On this day lord Sri Krishna became a qualified cowherd. Before
this day, he was a keeper of the calves.
The Killing of Dhenukasura:
"Thus Sri Krishna, along with His elder brother Balarama, passed
the childhood age known as kaumara and stepped into the age of
pauganda, from the sixth year up to the tenth. At that time, all
the cowherd men conferred and agreed to give those boys who had
passed their fifth year charge of the cows in the pasturing ground.
Given charge of the cows, Krishna and Balarama traversed
Vrindavana, purifying the land with Their lotus footprints."
It is stated in the Kārttika-māhātmya section of the Padma
śuklāṣṭamī kārttike tu
smṛtā gopāṣṭamī budhaiḥ
tad-dinād vāsudevo 'bhūd
gopaḥ pūrvaṁ tu vatsapaḥ
"The eighth lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month of
Kārttika is known by authorities as Gopāṣṭamī. From that day, Lord
Vāsudeva served as a cowherd, whereas previously He had tended the
The word padaiḥ indicates that Lord Kṛṣṇa blessed the earth by
walking on her surface with His lotus feet. The Lord wore no shoes
or other footgear but walked barefoot in the forest, giving great
anxiety to the girls of Vṛndāvana, who feared that His soft lotus
feet would be injured.
Krsna said at that time that the cows are worshiped even by the
demigods, and He practically demonstrated how to protect the cows.
At least people who are in Krsna consciousness should follow in His
footsteps and give all protection to the cows. Cows are worshiped
not only by the demigods. Krsna Himself worshiped the cows on
several occasions, especially on the days of Gopastami and