—Excerpt from a work in progress by
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
[His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s forthcoming book, KRISHNA, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, will contain all the transcendental Pastimes of Lord Krishna when He appeared within the universe 5,000 years ago, as revealed in the ultimate scripture, Srimad Bhagavatam.]
[From Chapter Eight: Lord Krishna appeared as a Child, the Son of Vasudeva and Devaki, and was transferred to the home of Nanda and Yasoda so as to escape being killed by Devaki’s brother, the demon Kansa. When Krishna was one year old, His foster father Nanda Maharaj called in the astrologer-sage Gargamuni to foretell the Child’s future.]
Gargamuni was an astrologer and he could understand everything past and future; therefore he said: “I know everything about His Activities and Name, but others do not know. This nice Child will be very pleasing to all the cowherdsmen and cows. Being very popular in Vrindaban, He will be the Cause of all auspicity for you. On account of His presence He will overcome all kinds of calamities of material existence without any opposing elements.” Gargamuni continued to say: “My dear King of Braja, in His previous births, this Child many times protected righteous persons from the hands of rogues and thieves wherever there was political disruption. Your Child is so powerful that anyone who will become a devotee of your Boy will never be troubled by any enemies. Just as demigods are always protected by Lord Vishnu, so the devotees of your Child will always be protected by Narayan the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This Child will grow in power, beauty, opulence—in everything on the level of Narayan the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore I would advise that you protect Him very carefully so that He may grow without any disturbance.” Gargamuni informed Nanda Maharaj that, because he was a great devotee of Narayan, so Lord Narayan had given a Son who was equal to Him At the same time he indicated, “Your Son will be disturbed by many demons so be careful and protect Him from all future disturbances.” In this way, Gargamuni convinced Nanda Maharaj that Narayan Himself had become his Son. In various ways he described the transcendental qualities of his Son. When Gargamuni had gone back to his home, Nanda Maharaj began to think of himself as the most fortunate and he was very satisfied to be blessed with such a Son.
Within a very short time, both Balaram and Krishna began to crawl by Their hands and knees and were moving hither and thither. When Rama and Krishna were crawling like that it was very pleasing to the mothers. Their bells fixed up on the waist and ankles sounded very fascinating and They moved around very pleasingly; and sometimes, just like ordinary children, being afraid of others, they would immediately reach to Their mothers for protection. Sometimes They would fall over the clay and muds of Vrindaban. The crawling Children, Krishna and Balaram, would approach Their mothers smeared with clay and saffron. They were actually smeared with saffron and sandalwood pulp by Their mothers but after crawling over muddy clay Their Bodies were also smeared with clay. As soon as They would come crawling to Their mothers, Yasoda and Rohini would take Them on their laps and covering the lower portion of their saris, they allowed Them to suck the breast. When the Babies were sucking the breast the mothers would see small teeth coming within the mouth and they would be intensified with joy seeing their Children growing. Sometimes the naughty Babies would crawl up to the cowshed, catch the tail of a cow, and stand up. The calves, being disturbed by such catching, would immediately begin running here and there, and the Child would be dragged on clay and cow dung. Yasoda and Rohini would call all their neighboring friends, the gopis, to see this fun. By seeing the Childhood Pastimes, the gopis would be merged in transcendental bliss. And in their enjoyment they laughed very loudly.
Both Krishna and Balaram were restless, and the mothers Yasoda and Rohini tried to protect Them from cows, bulls, monkeys, water and birds; at the same time they had to execute their household duties. Always anxious to protect the Children and to execute their duties, they were not situated in tranquility of mind. In a very short time both Krishna and Balaram began to stand up and slightly move on Their legs. When Krishna and Balaram began to walk, other friends of the same age joined Them and together They began to give the highest transcendental pleasure to the gopis, specifically to Mother Yasoda and Rohini.
In order to enjoy further transcendental bliss, all the gopis assembled and went to Mother Yasoda to lodge complaints against the restless Boys. While Krishna was sitting before Mother Yasoda the elderly gopis began to lodge complaints against Him, so that Krishna could also hear. They said: “My dear Yasoda, why don’t you restrict your naughty Krishna. Every day your Krishna along with Balaram comes to our house both morning and evening, and before the milking of the cows they let the calves loose, and the calves drink all the cows’ milk. When we go to milk the cows we see there is no milk and we come back with empty pots. The calves have already drunk all the milk. If we try to warn Krishna and Balaram against doing this, They simply smile charmingly and then we cannot do anything. Another complaint against your Krishna and Balaram is that They find great pleasure in stealing our stock of yogurt and butter from anywhere we keep it. When Krishna and Balaram are caught stealing the yogurt and butter They say: ‘Why do you charge Us for stealing? Do you think that butter and yogurt are in scarcity in Our house?’ Sometimes They steal the butter and yogurt and milk and distribute it to the monkeys, and when the monkeys are fed well and do not take anymore, then your Boys chide, ‘This milk and butter and yogurt are useless even the monkeys won’t take it.’ And They break the pots and throw them hither and thither. If we keep our stock of yogurt, butter and milk in a solitary dark place, your Krishna and Balaram find it out in the darkness by the glaring effulgence of the ornaments and jewels on Their Bodies. If by chance They cannot find the hidden butter and yogurt, They go to the little babies and pinch their bodies so that they cry, and then They arrange to reach it by piling all kinds of wooden carts over the grinding machine; and in that way They reach the pot of butter and yogurt. And if They cannot reach the hanging butter and yogurt by piling up carts, They make a hoIe in the pot, We think therefore that you’d better take all the jeweled ornaments from the Body of your Child.” On hearing this Yasoda would say. “All right, I will take all the jewels from the Body of Krishna so that He may not see the butter hidden in darkness.’ Then the gopis would say, “No, no, don’t do this. What good will you do by taking out the jewels? We do not know what kind of Boys these naughty Boys are, but even without ornaments They spread some kind of effulgence so that even in darkness They can see everything.” Then MotherYasoda would inform them: ”All right. keep your butter and yogurt carefully so that They may not reach the place.” In reply to this the gopis said. ”Yes, actually we do so, but because we are sometimes engaged in our household duties, these naughty Boys enter our house somehow or other, and spoil the whole thing. Sometimes being unable to steal our butter and yogurt, out of anger They pass urine on the clean floor and sometimes They spit on it. Just see your Boy now-He is hearing this complaint. The whole day They make arrangements how to steal our butter and yogurt. and now They are sitting just like very silent good Boys. Just see His face.” After hearing all the complaints, Mother Yasoda desired to chastise her Boy, but when she saw the pitiable face of Krishna she began to smile. and stopped chastising Him.
Another day, when Krishna and Balaram were playing along with Their friends, all the friends combined together with Balaram and lodged a complaint to Mother Yasoda that Krishna had eaten clay from the earth. On hearing this complaint from the boys. Mother Yasoda caught hold of Krishna’s hand. Krishna was very afraid of His mother and saw her in a very attractive outlook. She said: “My dear Krishna, why have You eaten earth in a solitary place? Just see, all Your friends including Balaram are complaining against You.” Being afraid of His mother, Krishna would reply: “My dear mother. all these boys including My elder brother Balaram are speaking lies against Me, I have never eaten or taken any clay. I know My elder brother Balaram, while playing with Me today, became angry and therefore He has also joined with the other boys to complain against Me. They have all combined together to complain, so you may be angry and chastise Me. If you think They are truthful then you can see within My mouth whether I have taken clay.” His mother replied. ”All right, if You have actually not taken any clay then just open Your mouth, I shall see.” When the Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna was so ordered by His mother, He immediately opened His mouth, just like an ordinary boy. Then Mother Yasoda saw within that mouth the complete opulence of creation. She saw the entire outer space in all directions, mountains, islands, oceans, seas, planets, air, fire, moon and the stars. Along with the moon and the stars she also saw the entire elements like water, sky, the extensive ethereal existence along with total ego and their products of the senses: she saw the Controller of the senses, all the demigods and the objects of the senses like sound, smell, etc. and the three qualities of material nature. She also could experience that within His mouth were all the living entities, eternal Time, the material nature, the spiritual nature, activity, consciousness and the different forms of the whole creation. Yasoda could find within the face of her Child everything meant for cosmic manifestation. She also saw within the mouth, herself, taking Krishna on her lap and Him sucking her breast. By seeing all this she became struck with wonder and began to think whether she was dreaming or actually seeing something extraordinary. She began to think within herself that actually she was either dreaming or seeing the play of the illusory energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. She thought she had become mad, and deranged in her brain, so that she was seeing all those wonderful things. She was thinking, “It may be cosmic mystic power attained by my Child and therefore I am perplexed with such visions within His mouth. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead under whose energy the conception of bodily self and bodily possession are conceived.” She said: “Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Him, under whose illusory energy I am thinking that Nanda Maharaj is my husband and Krishna is my Son, and all the properties of Nanda Maharaj belong to me, and all the cowherdsmen and women are my subjects. All this misconception is due to the illusory energy of the Supreme Lord. So let me pray to Him that He may protect me always.” When Mother Yasoda was thinking in that high philosophical way, Lord Krishna again expanded His internal energy just to bewilder her with material affection. Immediately Mother Yasoda forgot all philosophical speculation and accepted Krishna as her own Child. She took Him on her lap and became overwhelmed with familial affection. She thus began to think, “Krishna is not understandable to the masses through the gross process of knowledge but can be received through the Upanishads and the Vedanta or mystic Yoga system and Samkhya philosophy.” She began to think of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as her own begotten Child. Certainly Mother Yasoda had executed many, many pious activities as a result of which she got the Absolute Truth Supreme Personality of Godhead as her Son who sucked milk from her breast. Similarly, Nanda Maharaj also must have performed many great sacrifices and pious activities so that Lord Krishna became his Son and addressed him as father. But it is surprising that Vasudeva and Devaki did not enjoy the transcendental bliss of Krishna’s Childhood Pastimes, although Krishna was their real Son. The Childhood Pastimes of Krishna are glorified even until today by many, many sages and saintly persons, but Vasudeva and Devaki could not enjoy such Childhood Pastimes personally. Why Vasudeva and Devaki could not enjoy the Childhood Pastimes of Krishna is explained by Sukadeva Goswami to Maharaj Parikshit as follows.
When the best of the Vasus, of the name Drona, along with his wife Thara were ordered to increase progeny by Lord Brahma they said unto him, “My dear father, we are seeking your benediction.” Drona and Thara took benediction from Brahma that in the future—when they would take birth again within the universe-the Supreme Lord Krishna in His most attractive feature of Childhood would absorb their whole attention. Their dealings with Krishna would be so attractive that simply by hearing Krishna’s Childhood Activities with them anyone can very easily cross over the nescience of birth and death. Lord Brahma agreed to give them the benediction, and as a result the same Drona appeared as Nanda Maharaj in Vrindaban, and the same Thara appeared as Mother Yasoda, the wife of Nanda Maharaj.
In this way, Nanda Maharaj and his wife, Mother Yasoda, developed their unalloyed devotion for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, having gotten Him as their Son. And all the gopis and cowherdsmen who were Associates of Krishna naturally developed their own different feelings of love for Krishna.
Therefore, just to fulfill the benediction of Lord Brahma, Lord Krishna appeared along with His plenary expansion, Balaram, and executed all kinds of Childhood Pastimes—in order to increase the transcendental pleasure of all residents of Vrindaban.
Benedicting the Gopis
Once upon a time, seeing that her maidservant was engaged in different household duties, Mother Yasoda personally took charge of churning butter. While she was churning butter she was also singing the Childhood Pastimes of Krishna and enjoying transcendental feelings.
The end of her sari was tightly wrapped while she churned, and on account of her intense love for her Son, milk was automatically dripping from her breasts which were moving as she labored very hard, churning with her two hands. The bangles and bracelets on her hands were tinkling as they touched against each other. Her earrings and breasts being shaken, there were drops of perspiration on her face and the flower garland which was on her head was dispersed here and there. Before this picturesque sight of Mother Yasoda, Lord Krishna appeared, as a Child. He felt hungry, and by increasing the feeling of love for His mother, He wanted Her to stop churning—He was indicating that her first business was to let Him suck her breast. He indicated in such a way that His mother knew she must breast-feed Krishna first, and churn butter later.
Mother Yasoda took her Son on her lap and pushed the nipples of her breasts within the mouth of Krishna. And while Krishna was sucking the milk, she was smiling enjoying the beauty of her Child’s face. Suddenly, the milk pan which was on the oven became swollen with milk and began to overflow. Just to stop the milk from spilling on the ground, Mother Yasoda at once put Krishna aside and went to the oven to save the milk. Left in that state by His mother, Krishna became very angry and His lips and eyes became reddened in rage. He pressed His teeth and lips, and taking a piece of stone He immediately broke the butter pot. Taking butter out of it, and with false tears in His eyes, He began to eat the butter in a secluded place.
In the meantime, Mother Yasoda returned to the churning place after setting the overflowing milk pan in order. She saw the broken pot in which the churning yogurt was kept and she could not find her Boy. She concluded that the broken pot was the work of her Son, and she began to smile because she thought within herself: “The Child is very clever. After breaking the pot He has gone away from this place fearing that I may punish Him.” When she sought all over she found a big wooden grinding mortar which was kept upside down and she found her Son sitting on the grinding mortar. He was taking butter which was hanging from the ceiling on a swing and He was feeding it to the monkeys. She saw Krishna looking this way and that way, in fear of His mother because He was conscious that His behavior would not satisfy her. After seeing her Son so engaged, she very silently
began to approach Krishna from behind. The Son, however, found out that His mother was coming with a stick in her hand and immediately He got down from the grinding mortar and began to flee away in fear of His mother.
Mother Yasoda chased after Him to all corners, just to capture the Supreme Personality of Godhead who is never approached even by the expert meditational mind exercises of great yogis. In other words, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, who is never caught hold of by yogis and jnanis, was playing just like a little Child of a great devotee like Mother Yasoda. Mother Yasoda, however, could not follow her fast-running Child so quickly, on account of her thick waist and heavy body. Still she tried to follow the Child as fast as possible. Her bunch of hair became loosened and the flower in her hair fell to the ground. Although she was tired, she somehow reached her naughty Child and captured Him. When Mother Yasoda captured Krishna, Krishna was almost on the point of crying. He smeared His hands over His eyes, which were annointed with black eye-cosmetic. The Child was repeatedly seeing His mother’s face while she stood over Him; and His eyes became too restless from fear. Mother Yasoda could understand that Krishna was being unnecessarily afraid and for His benefit she wanted to stop such fearfulness.
Being the topmost well-wisher of her Child, Mother Yasoda began to think within herself, “If the Child is too fearful of me, I don’t know what will happen to Him.” Mother Yasoda threw away the stick in her hand. But in order to punish her Child she thought to bind His hands with some ropes, without knowing the influence of her little Child. It was actually impossible for her to bind the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Mother Yasoda was thinking that Krishna was her tiny Child she did not know that the Child had no limitation. There is no inside or outside of the Child, nor beginning or end. He is unlimited and All-Pervading. Practically, He is Himself the whole cosmic manifestation. Still, Mother Yasoda was thinking of Krishna as her Child; although He is beyond the reach of all senses, she endeavored to bind Him up to a wooden grinding mortar. But when she tried to bind the offensive Child, she found that the rope she was using was too short—by two inches She gathered more ropes from the house and added to it, but at the end she found the same shortage. In this way, she connected all the ropes available at home, but when the final knot was added she saw that it was still too short. Mother Yasoda was smiling, but astonished—how was it happening?
In attempting to bind her Son, she became too tired and was perspiring. The garland on her head fell down. Then Lord Krishna appreciated the hard labor of His mother, and being compassionate to her, He agreed to be bound up by the ropes. Krishna playing as a human Child in the house of MotherYasoda was performing His own selected Pastimes; otherwise, nobody can control the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The pure devotee surrenders himself unto the Lotus Feet of the Lord, and He may either protect or vanquish the devotee—but for his part, the devotee never forgets his own position of surrender. Similarly, the Lord also feels transcendental pleasure by submitting Himself under the protection of the devotee. This was exemplified by Krishna’s surrender unto His mother, Yasoda.
Krishna is the Supreme Bestower of all kinds of liberation to His devotees, but the benediction which was bestowed upon Mother Yasoda was never experienced even by Lord Brahma or Lord Shiva or the Goddess of Fortune.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead who is known as the Son of Yasoda and Nanda Maharaj is never so completely known to the yogis and jnanis, but He is easily available to His devotees. And it is the devotees alone who appreciate Him as the Supreme Reservoir of All Pleasure.
After binding her Son, Mother Yasoda engaged herself in the household affairs. At that time, bound up to the wooden mortar, Krishna could see a pair of trees before Him, known as arjuna trees. The great Reservoir of Pleasure, Lord Sri Krishna, thus thought to Himself: “MotherYasoda first of all left me without feeding Me sufficiently of her breast milk, and therefore I broke the pot of yogurt and distributed the stock butter in charity to the monkeys. Now she has again bound Me up to the wooden mortar. So I shall do something more mischievous than before.” And thus He thought of breaking down two very tall arjuna trees.
There is a story behind the pair of arjuna trees. In their previous lives the trees were born as the human sons of Kuvera, and their names were Nalakuvera and Manigriva. Fortunately, they came within the vision of the Lord. In their previous lives they were cursed by the great sage Narada in order to bestow on them the highest benediction of seeing Lord Krishna. This benediction of cursing was bestowed upon them on account of their forgetfulness by intoxication.
Deliverance of Nalakuvera and Manigriva
The story of the cursing of Nalakuvera and Manigriva and their deliverance by Krishna, under the all-blissful desire of the sage Narada, is here described, as follows.
The two great demigods Nalakuvera and Manigriva were sons of the treasurer of the demigods, Kuvera, who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. By the grace of Lord Shiva, Kuvera’s material opulence had no limit. And as a rich man’s sons often become addicted to wine and women, so these two sons of Kuvera were also addicted to wine and sex. Once, these two demigods, desiring to enjoy, entered the garden of Lord Shiva in the province of Kwelasa on the bank of Mandakini Ganges. At that place they drank much and were engaged in hearing the sweet singing of beautiful women who accompanied them in that garden which was full of fragrant flowers. In intoxicated condition, they both entered the water of the Ganges which was full with lotus flowers; and they began to enjoy the company of the young girls exactly as the elephant enjoys with the she-elephants within the water.
While they were enjoying in the water, all of a sudden Narada the great sage happened to pass that way; and he could understand that the demigods Nalakuvera and Manigriva were too intoxicated and could not even see that Narada was passing. The young girls, however, were not so intoxicated as the demigods, and they at once became ashamed on account of being naked before the great sage Narada. They began to cover themselves with all hastiness. The two demigod sons of Kuvera were so intoxicated that they could not appreciate the presence of sage Narada, and therefore did not cover their bodies. On seeing the two demigods so degraded by intoxication, Narada desired for their welfare and therefore he exhibited his causeless mercy upon them by cursing them The great sage was compassionate upon them and therefore wanted to finish their false enjoyment in intoxication and associating with young girls; and he wanted them to see Lord Krishna eye to eye. He conceived of cursing them as follows. He said that the nature for material enjoyment is due to an increase in the modes of passion. A person in the material world, when favored by material opulence of riches, generally becomes addicted to three things-namely intoxication, sex life and gambling. Such materially opulent men, being puffed up with accumulation of wealth, become so merciless that they indulge in killing animals by opening regular slaughter houses. And they think that they themselves will never die. Such foolish persons, forgetting the laws of nature, become too puffed up with the body, without knowing that this material body-even if advanced in civilization up to the position of demigods-will finally burn into ashes. And while living, whatever the external condition of the body may be, within there is only stool, urine and various kinds of worms. Thus being engaged in jealousy and violence to other bodies, they cannot understand the ultimate goal of life; and without knowing this goal of life they generally glide down to the hellish condition of life in their next birth. Foolish persons commit all kinds of sinful activities on account of this temporary body, but they are unable to consider whether this body actually belongs to them.
Generally it is said that the body belongs to the persons who feed the body. It is therefore to be considered whether this body belongs to me personally or to my master, to whom I render service. The master of slaves claims full right to the body of the slave because the master feeds the slave by supplying foodstuff. It may be questioned then, whether this body belongs to the father who is the seed-giving master of this body. The next question is whether this body actually belongs to the mother, because when the child is within the womb of the mother, she develops the child’s body by her own blood and secretion. Sometimes a grandfather, a mother or father gives his daughter in charity to a person with a view to getting back the daughter’s child as their son. The body may also belong to a stronger man who forces another body to work for him. And at the end of life the body belongs to the fire, because the body is given to the fire and burned to ashes. Or the body is thrown into the street to be eaten by the dogs. Before committing all kinds of sins for maintaining the body, one should be considerate and understand to whom the body belongs. Ultimately it is concluded that the body is a product of the material nature, and at the end it merges into the material nature; therefore, the conclusion should be that the body belongs to the material nature. One should not wrongly think that this body belongs to him. For maintaining a false possession why should one indulge in killing? Why should one kill innocent animals for maintaining the body? When a man is infatuated with the false prestige of opulence, he does not care for any moral instruction, but indulges in wine, women and animal killing. In such circumstances, a poor man is better situated. Because a poor man thinks of himself in comparison to other bodies. A poor man does not wish to inflict injuries to other bodies because he can understand more readily that when he himself is injured he feels pain. As such the great sage Narada thought that the demigods Nalakuvera and Manigriva were so much infatuated by false prestige that they should be put into a condition of life where there is no opulence.
A person who has some pinprick in his body does not wish others to be pricked by pins; a considerate man in the life of poverty does not wish others to be also put into that condition of life. Generally it is seen that one who has come up from poverty-stricken life and becomes wealthy creates some charitable institutional at the end of his life, so that other poverty-stricken men may take advantage. In short, a compassionate poor man can think of others’ pains and pleasures by comparing himself in that condition. A poor man can hardly become puffed up with fake pride, and he is freed from all kinds of infatuation. He can remain satisfied by whatever he gets for his maintenance by the Grace of the Lord. To remain in poverty-stricken condition is a kind of austerity. According to Vedic culture, therefore, the brahmins as a matter of routine keep themselves in poverty-stricken condition, to save themselves from the false prestige of material opulence. False prestige out of advancement of material prosperity is a great impediment to spiritual emancipation. A poverty-stricken man cannot become unnaturally fatty by eating more and more. And on account of not being able to eat more than he requires, his senses are not very turbulent. When the senses are not very turbulent he cannot become violent.
Another advantage of a poverty-stricken person is that a saintly person can easily enter his house and he can get the advantage of the saintly person’s association. A very rich, opulent man does not allow anyone to enter into his house, therefore the saintly person cannot enter. According to the Vedic system, a saintly person takes the position of a beggar mendicant, so that on the plea of begging something from the householder, he can enter any house. The householder who has forgotten everything about spiritual advancement, because he is too busy in maintaining the family affairs, can get some advantage for spiritual emancipation in the association of a saintly person. There is a great chance for the poor man to become liberated on account of association with the saintly person. What is the use of persons who are puffed up with material opulence of wealth and prestige, if they are bereft of the association of saintly persons and devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead? The great sage Narada, therefore, thought that it was his duty to put those demigods into a condition of life where they could not be falsely proud of their material opulence and prestige. Narada was compassionate with their fallen condition and wanted to save them from such pitiable life. They were in the modes of darkness and therefore unable to control their senses, addicted too much to sex life; and it was the duty of the saintly person to save them from such abominable condition of life. In animal life, the animal has no sense to understand that he is naked. But Kuvera was the treasurer of the demigods, a very responsible man, and Nalakuvera and Manigriva were two of his sons. Yet they became so animal-like and irresponsible that they could not understand, on account of being intoxicated, that they were naked. To cover the lower portion of the body is human civilization, and when a man or woman forgets this principle of human civilization, he or she is no more than an animal. Narada therefore thought that the best punishment for them was to make them immovable living entities, or trees. The trees are, by nature’s laws, immovable; although the trees are covered in the modes of ignorance, they cannot do harm. The great sage Narada thought within himself that, although they would be punished to become trees, yet, by his mercy, they would continue to keep their memory and could understand from what condition of life they had come to be put into that condition of becoming trees. After changing the body a living entity generally forgets the condition of his previous life, but in special cases, by the Grace of the Lord, there may be an exception. Thus Nalakuvera and Manigriva still continued to remember their former condition of life, even after being put into the life of immovable trees.
Sage Narada therefore contemplated that the two demigods should remain for 100 years, in the time of the demigods, in the form of trees, and after that they would be fortunate enough to see the Supreme Personality of Godhead face to face by His Causeless Mercy. And thus they would be again promoted to the life of demigods and great devotees of the Lord. After this, the great sage Narada returned to his place known as Narayan Ashram and the two demigods turned into trees, known as twin arjun trees, grown in the courtyard of Nanda Maharaj. The two demigods were favored by the causeless mercy of Narada and given the chance to grow in Nanda’s courtyard and see Lord Krishna face to face.
When the Child Krishna was bound up with the wooden mortar, He began to proceed towards the growing trees in order to fulfill the foretelling of His great devotee Narada. Lord Krishna thought within Himself that Narada was His great devotee, and the trees standing before Him as twin arjuna trees were actually the sons of Kuvera. “I must now fulfill the words of My great devotee Narada.” After thinking this, Child Krishna began to proceed through the passage in between the two trees, and although He passed through the space between the trees, the wooden mortar fell down horizontally and was stuck between the two trees. Taking this advantage of the mortar being stuck, Lord Krishna began to snatch the rope tight in His waist. As soon as there was a great jerking on account of pulling the rope, the two entire trees, with all branches and limbs, fell down immediately with a great sound. Out of the broken, fallen trees came two great personalities shining like blazing fire. All sides became illuminated and beautiful by their presence, and the purified bodies immediately came before Child Krishna and bowed down to offer their respects and prayers in the following words: “My dear Lord Krishna, You are the Original Personality of Godhead, Master of all mystic powers. Learned brahmins know very well that this cosmic manifestation is an expansion of Your potencies which are sometimes manifested and sometimes unmanifest. You are the Original Provider of the life, body and senses of all living entities. You are the eternal God, Lord Vishnu, who is All-Pervading, the principal Controller of everything. You are the Original Source of the cosmic manifestation which is acting manifestedly under the spell of the three modes of material nature-goodness, passion and ignorance. You are living as the Supersoul in all the multi-forms of living entities, and You know very well what is going on within their bodies and minds; therefore You are the Supreme Director of all activities of all living entities. But although You are in the midst of everything which is under the spell of the material modes of nature, You are not affected by such contaminated qualities. Nobody under the jurisdiction of the material qualities can understand Your transcendental qualities. Your transcendental qualities existed before the creation, therefore You are called the Supreme Brahman who is always glorified by His Personal internal potencies. In this material world You can be known only by Your different Incarnations. Although You assume different types of Bodies they are not anything of the material creation. Such Bodies are always full of transcendental potencies of unlimited opulence, strength, beauty, reputation, wisdom and renunciation. In the material existence, there is a difference between the body and the owner of the body, but because You appear in Your Original Spiritual Body there is no such difference between Your Self and Body. When You appear Your uncommon Activities indicate that You are the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and such uncommon Activities are not possible by any other body in the material existence. You are that Supreme Personality of Godhead, now appeared to cause the birth and death as well as liberation of the living entities and You are full with all Your plenary expansions, and can bestow on everyone all kinds of benediction. O my Lord, the Source of all auspicity and goodness, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. You are the All-Pervading Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Source of peacefulness and the Supreme Person in the dynasty of King Yadu. My Lord, our father, known as the demigod Kuvera, is Your servant. Similarly, the great sage Narada is also Your servitor, and by their grace only we have been able to see You Personally. We therefore pray that we may always be engaged in Your transcendental loving service by speaking only about Your Glories and hearing about Your transcendental Activities. May our hands and other limbs of the body be engaged in Your service and our minds always be wrapped up at Your Lotus Feet and our heads always bowed down before the All-Pervading Universal Form of Your Lordship.”
When the demigods Nalakuvera and Manigriva finished their prayers, the Child, Lord Krishna, the Master and Proprietor of Gokula, being bound up to the wooden grinding mortar by the ropes of Yasoda, began to smile and said as follows: “It was already known to Me that My great devotee-sage Narada had shown his causeless mercy by saving you from a very abominable condition of being puffed up due to extraordinary beauty of opulence in the family of demigods. He has saved you from gliding down into the lowest condition of hellish life. All these facts are already known to Me. You are very fortunate because you were not only cursed by him but you had the greatest opportunity to see him. If somebody is able, by chance, to see face to face a great saintly person like Narada, who is always equiposed and merciful to everyone, then immediately that conditioned soul becomes liberated, simply by seeing such a personality. This is exactly like being situated in full light of sun: There cannot be any impediment of vision. Therefore, O Nalakuvera and Manigriva, your lives have now become successful because you have developed ecstatic love for Me. This is your last birth within the material existence. Now you can go back to your father’s residence in the heavenly planet, and by remaining in such attitude of devotional service you will be liberated in this very life.” After this, the demigods circumambulated the Lord many times and bowed down before Him again and again, and thus they left the place and the Lord remained in the condition of being bound up with ropes at the grinding mortar.
Killing the Demons Basasula and Bokasura
When the two twin yamalarjuna trees fell down on the ground, making a sound like the falling of thunderbolts, all the inhabitants of Gokula, including Nanda Maharaj and other cowherdsmen, immediately came to the spot. They were very much astonished to see how the great trees had suddenly fallen. But without finding any cause of their falling they were puzzled. They also saw Child Krishna bound up to the wooden mortar by the ropes of Mother Yasoda, and they began to think it must have been caused by some demon, otherwise how was it possible? At the same time they were very much perturbed on account of such uncommon incidences always happening in relation with the Child Krishna. While the elderly cowherdsmen were thus contemplating, the small children who were playing there informed the men that it was due to Krishna’s pulling down the wooden mortar with the ropes in which he was bound up. “Krishna came in between the two trees,” they explained, “and the wooden mortar was topsy-turvied and stuck in between the trees. Krishna began to pull the rope and the trees fell down. When the trees fell down. out of the broken trees two very dazzling men came out and they began to say something to Krishna.” The cowherds did not believe the statement of the children, that the trees fell due to Krishna’s pulling the rope. They could not believe that such things were at all possible. Some of them, however, believed and said to Nanda Maharaj, “Your Child is different than all other children, maybe He might have done it.” Nanda Maharaj began to smile, hearing about the extraordinary abilities of his Son. He came forward and untied the binding just to free his wonderful Child. After being freed by Nanda Maharaj, Krishna was taken onto the laps of the elderly gopis. They took Him away to the courtyard of the house and began to clap, eulogizing the wonderful Activities of Krishna. Krishna began to clap along with the eulogizing, just like an ordinary child. The Supreme Lord Krishna being completely controlled by the gopis, began to sing and dance, just like a puppet in their hands.
Sometimes Mother Yasoda used to ask Child Krishna to bring her the wooden plank for sitting, and although the wooden plank was heavy and not to be carried by the Child, still somehow or other Krishna would bring that plank before His mother. Sometimes while worshiping Narayan, His father would ask the Child to bring his wooden slippers and Krishna with great difficulty would take the slippers on His head and bring them before the father. When He was asked to lift some heavy article and was unable to lift such article He would simply move His arms. In this way, daily, at every moment, He was the Reservoir of All Pleasure to the parents. When the Lord was exhibiting such childish Activities, in exchange, between the inhabitants of Vrindaban and Himself, He wanted to show the great philosophers and wisemen searching after the Absolute Truth how the Supreme Absolute Truth Personality of Godhead was controlled and subject to the desires of His pure devotees. One day, a fruit vendor came before the house of Nanda Maharaj. After hearing the canvasser’s voice-“If anyone wants fruits please come and take from me!”-Child Krishna immediately took some grains in His palm and went to get fruits in exchange. In those days the exchange was barter, therefore Krishna might have seen His parents exchange fruits and other things by bartering grains, and so He imitated. But His palms were very small and He was not very expert to keep them tight, so the grains were falling down. The vendor who came to sell fruits saw it and was very much captivated by the beauty of the Lord, so he immediately accepted whatever few grains were left in His palm and filled up His hands with fruits. In the meantime, the vendor saw that his whole basket of fruit had become filled up with jewels. The Lord is the Bestower of all benediction; if somebody gives something to the Lord, he is not the loser, he is the gainer by a million times.