The Stealing of the Boys and Calves by Brahma
1. The incident of Krsna's saving Himself and His associates from death and of giving deliverance to Aghasura, who had assumed the form of a python, took place when Krsna was five years old. It was disclosed in Vrajabhumi after one year, as if it had taken place on that very day. It happened like this:
2. After saving the boys and calves from the mouth of Aghasura, who was death personified, Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, brought them all to the bank of the river and started having lunch.
3. Like the whorl of a lotus flower surrounded by its petals and leaves, Krsna sat in the center, encircled by lines of His friends, who all looked very beautiful. Every one of them was trying to look forward toward Krsna, thinking that Krsna might look toward him. In this way they all enjoyed their lunch in the forest.
4. Krsna is yajna-bhuk--that is, He eats only offerings of yajna--but to exhibit His childhood pastimes, He now sat with His flute tucked between His waist and His tight cloth on His right side and with His horn bugle and cow-driving stick on His left. Holding in His hand a very nice preparation of yogurt and rice, with pieces of suitable fruit between His fingers, He sat like the whorl of a lotus flower, looking forward toward all His friends, personally joking with them and creating jubilant laughter among them as He ate. At that time, the denizens of heaven were watching, struck with wonder at how the Personality of Godhead, who eats only in yajna, was now eating with His friends in the forest.
5. While the cowherd boys, who knew nothing within the core of their hearts but Krsna, were thus engaged in eating their lunch in the forest, the calves went far away, deep into the forest, being allured by green grass.
6. When Krsna saw that His friends the cowherd boys were frightened, He, the fierce controller even of fear itself, said, just to mitigate their fear, "My dear friends, do not stop eating. I shall bring your calves back to this spot by personally going after them Myself."
7. Then, carrying His yogurt and rice in His hand, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, immediately went out to search for the calves of His friends.
8. Brahma, who resides in the higher planetary system in the sky, had observed the activities of the most powerful Krsna in killing and delivering Aghasura, and he was astonished. Now that same Brahma wanted to show some of his own power and see the power of Krsna, who was engaged in His childhood pastimes, playing as if with ordinary cowherd boys. Therefore, in Krsna's absence, Brahma took all the boys and calves to another place.
9. Thereafter, when Krsna was unable to find the calves, He returned to the bank of the river, but there He was also unable to see the cowherd boys. Thus He began to search for both the calves and the boys.
10. When Krsna was unable to find the calves and their caretakers, the cowherd boys, anywhere in the forest, He could suddenly understand that this was the work of Lord Brahma.
11. Thereafter, just to create pleasure both for Brahma and for the mothers of the calves and cowherd boys, Krsna, the creator of the entire cosmic manifestation, expanded Himself as calves and boys.
12. By His Vasudeva feature, Krsna simultaneously expanded Himself into the exact number of missing cowherd boys and calves, with their exact bodily features, their particular types of hands, legs and other limbs, their sticks, bugles and flutes, their lunch bags, their particular types of dress and ornaments placed in various ways, their names, ages and forms, and their special activities and characteristics. By expanding Himself in this way, beautiful Krsna proved the statement samagra-jagad visnumayam: "Lord Visnu is all-pervading."
13. Now expanding Himself so as to appear as all the calves and cowherd boys, all of them as they were, and at the same time appear as their leader, Krsna entered Vrajabhumi, the land of His father, Nanda Maharaja, just as He usually did while enjoying their company.
14. Krsna, who had divided Himself as different calves and also as different cowherd boys, entered different cow sheds as the calves and then different homes as different boys.
15. The mothers of the boys, upon hearing the sounds of the flutes and bugles being played by their sons, immediately rose from their household tasks, lifted their boys onto their laps, embraced them with both arms and began to feed them with their breast milk, which flowed forth because of extreme love specifically for Krsna. Actually Krsna is everything, but at that time, expressing extreme love and affection, they took special pleasure in feeding Krsna, the Parabrahman, and Krsna drank the milk from His respective mothers as if it were a nectarean beverage.
16. Thereafter, all the cows entered their different sheds and began mooing loudly, calling for their respective calves. When the calves arrived, the mothers began licking the calves' bodies again and again and profusely feeding them with the milk flowing from their milk bags.
17. Although the inhabitants of Vrajabhumi, the cowherd men and cowherd women, previously had more affection for Krsna than for their own children, now, for one year, their affection for their own sons continuously increased, for Krsna had now become their sons. There was no limit to the increment of their affection for their sons, who were now Krsna. Every day they found new inspiration for loving their children as much as they loved Krsna.
18. In this way, Lord Sri Krsna, having Himself become the cowherd boys and groups of calves, maintained Himself by Himself. Thus He continued His pastimes, both in Vrndavana and in the forest, for one year.
19. One day, five or six nights before the completion of the year, Krsna, tending the calves, entered the forest along with Balarama.
20. Thereafter, while pasturing atop Govardhana Hill, the cows looked down to find some green grass and saw their calves pasturing near Vrndavana, not very far away.
21. When the cows saw their own calves from the top of Govardhana Hill, they forgot themselves and their caretakers because of increased affection, and although the path was very rough, they ran toward their calves with great anxiety, each running as if with one pair of legs. Their milk bags full and flowing with milk, their heads and tails raised, and their humps moving with their necks, they ran forcefully until they reached their calves to feed them.
22. The cowherd men when saw their own sons, they were overwhelmed by great affection. Experiencing a great attraction, they lifted their sons, embraced them in their arms and enjoyed the highest pleasure by smelling their
23. When Baladeva saw this attachment, He was unable to understand the reason for it, and thus He began to consider as follows.
24. What is this wonderful phenomenon? The affection of all the inhabitants of Vraja, including Me, toward these boys and calves is increasing as never before, just like our affection for Lord Krsna, the Supersoul of all living entities.
25. Thinking in this way, Lord Balarama was able to see, with the eye of transcendental knowledge, that all these calves and Krsna's friends were expansions of the form of Sri Krsna.
26. Lord Baladeva said, "O supreme controller! Although one, You are existing in the different forms of the calves
and boys. Please briefly explain this to Me." Having thus been requested by Lord Baladeva, Krsna explained the whole situation, and Baladeva understood it.
27. When Lord Brahma returned after a moment of time had passed (according to his own measurement), he saw that although by human measurement a complete year had passed, Lord Krsna, after all that time, was engaged just as before in playing with the boys and calves, who were His expansions.
28. Lord Brahma thought: Whatever boys and calves there were in Gokula, I have kept them sleeping on the bed of my mystic potency, and to this very day they have not yet risen again.
29. A similar number of boys and calves have been playing with Krsna for one whole year, yet they are different from the ones illusioned by my mystic potency. Who are they? Where did they come from?
30. Thus Lord Brahma, thinking and thinking for a long time, tried to distinguish between those two sets of boys, who were each separately existing. He tried to understand who was real and who was not real, but he couldn't understand at all.
31. Then, while Lord Brahma looked on, all the calves and the boys tending them immediately appeared to have complexions the color of bluish rainclouds and to be dressed in yellow silken garments.
32. All those personalities had four arms, holding conchshell, disc, mace and lotus flower in Their hands. They wore helmets on Their heads, earrings on Their ears and garlands of forest flowers around Their necks. On the upper portion of the right side of Their chests was the emblem of the goddess of fortune. Furthermore, They wore armlets on Their arms, the Kaustubha gem around Their necks, which were marked with three lines like a conchshell, and bracelets on Their wrists. With bangles on Their ankles, ornaments on Their feet, and sacred belts around Their waists, They all appeared very beautiful.
33. Every part of Their bodies, from Their feet to the top of Their heads, was fully decorated with fresh, tender garlands of tulasi leaves offered by devotees engaged in worshiping the Lord by the greatest pious activities, namely hearing and chanting.
34. All beings, both moving and nonmoving, from the four-headed Lord Brahma down to the most insignificant living entity, had taken forms and were differently worshiping those visnu-murtis, according to their respective capacities, with various means of worship, such as dancing and singing.
35. Thus Lord Brahma saw the Supreme Brahman, by whose energy this entire universe, with its moving and nonmoving living beings, is manifested. He also saw at the same time all the calves and boys as the Lord's expansions.
36. Thus Lord Brahma was mystified. "What is this?" he thought, and then he was not even able to see. Lord
Krsna, understanding Brahma's position, then at once removed the curtain of His yogamaya.
37. Lord Brahma's external consciousness then revived, and he stood up, just like a dead man coming back to life. Opening his eyes with great difficulty, he saw the universe, along with himself.
38. Then, looking in all directions, Lord Brahma immediately saw Vrndavana before him, filled with trees.
39. Then Lord Brahma saw the Absolute Truth assuming the role of a child in a family of cowherd men and standing all alone, just as before, with a morsel of food in His hand, searching everywhere for the calves and His cowherd friends.
40. After seeing this, Lord Brahma hastily got down from his swan carrier, fell down like a golden rod and touched the lotus feet of Lord Krsna with the tips of the four crowns on his heads. Offering his obeisances, he bathed the feet of Krsna with the water of his tears of joy.
41. Rising and falling again and again at the lotus feet of Lord Krsna for a long time, Lord Brahma remembered over and over the Lord's greatness he had just seen.
42. Then, rising very gradually and wiping his two eyes, Lord Brahma looked up at Mukunda. Lord Brahma, his head bent low, his mind concentrated and his body trembling, very humbly began, with faltering words, to offer praises to Lord Krsna.