Narada's Aphorisms on Devotion Sutra-21
As the Shepherdess (Cowherd)
More interesting than separation and union is intimacy of the beloved towards lover when both of them are about to be separated.A great saint poet called Harivamsa describes this in a beautiful way in a verse.
Bhagavatam it self portrays most of the Shepherdess (cowherd) as parakiyas (belonging to other men or wives of other men) who have an immense love towards Krishna.Bhagavatam is bold enough to portray in this way for a simple reason that being an other man's wife one cannot have union with Krishna for ever, though she keeps the pure love towards Krishna in the heart.This is really a wonderful experience that develops deep love.
A Bhakti sadhaka prefers to feel himself as a Shepherdess (cowherd) who belongs to another man longing for Krishna in the secret heart, without revealing it to anybody, by which an immense love can be developed. This may appear to be extremely adharmic. Yes.It is surely adharmic if this feeling is developed towards a human being with flesh and blood.But when this is developed towards the Divine, very sincerely, that increases the immense love by which one goes to the spiritual heights.
Thus, to call love of shepherdesses (cowherd) with Krishna as a non-historical event is not at all wrong, because it is more than an history.