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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Ananda Vrindavana Champu > 07 Bewilderment of Brahma

Chapter Seven

The Bewilderment of Lord Brahma



The Killing of Vatsasura


Upon reaching Vrndavana the cowherd men formed a temporary settle­ment.  Using their hundreds of bullock carts, they made a boundary wall in the  shape of a half circle (chatikara) extending from Kaliya-daha on the bank  of the Kalindi to Govardhana Hill, and North to the region of Nandisvara.  At that time, Nanda Maharaja's capital of Nandisvara and all its good  qualities had not yet manifested. As fire can merge within fire and water  can merge within water, similarly, the transcendental qualities of Nanda's  old capital of Mahavana entered into the temporary new capi­tal city at  Chatikara. Since the wealth of these two cities was one in all respects, then how can  I separately describe the wealth of Vrndavana? The varieties of exotic  birds singing and flying about there increased the enchantment of  Vrndavana. Deer and other animals roamed throughout the richly foli­ated  forests. The banks of the Yamuna glistened attractively, and the gor­geous  Govardhana Hill added a unique touch of majestic charm. Seeing the natural  and abundant beauty of Vrndavana delighted the hearts of all Nanda's  followers.


When Vrajaraja Nanda entered his private quarters, Upananda, Sunanda, and  other respected leaders entered their homes, the cows re­laxed in their  goshallas, and the florists, pan sellers, and merchants went into their  shops. The Vrajavasis could not conceive that everything had happened  perfectly by the will of the Lord. Beginning with the Pulindas  (aborigines), all the people in Vrndavana felt blissful just by performing  their usual domestic duties. As the cows enjoyed the plentiful supply of  fresh sweet grass, they soon forgot all about the pastures of Mahavana. Without their knowledge, the Vrajavasis had inherited the storehouse of  Kuvera's wealth and the eight jewels of mystic perfection. Concealing His  unlimited opulence (aisvarya), Krishna continued to perform His amaz­ing  pastimes in the role of an innocent child. Sometimes due to unavoid­able  circumstances Krishna revealed His hidden opulences.After living in  Chatikara for some time, Krishna displayed His pastime of tending cows (go  carana Ma). Although he had many gopas to care for his nine lacs of cows,  the King of Vrndavana had to yield to the repeated requests of his  mischievous son. Under the influence of Yogamaya Nanda Maharaja decided to  engage his beloved son Krishna in tending the cows.


Nanda and Yasoda forever exist as the unparalleled examples of  tran­scendental parental love. Hearing that her husband considered  engaging her tender son in such demanding work, Yasoda protested, "How can  you ask your son, who is still on His mother's breast, to accept such a  painful engagement?"

Then that wonderfully splendid boy who displays a sweet variety of  en­chanting pastimes spoke to His mother, "Mother, do not interfere with  My cherished desire to tend the cows. I will not listen to your words or  consider your feelings regarding this." Impatient due to His childish  na­ture, Krishna continued, "Mother please give Me permission. My friends  and I will experience great fun tending the cows. Is there anyone in this  world who would not enjoy such work?"

Hearing Krishna's words, mother Yasoda kept quiet and gave up her at­tempt  to stop Him. Vrajaraja Nanda was surprised by his wife's sudden silence  regarding this matter. Then he chose an auspicious day for Krishna to take  out the cows. That day Balarama and all the cowherd boys met in the  goshalla. After selecting some calves for Krishna, Nanda Maharaja handed Him  a red stick for controlling them. Seeing His mother and father following Him into the forest, Krishna asked  them to return home. He said, "We are experienced in tending calves. Do  not worry about us." His parents said, "Alright, but for today do not  wan­der far with the calves and come home soon." After preventing Nanda  and Yasoda from going any further, Krishna, Balarama, and the other boys  showed their expertise in tending the calves.


Krishna's ecstasy grew day by day as He joyfully tended the calves. As Krishna  wandered about, He covered Vrndavana with the syama blue color of His  bodily effulgence, which shone more brilliantly than a cluster of blue  lotus flowers. From all directions in the heavens the demigods watch­ing  Krishna's wonderful pastimes with the calves fell unconscious in bound­less  joy. Both the celestials and the Vrajavasis enjoyed the fun. The  as­tonishing pastimes of Krishna and Balarama continually filled their  parents with delight.Everyday before sunrise the kind-hearted Yasoda, who knows all moral laws  and can purify everyone in the three worlds, tenderly woke up Krishna. After  cleansing His mouth, she rubbed Krishna's with fragrant oil, bathed Him,  anointed His eyes with kajala, smeared His body with sandalwood pulp,  dressed Him, and decorated Him with valuable ornaments. Then she happily  fed Krishna many tasty, nourishing foods.Yasoda followed behind Krishna when  He went out with the cows. Brim­ming with parental love, Yasoda said,  "Krishna I will go with You to a par­ticular place and then return home."  After a short time, however, Krishna spoke some considerate words to prevent  Yasoda from going any further.



A splendid flower garland swung on Krishna's chest as He walked with His  brother and friends. Everyday they took the calves to a place full of  succu­lent grass. After tasting the fresh green grass the calves would  jump around in jubilation. Krishna passed His days absorbed in various  childhood pas­times with His calves and friends. Every morning Yasoda  prepared delicious food for Krishna and sent it out to the forest. That food  parcel contained enjoyable items that could be licked, chewed, drunk, and  sucked. The preparations were also warm and appealing. Upon receiving it,  Krishna, Haladhara, and cowherd boys sat down in a Circle and ate the food  while laughing and joking. After eating they continued tending the cows.  The ankle-bells of Krishna filled the forest with captivating sounds, and  the touch of His tender lotus feet stimulated the heart of Mother earth. In the late afternoon Krishna returned from the pastures with the boys and  calves. Yasoda, the wife of the crest-jewel of Vrndavana, eagerly waited  to receive her beloved son. Looking toward the forest and listening  atten­tively, she swelled with anticipation over His return. Engaging the  house­hold servants in other duties, mother Yasoda personally did the  service of cleansing Krishna's face and limbs when He came home. After  feeding Him some nourishing foods, she laid Krishna to rest on a jeweled  inlaid bedstead.


Once upon a time a demoniac follower of Kamsa, a devout worshiper of  Durga, disguised himself as a calf to mix with Krishna's calves. Just as an  open well concealed by tall grass waits to trap an unsuspecting bull  el­ephant, this demon pretended to be a friend, though actually he was a  thief. Krishna, the crest-jewel of omniscience, immediately recognized the  asura imposter and said to Balarama, "Hey Douji! Does this calf belong to  Vrndavana? Or is it a man disguised as a calf?" The playmates of Krishna  could not determine the calf's identity. With His left hand, which resembled a gentle lotus flower, Krishna caught  the demon by the hind legs, whirled Him overhead like a firebrand, and  smashed him to death in the top of a kapittha tree. Assuming a huge,  grotesque form, the demon immediately died. Krishna gave Brahman lib­eration  to that demon, who was a former mystic yogi. Brahma, Siva, and the other  demigods appreciated Krishna's effortless act of killing Vatsasura and came  to congratulate Him. An expert such as Krishna can easily per­form  impossible tasks; therefore such deeds are not at all astonishing.


Krishna, the vanquisher of all demons, looked exceedingly attractive while  engaging in His pastimes. The life of the lotus flowers gradually faded  away with the diminishing rays of the sun. Seeing the sun slipping behind  the dark curtain of the sky, Krishna called His calves and returned home.  Although the character and pastimes of Krishna defy comprehension, they  perfectly suit His age and charming personality as the beautiful cowherd  boy of Vrndavana.

When the boys and calves approached the edge of town, their respec­tive  mothers happily greeted them. Nanda, Yasoda, and the Vrndavana gopis  received Krishna, Balarama, and their own children with an outpour­ing of  love and affection. But the boys resisted when their mothers tried to pick  them up and carry them home. The cowherd boys excitedly told Yasoda how  Krishna sent a big demon to the house of death without even fighting him. As  usual upon arriving home, Krishna was massaged with oil, bathed, anointed  with sandal pulp, and dressed. Then Krishna ate His evening meal with His  father and retired for a pleasurable rest.


The Killing of Bakasura


As Krishna enacted His human-like pastimes, He looked very attractive with a  necklace hanging on His chest when He awoke just before sunrise. After  taking breakfast Krishna met His playmates and prepared to leave for the  day. Following the principles of vaisya dharma, Krishna and His powerful  brother Balarama collected the calves and went out to the forest everyday.  They brought the thirsty calves to a reservoir of clear, cool wa­ter, and  left them on the banks to feed on the fresh sprouts and soft shoots of  grass.At that time Krishna, the beautiful, enchanting cowherd boy who  per­forms wonderful pastimes and protects the whole creation, saw an  un­usual demon in the shape of a gigantic duck. Kamsa had sent this demon  to kill Krishna. He was known as Bakasura, the demoniac brother of Putana.  As a good tantric can see the future, Bakasura understood that Krishna fit  the description of Kamsa's dreaded enemy.Bakasura immediately opened his  ferocious beak in an attempt to swal­low the Lord. His lower beak lay on  the ground and his upper beak pierced the heavenly planets. It seemed he  intended to devour all the living enti­ties on earth and in heaven.  Krishna's friends felt great anxiety as they beheld that fearful monster.The  playmates of Krishna said, "O brother, this creature cannot be a bird  because he is about to swallow us all in his deadly mouth. Seeing its  ag­gressive behavior, it must be a demon in the form of a huge duck, so we  should quickly run from here. His body is taller than the peak of Mt.  Kailasa. It will be very difficult for us to escape from his gaping  mouth."To assure His dearest friends of His protection, Krishna glanced at  them with a delicate smile that captivated their minds and satisfied their  hearts. Krishna,the undaunted one who awards fearlessness to everyone in  cre­ation, smiled at the boys and moved near the demon. In a second that  dreadful duck swallowed Krishna. Seeing this seemingly irreversible  calam­ity, Balarama and the boys exclaimed, "Alas! Alas! What a disaster!"


The demigods observing from the sky fell unconscious. As a camel spits out  fresh mango leaves immediately after chewing them, or a man experi­ences a  fiery feeling in his sinuses if he takes water up his nose, similarly,  that demon felt a burning sensation from swallowing Krishna and tried to  spit Him out. The demon suffered immense distress as Krishna simulta­neously  constricted and expanded his throat with a violent force. While rapidly  flapping his wings in an attempt to eject Krishna from his throat, the demon  felt his life airs rushing out of his heart. Krishna escaped from the mouth of the demon just as the moon slips out from  the mouth of Rahu, or as the sun escapes from the grip of a dense monsoon  cloud. Krishna appeared like a lion cub coming out from the mouth of a  mountain cave, or a devotee attaining deliverance from the dark well of  material existence. Surprisingly, Krishna's clothing and ornaments had not  become the least bit sullied from passing through the saliva filled throat  of that demon. Looking fresh and beautiful, Krishna whispered some loving  words to awaken His friends who had fallen unconscious on the banks of the  Yamuna.


Renewing his deadly attack, Bakasura tried to pinch Krishna in his beaks.  Krishna grabbed the demon's beaks and split them in half just as easily as a  child splits a blade of grass. Rivers of blood flowed in all directions.  The two pieces of his dead body looked like twin mountain peaks lying on  the ground.

The denizens of the higher planets happily showered flowers from  Nanda-kanana (Indra's celestial gardens) upon Bakari (Krishna). Celebrating  the victory, the Gandharva and Kinnara women danced and cried in  jubila­tion. Their teardrops, which washed away their kajala and fell  through the sky, appeared like celestial honeybees dancing amidst the  flowers falling from heaven. Dundubhi drums resounded everywhere  proclaiming the triumph. Astonished by this wonderful pastime of Krishna,  Vaivasvata Manu and many other sages offered prayers. Witnessing this transcendental feat, Krishna's playmates immersed in di­vine  joy. The boys felt that they had regained their lives upon seeing Krishna,  the lord of their hearts, walking confidently like a royal bull elephant.  Being late afternoon, the cowherd boys collected their calves and returned  to Vrndavana along with their charming friend. The soft artistically  shaped palms of Krishna's beautiful hands resembled kadamba flowers. The cowherd boys raced to their homes to tell their parents all about  Krishna's remarkable pastimes. Though tired and breathing heavily, they  tried their best to explain Krishna's exploits. Due to exhaustion their  voices choked up, but their mispronounced words sounded very sweet and  satisfying to their parents. The pleasure of hearing about Krishna's killing  Bakasura quickly removed everyone's anxiety. The young gopas said, "Mother, listen to the amazing adventure we had  today. You will be surprised to hear how Krishna showed His incredible  strength. With our own eyes we saw Him easily vanquish a formidable demon.  Driven by false ego, Bakasura tried to kill us. His extremely sharp beaks  felt as hot as fire. But just using His bare hands, which are softer and  cooler than lotus flowers, Krishna broke that demon's beaks as easily as a  child splits a blade of virana grass. By killing that demon Krishna  fin­ished all his devious acts."


The sweet talks of the cowherd boys filled their mothers' ears with  nec­tar. At first mother Yasoda felt afraid upon hearing that the demon  tried to swallow the boys. As she heard more about Her son's expertise in  kill­ing that awesome demon, Yasoda and the other mothers felt slightly  re­lieved and smiled mildly. Yasoda thought to herself, "Alas! Even though  I left Mahavan to escape the harassment of demons, they are still  attacking my son. My son is very bold and restless. But what can I do and  where can I go? By destiny I am confused and cannot understand the plan of  Provi­dence."

After bathing and feeding Krishna His evening meal, Yasoda, the abode of  maternal affection, said, "From now on just stay home. Please do not go  out to the forest. We have so many men to do this work, so now You can  stop tending the calves. You need not take so much trouble for this."

Krishna replied, "But mother, actually all these stories about My heroic  exploits are just lies. Do not worry about all these things." Overflowing  with love, Yasoda laid Krishna down to rest on a valuable bedstead. Krishna's eternal form is that of a fifteen year-old youth. However, His  kumara and pauganda Mas (childhood and boyhood pastimes) also eter­nally  remain within His body. According to His sweet will, Krishna mani­fests one  particular pastime form or another. Krishna displays these differ­ent  pastime periods to fulfill the desires of His devotees, who themselves are  wish fulfilling creepers. Although the stages of His childhood, boy­hood,  and youthful pastimes differ in nature, they do not conflict with each  other. Krishna, the embodiment of transcendental bliss, maintains His eternal  kaisora-rupa (form of youth) within Himself. His pastimes, therefore, do  not undergo any transformation. In order to nourish His bafya-lila  (child­hood pastimes) Krishna conceals His six opulences and His form of  eternal youth by His own sweet will. This is the explanation of Krishna's  pastimes.

Although Krishna showed His manifold opulences when He killed Putana,  Trnavarta, and other demons, He quickly hid these powers in order to  preserve the sweet mellow of vatsalya-rasa (parental love). Therefore the  influence of Krishna's divine majestic powers (aisvarya) remain in the  back­ground so that He can relish the sweet flavor (madkurya) of His  Vmdavana pastimes with His intimate loving servants. Within Krishna's  transcenden­tal body of eternity, knowledge, and bliss the various mellows  of parental affection, friendship, and paramour love reach perfection. Why  does Krishna perform these pastimes? To favor His devotees, who are fixed in  the moods of vatsalya, sakhya,and madhurya bhavas, Krishna allows Himself to  come completely under their control. The various pastime periods of Krishna  are eternal and beyond judgement and argumentation.


At this time Krishna accepted the flute as His dearest musical instrument.  He astonished the people of Vmdavana with the incredible artistry and  expertise of His flute playing- Commenting on this, the Vrajavasi  house­wives said, "O dear Krishna, Your lips that previously tasted only  Your mother's breast milk, now relish the soft notes of Your flute. Which  gum has taught You to play so sweetly? O darling Krishna, if You play Your  melodious flute again I will adorn Your face with tilaka." In response  Krishna played exquisitely on His flute to please the hearts of all. Krishna's magnificent dark body glistens like a tamala tree. With His bright  yellow dhoti He looks like a wild elephant cub covered with saffron. A  garland of fragrant wild flowers swings over Krishna ankles while He roams  and sports from forest to forest just like as baby elephant. Every day  Brahma, Siva, Indra and other demigods descend to Vmdavana to have darsana  of Shri Krishna.

One day before sunrise Krishna asked Yasoda, "You are the Queen of all the  people. O auspicious one, today I want to take My meal in the forest. So  please do not turn down My request?"

Nandarani shook her head from side to side while saying, "No, No, No!"  Though not wanting to oppose His mother, Krishna, who removes all  misfortune, took a vow to fulfill His cherished desire and said, "Mother,  if you do not allow Me to go, then in the name of God I will go anyway."  Balarama, who is always happy to serve His brother, blew loudly on His  buffalo horn and readied the cows for the journey. Hearing Balarama's  buffalo horn, the cowherd boys left their homes and mshed to meet Krishna.  Then Krishna the supreme controller of the three worlds, asked Yasoda,  "Please make us happy by giving us a variety of foodstuffs?"

Yielding to her son's request, Yasoda prepared many kinds of fresh items  for the boys' forest picnic. She made superbly thick yogurt that ap­peared  like a vast ocean of cream, and heaps of soft, delicate butter that looked  like slices of the moon. The rubri appeared like foam on an ocean of  ksira. The chunks of cheese challenged piles of snow. Even the eyes of the  demigods bulged joyfully upon seeing the khoya. The attractive cakes  looked like the orb of the full moon. The pieces of sugar candy looked as beautiful as a heap of hailstones. Very pure, fragrant, and pleasing yogurt appeared there. The many types of  flat rice mixed with milk and aromatic camphor bathed the tongue in nectar  and satisfied the mind. The rich creamy sweet rice defeated the nectar of  condensed moonshine. The meal also included fragrant lemon and mango  pickles, papadam, namkeen, gujha, and other types of savories.

The unlimited quantity of foodstuffs competed with Yasoda's bound­less  motherly affection. The four types of eatables, which included items to  chew, lick, suck, and drink, were expressions of Yasoda's love and  de­votion. No one had ever seen such a wide variety of appetizing foods.  Being unfamiliar with the unique preparations, which were very rare and  not available in the marketplace, no one could properly count them. Krishna joyfully looked upon all those delectable foods and told His  asso­ciates, "Just give up your pride and carry all these preparations for  our forest picnic." The cowherd boys submissively agreed to bring  everything. Then Krishna, whose superexcellent, enchanting beauty puts  millions of Cupids into distress, continued, "O friends, the hearts of  mental specula­tors will never melt because they are hard and dry. And if  you walk behind the calves the dry and hard foodstuffs that you are  carrying will not melt."

Krishna divided the load of edibles equally among his friends. Seeing this,  mother Yasoda brought even more food items to distribute. Each boy carried  a stick balanced on his shoulder with pots of foodstuffs tied on the ends.  After decorating Krishna with a garland of fresh forest flow­ers, Yasoda  .handed Him His celebrated flute. Due to Yasoda's deep af­fection for her  beloved son, milk automatically dripped from her breasts and wet her  blouse. Yasoda and the other mothers walked a short dis­tance with the  thousands of boys moving behind the thousands of calves. Just At that time  an astrologer arrived announcing that a yajna must be performed to appease  the stars and planets. Taking His mother's permis­sion, Balarama stayed  home to attend to the astrologer.

Krishna continued to walk along with the calves and cowherd boys. He carried  a flute in His tender leaf-like left hand, an elegant stick in His right,  and an enchanting buffalo hom tucked in His belt. A peacock feather crown  rested upon His splendid curly locks. An attractive gunja mala hung from  His neck, a pair of earrings dangled from His ears, and sparkling rings  adorned His fingers. As Krishna ran along with the cowherd boys a vaijayanti  garland swung gracefully across His chest, graced with a splen­did golden  line. Actually Krishna did not like gem-studded armlets, jeweled bangles,  and the other valuable ornaments given by His mother. He pre­ferred to  wear the simple, natural decorations produced from Vraja's for­est  flowers, leaves, unguents, and mineral powders given by His beloved  friends.



The gopa boys looked very attractive with the sticks of foodstuffs  sus­pended over their shoulders, and buffalo horns, panpipes, and flutes  tucked in their belts. They wore gunja berry ear ornaments and peacock  feathers in their topknots. Wrapped in yellow cloth, their thin wastes  looked very pleasant and handsome. They wore armlets, bangles, earrings,  necklaces, waist-belts, ankle-bells, and jewels tied with black strings  looking like creep­ers.

Krishna absorbed Himself in sporting with His friends and calves. For a long  time, Mother Yasoda curiously watched the boys play and wander behind the  calves. Driving the calves forward, Krishna walked behind. As peacocks dance  jubilantly upon seeing a monsoon cloud, and lake bound lotuses open to  drink the sunrays, Mahadeva, Brahma, Indra and other self-satisfied  demigods hid behind the clouds to view the breathtaking pastimes of Krishna.  Lord Brahma was especially enthusiastic to witness the festival of Krishna's  taking out the calves.

Whenever Krishna sped ahead to a distant place, the cowherd boys scur­ried  behind shouting excitedly, "I will touch Him first!" "O no you won't, I  will touch Him first!" Upon reaching Krishna, they impelled Him to choose  the winner. The cheeks and lips of the Lord bathed in the nectar of His  broad smile as He responded to His friends, "It does not matter who got  here first, because somehow you have come here and met Me."

While rambling through the forest one boy stole another's boy's lunch -  package and passed it to a third. And when the boy discovered his lunch  bag stolen, he tried to retrieve it. But the thief would throw it to  another. After stealing someone's lunch bag they quickly took some food  from it and replaced it with their own. The boy who lost his food smiled  upon getting it back. Some boys snatched each other's horns, flutes, or  herding sticks. One boy stole a second boy's gunja mala, and then a third  boy would steal the mala from the second, and then a fourth boy took from  the third. Finally, after a short time and a few scuffles all the boys  recov­ered their personal belongings. In this way Krishna's friends enjoyed  the festival of stealing. While the calves grazed in distant places to relish fresh green grasses,  the gopas leaned their poles against the trees and rested in the shade  with Krishna. Then for the pleasure of Krishna they invented various games.  See­ing an intoxicated peacock dancing nearby, the boys mimicked its jerky  neck movements. Contracting their bodies in funny poses, they attempted to  imitate the ducks sitting in the marsh. Some boys played with frogs, and  when the frogs jumped in the water, the boys immediately dove in after  them. When birds flew overhead, the boys ran after their shadows on the  ground trying to follow their exact courses. They scared the mon­keys by  exactly imitating their facial expressions and pulling their tails.


When the monkeys climbed the trees, the boys followed and jumped with  them. Some boys sang and danced with exaggerated steps while other boys  laughed at their antics. One boy pretended to be an emperor, and others  adopted the roles of his subordinate kings and ministers. A cowherd boy  constable caught a boy disguised as a thief while others angrily chided  him. One posed as a judge and sentenced that thief. Two boys acting like  lambs charged and butted heads while an audience of boys cheered the  contest. One boy roared like a tiger to frighten the innocent cowherd boy  lambs. Sneaking up from behind, one boy covered the eyes of a friend with  his palms and said, "Guess who?"


As lion cubs frolic in a forest, and as intoxicated baby elephants play  with their parents, the cowherd boys of Vraja, the personified forms of  bliss, joyfully sported with the Supreme Lord appearing amongst them as a  simple village boy. Krishna, who killed demons while tending the calves, who  is inconceivable to peaceful, self-controlled persons, and who is al­ways  restless, looked like a dark cloud floating across a moonlit sky as He  moved behind the cows. In this way Krishna and the cowherd boys spent their  time absorbed in play and merriment.


The Killing of Aghasura


The cowherd boys joked with one another, "O brothers! Let us see who can  run the fastest, Krishna or us?" Krishna kept the lead as they raced a short  distance. They stopped abruptly, however, upon noticing a peculiar sight.  It was a demon, the younger brother of Putana and Bakasura whom Krishna had  recently vanquished. Burning with anger and lamentation, the demon had  come to Vrndavana to avenge the loss of his relatives.

The nasty, vicious demon assumed the form of a gigantic envious py­thon  with a huge mouth extending from the surface of the earth to the heavenly  planets. At every moment his hideous body continued to ex­pand. His vast  gaping mouth seemed to swallow the whole creation along with all its  moving and non-moving living entities. Brahma and all the demigods shook  in fright at this embodiment of sin (agha), who was ap­propriately named  Aghasura.

Awestruck and bewildered by what they saw, the cowherd boys said, "O look!  What is this strange mountain cave? Just examine closely and try to figure  it out. Who on earth will not be curious upon seeing this unusual cave?  From long neglect, the cave looks like the deep mouth of a huge snake. The  twin mountain peaks appear like two rows of teeth. The two vines dangling  in the breeze by the opening of that cave seem to be the frightening  forked tongue of a snake.


"The red oxide dust blowing out of the mouth of the cave, indicating a  mine of minerals, seems like his fiery, poisonous breath mixed with  red­dish-gold sparks. Just smelling that smoke, which appears to be the  snake's breath, gives one a severe headache. The vines and creepers  surrounding the cave, which look like hands waving us into it, appear like  the ugly veins and arteries around the snake's gaping mouth. "The two dazzling ruby boulders resting just above the mountain cave  appear like the beautiful eyes of the snake waiting to mesmerize anyone  who glances at them. The strong wind coming from the cave, which shakes  the trees in the forest, resembles the exhalation of a big serpent. The  smoky glow of the mountain seems like the discoloration of the snake's  body caused by his poison-filled breath. The large cave looks like the  massive mouth of the snake. Who amongst us is not overwhelmed with fear  upon seeing this mysterious creature?"Though disturbed with dread and  doubt, the cowherd boys decided to enter the mouth of the cave. One boy  said, "O brothers! If it is a demon, Krishna will easily kill him and  protect us." All the gopas had firm faith in Krishna. Gazing at the  beautiful smiling face of Krishna, they laughed and clapped their hands  while walking toward the python. Seeing that they intended to enter that snake demon, Krishna, the prince of  Vrndavana, tried to stop his friends by shouting in a sweet voice that  spread through the creation. "Hey boys! Stop! Do not go inside. It is not  a mountain cave, it is a snake!" But it was too late. They did not hear  Krishna's words of warning, because they had already fallen unconscious from  inhaling the poisonous vapors within the viper's throat. Feeling like He had lost some precious jewels, Krishna cried piteously. He  only thought how to kill the demon and save His devotees. Then Krishna,  fully confident in His unlimited abilities, nonchalantly walked into the  demon's mouth. Seeing this, the demigods wailed in anguish, "Alas! Alas!"  But Kamsa and other demoniac friends of Aghasura rejoiced by cheering,  "Ha! Ha! Ha!" Upon hearing the distressed crying of the demigods, Krishna,  the master of all mystic yogis, decided to finish the asura.The heart of the snake shook in fear of his imminent destruction.  Al­though adept in mystic illusions, the demon's vast intelligence had now  become bewildered by his false ego. He tried desperately to close his  mouth but he could not. Because of Krishna's superior mystic power, the  snake lost all control over his movements and just sat with his mouth  stuck open. The snake felt Krishna to be a hot fiery spark burning his  throat. A second later, Krishna expanded Himself within the throat of the  snake until the demon's body exploded like an over ripe green melon.  Krishna's transcen­dental body contains unlimited opulences of beauty and  perfect action. His elegance rivals the rising moon and His compassion  excels the comfort of soothing moonshine.


After killing that ugly demon Krishna revived His friends with the pleas­ant  stream of nectar emanating from His beautiful transcendental form. Then He  came out of the demon's mouth with the cowherd boys and calves. As Krishna  left the mouth of the demon, He appeared like the sun rising from behind a  mountain. Wearing an attractive forest garland hang­ing to His knees,  Krishna looked as gorgeous as a fresh blue rain cloud. At that time everyone  saw the spirit soul of the demon, more brilliant than hundreds of suns and  moons, merge in the body of Krishna. Who can de­scribe the merciful nature  of the Lord? First the demon let Krishna enter his belly, and then Krishna  allowed him to merge within His body. Appreciating the wonderful glories of the Lord, Brahma, Siva, and other  demigods offered prayers which sanctified the world as they echoed through  the universe. Various drums such as bheris (kettledrums) and dundubhis,  and other instruments reverberated in all directions. The wives of the  Gandharvas and Vidyadharas sang joyously in high-pitched voices. As the  wives of the Siddhas beat mrdangas, Urvasi and other heavenly nymphs  danced ecstatically. The best of the Kinnaras sang sweet melo­dies.  Becoming deaf to all other vibrations, the celestial denizens sub­merged  in the sound waves of that ocean of jubilation. Intoxicated with bliss,  they showered flowers from Nanda-kanana on Krishna. What more can be said?

The beat of Siva's damru drum predominated everywhere. In great eu­phoria,  Lord Siva danced so wildly that he cracked the pot-like covering of the  universe. As he danced, the crescent moon on his head poured a stream of  nectar. When that nectar touched the skulls on Siva's necklace, the skulls  assumed bodies and danced joyfully with great skill. Astonished by this  scene, the demigods exploded with uproarious laughter.


The cowherd boys appeared like they had just left the jaws of death. They  felt completely relieved and happy to see the tender lotus face of the  peaceful prince of Vraja, which looked more attractive then the rising  sun. The transcendental deeds of the Lord completely eclipsed the glo­ries  of the sun. One after another the boys embraced Krishna while talking  excitedly.One boy said, "O Krishna! While we played that terrible demon  devoured us, and knocked us out with a burning poison. How did You bring  us back to life?" Krishna replied, "I am the perfect antidote to neutralize  poison and also kill the poison giver. If a man smells this medicine, he  will be­come joyful and relish it like the taste of honey. Even the dead  will come back to life and enjoy sweet rasa if they smell this  medicine."Krishna's witty remarks increased the cowherd boys' loving  friendship for Him. Then the cowherd boys, the Lord's eternal associates,  enthusiastically embnced each other. Swelling with pride for his beloved  friend, one boy said, 'I told you before that Krishna would finish this  demon, just as He had previously killed Bakasura."


Bralma Bewildered


Aftr saving the boys and calves from the mouth of Aghasura, death  persciified, Krishna, who is full of transcendental qualities, ordered His  fortuiate companions to gather the calves that had strayed away like  meardering deer and follow Him back to Vrndavana. Krishna displayed intene  love and affection toward His friends by tending calves and play­ing wth  them. To bestow His mercy upon the world Krishna performed manycaptivating  pastimes in the mood of an ordinary boy.The cowherd boys carried bundles  of delicious food items, which their mothrs had prepared in the morning,  tied on sticks that rested on their shouflers. On the way home Krishna  noticed an ideal spot for a forest pic­nic jist beside the Yamuna. "Look,  my friends," said Krishna, "The birds are rot flying here. It is a nice  quiet place, pleasing to the eyes, and as comftrtable as the lap of a  mother. There are no footprints on the bank. • Thenfore it is a perfect  picnic site. Let the calves graze nearby while we hono prasada."

Aftr hearing the statement of Krishna, who is the supreme transcen­dence and  a marvelous person at the same time, the cowherd boys said, "Youand I are  the same. Since we feel hungry, You must also. So let us take jrasada."  Krishna agreed, "Yes! What a splendid idea! Let us sit here and tike  prasada."

A crcle of tall green trees whose branches joined overhead to form a  natunl canopy shaded the picnic spot. The earth, as pure and white as  powered camphor, looked as though it had been washed with liquid sil­ver,  a gentle breeze, filled with droplets of water scented with the sweet  smell of blossoming lotuses, cooled and refreshed the entire area. That  peaciful wind felt soothing to the touch, and created a pleasing  atmo-sphee along the bank of the Yamuna.

Win His golden effulgence, attractive bluish complexion, and elegant  yellov dress, Krishna looked like the whorl of a lotus surrounded by a  thou­sand petals as He sat in the center, encircled by lines of cowherd  boys. Krsn;'s intimate friends sat nearest Him. They appeared like rays of  the sun stting in rows around the Lord. The innermost rays glowed with a  reddih hue. As the rays moved further from the center they displayed a  gradiion of colors from orange to yellow, green, blue and violent. This  rainbw-like display of colors looked attractive. Although the boys sat at  diffeent distances from the Lord, they each felt that Krishna was looking  directly at them when He glanced their way. This pastime confirms the  words of the learned sages who claim that everywhere are the Lord's eyes  and faces as well as His arms and legs.


At that time Krishna said, "O My friends! Now please take all the  food­stuffs off your carrying poles." Their full tiffins emitted brilliant  effulgences in all directions. The cowherd boys placed their prasada on  flowers or leaves, on rocks, the bark of trees, or on their caddars. Some  held the prasada in the auspicious lines of their palms, and a few put it  on their strongly built thighs. Other boys artistically arrayed their best  prasada on leaf plates and affectionately offered it to Krishna. As Krishna ate, He spoke sweet words that washed over His lips like a stream  of nectar. Moving His hands in expressive mudras, Krishna took great  pleasure entertaining the boys with witty words. They responded by telling  funny jokes that filled Krishna with laughter. The blissful smiles on the  lotus faces of the cowherd boys revealed the happiness of their hearts.  Krishna's warm personal dealings increased the affection felt by His  boy­friends. The whole scene appeared breathtaking. With a flute tucked tightly in His waist on the right side and a buffalo  horn and cow-driving stick tucked on His left side, Krishna's thin,  perfectly shaped waist attracted the minds of everyone. Krishna ate some  pickles with His right hand while holding a nice preparation of yogurt and  rice in His left palm. With His hands moistened by these different foods  Krishna looked magnificently beautiful. Brahma, Siva, Indra and other  denizens of heaven marveled at the extraordinary sight of Krishna eating  with His friends in the forest.


Due to his false ego, Brahma thought himself the supreme creator. But  witnessing the awesome power of Krishna in killing Aghasura astounded him.  He thought, "Krishna is the supreme controller of everything. Never­theless,  let me test His actual position." As one becomes a laughing stock by  trying to measure the ocean with a yardstick, or measuring the sky with a  hand span, similarly, Brahma became a laughing stock by his foolish  attempt to fathom the unlimited transcendental power of Krishna by  pur­loining His calves. Although similarities exist between Krishna and  Brahma, or between a glowworm and the sun, the differences are vast. Both  Brahma and Krishna have illusory energy, but Krishna alone enchants Brahma and  the entire creation. The gopas forgot all about the calves as they happily took prasada with  Krishna. It appeared as if the gopas' lips bathed in the radiance of their  teeth as they joked and laughed. During this time Brahma stealthily stole  their calves. After some time when the cowherd boys looked for the calves  they could not find them. Feeling sad and helpless, they appealed to  Krishna, who is greater than Lord Siva.


"O beloved friend! We cannot find any of our calves. It seems they have  wandered far away being greedy to eat fresh grass. Let us enter the forest  and search for them." While listening, Krishna's face looked more charm­ing  than a splendid full moon. Smiling compassionately, Krishna spoke to  mitigate their fear, "My dear friends, do not stop eating. Just stay here.  I shall personally find the calves and bring them to you."

Krishna put down His food and went to collect the calves. He looked very  attractive walking along with His flute, stick, and buffalo horn tucked in

* His dhoti. The wonderful effulgence of His body illuminated the entire  forest. Although the area abounded with fresh grass, Krishna did find hoof  prints or any other sign of the calves even after searching in all  directions. Much to His surprise, when Krishna returned to the banks of the  Yamuna He could not find any of His cowherd boyfriends. Though temporarily  exhibiting a touch of bewilderment, Krishna displayed His omniscience by  concluding that Brahma, the supreme creator of the material world, had  succumbed to His illusory potency and stolen both the calves and His  boyfriends. The all-knowing Lord then employed His spiritual energy to  expand Himself into the exact forms of each one of the missing calves and  boys. Krishna miraculously appeared with all of their attributes including  their individual moods, mannerisms, dress, ornaments, and carrying sticks.  Then playing His sweet flute Krishna gladly proceeded home to Vrndavana. The  Supreme Lord directly creates everything in this universe. He is , the only cause and effect of all actions in this world. Nonetheless, the  material world is full of Krishna's variegated transcendental pastimes.  Be­cause the Supreme Lord is unique, wonderful, and inconceivable, the  universe displays the same qualities. As usual, the cowherd boys (now expansions of Krishna) danced gleefully to  the captivating sound of Krishna's flute. Their frolicking steps enriched  mother earth with the quality of bliss. Whistling on their panpipes, they  called their beloved calves and returned to Vrndavana. When they ar­rived  home their mothers showered the same affection on them that they had  previously shown to Krishna. Overflowing with parental love, each mother  felt unlimited joy upon seeing her son, who was none other than Krishna.  Previously, the Vrajavasis had more affection for Krishna than for their own  children. But now for one year they displayed ever-increasing affection  toward their sons, the expanded forms of Krishna.The cowherd boy expansions of Subala, Shridama, and others pleased their  mothers with their usual activities of bathing, eating, and dressing.  Unlike other days, however, on that day the boys did not describe the pastimes they had enjoyed with Krishna. The calves ran to their respective  mothers who affectionately licked their bodies again and again merging

in an unlimited ocean of bliss. Overwhelmed with parental love, the cows lowed with deep loving voices and then slept with their calves.

When Krishna returned home Nanda picked Him up, embraced Him, and placed Him  on his lap. Nanda feared that his beard might scratch Krishna's delicate  face, which is softer than a lotus. Lifting up Krishna's turban, Nanda  Maharaja smelled his head and then affectionately kissed Him. Although  enjoying the highest pleasure just by smelling His son's head, Nanda cried  when Krishna jumped off his lap to run to mother Yasoda, the perfect form of  parental love. Yasoda lovingly fondled her son, massaged Him with fragrant  oil, and bathed Him to remove the dust from grazing the calves. Then she  dressed Krishna in fresh clothing and fed Him sumptuously. After satisfying  her invincible son, who is the embodiment of eternity, Yasoda put Him to  rest on a comfortable bed covered with a mattress as white as the foam of  milk. At sunrise the next day, Yasoda and the other mothers prepared their sons  for going to the forest by carefully decorating them with different  ornaments. After taking breakfast all the boys met Krishna in the courtyard  of His house. Since He could not proceed to the forest without first  pleas­ing His parents, Krishna allowed Nanda and Yasoda to caress Him to  their • heart's content. Even then they insisted on accompanying Him to  the edge of the forest. Collecting all His intimate friends and their  calves, His own expansions, Krishna walked toward the forest.

Krishna took the cowherd boys and the calves to pasture near Govardhana  Hill. When the cows that were already grazing on Govardhana Hill saw  Krishna, they ran down the hill so fast that they appeared to be flying.  Leaving their own calves and newborns behind, the cows displayed intense  paren­tal love toward Krishna and the calves accompanying Him. In reality,  Krishna had expanded as all these calves.


Though trying, the cowherd men could not stop the cows with their sticks.  Impelled by strong motherly affection, the cows mooed lovingly while  smelling and licking these calves. They neither moved nor eat any grass.  On the other hand, the boys could not restrain their calves. Neither the  boys nor the cowherd men could separate the cows from those calves.The cowherd men felt pain in their legs from running after the calves.  Upon seeing their sons, however, the expanded forms of Krishna, they for­got  all pains and immersed in an ocean of parental love. The cowherd men felt  supremely blissful from embracing their tender sons, smelling their heads,  and kissing them. Placing them on their laps, they cried af­fectionately  out of great joy. Their chests drenched from the tears pour­ing from their  eyes. Then with great difficulty and reluctance they gradu­ally stopped  embracing their sons and allowed them to return to Krishna. Balarama,  although happy to see the intense love shared between the cows and calves,  felt doubtful about it since the calves had already grown up and stopped  sucking milk from their mothers. He pondered, "Aha! How astonishing! My  affection and that of all the Vrajavasis toward these , boys and calves is  increasing as never before. It perfectly resembles the love we all feel  for Krishna, the Supersoul of every living entity. This must be a display of  the Lord's inconceivable energy (acintya-sakti). Other­wise, how could I,  the elder brother of that unborn Lord who wields the disc that destroys  the  illusory energy, become bewildered by some mysti­cal display of mayal  Therefore I will inquire from that crest-jewel of all mystics."Balarama  said, "Krishna, I am amazed! I have faith that You possess su­perior  intelligence beyond My comprehension. Now I can see that You alone have  manifested Yourself in the different forms of these calves and boys. They  are none other than expansions of Your personal energy as four-armed  Narayana forms. Please tell Me why You have done this?" Honoring  Balarama's request, Yasodanandana satisfied Him by describ­ing the pastime  from beginning to end. No one can count the unlimited waves of Krishna's  blissful pastimes.


After waiting a moment (in his celestial time standard) Brahma returned to  Vrndavana. He was totally astonished to see Krishna playing with the boys  and calves just as before, even though a complete year had passed by  earthly calculation. Greatly bewildered, Brahma thought, "Are these the  same calves I stole? Or have some other calves appeared in their place?  Actually it appears the calves that I stole are all illusory, and that  these are the real calves."

Brahma's pride being crushed; he chastised himself for attempting to show  off his paltry power before the unlimited potency of Lord Krishna, who  mystifies the whole universe. Rather than bewildering the Lord, Brahma  perplexed himself with his mystic force. This offensive act filled Lord  Brahma with great remorse.

As Brahma gazed at the boys, he saw them as four-hand Vishnu forms fully  decorated with priceless ornaments, and holding the four symbols of the  Lord (conch, lotus, club, disc). These forms embodied unlimited bliss and  knowledge, and their combined effulgences surpassed the light of millions  of suns and moons. Their bodily hairs stood erect in ecstasy, and the  perspiration coming from their bodies resembled the globe-like uni­verses  rising from the pores of Lord Vishnu.

All these Vishnu forms of bluish hue wore yellow silken garments that  glowed like lightning. They were bedecked with jeweled earrings, crowns,  necklaces, armlets, and glittering golden bangles that jingled sweetly.  Swarms of buzzing bees hovered above the fresh, tender tulasi garlands  that hung to their thighs. The tiny tinkling bells suspended from their  golden belts emitted delicate enticing sounds. Then Brahma saw that space, the time factor, the three modes of mate­rial  nature, the five elements, the seasons, the eight mystic perfections, |  the nine planets, the ten directions, the presiding deities of the senses,  the fourteen Manus, and all the other aspects of material creation had  been subjugated by the potency of the Lord. They had taken personal forms  to worship the Lord. Those Vishnu forms, whose transcendental bodies shown  with beauty and opulence, blessed everyone with their com­passionate  sidelong glances.

One can perceive this truth only by the mercy of the Lord. Understand­ing  Brahma's bewilderment, Krishna at once removed the curtain of His Yogamaya.  Then Brahma realized that Vasudeva is everything. And he immediately saw  Vasudeva, the Absolute Truth, standing before him in Vrndavana as Krishna.  With a stick, flute, and buffalo horn tucked in the sash around His waist,  and a lump of rice and yogurt in His hand, the Absolute Truth, Shri Krishna,  was searching everywhere for the calves and His cowherd friends. The  transcendental form of Krishna acts as a rasayana (life giving tonic) to all  His friends.

After seeing this, Brahma hastily got down from his swan carrier and fell  down before the Lord like a golden stick. He touched the lotus feet of *  Krishna with the tips of his four crowns, which appeared like the four  golden peaks of Mt. Sumeru. The effulgence of the costly jewels on these  crowns seemed to be running out to touch the lotus feet of the Lord. The  unlim­ited radiance of Krishna's toe rings, however, neutralized that  effulgence. Merely by the touch of Krishna's splendid toenails, the  effulgence of Brahma attained perfection. Offering his obeisances, Brahma  bathed the feet of Krishna with his tears of joy.

Krishna responded by exhibiting an extremely grave mood. As the puppet  master of this entire pastime, Krishna moved everyone and everything  ac-cording to His own desire. He enacted the drama to show the whole  uni­verse a wonderful display of His transcendental energy. Realizing the  se­verity of his offense, Brahma offered obeisances again and again at the  lotus feet of the Lord. Then Brahma, his head bent low and his body  trembling, very humbly glorified Krishna with faltering words.


"O son of Vrajaraja Nanda! All glories to You! Your enchanting gunja  necklace shines brighter than the moon. A splendid forest garland swings  on Your transcendental body. Equipped with a herding stick, buffalo horn,  and a flute tucked in Your belt, You stand beautifully with a morsel of  food in Your hands. I glorify Your wonderful transcendental body that is  the source of consciousness.

"O Lord! You have displayed a unique manifestation of thousands of boys  and calves just to bestow mercy upon me. All these Vishnu expansions are  but transformations of Your inconceivable energy. I cannot begin to  perceive or properly praise Your majestic opulences. O cause of all  causes! j\ll these boys and calves now have four-hands holding conch,  disc, mace, ajid lotus. They are embodiments of bliss, knowledge, and all  opulences. "O unconquerable one! Although You stand before me in Your  beauti­ful two-armed form as a cowherd boy, Your transcendental nature  re­mains unchanged by this transformation. One who gives up the loving  service of Your lotus feet, which bestow unlimited bliss and  enlighten­ment, and tries to enjoy material life derives nothing but the  hard labor of tJje endeavor. It is just like the foolish attempt to gain  rice grains by beat­ing the empty husk of rice paddy.

"O unconquerable one! You are completely independent, yet You are overcome  by the ocean of Your own compassion. Therefore, to benefit the conditioned  souls, You exhibit an unlimited reservoir of sweet tran­scendental  pastimes. In ancient times there lived some intelligent pHramahamsas, the  true ornaments among learned scholars. They ex-pfessed their genuine love  for You by glorifying Your nectarean qualities aJid remembering Your lotus  feet. Thus they attained eternal residence in your blissful abode.

''Ordinary mahatmas cannot fathom Your magnificence. One can real­ize Your  true glories only by rendering pure devotional service. But one cannot  understand You just by cultivating scriptural knowledge. O su­preme  controller! You are an ocean of transcendental qualities. You have  descended on earth to benefit everyone. If one could possibly count all  tne atoms in the earth, the stars in the sky, or the particles of snow,  still he could not even know a single quality of Yours.

''One who earnestly waits for You to bestow Your causeless mercy upon  hjjn, while patiently suffering the reactions of his past karma and always  S6fving You with his body, mind, and heart, will definitely inherit Your  inexhaustible abode. My disrespectful dealings toward You and Your friends  are reprehensible. You are the supreme controller and the fore­mast of all  mystics.

"My Lord, just see my impudence! To test Your power I tried to extend my  illusory potency to cover you. But my potency covered and bewildered mC  instead. What am I compared to You? I am just like a small spark in the  presence of a great fire. O ocean of mercy! I am the predominating deity  of the mode of passion. Due to false ego, I became proud and blind to the  truth. My mind is full of evil. But please consider that I too am Your  servant and therefore worthy of Your compassion.

"Unlimited universes pass through the pores of the body of Maha-Vishnu,  wf)° is but one of Your expansions. Although I am in charge of this one  apparently gigantic universe, what is the value of my lordship compared to  Your inconceivable power? Does a mother take offense when the child


in her womb playfully kicks her? Similarly, You will not take offense with  my misbehavior, since everything that exists is within You.

"O supreme controller! When You lie on the causal ocean a lotus flower  grows from Your navel, and I take birth from that lotus flower. Therefore  You are my father. Even if a son is disobedient and misbehaves, still the  benevolent father never shuns him. O Lord, You are the Supersoul of all  embodied beings. Taking the name Narayana, You are the resting-place of  all living entities. You embody unlimited patience and remain undis­turbed  in all situations.

"O Lord! Not by the force of law, but by Your will You lie in the water.  You are free from all contamination and the shelter of all truths. Why did  You suddenly reveal Yourself when I could not see You clearly within my  heart? O Lord, if Your body belongs to the material creation, then how  could the whole creation fit within Your belly? Externally this material  world seems to be false, but it appears very real when it is within Your  belly.

"Since Your body is made completely of consciousness, how could You be  touched by matter? O ocean of mercy! Though considered illusory, the  material world is also actually real but temporary. You have created it as  a reflection of the spiritual world which is real and eternally existent.  No one can understand the mysterious action of Your spiritual energy.

"As direct expansions of You, all the calves and cowherd boys manifest  eternal forms of bliss and knowledge. Even though these particular  cow­herd boys never existed before, it does not mean that they are  illusory. If one accepts them as material, then he cannot comprehend their  transcen­dental origin. A self-realized person exists beyond the limits of  material illusion.

"O! Today I have seen a display of Your inconceivable potencies and  matchless opulences. As the supreme mystic You enchant everyone in the  three worlds. You are the embodiment of bliss and knowledge, and Your  various forms are also made of eternity, bliss, and knowledge. Your  ap­pearance in the material world cannot be compared with the birth of  or­dinary living entities. Your transcendental birth distinguishes You  from any ordinary mystic yogi.

"You stood alone in the beginning of this pastime. Then by Your own  potency You expanded into the forms of Your many calves and boyfriends.  These forms were all four-armed and transcendental. Despite this mysti­cal  display of Your unlimited opulence, You remained the same. Such are Your  playful transcendental pastimes.

"O Lord! For those who cannot comprehend Your personal pastimes, You  present Yourself as the Supersoul within their hearts. You are fa­mous as  the creator, maintainer and destroyer. O supreme controller! All these are  manifestations of Your unlimited potencies. O omnipotent one!You appear  among the sages, demigods, and humans to benefit the pious and punish the  miscreants. Your incarnations are completely transcen­dental and free from  the contamination of the illusory energy. Although Your body resembles  that of an ordinary human within this material world, it is completely  transcendental. Your face, hands, and legs are made of eternity, bliss,  and knowledge."My Lord! You are the highest truth and the energetic source  of all potencies. You possess all conceivable opulences, and are the  crest-jewel in the crowns of the universal controllers. Without any effort  You can easily stop destined events or make the impossible possible. Your  glories, therefore, are far beyond the ability of an insignificant person  like me to describe. O Lord, You are the source of unlimited forms and  incarna­tions. You are the greatest among self-realized yogis. Neither  Lord Siva nor I could ever possibly imitate Your astonishing pastimes.  There is no one in this universe that can understand even a fraction of  Your unique transcendental nature.

"O supreme controller! This temporary illusory universe differs from  Vaikuntha, Your spiritual realm, because it gives distress to everyone,  with­out exception. Since You are the personification of eternity, bliss,  and knowledge, whenever You appear in this world You manifest the joy of  Vaikuntha. You are one without a second, the epitome of pleasure, and the  embodiment of spiritual knowledge. You perfectly enact blissful play­ful  pastimes. You are an ocean of unlimited compassion for conditioned souls.  If one is favored by even a sidelong glance of Your mercy, he can  understand the greatness of Your personality.

"O Lord! Your effulgent transcendental body is full of spiritual bliss and  free from all material contamination. Who can match Your bound­less  qualities? As an intoxicated bee becomes absorbed in drinking the nectar  of a flower, similarly, the mind of a person who has received the mercy of  a sad-guru becomes absorbed in tasting the nectar of Your ser­vice.  Indeed, such a wise and fortunate person is very rare in this world. Only  Your devotees, whose consciousness has become pure by serving Your  merciful lotus feet, can perceive the mysteries of Your transcenden­tal  pastimes. Without rendering loving service unto You, even one who knows  all the Vedas will fail to understand You. Ah! Even the personified Vedas  could not attain the dust of Your lotus feet!

"Anyone born in Vrndavana is the most fortunate of men. Also blessed are  those who contact the pollen from the lotus feet of Your eternal  asso­ciates. Afterall, Your family, beloved friends, character, opulences,  and holy dhama of Vrndavana are nothing but expansions of Your very self.  Therefore, my dear Lord! Please allow me to take birth as a bird, beast,  human being, or even as a creeper in Vrndavana. I desire such a position

because You derive great pleasire from the service rendered by all these  creatures such as the cows, bulls, birds, and parrots. By taking any type  of birth in Vrndavana I will give up my false ego, and attain the  opportunity to serve Your lotus feet which ire the storehouse of unlimited  treasures.

"The Vrajavasis are the mos glorious of all living entities. They have  attained the summit of all piovs activities. Although You are the shelter  of everything in creation, You take shelter of the residents of Vrndavana.  Although You are the matchless, omnipotent Absolute Truth, You make  friends with the Vrajavasis and live amongst them as their greatest  trea­sure. What could be more amazing than this?

"O Lord of creation! You expanded Yourself as thousands of calves to drink  the milk of Vraja's cows. Who can estimate the limits of the good fortune  of these pious cows? Lord Siva, myself, and the other presiding deities of  the eleven senses utilize the senses of the Vrajavasis as the cups through  which we repeatedly drink the intoxicating beverage of the honey nectar of  Your lotus feet. By tHs divine connection we have also become fortunate.  However, the good fortune enjoyed by the Vrajavasis who di­rectly and  intimately serve Yov. is beyond description.

"Dressing attractively like Yojr mother, Putana smeared deadly poison on  her breast and came to kill You. Yet You mercifully promoted her to the  spiritual world. How can Y)u possibly repay the Vrajavasis who have given  You everything they ha\e? Just thinking about this bewilders my mind. O  Lord! Until one surrenders to Your lotus feet, he will remain in a fallen  condition imprisoned ty the contamination of lust, anger, greed, envy,  illusion, and madness. 0 dearest of everyone! Without a doubt, only pious  and intelligent persons can know Your inconceivable qualities. Definitely  Your glories are beyond the comprehension of my body, mind, and words.

"O friend of the fallen! Please allow me to resume the post of Brahma that  You have given, and let ne return to my abode named Satyaloka. You know  the desires of all the living entities in creation. Therefore since I am  residing in this world, Yoi also know my desire. Unlike a mundane person,  You never forget anything, and You are the embodiment of bliss and  knowledge. O Lord! I offer my obeisances at Your lotus feet."

Having thus offered his prayers, Brahma circumambulated Lord Krishna and  returned to Satyaloka. Qkradhara (Krishna, holder of the disc) re­joined the  calves that sat peacefully munching on fresh grass. Rotating His stick  above His head, Krsra signaled to the calves to go back home. The calves  ran so quickly that be half-eaten grass fell out of their mouths onto the  ground. After bewildering Lord Brahma, the Supreme Brah­man, in the form  of a human being, took the calves, which were still sit­ting where they  were a year earlier, and brought them to the riverbank,where He had  previously enjoyed a picnic with His boyfriends. Yogis who perceive this  pastime laugh in transcendental bliss.As soon as the cowherd boys saw  Krishna, the peerless jewel, they no longer felt the distress of separation  in their minds. Although the boys had passed an entire year apart from the  Lord of their lives, due to the covering of Krishna's illusory potency, they  felt the year to be half a moment.The cowherd boys said to Krishna, "O  brother! You have quickly returned after defeating the soldiers of the  enemy. We have not eaten even one morsel of food in Your absence."  Illuminated by their bright smiles, the faces of the boys looked very  sweet and beautiful. Then the cowherd boys surrounded their beloved friend  Krishna, the remover of all fear.The cowherd boys continued, "Please take  Your meal without distrac­tion." The loving friendship they shared with  Krishna freed the boys from all types of agony and distress. Seeing their  happy faces, Krishna felt unlim­ited joy within His heart. After relishing  this wonderful exchange of tran­scendental love, Krishna decided to conclude  the joyful picnic and return home.Krishna tried to cheer up the boys in  order to alleviate the fatigue they felt in their arms and legs from  playing so many games. To get relief from the scorching sunshine Krishna and  His friends put on refreshing flower garlands and laid down under the  shade of a big tree. Using the thigh of one boy for a pillow, Krishna rested  briefly.Above their heads the sun rushed across the courtyard of the sky  to enter his house and meet his loving wife, the western direction. To  reduce the fiery pain of separation he felt from his wife during the day,  the sun radiated blistering heatwaves on the people of earth. Seeing the  sun disap­pearing with his wife,the lotus flowers lost their luster and  felt unhappy. As the rays of the setting sun reflected across the ocean of  the sky, Krishna decided to bring the calves back home to Vrndavana.


When the cowherd boys blew on their flutes and buffalo horns to call the  calves the vibration echoed in all directions. Feeling empty and un­happy,  the cowherd boys reluctantly left the forest to return home when they saw  rain clouds racing across the evening sky. Taking pleasure in associating  with the lord of their heart, the boys gathered all the calves and quickly  walked home. Noticing the remains of the huge body of the dead serpent Aghasura, the  cowherd boys thought of using it as a cave for future pastimes. Soon they  reached the edge of the village. Eager to drink their mothers' milk, the  calves extended their front legs and tried to run quickly. But since their  affectionate Lord Krishna moved behind them, their rear legs refused to  cooperate with the front ones, and thus they could not run very fast. As Krishna approached Vrndavana a flow of nectar poured from His lo­tus lips  as He played sweetly on His flute. The ears of the Vrajavasis  bathed in spiritual bliss by drinking that ambrosia. They felt the  ultimate joy in seeing His lovely form. Beholding the beauty of Krishna  brought life back to their bodies that had died in His separation. Due to  intense affec­tion the hearts of Nanda and Yasoda melted in ecstasy.  Allured by the sweet sound of Krishna's flute, they hurried to the town gate  to greet Him. Although Krishna, the universal guru and the vanquisher of demons, had illed the demon Aghasura one year earlier, the cowherd boys thought hat on  that very day Krishna had killed the demon. The mothers of the oys greeted them happily and beautified them by cleansing the dust from  heir bodies. With excitement and animation the cowherd boys told the onderful pastimes of Krishna.

They said, "Mother, Krishna is the crest jewel of all magicians. We  per­sonally saw His astounding activities. Our hearts filled with joy as  we watched Him perform impossible feats. Once Krishna came and saved us when  we were trapped in a devastating fire that burned us like poison." The  cowherd boys of Vrndavana felt the passage of a year to be but a moment.  They explained the pastimes of Krishna in great detail. Pointing with his right index finger, Vrajaraja Nanda ordered his royal  attendants to serve Krishna. After bathing Him, they fed Him food and  drinks. The learned Krishna, of reddish eyes and charming character, found  relief in their tender care. His body excelled the softness of a sirisa  flower

nd the coolness of camphor. After mother Yasoda tenderly fondled her  beloved son, Nanda asked Krishna to take rest.Nanda Maharaja said, "Yasoda,  as a wealthy man keeps his clothes and servants in separate rooms, now I  think we should make a separate room for Krishna to sleep in." Smiling  slightly, Yasoda replied, "But it seems that only a few days have passed  since His birth. Even now He can hardly protect Himself. I cannot live a  moment without having Him sit on my lap."Understanding her heart, Nanda  Maharaja replied with gentle words, "O Yasoda, your memory is not very  good. From the moment of His birth you have enjoyed the wealth of His  pastimes. On one side we are very wealthy." By not replying Yasoda  communicated her approval. Nanda felt elated to see her response, so the  next day he built special quarters for Krishna.Despite unlimited personal  efforts one cannot understand the transcen­dental pastimes of Krishna. Even  though he outwits the best of yogis, Lord Brahma became totally bewildered  by this tiny boy. During this time Krishna killed a variety of demons like  Vatsasura, Bakasura, and Aghasura. Krishna also bewildered Lord  Brahma, the  creator of the universe, while enjoying a picnic on the bank of Yamuna.  Thus ends the description of the kumara lila of Lord Shri Krishna.