mādhavy atha kṣitipa-patnya uta sva-gopyaḥ
kṛṣṇe ’khilātmani harau praṇayānubandhaṁ
sarvā visismyur alam aśru-kalākulākṣyaḥ
Draupadī is the chief hearer in this assembly of exalted women, since, as explained by Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, she had asked the question that Lord Kṛṣṇa’s queens answered by relating their respective stories. Since Gāndhārī and the other ladies named here were not even mentioned in the previous chapter as having been present, Ācārya Śrīdhara concludes that they must have heard the queens’ narrations only secondhand. Indeed, Draupadī would never have spoken so freely in the presence of Pṛthā and Gāndhārī, her elders, or before the gopīs, whose attitude toward the queens of Dvārakā was not particularly sympathetic. Even though the gopīs joined in shedding tears, it was more because of their being reminded of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes than because of any loving affinity between them and the queens.
We should remember, of course, that there is always perfect harmony on the spiritual platform. Apparent conflict between pure devotees is nothing like mundane envy and strife. The jealousy of the gopīs was more show than substance, being exhibited by them as an ecstatic symptom of their overflowing love for Kṛṣṇa. Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmipāda further analyzes the phrase sva-gopyaḥ as implying that these gopīs were the queens’ sva-svarūpa, the original prototypes of whom the queens were specific expansions.