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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."
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.