The daughters of the cowherd men in Vrindavana who were of marriageable age worshiped goddess Katyayani to get Lord Krishna as their husband.
Each of the young unmarried girls performed her worship while chanting the following mantra. “O goddess Katyayani, O great potency of the Lord, O possessor of great mystic power and mighty controller of all, please make the son of Nanda Maharaja my husband. I offer my obeisances unto you.”
Every day early in the morning, in the month of Margashirsha, the young gopis would go to the river Yamuna by holding hands and singing Krishna’s transcendental qualities, to bathe in the river. With a desire to obtain Krishna as their husband, they would then worship goddess Katyayani with incense, flowers and other paraphernalia.
In the course of one such day, the young gopis left their garments on the shore as usual and began playing in the water while narrating Lord Krishna’s pastimes. All of a sudden, Krishna Himself arrived there and took away all the garments of the gopis which were left on the shore and climbed a nearby Kadamba tree. With the intention of teasing the gopis, Krishna said, “I understand how tired you are from your austerities, so please come to the shore to take back your clothes.”
Pretending to be angry, the gopis said that the cold water of the Yamuna was giving them great pain and if Krishna did not return their garments, they would inform King Kamsa of all that had happened. However, if He did return their clothes, they would willingly carry out His orders as humble servants.
Krishna said that He had no fear of Kamsa, and if the gopis really intended to follow His orders and be His maid servants they should immediately come on to the shore one by one and take their respective garments. The gopis, trembling from the cold, came out of the water with their hands covering their modesty. Feeling great affection towards them, Krishna said, “While executing a vow you bathed in the water naked, and hence you have committed an offense against the demigods, and to counteract it you should offer obeisances with joined palms. Then your vow of austerity will give you the desired result.”
Following His instructions, the gopis, folding their hands in respect, offered obeisances to Krishna. Thus satisfied, He returned their garments. The young girls had become so attracted to Him that they could not leave. Understanding their minds, Krishna said that He knew they had worshiped goddess Katyayani to get Him as their husband. He told them that next autumn, their desire would be fulfilled. Satisfied, the gopis returned to Vraja.