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Lord Krishna shows the Universal Form within His mouth.
Vasudeva requested Gargamuni, the family priest of the Yadu dynasty, to go and visit Nanda Maharaja. Upon seeing the arrival of his guest, Nanda Maharaja got up with great pleasure and welcomed him with folded hands. Although Nanda Maharaja was seeing Gargamuni, he could appreciate that the rishi was not an ordinary person, and thus normally could not be perceived by material eyes.
After Gargamuni was comfortably seated, Nanda Maharaja said in a gentle voice, “Dear sir, because you are a great devotee, you are full in yourself. Still, it is my duty to serve you. Kindly order me. What can I do for you? Persons like you move from one place to another, not for their own interest, but for the sake of the poor-hearted householders.”
“O best of brahmanas, you have mastered the knowledge of astrology, whereby one can understand what a person has done in his past life and how it affects his present life. Because you have kindly come to my house, please execute the reformatory ceremonies for my two sons and calculate their horoscopes.”
Gargamuni replied, “My dear Nanda Maharaja, I am the priest of the Yadu dynasty, and so if I perform the purifacatory process for your sons, Kansa will surely consider Them to be the sons of Devaki. Kansa is a great diplomat and a very sinful man. He already heard from Yogamaya that the child who would kill him was already born somewhere else, although previously it was predicted that Devaki’s eighth son would do so. He has understood your great friendship with Vasudeva, and now if he hears that I have performed the purificatory ceremonies, he will certainly consider all these points. Suspecting that Krishna is the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, Kansa will surely try to kill Him.”
Nanda Maharaja said, “If you think that your performing the ritual of giving second birth will make Kansa suspicious, then do so secretly here in my cowshed, without telling anyone, not even my relatives.”
Being already desirous of doing so, Gargamuni readily agreed to Nanda Maharaja’s proposal.
While performing the name-giving ceremony, Gargamuni said, “This son of Rohini will give great happiness to His relatives and friends and thus He will be known as Rama. Because of manifesting extraordinary bodily strength, He will also be called Bala. Because he unites two families, Vasudeva’s and yours, He will be known as Sankarshana.”
Although Gargamuni disclosed the secret of Krishna’s birth, he did not inform Nanda that Balarama had been transferred from Devaki’s womb to Rohini’s womb.
Gargamuni continued, “Your son Krishna appears as an incarnation in every millennium. In the past, He assumed different colors- white, red and yellow- and now He has appeared in a blackish color. Because your son appeared as the son of Vasudeva, He is sometimes called Vasudeva. To increase the transcendental bliss of the residents of Gokula, this child will always act for your welfare, and thus you shall surpass all difficulties. You should know that those who are devoted to Krishna can never be defeated by demons, such as Kansa’s associates.”
“Nanda, your child is as good as Narayana, in terms of His qualities, opulence, name, fame and influence. Therefore, you should raise Him very carefully and with caution.”
Gargamuni then took permission to leave and departed, and having heard from him, Nanda Maharaja felt himself to be very fortunate indeed.
After a short while, Krishna and Balarama began to crawl, and in this way, they enjoyed Their childhood play. While crawling in the mud created by cow dung and cow urine, They appeared like crawling serpents. Sometimes, hearing the ankle-bells of others, which were very pleasing to Them, They would follow such persons, thinking them to be their mothers. Then, when Krishna and Balarama saw that these were other people, They became afraid and hurried home to Yashoda and Rohini.
Decorated with mud mixed with cow dung and cow’s urine, the babies looked very beautiful, and upon seeing Them, Yashoda and Rohini would pick them up with great affection and embrace Them, and then allow Them to suck their breasts. While sucking Their mothers’ breasts, the babies would smile, and thus Their small teeth became visible.
Sometimes, baby Krishna and Balarama would catch the ends of the calves’ tails, so that the frightened calves would drag Them here and there. When the neighborhood ladies saw these pastimes, they would stop their household chores and laugh, while enjoying the play. Indeed, as the calves dragged Them, Krishna and Balarama acted as if They were afraid, and so They would hold onto the tails tightly, not letting go. The ladies would thus have to go and rescue Them, and this was part of the fun.
Besides this transcendental pleasure, there was also transcendental anxiety, because the boys were so restless. While performing their household duties, Yashoda and Rohini would be always anxious that they would not be able to protect Krishna and Balarama from the threat of horned cows; fire; animals with claws, such as monkeys, cats and dogs; as well as bushes with sharp thorns.
After a short time, Krishna and Balarama began to stand up and walk a little by catching hold of something. Soon thereafter, when They could walk nicely, Krishna and Balarama began to play with other children as well. All of the cowherd women in the neighborhood took great pleasure in watching Krishna’s restless activities.
Just to relish these pastimes again and again, they would approach Mother Yashoda and speak as follows: “Our dear friend, your son sometimes comes to our houses, before the milking of the cows, and He releases the calves. When the master of the house becomes angry, your child merely smiles. Sometime He steals yogurt, butter and milk, which he then eats or drinks. When there are monkeys around, He gives them a share, and when the monkeys are so full that they won’t take any more, He breaks the pots. Sometimes, when your child finds no opportunity to steal something, He becomes angry and pinches the small babies. After the babies start crying, He leaves.”
“When the milk and yogurt are hung from the ceiling, Krishna and Balarama put the grinding stone underneath, along with pieces of wood. By climbing up so that these pots are within reach, They make holes in them so that the butter and yogurt leak out. Even if we hide the milk and yogurt in a dark room, Their jewels provide enough light for Them to steal the pots.”
“When Krishna is caught, the master of the house pretends to be angry and says, ‘Oh, You are a thief.’ Krishna then replies, ‘I am not a thief, you are a thief.’ Sometimes, being angry, Krishna passes stool or urine in a clean place. Now look, this expert thief is sitting here before you, just like a good boy.”
When Mother Yashoda would look at her son’s eyes, He appeared to be very afraid, and so she would hesitate to chastise Him. The gopis would also simply look at Krishna’s beautiful face, and by doing so they enjoyed transcendental bliss. Seeing them like this, Mother Yashoda would smile at the fun and would forget about punishing her son.
Sometimes, when Krishna and Balarama were caught stealing butter, They would deny it, saying, “Do you think that there is any scarcity in our house?” When the monkeys would become full and refuse to eat any more, Krishna and Balarama would say, “This butter and yogurt are completely useless.” After describing Krishna’s naughty behavior, the gopis would urge Yashoda to take away His jewels. When Yashoda would agree to do so, however, the gopis explained that even without His jewels, Krishna possessed such great effulgence that He would be able to see in the dark. Mother Yashoda would then advise the gopis to keep their things more carefully.
One day while Krishna was playing with Balarama and His other playmates (the sons of the gopas), they all went and complained to Mother Yashoda. “Mother,” they said, “Krishna has eaten dirt.”
Mother Yashoda was always in anxiety, thinking of Krishna’s welfare. Going quickly, she picked Him up while trying to look in His mouth, saying, “Dear Krishna, why are You so restless that You have eaten dirt in a solitary place?” All of Your playmates have complained against You, including Your elder brother, Balarama.”
Lord Shri Krishna replied, “My dear mother, I have not eaten dirt. My friends are all lying. They have plotted together, just so you will punish Me, and my elder brother Balarama has joined them. If you think that I am lying, then look in My mouth and see.”
Mother Yashoda accepted the challenge and ordered, “If You have not eaten dirt, then open Your mouth wide.”
Krishna opened His mouth, and without disturbing His mother’s natural maternal affection, He displayed His opulence. Within Krishna’s mouth, Mother Yashoda saw all moving and non-moving entities; outer space; and all directions, including the mountains, oceans, and islands on the surface of the earth. She saw the planetary systems, and the process of creation. She saw the senses, mind and the three modes of material nature. She saw the time allotted for the living entities, as well as their natural instincts and the reactions of karma. Indeed, Mother Yashoda saw herself in Vrindavana, taking Krishna upon her lap, and while seeing all this, she became confused about the nature of her son.
Mother Yashoda wondered, “Is this a dream, or is it an illusion created by the external energy? Has this vision been created out of my own mind, or is this all due some mystic power of my child?”
Actually, Mother Yashoda reasoned as follows: First, she thought that she might be dreaming, but then she rejected the idea because her eyes were open and she was not sleeping. Next, she thought it could be an illusion created by devamaya. This she rejected also, considering herself an insignificant person, of no concern to the demigods. As for being mentally deranged, she felt quite fit and healthy. Thus, she concluded that her son had mystic power, as predicted by Gargamuni.
Mother Yashoda continued thinking: “Let me surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for He is the cause of all causes. It is by the influence of the Supreme Lord’s maya that I wrongly think Nanda Maharaja is my husband- that Krishna is my son- and that because I am Nanda Maharaja’s queen, all of the cows and calves are my possessions, and all of the cowherd men and their wives are my subjects. Actually, I am the eternal servant of the Supreme Lord, and He is my ultimate shelter.”
It is a fact that when one is confronted by overwhelming difficulties, the only solution is to take shelter of the Supreme Lord, like Mother Yashoda. By the grace of the Lord, Mother Yashoda understood the complete philosophy of life. The next moment, however, by the influence of the internal potency, yogamaya, she once again became absorbed in maternal affection for her son.
After hearing about Mother Yashoda’s great fortune, Maharaja Parikshit asked Shukadeva Gosvami what past auspicious activities she and her husband had performed so that they could achieve such perfection in ecstatic love. Vasudeva and Devaki were such great devotees that Krishna appeared as their son, and yet Nanda and Yashoda enjoyed Krishna’s childhood pastimes, and thus their position was certainly superior.
Shukadeva Gosvami then said, “Drona, the best of the Vasus, along with his wife, Dhara, once said to Lord Brahma, ‘Please allow us to be born on the earth. After our appearance, let the Supreme Lord appear as our son. In this way, the Lord can propagate devotional service, the ultimate goal of life, so that those who are born in the material world may be very easily delivered from their miserable condition.’ ”
Lord Brahma replied, “Yes, let it be so” and thereafter Drona appeared in Vrindavana as Nanda Maharaja, and Dhara appeared as Yashoda. Krishna and Balarama also appeared there, just to substantiate Brahma’s benediction.
Actually, Maharaja Parikshit knew that Nanda and Yashoda are the eternal father and mother of Krishna, and not ordinary human beings. Still, he inquired about Nanda and Yashoda because he wanted to know whether a sadhana-siddha devotee (a conditioned soul who follows the principles of devotional service to achieve perfection) can attain the position of Krishna’s mother and father. Drona and Dhara are the eternal father and mother of Lord Krishna. When they were asked by Lord Brahma to produce progeny, they requested that the Supreme Lord could become their son. It is not possible for a saddhana-siddha devotee to become the father or mother of Krishna, for Krishna’s parents are already designated. But by following the principles exhibited by Nanda and Yashoda, ordinary living beings can attain the same kind of affection for the Lord that Nanda and Yashoda exhibited.