When a person is confused by simultaneous happiness and tribulation and does not know what to do, this state of confusion is called pralaya, or devastation. In this condition of pralaya one sometimes falls down on the ground, and all the symptoms of ecstatic love become manifest. When the gopīs were searching after Kṛṣṇa and all of a sudden He came out from the bushes and creepers, all of them became stunned and almost senseless. In this state the gopīs appeared very beautiful. This is an example of pralaya, or devastation, in happiness.
There are also instances of pralaya in distress. One such example is described in the Tenth Canto, thirty-ninth chapter, verse 15 of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, wherein Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells King Parīkṣit, “My dear King, when the gopīs were missing Kṛṣṇa, they were so much absorbed in meditation upon Him that all of their senses stopped functioning and they lost all bodily sense. It was as though they had become liberated from all material conditions.”
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