the Gopis’ point of view, and for the residents of Vrindavana, they didn’t like to see Krishna as a young prince, they liked to see Krishna as a cowherd boy.
So in Vrindavana, Krishna is playing in a very casual loving manner. There is no formality at all. It is the opposite of Vaikunta. Everything is spontaneous there.
Krishna’s father and mother don’t even think of Him as God. They are just serving Krishna in spontaneous parental affection. His friends don’t think Krishna is God; they just think that Krishna is our friend, He is our dear most friend and they are playing with Krishna as equals.”HH Jayapataka Swami From the book: Taking Shelter of Krishna
Courtesy: Mathuradesh Publications